Every day, hundreds of eager Amsterdam visitors pour out of Centraal Station and begin their journey down Damrak, the main drag between the train station and Dam Square -- and perhaps Amsterdam's ugliest street. Chock-full of terrible tourist-trap restaurants (see below for more on those), tacky souvenir shops, and a smattering of cafés, bars and coffeeshops
with no character at all, this street gives tourists a horrendous first impression of Amsterdam, and a misrepresentation of the real heart of the city.
I suggest either hopping on a tram at Centraal Station to zip beyond Damrak quickly, or walking west (to the right out of the station) and making your way to the western canal belt
or Jordaan neighborhood.