Amsterdam is a beautiful city of Netherlands, on the banks of two bodies of water; the IJ bay and the Amstel River. The city is situated where the small bifurcated Amstel River is joined by a sluice dam that was originally built in 1240, and thus the city got its name "Amste-r-dam."
The official capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam was founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, but now it's the largest city, and financial & cultural of the country.
Amsterdam is one of the important urban centers of the greater metropolitan area called Randstad, one of the largest conurbations in Europe. Some of the other Dutch cities in the conurbation include Haarlem, Utrecht, Leiden, The Hague, Rotterdam etc.
Often dubbed as the "Venice of the North," Amsterdam is also known for a series of 17th century concentric, semi-circular canals (grachten) that were dug around the old city centre. With many fine houses and mansions are situated along side, the canals are the beautiful attractions of city.
Amsterdam is one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world. Home to gorgeous architectures, beautiful mansions, lovely canals, great shopping malls, and classy hotels, the city of Amsterdam bosoms something for every traveler's taste.
Amsterdam is the city that hardly sleeps at night. The city is very famous for its nightlife. It offers one of the most vibrant nightlifes in the Europe and that is why the city is often nicknamed as "Gayway to Europe." The city offers one of the most inebriating night cultures, and dishes out numerous hedonistic and epicurean pleasures in its bars, clubs, restaurants etc.
The dance clubs in Amsterdam are loud and boisterous and they remain open until 6 in the morning. Amsterdam clubs exhibit everything from the class of society to "drag queens" and bisexual Dutch girls. Some of the popular clubs in the city include 'it!', 'Sinners In Heaven,' 'Time,' and 'Club Melkweg.' The city also has numerous pubs. The beer prices are 2-3 euros in the pubs, but beer is quite expensive in the clubs. Besides, the city has a number of restaurants, bars, and cafes that remain open till wee hours.
Amsterdam is also famous for its red-light district, de Wallen. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands at specific places. The red-light district is located in the center of the city along major canals. Prostitution also flourishes in certain side streets such as Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk. There are many bars and restaurants in this area. It's not just in Amsterdam rather the other Dutch cities such as Utrecht, The Hague, Leeuwarden, Haarlem and Groningen also have "Hoerenbuurten" ("Hooker areas").
Major attractions of Red Light area are Moulin Rouge striptease, Banana Bar and several peep show bars. A peep show may cost you from 2 euros to 10 euros and you can enjoy one show in Moulin Rouge in 45 euros which includes a drink also. The banana bar has shows starting from 25 euros.
You can visit Amsterdam all year round. Amsterdam winters are mild and average above freezing and summers are warm but seldom hot. Cloudy and damp days are pretty common, particularly in the cooler months.