I disagree in thinking that the vibe has everything to do with the famous coffeshops or even the brown café’ (bruin café).
To begin with, Amsterdam does not make you feel like you are in a city.The lack of towering modern buildings is one of the things that makes the huge difference.
Starting for Amsterdam Centraal Station to Rembrandt House Museum (Museum Het Rembrandthuis) and Museumplein, these old buildings or reconstructions of the originals, with their colorful small windows and gabled facade provided that cozy environment.
When things becomes tiring, there is always a free bench at Vondelpark to rest. Seeing how beautiful the park is, I can’t imagine that at some point in the past decades the park operated on a mantra that “everything is possible and (almost) everything is allowed”.
Finally, Amsterdaamers are some of the nicest people in the world. I feel welcome in Amsterdam the minute I stepped out of the train station.
Of course I am not an expert on the subject of Amsterdam and these are just my personal observations. If you been to this city, I’m pretty sure you know exactly all the reasons why Amsterdam is one of a kind.