Although the seat of the Netherlands government is in The Hague, Amsterdam is the nominal capital. It is also the country's largest city with the population of almost seven hundred and fifty thousand and the most visited with over three point five million foreign visitors a year. Amsterdam is a city like Venice, founded on and still today focused around the water and waterways, though unlike Venice, Holland's largest city is no mere museum piece. Amsterdam is a real, living and breathing metropolis, not only an oasis for tourists, who like 'a smoke' and men in search of extra-marital sex.
Amsterdam is perfect for going to places of interest, as it is flat and compact, making it easy to walk around. The best way for visitors to make Amsterdam sightseeing started is to head straight out on a canal tour, something that many locals have never done. Most of the main attractions are located within the historical core, usually within a walking distance from each other, though the efficient tram and bus networks are close at hand for attractions further a field.
First start Amsterdam sightseeing by visiting city's excellent museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Van Gogh Museum, the NEMO Museum and the new Scheepvaartmuseum. Less cerebral, but probably not a less desirable attraction in Amsterdam sightseeing, is in the Red Light District, where prostitutes adorn windows all day and night. As well as being the transport hub for the city, the grand Central Station is also a gateway to half- and full-day Amsterdam tours with its regular and inexpensive train services.
Away from these busy places, the city is also blessed with quiet canals and leafy parks, which provide an escape all year round, especially the Vondelpark with its open-air, free concerts during summer. Breaking away from the main Amsterdam sightseeing route is the easiest way for you to discover the 'real' Amsterdam of grand old canal-side merchants' houses, where modern Amsterdamers still live in an almost bucolic setting.
The Dutch capital is a year round tourist destination, as well as one of the world's key business hubs. Any time can be the best time to visit it. The peak of the tourist season is in July and August, when the weather is the finest. The weather however is never really extreme at any time of the year, and if you are one of those, who favor an off-season travel, you will find the city every bit as attractive during these months. Not only airlines, hotels and restaurants are cheaper and less crowded during this time (with a more relaxed and cheerful service), but there are also some very appealing events going on. Particularly, cold winters also offer a unique chance for visitors to witness Amsterdamers, skating across the picturesquely frozen canals. Amsterdam's winters tend to be cold with plenty of rain, but it seldom seems to deter the tourists, who flock to the city. The cultural season is in full swing between September and May in Amsterdam, along with The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and other nearby towns and cities.