Amsterdam is one of the world's best hangouts, a canny blend of old and new: radical squatter art installations hang off 17th-century eaves, BMWs give way to bicycles and triple-strength monk-made beer is served in steel and glass 'grand cafés'.
The city seems to thrive on its funky mix and, despite its hordes of tourists, it still manages to feel quintessentially Dutch. The 17th- and 18th-century architecture, the fleets of bicycles, the tree-lined canals and scattered parks all contribute to the atmosphere.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track