Considered ‘The Venice of the North”, I think this tag rather undersells the splendour of Amsterdam’s canalled metropolis. Venice is the Amsterdam of the Mediterranean.
At the first suggestion of sun, canal-side seats will be gluttonisly adorned with locals (making you wonder whether people shouldn’t be at work 2pm on a Wednesday) but those lucky enough can dine and drink amongst idyllic views, such as at Cafe Orloff and The Molenpad. In the winter the chthonic Struisvogel restaurant is perfect for some ostrich.
The canals are so painfully quaint it’s easy to pretend to be a professional photographer.
For more photos of the freeze setting in, see this post.
Like much of Amsterdam, you can find many independent shops overcrowded with things you, erm, need, like Nieuws.