Whenever someone tells me they can't wait to go to Amsterdam so they can visit the Red Light District and go to a "Coffee Shop," where marijuana is sold legally, I want to say to them, "How about I buy you a bag of marijuana and a red light bulb and you can go enjoy that somewhere, and you give me your plane tickets? Because I actually want to see AMSTERDAM!"
I've been to Amsterdam many times and never once stepped foot inside a Coffee Shop. Amsterdam to me is walking along canals, sitting for long hours nursing a cup of coffee in an outdoor cafe, checking out the cute shops, and exploring the Jordaan -- something like Amsterdam's East Village -- for so long that I start to feel like a native.
I have no need for tourist attractions or bondage museums either, so most guidebooks are of no use to me at all.
Until now. In "Quiet Amsterdam," Siobhan Wall has found some of the truly beautiful, one could even say soulful, venues in this centuries-old city. From little-known museums with amazing art collections, to the prettiest nature preserves, to libraries and bookshops, to "Places to relax" and "Places to sit," each listing incudes a short description, address and hours,
along with a beautiful photo that makes you want to go that place RIGHT NOW.
"Quiet Amsterdam" may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely my cup of coffee, served with a cookie, Dutch-style.