Amsterdam in spring means flowers; Keukenhof Gardens near Lisse only open for a couple of months a year – in 2013 from March 21 to May 20. Every year seven million bulbs are planted here, forming a psychedelic carpet of flowers, with some 100 varieties of tulip as well as daffodils and hyacinths. The Gardens are xxx from Amsterdam and there is a direct bus from Schiphol Airport Plaza.
March 14, 2013
The tulips are coming out in Holland – it must be springtime. Every year, March is eagerly awaited by gardeners everywhere, not just because it’s the time when things will actually start growing again and they can get back outside with their buckets and spades, but because March is the month when the Keukenhof park opens each year for its short two month splendor.
March 11, 2013
I have to say it feels like the Rijksmuseum has been under renovation forever.
In 2000 the decision was made to modernise the 1885 building designed by Pierre Cuypers, and now the date given for the gallery fully reopening is 2013. It does sound like the new-look Rijksmuseum will be worth the wait – the architects are staying faithful to the lovely Cuypers fairytale building, but they are opening it up a bit, adding a couple of new buildings, and modernising visitor facilities, security and climate control for the art works.
February 14, 2013
As the pint-sized capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is not a massive metropolis in the fashion of London or New York – and most of the major attractions are walkable – but nevertheless a hop-on, hop-off tour on an open-top bus is the ideal way to great to know the layout of the city and to pinpoint its treasures.
January 3, 2013
There is plenty to do in Amsterdam over winter. The climate in the capital city of The Netherlands is not always at its most welcoming but if you’re lucky the sun will come out, the crowds will have disappeared, and you’ll have the place virtually to yourself.
November 8, 2012
If you’ve only got a few days in The Netherlands, head straight to Madurodam near Den Haag for a mini-tour of the whole country – all in miniature. A 30-minute train ride from Amsterdam and a tram hop (number nine) out of Den Haag at Scheveningen, the park has three themed zones containing intricate models of Holland’s cities and landmark buildings, all scaled down to 1.25.
October 26, 2012
Sephardic Jews first came to Amsterdam in the late 15th century, escaping persecution in Spain and Portugal, and settled behind Waterlooplein, bordered by the Amstel and the Herengracht canal. They integrated successfully into Dutch life and flourished, with many working in the diamond industry. After enjoying years of religious freedom in Amsterdam, everything changed with the advent of World War II; the majority of Amsterdam’s 100,000 Jews were herded up and transported to Auschwitz and Belsen concentration camps. By 1945, less than 500 survived.
July 5, 2012
The Dutch are very child-friendly and so Amsterdam is a great city to take kids, with lots of activities just for them.
1) Canal Cruise
This one is fun for the entire family as you get to explore the world’s greatest canal city from a boat on the canals. Kids will love seeing all the barges that people live on, plus the many bridges, the crooked buildings and the harbor with its mix of the modern and the historic.
May 24, 2012
One of my favorite things visiting any city is feeling that I’ve discovered some of its secrets. Often there are particular festivals or open days which let you into buildings and gardens that are normally inaccessible to the public. During the third weekend every June in Amsterdam around 30 of the large, private canal houses open their doors and gardens. Walking past these grand facades it’s difficult to guess at the greenery hidden behind them.
April 12, 2012
The Netherlands has historically been a very religious country with many different strands of Christianity represented. This has declined in the 21st century with many fewer people attending church, but the magnificent religious buildings constructed during past centuries still dot the city and are worth visiting.