Amsterdam

SFO >> AMS

First stop in our month long honeymoon: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Our honeymoon trip started with flying into Amsterdam September 2nd. Arriving to Amsterdam, I really didn't have an idea of what to expect from the city aside form the Red Light District and the Pot Café’s. From the things that I had heard from, I expected a city of stoners. To my surprise, only about 20% of Amsterdam residents have smoked pot and do it socially. It is very controlled and no one is out of control. The city is absolutely magnificent. Most people ride bikes around town, truly being the best way to see and experience Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. With more than one million inhabitants in its urban area, it is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. Amsterdam is colloquially known as Venice of the North, because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here, whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city.

A pleasant way to cover a lot of ground is to rent a bicycle. There are approximately 750,000 people living in Amsterdam and they own about 800,000 bicycles. The city is very, very bike-friendly, and there are separate bike lanes on most major streets.

Where we stayed:

Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam; Prins Hendrikkade 108 1011 AK Amsterdam, Nederland - 020 5520000

What We Did:

Amsterdam Candle Light Cannel Tour (www.amsterdamcitytours.com): A great way to experience Amsterdam's enchantingly lit canals. Glide gently past many of the capital's most famous landmark buildings and sights in all their night-time glory. The Candle Light Cannel Tour includes luxury cheese and red or white wine.

Van Gough Museum; Paulus Potterstraat 7  1071 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands 020 570 5200 (www.vangoghmuseum.nl)

Heineken Experience; Stadhouderskade 78 Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, Netherlands (www.heinekenexperience.com)

Mike’s Bikes Amsterdam Tour; Kerkstraat 134  1017 GP Amsterdam, Netherlands020 622 7970 (www.mikesbiketoursamsterdam.com)

What you need to know

Amsterdam Airport Schipole (AMS) is one of the busiest airports in the world, situated 15 km south-west of the city.The national carrier for the Netherlands is KLM, now merged with Air France. With partner Delta Air Lines they offer worldwide connections. The US, Asia and Europe are particularly well served at Schiphol. If you are flying from San Francisco, KLM offers direct flights to Schipole.

When leaving Amsterdam, give yourself enough time to get to your plane and through security--especially when flying to the United States! Schiphol is a large airport — be there at least two hours in advance. If you have time to kill, drop into the Rijksmuseum's Schiphol branch, between E and F Pier (non-Schengen area airside), which is free and open 07:00-20:00 daily.