There is a lot more to Amsterdam than most visitors see of it. Yes the canals and houses are beautiful and you should definitely visit them. But for locals, a lot of things actually happen outside of the center, or at least outside of the Red Light District. Amsterdam is famous for its great museums, but offers more than just Anne Frank's House, Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum. A lot of smaller museums, where you don't have to wait in line to get in, will give your visit more color and make you come back with stories none of your friends know. The same goes for the brown bars. They're awesome, no doubt about that. But if you want to experience the Amsterdam of today, there is a bunch of hidden bars waiting for you just outside the tourist paths.