Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter is east of the old city in the Plantage. Before WWII, this was a bustling area crammed with businesses and shops with Waterlooplein market at its heart. World War II saw Amsterdam’s Jewish community decimated but today the sights of Jewish Amsterdam can be seen in the Jewish Cultural Quarter as well as in the world-renowned Anne Frank Huis on Prinsengracht.
Amsterdam is renowned for its energetic nightlife, encompassing clubs, classical and rock music, ballet, opera and modern dance; while venues and bars may come in and out of fashion, Boom Chicago has managed to outlast them all.
Amsterdam has now firmly adopted the Halloween tradition and celebrates the ghoulish occasion in some louche style with a festival that lasts for not one but four days of gory, bloodstained fun. Amsterdam Halloween Festival 2014 runs between October 29 and November 1.
Somewhat slow to catch on to the vogue for Christmas markets across Europe, Amsterdam is now making amends for its tardiness. Amsterdam Christmas markets now pop up all over the city during the festive season.
Despite its reputation as a tolerant, open-minded city where dope smoking is tolerated and prostitution is legal, Amsterdam is in fact a very child-friendly city. Here are just a few of the museums for children in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam’s concentric ring of canals marks the city’s hey day in the 17th century, when overcrowded conditions and an influx of people into the city meant that expansion became imperative. Several of these majestic canal-side mansions have been converted into museums. Here are my choices of Amsterdam’s best five canal house museums.
The annual night-time opening of around 50 of Amsterdam’s museums has become one of the city’s best-loved late-night festivals – and one that has been copied in several European cities including Brussels. The date for the 15th Amsterdam Museum Night – Museumnacht in Dutch – in 2014 is Saturday, November 1, when museums great and small open their doors from 7pm-2am, putting on around 200 special events, from workshops to exhibitions, poetry readings, bands and DJs as well as offering food and wine to all comers.
So close to Amsterdam that today it is virtually a suburb, a visit to its little sister Haarlem is nevertheless like stepping into another, gentler world. This tranquil, genteel town is perfectly sized for exploring on foot. Here’s what to see on a walking tour of Haarlem.
The seedy reputation of Amsterdam’s Red Light District – also called De Wallen – is upheld in some of its museums. Although most of the museums in the Red Light District have sex as their focus, there are several others with different themes. There are even a couple you could take your grandmother to.
Most people hit Amsterdam and immediately jump aboard a cruiser to journey around the canals and see the city from the water. Now there’s a chance to take a private Amsterdam canal cruise to explore the major canals and the IJ waterway, spotting iconic sights along the way.