Whoever said that Venice is the city of canals clearly underestimated Amsterdam. The gorgeous canals in this city are fantastically woven, and all of the architecture is neat and bright. The biking culture is so strong, and for good reason - exploring right outside of the city is so easy to do. For the most part, the coolest stuff is outside of the central island.
With my background in structural engineering stemming from a love of architecture, I certainly have a soft spot for exhibits highlighting schools of architectural design. The Amsterdam School has a uniquely elaborate design, full of quirky colors and less severe geometry than the bauhaus. A visit to the Stedilijk museum will be well worth your time if you're interested in any kind of design, but particularly the architecture.
Day Trips to the Outskirts
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is one of the cutest towns ever. Plus, the bike ride is just superb and relaxing, a great way to spend a morning. If you want just a touch of life outside of the city, biking is the way to go. Plus, on the way there and back, there are 3 fantastic parks - Amstelpark, Beatrixpark, and Vondelpark. Can't go wrong!
I cannot stress enough how wonderful the canals are. The maze of bridge after bridge and the boats all along the edges of these gorgeous houses is truly something wonderful to behold. I think the canals were one of my favorite consistent scenes throughout the visit to Amsterdam.