Amsterdam: Free Weekend

You know Amsterdam – the city of the tolerance of soft drugs and prostitution but also the city of the nice places, culture and fun. Richard Tulloch presents the city.

It is not easy to find the right way in the middle of canal ways. There are window-shops with red neon lights or little “coffeeshops”. But you can also visit great art museums and try the traffic on a bike.

Some people didn’t enjoy their trip to Amsterdam. Some people took too much drug or met British rugby teams in red light district and they don’t remember anything. Some people love the city. They cycled in the quiet streets, had something to eat in a café next to the canal or in the park, listened to the great jazz music and looked at the most beautiful paintings in the world.

At the first visit, Amsterdam is so small. There live about 800,000 people and the city centre is not so big.

Don’t be afraid when you don’t speak Dutch. Everyone speaks English (and maybe French, German and Italian).

The Past Tense

Amsterdam: Free Weekend

Well known for its tolerance of soft drugs and prostitution, Amsterdam’s joyful features have often put its charms, cultural richness and “usual” nightlife aside. Richard Tulloch to take a look at the entire picture…

It is not hard to get lost in the middle of the canal labyrinth. Experience window-shops with an alive goods lit with red neon or dive into a smoky little “coffeeshop” offering substances you won’t get elsewhere. If this is not your cup of tea, make your way to great art museums. Take your chances with the traffic and trams using a bike.

Stories about drug-hazed weekends in red light district hotels with British rugby teams enjoying their post-season parties are told by those who actually don’t remember much of their Amsterdam trip. Those who cycled through cosy streets, ate on a café terrace right next to the leafy canal, had their sandwich in the park, heard great jazz music and admired the most significant paintings in the world loved the city.

At the first sight, with its 800,000 residents and quickly bike-toured centre of the city It can seem surprising Amsterdam is so small.

In spite of looking casual the city is well organised. No need to worry if you haven’t been familiar with the Dutch language yet – everyone you meet will speak English (and probably French, German and Italian) even better than you, and you can bet you will be reminded while organising you.


charm – attractive feature
experience – to undergo, to feel
dive into – get inside
hazed – smoked, vapoured
admire – regard with respect
casual – informal
be familiar with – to know, be aware of doing something

The Past Tense



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