A Grownup's Guide to Amsterdam Attractions

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    See the Sights of Amsterdam

    An evening in amsterdam
    An evening in Amsterdam. Getty Images/Elusive Photography

    Amsterdam is one of the world's most beautiful and progressive cities. From day into night, couples can visit world-class museums, stroll along picture perfect canals, and dabble in adult pleasures that include visiting coffee houses and the famous Red Light District.

    Embark on this virtual tour of Amsterdam's top attractions for adults to see for yourself what the city holds in store -- and leave the kids behind.

    Getting Out and About

    The best way to see Amsterdam is with an I amsterdam Card. The card provides free admission to many museums and access to public transportation.

    Valuable to Amsterdam visitors who want to see and do a lot in a small amount of time, the I amsterdam Card is a smart card encoded with a chip that serves multiple purposes and saves users money.

    The I amsterdam Card comes with a ticket for free public transportation and provides more than 30 free and 20 discounted offers on major tourist attractions and restaurants. A city guide with an informative booklet is included.

    Visitors can purchase an I amsterdam Card that is good to use for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

    One of the many attractions the card provides free admission to is the Rijksmuseum. It is the city's leading art and history museum and is known for its collection of masterpieces by the Dutch painter Rembrandt. Close by is the Van Gogh Museum, a more modern facility that contains many of the artist's iconic paintings, including self-portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. (Just don't search for his "Starry Night" masterpiece -- that's in New York City's Museum of Modern Art.)

     

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    Bike Around Amsterdam

    Bloemgracht canal in Jordaan district - Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    Bloemgracht canal in Jordaan district. Getty Images/Jorg Greuel

    Traveling around Amsterdam by bike is a convenient, energy-efficient way to tour the city, and a good way to see the city as the locals do. Renting a tandem bike can be a romantic way to experience Amsterdam together and get a bit of fresh air and exercise.

     

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    Scenic Amsterdam Canal

    Amsterdam canals
    Amsterdam canals. Getty Images/Stanley Chen Xi

    As artful as a painting and full of classic European beauty, an Amsterdam canal inspires romance within couples who gaze upon it.

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    Amsterdam Flower Market

    Flowers at the Bloemenmarkt Amsterdam's flower market
    Flowers at the Bloemenmarkt Amsterdam's flower market. Getty Images/Susie Adams

    Florists proffer seeds, bulbs, and flowers of all kinds in this market alongside the canal. Gorgeous blooms such as tulips are found in abundance here.

     

     

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    Amsterdam Coffee Shop

    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Amsterdam coffee shop. Getty Images/Travel Ink

    It is legal for adults to purchase small quantities of marijuana and hashish at "coffee shops" like The Bulldog chain in the city. When you enter a coffee shop, you will either see a posted menu and can ask to see one. It will list the variety of strains available and the prices. In addition to marijuana and hashish, coffee shops sell rolling papers, pipes, and even coffee.

     

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    Sample Delicious Dutch Cheese

    Cheese shop in De Kaaskamer, Amsterdam
    Cheese shop in De Kaaskamer, Amsterdam. Getty Images/Atlantide Phototravel

    Available in farm markets and shops, Dutch cheese comes in many varieties perfect to pack in a picnic basket. Amsterdam gourmets prize Dutch cheese as much as they revere its beer, herring, licorice candy, and fine chocolate.

     

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    Condomerie

    Condomerie
    Condomerie. Flickr/littlehuw

    Stocked wall to wall with condoms of all shapes, colors, flavors, and sizes, the Condomerie is a must-see attraction on any adult tour of Amsterdam.

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    Amsterdam Sex Shop

    Women Soliciting Customers in Amsterdam's Red Light District Details
    Women soliciting customers in Amsterdam's Red Light District Details. Getty Images/Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis/VCG

    Amsterdam's famous Red Light district houses numerous sex shops interspersed between windows where scantily clad prostitutes put themselves on display.

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    Five Flies Restaurant

    It's not the most appetizing name for a restaurant, but since the structure has been around since 1627 the proprietors must be doing something right.

    A medieval landmark, restaurant d'Vijff Vlieghen is a warren of nine small rooms in five interconnected buildings serving "new Dutch Cuisine." The fare includes organically grown vegetables along with meat and seafood offerings. The restaurant is named ​after its original owner, a hyperactive fellow his colleagues nicknamed "The Fly," as he buzzed with activity (or so they say).

     

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    Amsterdam Sunset Canal Cruise

    Sightseeing along Amsterdam canals
    Sightseeing along Amsterdam canals. Getty Images/LeoPatrizi

    At night -- especially during summer, when the sun doesn't set until after 10 p.m. on many an evening -- it's romantic to sail along Amsterdam's waterways. Canal boats ply the waters day and night, and visitors on a honeymoon or romantic getaway may enjoy taking a dinner cruise.

     

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    Marriage Chamber

    All is not sex and drugs in Amsterdam -- love and romance flourish, too. The city's most beautiful Marriage Chamber is inside Sofitel the Grand Amsterdam Hotel. The hotel, formerly Amsterdam City Hall, contains well preserved Jugendstil murals and stained glass created by the artist Chris Lebeau in the 1920s.

     

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    Amsterdam Holland Casino

    Holland Casino, Amsterdam
    Holland Casino, Amsterdam. Getty Images/Wilfried Wirth

    Gaming is legal in the Netherlands. So if you're lucky in love, perhaps you'll also be a sure thing at the casino. Holland Casino is a two-story structure, with slot machines on the ground level and table games on the second floor. Gaming is conducted in Dutch and the currency is in Euros. Couples who possess the I amsterdam Card can enter at no charge.