Compact, quirky, and covered in museums, Amsterdam is not hard to fall in love with. Proving European capital cities can mean so much more than history and politics, its youthful spirit and progressive ideals tell a significant part of the Dutch story. Your first few days will likely be spent in the city's central hub, admiring canals lined with wonky gabled houses, learning the history of hemp, and watching street performers in Dam Square. Once the Anne Frank Museum has been ticked off the list and you've consumed your share of Heineken (over many serves of patat met and debates about the Red Light District), you may find yourself with a hankering to look beyond the city's boundaries. It's at this point that a cycle into the countryside will be called for, admiring tulips en route to an Edam cheese farm and clog factory. Numerous festivals are also on offer in this vivacious city, such as the electronic music circus of Valhalla and wharf based music extravaganza of Pitch Festival, not to mention the 300 artists that make up the manic 3-day summer celebration of Mysteryland. Those looking for an event with more cultural swing will admire a blanket of some 200,000 flowers National Tulip Day, or don orange while sifting through markets and entertainment on King’s Day. Whenever your time in Amsterdam wraps up you'll be left craving more, whether you stay just a few days, a week, or more. It's the kind of place that knows how to pull at your heartstrings, a place you'll be left contemplating for years to come.
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