On my first day in the Netherlands capital I was surprised by the number of families I saw on holiday, side-by-side with those visiting for an experience a little more raucous. I soon realised that is because this little city manages to have it all.

You can walk almost anywhere with ease, distracted from your journey by the colourful and spindly buildings leaning this way and that along the beautiful canals.

You can cycle easily and without worry, with the number of bikes topping 800,000 both drivers and pedestrians are used to sharing the road – although the tourists may not be and there are lots of them.

Of course there are ‘coffee shops’ where people don’t go to drink coffee, there is the red light district and bars selling 10 shots for 10 euros, but there are also museums, markets and parks.

Where to stay

If you want somewhere fun and trendy it has to be the Mr Jordaan Hotel. During the 1960s – long before Air BnB – the hotel founder decided to advertise his couch at the local tourist agency and people loved it. The couch turned into a room, which turned into two, continuing to expand until even the house next door joined.

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It is located in the heart of Jordaan, a trendy hub of art studios, quirky cafes and kitsch shops, just one minute away from the Anne Frank Museum, five minutes to Dam Square and 10 to Rijkmuseum.

The rooms are adorned with endless detail: cacti in a rose gold cage, empty water bottles for you to fill and wood panelling around the room to give a rustic edge to the modern design.

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The communal areas are equally extravagant with a coffee machine and take away cups, quirky postcards also available free of charge, and vintage items embellishing the hallways such as a record player in an old suitcase and a small '60s television, with a rack of retro clothing to browse in the dining area after breakfast.

If you are looking for somewhere with a little elegance and grace then it has to be the charming Hotel Seven Bridges. A little way from the hustle and bustle – honestly, just a little – is a hotel run by an enchanting Dutchman, Günter Glaner.

He led me up the winding stairs to my room, letting me peak into another so as to view the incredible antiques that give this hotel such class.

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The rooms are bedecked with Oriental carpets on wooden floors; handcrafted marquetry furniture - tables, beds, mirrors - by a Dutch artisan; and exquisite antiques from Baroque, Louis XV, Louis XVI and Biedermeier, to Art Deco from Sotheby's, Christie's, Schloss Ahlden. 

There are no public rooms besides the flower filled reception, where you can sit on a very rare and elegant Dutch Empire Marquetry Récamier from 1820.

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Breakfast is served in your room on fine china from Villeroy & Boch, Adams & Wedgwood, Gien/France.

Both hotels are offering readers 10 per cent off, for Mr Jordaan Hotel use the code newsquest2017 and for Seven Bridges Hotel book over the phone or through email.

Where to eat and drink

For a unique experience visit Restaurant Bazar, located in the heart of the very lively Pijp in the Albert Cuyp Street you will find North African cuisine in the walls of a former church. The menu is enormous and the servings even bigger. If you go for lunch then you can visit the street market that runs outside during the day.

If you can’t make your mind up, head to the Food Hallen. You can grab a snack, a meal or just a drink from a variety of stalls offering cuisine from all around the world.

The oldest bar in town, Café Chris, has barely changed since it opened its doors in 1624. The barman can poor a half pint with his eyes closed before giving you your change from the till that is as old as the place. It was opened to give those building Westerkerk church somewhere to go at the end of a hard day.

For something a little out of the ordinary it has to be Café Brandon. The previous owners closed their doors during the 1980s and retired in their home above. The bar was left untouched and after they had both passed the new owners decided to leave it exactly as it was. 

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What to do

Amsterdam is home to one of the most famous museums in the world, the Rijksmuseum, which holds more than 8,000 works of art from Johannes Vermeer, Vincent Van Gogh and George Hendrik Breitner. If you want more Vincent Van Gogh than the Rijksmuseum has to offer, the artist has his own museum where you will find 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 of his letters.

If modern art is more up your street then the Stedelijk Museum contains pieces of art by world-renowned artists, including a great number of works by major twentieth-century Dutch artists.

Perhaps the most infamous location within Amsterdam is that of the Anne Frank House, where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during the Second World War. Now converted into a museum it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general.

The Magere Brug – skinny bridge – is a wooden drawbridge which was once so narrow two pedestrians would struggle to pass each other. A wider bridge replaced it in 1871 but it remains, lit by thousands of lights, a beautiful night time sight.

Hotel Seven Bridges, Reguliersgracht 31, 1017 LK Amsterdam, Netherlands. Details: +31 20 623 1329

Mr Jordaan Hotel, Bloemgracht 102, 1015 TN Amsterdam, Netherlands. Details: +31 20 626 5801

For more information on travels, accommodation and activities visit iamsterdam.com.