Being a part-time resident of Amsterdam due to work (I spend two weeks working from home in the UK followed by a week working in Amsterdam), I've found that my opinion of Amsterdam has changed due to where I live while I'm there. Before I got a job there I had visited several times, but was never really that keen on the place (yes, despite several visits!), but the company I work for has been good enough to rent an apartment for me to stay in while I'm there. That apartment is in the Jordaan, literally just around the corner from the Anne Frank House, and I have to say that I've fallen in love with the place!!
In the past I had always followed the tourist trail and done the whole Red Light thing (although just as a window shopper you understand!), and had always found the place rather seedy. But the Jordaan has totally changed my opinion of the city. The whole area is full of great cafes and bars (including the type of cafes for which Amsterdam is famous!), interesting shops, great restaurants and is just very very cool and laid back. It's a great place for just strolling and soaking up the atmosphere, having a beer (or whatever!) and something to eat. And with a ton of interesting shops and artist studios you can pick up some cool souvenirs if that's what you're in to. And of course it's very typical of Amsterdam Centrum, with the canals, nice houses, bridges etc., but without the red light district and the crowd that it attracts.
In case you're wondering where the Jordaan is, all you need to do is come out of Centraal Station, head due south along Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, veer off slightly to the west down Spuistraat (not the nicest of straats!) walk for five minutes or so then take any turning off to your right. Sorted!
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb