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.
HURRY! Book by February 12, 2013 to save 50% on the recommended retail prices for a Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Tour from Amsterdam. This exclusive offer is available for travel dates from April 10- April 28, 2013 on all scheduled departure times and dates (with block-out dates April 19 and 20). Please note that this offer is available for new transactions only and cannot be applied to any existing booking.
[CONTEST] Win 2 Tickets to an Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour, Canal Cruise, and a Diamond from Gassan Diamonds!
There’s also a visit to the Gassan Diamonds factory, which allows spectators to watch the talented workers turn rough diamonds into exquisitely polished stones! This month, one lucky winner will be awarded two tickets to the Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour PLUS while on the tour they will each receive a Gassan diamond worth €500!
Despite Amsterdam’s reputation for cannabis smoking in the coffee shops and its notorious red-light district, it’s an ideal city to visit with young children in The Netherlands. It’s small and walkable, with most sights within easy reach of each other. Its architecture is eccentric enough to intrigue kids, and it has plenty of cafés for pancake breaks from sightseeing. Buy an I Amsterdam card from the tourist office for reduced admission charges.
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.
Amsterdam in The Netherlands has its party reputation to maintain and the city certainly erupts on New Year’s Eve to celebrate Oudejaarsavondwith fireworks and fun for residents and a multitude of hard-partying Euro-revellers alike. Stores close in the early afternoon on New Year’s Eve and reopen on January 2; most of Amsterdam’s street parties are accessible on foot in the largely pedestrianized city center.
Christmas preparations kick off in mid-November in Amsterdam, when the streets are adorned with Christmas lights and store windows decorated with festive scenes. On the third weekend in November, Sinterklaas and his helpers arrive in The Netherlands and sail down the Amstel River before parading through Amsterdam’s streets to check on the behavior of the city’s youngsters.
Amsterdam in 2012 celebrates Christmas with a Light Festival—The Netherlands’ capital city comes alive with magical laser shows piercing the night sky and glinting off the canals over the Christmas season.
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.
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.