Based in Leeds, but exploring Berlin for the next two months.
Published January 4th 2013
[ADVERT]My trip to Amsterdam aged 15 is one of the highlights of my young life. The city is a popular location for groups of young adults, keen to spend their trip being as debauched and illicit as possible, but for my family and I, it was the perfect city break, full of culture and history.
One of the highlights, was of course, the Anne Frank museum, a preserved memorial of one girl's life, representing the stories of millions. Needless to say, my family and I left with tears in our eyes.
Other sights you may want to look out for include the 'Homomemorial' - a beautiful statue dedicated to the gay and lesbian victims of the Nazis. It is simply three triangles, all pink as a symbolic reference to the badges that the gay victims of the war were forced to wear. The memorial includes a triangular tile and small dock, as well as a pink triangular prism.
You will also want to browse the little cafes and bars, finding a seat outside can often mean that you can watch street performances while you enjoy a coffee. Amsterdam can be far more serene than the stories of cannabis cafes and the Red Light district depict. However, the fact that you will see magic mushrooms openly sold in a gift shop, right across the street from a Ben and Jerry's ice-cream parlour, only adds to the diverse nature of the city. A boat tour on one of the many canals is also a must, Amsterdam is named 'Venice of the North' for this reason, and its canals have long been its source prosperity and trade relations.
Also the home of Rembrandt, and other Dutch masters, it seems such a shame not to visit the many stunning galleries and museums on offer. My personal favourites were the Rijksmuseum, full of art both antique and contemporary, and the Van Gogh gallery. Both are testimonials to the great people this city has produced. For art fans like myself, it was also wonderful to see some of my favourite pieces of artwork 'in the flesh'.