Amsterdam is a crazy crazy place surrounding by fantastic beauty, it started with the sailors and the prostitutes and then onto hippies and free love in the sixties and seventies. Now its a haven to people seeking a good time and to forget home. Its Europe’s dance and party capital with its many nightclubs and coffeeshops, hen and stags from all over the world flock to the Mecca of fun. Hippies and stoners alike find refuge in the cities many coffeeshops where you can smoke hash and marijuana.
With legal prostitution and free love together with easily accessible drugs all in one place this created an amazingly tolerant society. Soon after homosexuals were amongst the many socially excluded groups that swooped onto Amsterdam adding to its already culturally diverse community.
Nobody stands out in Amsterdam because everybody stands out in Amsterdam. The rest of the country couldn’t be more different, every other city has a pocket of Amsterdam but you normally have to go looking for it. Agriculture and call centres are their main industries, not ten minutes outside of any city are you surrounded by beautiful countryside. Although The Netherlands in general is a tolerant society do not presume what you have seen in Amsterdam is OK in the rest of the country.
Most Dutch can speak English but you should learn hello (pronounced “HHelo” emphasising on the “h”) and thank you (pronounced “be dankkt”) which they will appreciate.