Another one of our short breaks; a long weekend - actually Saturday night to Tuesday but boy did we pack a lot in, largely thanks to the prior arrival of our youngest daughter and her partner who'd planned the activities for the weekend, mostly revolving around great places to eat as our daughter is a big "foodie" and involved in the sector professionally.
Probably the first thing to say is that the transport system is fantastic - arriving through the massive Schiphol airport which is fantastically connected to the train network. Our hotel was on the outskirts of the city, so 3 stops on the train & we were there!
The city, and certainly the old part, is a great place to walk and we did - I think we did something like 20 miles during our time there. Again, preferring to see the sights of the city we walked almost everywhere although at times, you do take you life in your hands avoiding cyclists! A tour guide at one point told us that for a city with a population of c 900,000 at the time, there were almost 1.5m bikes in the city ( excluding those for hire)
The old part of town is fascinating, particularly when doing one of the many walking tours available. Our guide was a student, born & bred in the city so had great knowledge and stories to tell. Very much recommend seeing the old town this way.
Of course, you can't go to Amsterdam and not take to the water - it gives you a complete different perspective on the city.
An over-riding feature of the buildings in the city centre/old town is their narrowness - apparently as a result of an historic building tax. The narrowest building is said to be only some 6 feet wide! Built on swamp lands originally, it's no surprise that some of the buildings aren't exactly "plumb" although there's little risk of them falling sideways since many are propped by their neighbours.
A great city, a great place for a short break with plenty to see & do, oh, and great food!