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Amsterdam is one of the few places in the world where the use of soft drugs is legal or rather decriminalised is probably the correct term, it is legal to smoke marijuana in coffee shops only, and is not advisable to walk round the streets puffing away, most pubs/bars don't allow anyone to smoke marijuana at all on the premises, but as of the 1st July 2008 smoking in any public place in Holland (and including Amsterdam) is not permitted. How this will effect the tourist industry is yet to be seen.
The most important museums of Amsterdam are located on het Museumplein (Museum Square). It was created in the last quarter of the 19th century on the grounds of the former World Exposition. The northern part of the square is bordered by the very large Rijksmuseum. The western part of the square is bordered by the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. The square itself is the most prominent site in Amsterdam for festivals and outdoor concerts, especially in the summer.
The Rijksmuseum possesses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art. It opened it's doors to the public in 1885. It collection consists of one million pieces of art. The artist most associated with Amsterdam is Rembrandt, whose work, and the work of his pupils, is displayed in the Rijksmuseum. Only one wing of the Rijksmuseum is currently open to the public, where the 200 most important pieces of art are on display. The museum will open again after the year 2010. The Rijksmuseum is being expanded, renovated and a new main entrance for the museum is being created.
Van Gogh lived in Amsterdam for a short while, so there is a Van Gogh museum dedicated to his early work.
Next to the Van Gogh museum stands the Stedelijk Museum. This is Amsterdam's most important museum concerning modern art. The permanent collection consists of works of art from artists like Piet Mondriaan, Karel Appel and Kasimir Malewitsj.
Amsterdam contains a lot more museums then just those on the Museum Square. These museums range from little ones, such as the Verzetsmuseum and the Rembrandthuis, to very large ones like the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdams Historisch Museum and Joods Historisch Museum. These museums are all located in the city center or nearby it.
One of the largest tourist attractions by far is the Red Light District, with the Dutch having a very liberal approach on sex. There are over 5,000 prostitutes, the majority being female, of all nationalities working their trade in windows with soft neon lights illuminating the narrow streets and canals. Regular police patrols make sure the prostitutes stay safe, and they will not tolerate anyone abusing them. Also, the working girls don't take to kindly to having there photo being taken.
Anne Frank's House, Amsterdam
The most popular museum in Amsterdam, this former residential house is where Anne Frank spent two years in hiding from the Nazis.
Rembrandt Park, Amsterdam
Rembrandt Park was originally the area where plants, bulbs, flowers and other horticultural items were grown commercially. By 1957 the growers were moved to the Louwesweg area of the district, and Rembrandt Park began to take shape.
Hermitage Amsterdam Museum
The Hermitage in Amsterdam is a fine arts museum converted from an old retirement home, from where it got the name.
The Rijksmueum, located in Amsterdam, is the national art museum of the Netherlands.
Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam
Rembrandt House Museum is a veritable shrine dedicated to the life and works of celebrated Dutch painter Rembrandt Van Rijn, better known as Rembrandt.
The Houseboat Museum, Amsterdam
Looking inside the Houseboat Museum in Amsterdam is the perfect way to find out about these interesting little creations on the canal.
The Amsterdam Historical Museum
The Amsterdam Historical Museum provides you with an insight into this old city, its people and the way they have lived over the centuries.
The Tulip Museum, Amsterdam
The Tulip Museum opened in 2004 and is the ultimate authority on all things tulips and Holland.
The Jewish History Museum, Amsterdam
This Museum has exhibitions with lots of paintings and sculptures that were originally stolen by the German from Dutch Jewish families during the Second World occupation of this the Netherlands.
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