The city centre of Amsterdam is small enough for you to get around on foot. Below is a map of the city and some tips on navigating around.
Think of Amsterdam having an inner centre surrounded by 3 main canals in a horseshoe type shape. The canals (grachts) are called Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht - literally meaning Gentleman's canal, Emperor's canal and Prince's canal.
They are in alphabetical order H, K, P with Prinsengracht being the furthest from the centre - this will help you to get your bearings.
There is also a single canal (called Singel) on the inner western side with a half horseshoe shape - this is nearer the centre than the 3 main canals.
Then there is the north - south spine of the inner centre starting with Central Station at the northern point - continuing down Damrak to Dam Square and then further south down Rokin to Muntplein. Muntplein is a major node - go east for Rembrandt Square and the Amstel river; or continue south down Vijzel Straat and Ferdinand Bol Straat to reach De Pijp district and Amsterdam South; or go west along Singel (flower market) to Leidsestraat which then runs down to Leidseplein - from here you can reach VondelPark and the Museum Quarter easily.
However the best thing to do is just to explore and follow your nose. There are plenty of pedestrian signs if you get a little lost or you can always ask a local for directions.
Free maps: The Amsterdam VVV tourist office does not give out any free maps. However there is a very useful free museum map which highlights the main museums plus tram lines in the centre of Amsterdam. This can be picked up from the leaflet sections of some museums - try the Allard Pierson. Alternatively the GVB (public transport company) gives out free network maps at its Tickets & Service office outside central station.
For museum locations check out our Museum Map of Amsterdam
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