Once understood that there are no straight lines in central Amsterdam, you'll find it to be an easy city to navigate (or purposely get lost in). For starters it is teeny. Think of it as an onion with Centraal Station as the stem and the city folding out as layers, each on a somewhat circular path under the guidance of the Canal Ring. To stay oriented, just follow each onion layer around. We seriously advise you to do your exploring with map in hand. The concentrically circular nature of the city's layout makes it terribly easy to unwittingly walk in exactly the opposite direction from the one you thought you were heading. To stay safe, always watch out for bikes and trams. Keep off the bike paths, which are well paved and often mistaken for sidewalks. Bikers have the right-of-way, so if you hear a bell, move quickly. Trams function similarly, and will also ring their bell before they move. Just look both ways, and look both ways again before crossing streets.
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