Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and a charming city with a homey, friendly feel. The Netherlands is a small, easily traveled country, and Amsterdam makes a perfect home base for both day trips and longer jaunts. Prime destinations in Amsterdam include the Rijksmuseum and the home of Anne Frank. Nearby travel spots include the Zaanse Schans, a much painted and photographed row of windmills, and the cities of the Hague and Rotterdam. You could also visit the Friesian Islands in the far north, accessible by ferry boat.
Amsterdam is a city of canals, many of which are arranged in concentric circles in the oldest part of the city, the Centrum. The canals are still used for barge travel and houseboats, and make for a unique cityscape, with typical narrow Dutch row homes leaning over the water above bricked streets. Amsterdam has its own international airport, Schipol (AMS), and is accessible by train. There are trams as part of the public transit system, but the real way to see Amsterdam is to travel like a native, using bicycle.
The Keukenhof gardens are home to millions of tulips in the spring, and the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo, is another delight for nature lovers, as well as fans of the artist Vincent Van Gogh. The weather in Amsterdam tends to be rainy year-round, and a sweater or jacket, even in summer, is welcome.