New Year's Eve, Amsterdam
It's New Year's Eve so you and your friends are planning on making a night of it in A-dam, right? Think again.
As my friends and I experienced it, Amsterdam on New Year's (and perhaps other days of the year as well?) becomes a god-damn war zone. We had heard this rumor of a tradition where Amsterdam kids throw firecrackers at peoples feet - we didn't see any kids, but walking down the street there are constant, sudden explosions of fireworks just sitting there waiting to explode - right on the sidewalk!
Holland may have signed the anti-landmine treaty, but apparently the Dutch don't know how to apply that to their own country.
Our family went on a trip to the country on New Years Eve and returned to Central Station at about 8pm. We were unable to access any public transport or taxis because of street closures. There is an annual large outdoor concert by the Royal Palace and this leads to a shutdown in transport. Amsterdam is not a large city and our lodging was within walking distance but there are large numbers of young people throwing fire crackers and - for small children - the environment can be very frightening. Plan ahead!