We stayed in a loft apartment looking over the Singel Canal. I wouldn't stay anywhere else, if you are ever going to Amsterdam, you need to stay here.
The city is made up of Canals that intersect each other and is a very romantic city, granted I haven't been everywhere yet - but this place is the best. Every canal has excellent shops, cafe's, restaurants and bars, and everywhere you look are super trendy sexy people, riding around on bikes with their long hair blowing in the wind behind them. Picturesque to the max.
At least I think it was this great, I was high the whole time.
The rest of the world needs to look to Amsterdam's drug practices. When you legalise you legitimise. I never felt scared, there were no pimps, drug dealers or anything seedy that comes with the image of the drug industry.
"coffee-shops" are easy to come by and they are clean, funky, and you can buy a variety of cannabis type products: cannabis lollipops, hash hot chocolate, pre rolled joints or grams of weed that you choose from a menu so you can control just how stoned you want to be (body/head) and where the weed you are buying is coming from (Afghanistan/Thailand/Dutch). There is nothing seedy about it, and nobody is out of control. It's the way it should be.
Magic Mushrooms are illegal now, but the new equivalent are Magic Truffles - which look like fungus covered rabbit poo which you can drink in a cup of tea. All the drugs come with instruction manuals on how to handle yourself, what to do if you start freaking out, and the shops where they are sold won't sell you a drug if they don't think you are able to handle it, and thus Magic Truffles come in levels: beginners/ intermediate/magical wizardry levels. So you feel safe the whole time that you aren't going to end up in a mental institution thinking you are an orange trying to peel your skin off. I think it would be hard to end up in a shady situation in this city.
But, the city isn't just about its tolerance to drugs, which is a very very small part of the city life. There is amazing art everywhere, incredible boutique shops - a toothbrush shop, a mens sock shop, great clothing, great everything.
Vondelpark is one place that I would definitely recommend, you can wander around and watch the bum community sort out life's situations, the peacemakers, the Heineken stealer's, Bird-Man, funky denim man who walked around for 2 hours laughing at pigeons then stole a vespa right in front of us (maybe it was his, but since when do spaced out bums drive vespas??) In Amsterdam anything is possible.
Whilst wandering around the Canals you will come across art galleries where one could purchase a Picasso/Renoir/Rembrandt .. if you had $15,000 to spare. At night the canals light up with fairy lights and is a very magical place. If I could choose to get engaged again, I would do it here.
The red light district is whatever. You walk down tiny alleyways and see lots of prostitutes in their windows. You can see a live sex show if you desire, or just walk around looking in red tinged windows.
I would definitely come back here. Prague has a lot to live up to.