Amsterdam is the largest city in Holland, a country famous for it’s windmills! Also know as the Netherlands, the Dutch countryside is absolutely beautiful…in or out of tulip season!

In the city, you’ll discover over 7,000 canal homes and buildings dating back to as early as the 16th century. They also boast over 165 canals and thousands of bicycles, a favorite way to get around here in the city!

This is a city of extremes. It’s both liberal and open minded. Amsterdam is also graceful and gracious. From the free-wheeling red-light district and the carefree “coffee shops” to the memorable Art Museums and the memory-filled Anne Frank House, there is truly something for everyone here.

No longer the hippy haven it was in the 70’s, Amsterdam today is a thriving, multi-cultural, world-class city that has earned the title “Europe’s Most Vibrant City.” The Rijksmuseum is considered to be one of the greatest art museums and the world and features the largest collection of Dutch Masters including Jan Steen, Vermeer, Jan Lievens, Van Gogh, and of course, lots of Rembrandt! Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” is not only the most famous painting on display here, it’s the largest as well. It’s magnificent and a must-see in Amsterdam!

For a bargain, buy the “IamAmsterdam” card at the tourist office, previously the Amsterdam Pass. It gives you free access to public transportation, and most museums plus other discounts and attractions.

Allow time for some day trips and excursions! For the old fashioned look of Holland, the town of Vollendam is exactly what you’d expect a Dutch village to look like! The town of Edam is famous for its cheese of the same name, and most of the windmills will be on outside of town.To see the city in a short amount of time, I recommend taking a boat trip to through some of the canals, especially on your first visit. Seeing it from the water is much more beautiful than seeing it from a car. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons because of all the flowers in Amsterdam. People come from all over the world just to see the variety of gardens and tulips. You’re not allow to bring any uncertified plants, seeds or soil into the United States or Canada so when you’re in the flower market you have to look for tulip bulbs that are certified. A certificate will tell you that a plant or bulb has been certified to come into the U.S. and Canada. Look for the certification seal because you have six weeks from the date on the stamp to carry it home. So even if it’s certified check the date so that you’re within the expiration.