Category: Tours & Activities

Family-friendly Aspects of Amsterdam’s Red Light District

February 13, 2014

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De Wallen or De Walletjes, that notorious warren of streets that forms Amsterdam’s world-known Red Light District, is currently undergoing something of a gentrification. That’s not to say that all the ladies of the night are set to disappear of that dope smoking is going to be completely outlawed, but slowly family-friendly aspects of Amsterdam’s Red Light District are beginning to appear.

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Halloween in Amsterdam

October 18, 2013

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Until recently Halloween was not commonly celebrated in Amsterdam; the Dutch equivalent is St Martin’s Day on November 11, when kids sing in the streets for rewards of sweets, but this is a celebration of random acts of kindness rather than the dark underbelly of black magic and horror. However, in the last few years, Halloween in Amsterdam has become big business.

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Amsterdam’s Best Diamond Producers

August 22, 2013

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Amsterdam has been at the apex of the diamond-cutting industry for hundreds of years. It all started when the Sephardic Jews came to the city in the late 16th century and today, although Antwerp in Belgium challenges Amsterdam’s crown as diamond center of the world, there’s still no better souvenir to take home than a couple of sparkling carats from The Netherlands. With around a dozen factories still in existence in the city, Amsterdam’s best diamond producers include Gassan, Van Moppes, Stoeltie and Coster. The city even has it own eponymous cut of diamond – the Amsterdam Cut is a 57-sided cut that requires incredible skill and dexterity.

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Shopping on the Nine Streets in Amsterdam

August 15, 2013

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The Nine Streets in Amsterdam (De Negen Straatjes) are tucked away between the historic city center and bohemian Jordaan, criss-crossing the 17th-century Canal Ring between Reestraat and Runstraat. These cosy little side streets are lined with independent boutiques providing some of the best shopping in Amsterdam.

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Shopping in Amsterdam

March 28, 2013

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With some of the best markets, specialty stores, and boutiques in the world, Amsterdam’s shopping streets are easily explored on foot, from the pedestrianized Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat to the cobbled side streets, canal-sides, and squares. You’ll find everything from big department stores to specialty stores glittering diamonds, crumbly Gouda cheese, and the famous blue-and-white Delftware.

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Keukenhof Gardens

March 14, 2013

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The tulips are coming out in The Netherlands – it must be springtime. Every year, March is eagerly awaited by gardeners everywhere, not just because it’s the time when plants will actually start growing again and they can get back outside with their buckets and spades, but because March is the month when Keukenhof Gardens tours start each year for its short two-month burst of splendor.

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Amsterdam Hop on Hop off Tours

February 14, 2013

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Canals in Amsterdam

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 an Amsterdam 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.

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Visiting Amsterdam in Winter

January 3, 2013

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Concertgebouw Amsterdam

There is plenty to do in Amsterdam in 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.

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Amsterdam’s Best Cafes

October 11, 2012

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Inside a Cafe in Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of PjotrP via Flickr.

There are two kinds of cafes or coffee shops in Amsterdam – the famous ‘coffee shop’ which is one of the city’s main tourist attractions (though this is fast changing with the new laws coming in), and the brown cafes which actually serve coffee, beer and food and which are where you’ll find the locals relaxing in an atmosphere that is both vibey bar and laid back café.

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Haunted Amsterdam

September 27, 2012

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Haunted Oude Kerk Tower in Amsterdam! Photo courtesy of Coy! via Flickr.

The Dutch might be the least superstitious people on earth, but in a city as old and full of history as Amsterdam, there’s bound to be some ghosts haunting the place and sure enough there are.

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