I am giving Amsterdam three stars, not because it is not a great city (it is!) but because of the danger faced when crossing the roads. I have been to Amsterdam twice before, but this time the number of cyclists seems to have increased a hundredfold and now scooters use the bus lanes – I don’t think they did last time I was there in 2007. So – combined with the cars, buses and trams that seem to appear from nowhere, crossing the road in Amsterdam can be a very hazardous activity!
Having said that, it really is a great city. During our three days there we went on a canal cruise, an open topped bus tour, a visit to the Heineken Experience museum and an all day visit to the Rijksmuseum, plus we went shopping, eating, drinking and general sightseeing. It is not cheap – although this could in part have been caused by the falling value of the pound which reached its lowest point whilst we were there; and also we did not find it a particularly cheap city compared to others. An average meal in a restaurant cost just under 50 euros per person.
The people were very friendly, relaxed and helpful and went out of their way to help and accommodate us. We would definitely want to return, but would be on our guard for the cyclists who cycle at a rate and intensity which made us wonder whether they were in practice for the Tour de France!