Colorful, quirky and charming, the old-world city is lined with 17th-century building, canals, and the constant sight of bicycles whizzing by. But it also bears the hallmarks of a thriving and downright lenient metropolis. There’s no bad time to go to this Dutch capital, but in general, May through October is the main travel season, when temperatures are warmest. Crowds peak in July and August. The other top time for a trip to Amsterdam is tulip season: The city bursts into bloom as early as March, and the plumage can extend into May. Rain is possible year-round, and winter can bring occasional snow and slush, so pack layers. Overall, it’s generally mild but often wet, so bring an umbrella and suitable clothing at any time of year.
Amsterdam is compact, so walking or renting bikes to make use of the great bike lanes is easy. Yet public transport (trams, metros, and buses) also is excellent. Buy a chip card at a ticket vending machine or counter, or ask the driver for a tourist pass (there are one- to seven-day cards starting at $8).