Amsterdam's not all sex, drugs and Edam cheese. There's a tempting underbelly of civilised culture to explore.
Our top tip - sit back and relax on a canal diner cruise.
Tourists are pretty easy to avoid in Amsterdam, as they're split into easily identifiable raucous stag parties and bumbling retired history buffs. It's worth braving the crowds and briefly checking out the Red Light District, Anne Frank's House and the main floors of the Van Gogh Museum, but for a quieter, more considered city ramble, head down to the Jordaan district. There are plenty of small galleries and boutiques to discover along the Bloemgracht canal walk.
Go to church early on Sunday, very early, like Saturday night. The Paradiso nightclub is built inside an old church, making use of three impressive stained glass windows above a stage hosting DJs and musicians.
Balthazar's Keuken on Elandsgracht is cosy and real with an unpretentious interior with an eclectic mix of crockery and furniture. The focus is on the food, which is organized into set meals with a meat or fish option to ensure the freshness of the produce.
The pick-me-up: An Amsterdam holiday wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of their notorious cafés. Rokerij - there's four branches - is as classically hippified as they come, with an OTT mock-Indian interior.
The breakfast: The cute and kitschy De Bakkerswinkel on Warmoesstraat smells fabulous and boasts a mouth-watering array of freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries. They're all served by happy staff from breakfast to high tea time.
The flicks: The Filmmuseum in the scenic Vondelpark, right on the lake, holds an impressive film library from which it runs themed programmes of screenings.
The shops : You can have a haggle over antiques and vintage clothes at the huge Waterlooplein Flea Market. Also the European-born H&M stores in the city hold some unique fashions you won't find elsewhere.
The gallery: Get to the Van Gogh Museum and go straight to the basement for a great selection of sketches showing the development of the artist's most famous works.
The cocktail: Café Cuba on Nieuwmarkt is a beautiful 50s-style bar. Take an in-keeping cane seat outside and sip Hemingway's favourite cocktail, La Caipirinha.
The coffee: Café Chris is a delightful old time experience. Opened in 1624, it's one of the city's first 'brown' cafés, the Dutch equivalent to our dark and cosy 'old man pubs'.
The view: Take a canal boat tour. Although popular with anyone on a short break to Amsterdam, the alternative view of the city is worth braving the scrum. Just look up for some amazing architecture you'd otherwise miss.
Why not try? An Amsterdam city sightseeing tour