15 Countries You Should Visit Before You Die

Netherlands

Why to go when you’re young: Obviously the museums! But only after you’ve smoked a lot of weed with your random roommates at arguably the best party hostel on Earth, the Flying Pig.
Where to head first: Amsterdam. Oh, and Amsterdam.


Given its legal prostitution and drug culture, I assumed Amsterdam was going to be a colossal dump. But at 20, I wasn’t exactly making this pilgrimage to take in the town’s aesthetic offerings. To my surprise, Amsterdam — and Holland as a whole — was extremely charming. Now, as an adult, I often think what a truly liveable city it is. Quaint brick roads, canals galore, and nice, English-speaking people surrounded by countryside? It’s downright pleasant. But youngins rarely appreciate that, not when they’re giddy about being able to actually order pot from a menu and smoke it while eating a giant stack of pancakes.

Not to mention the naked people in the red light district windows you’re pretending not to stare at when you stroll through. (That’s really at every age, though.) Amsterdam isn’t the Vegas you may have once believed. Why, just scope its impressive museum district, home to Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. (Spoiler: The Heineken Experience is still fun at every age.) The younger you are, the less guilt you feel about skewing hedonistic.

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