Amsterdam Travel Guide
Take a break from checking out the tulips if you’re heading to Amsterdam this month, as it’s finally time for one of the city’s most famous museums to reopen to both travelers and locals. It’s been under the knife for around ten years—at a cost of nearly $500 million–so we’ll assume all the upgrades and updates are totally worth it. That being said, if the Rijksmuseum wasn’t on your Netherlands itinerary before, it certainly should be now.
Not surprisingly the museum is home to all kinds of Dutch masterpieces, and they now all look better than ever in their recently refreshed home. Rembrandt van Rijn's The Night Watch is probably one of the museum’s most famous pieces, and it’s one of few paintings to hold onto its original spot in the museum. Sounds like a lot of the other paintings and pieces have been shuffled around to new spots during the Rijksmuseum renovation, as they have been displayed alongside related items—like furniture and ceramics as well.
Food Travel / Foreign Grocery Friday / Netherlands Travel / Amsterdam Travel / Brunch / Chocolate Travel / → All Tags
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
Hundreds and thousands. Nonpareils. Jimmies. Sprinkles.
Whatever you call them at home, these little, decorative bits of colored sugar go under the name of Hagelslag in the Netherlands. It's not a pretty word, but surprisingly Hagelslag makes for a delicious breakfast sprinkled over buttered toast. For the full how-to on this, check out our earlier explanation of the dish. For now, let's just focus on the sprinkles themselves and the fact that they are an awesome souvenir of a visit to Amsterdam.
Who knew that Amsterdam had such a sleek first-class lounge at its Centraal rail station? If you’re carrying an international first-class ticket on the NS Hispeed, Thalys, ICE International, Eurostar or TGV trains, you’re granted access into this little hotbed of red to while away the time before you board.
The lounge has some amusements including international papers and magazine, TV screens tuned to the news, and sockets to plug in your laptop, along with free WiFi. You can also rent a meeting room if need be.
The décor is predominantly Holland flag-red (yes, we did make that up but that really is the color) with some dark wood and grey thrown in as well. There's a variety of seating options for plopping yourself down, too: sofas, tables and chairs, or a bar area.
Can a museum take on the mammoth task of finding a city’s genetic code? Well, the Amsterdam Museum has done just that by launching its Amsterdam DNA permanent installation in 2012. It’s an interesting exhibit, yes, but on top of that, it’s really kind of cool.
The Museum has traced the city’s history over the past 1,000 years and figured out what has made the city tick over all that time of development – the good, the bad, and the ugly. What they’ve come up with is this: the city has four genetic markers that gauge its progression through time. The first is its indomitable spirit of enterprise, secondly tolerance and freedom of thought, then civic virtue, and, finally, creativity.
When you first head up to the ticket counter, you are given your own personal DNA code (which looks like a QR code). With it, you scan your code to start films in your own language, activate your personal DNA analysis, and make and view online after the fact your civic-guard photo.
Amsterdam Travel / Amsterdam Field Trip / Neighborhoods / Neighborhoods To Know And Go / Architecture / Biking / Netherlands Travel / → All Tags
If you want to get away for a bit from the hordes of cyclists in the main tourist areas of Amsterdam, a ferry ride across the river IJ can do just that. The city’s Noord (North) neighborhood is the oldest and largest in Amsterdam, yet you don’t hear much about it. We think that’s going to change.
Formerly a shipping and industrial area, it’s becoming the cultural and creative center of Amsterdam with its mix of canal cottage villages, parks, architectural mix and the recently-opened EYE Film Institute. New condos are starting to appear on the waterfront and yet, if you’re looking for some early work of Rem Koolhaus, that’s here too.
With a goal of promoting film as art, the museum’s collection spans decades of filmmaking brilliance and they hold one-offs of some of the world’s earliest films once thought lost. This collection has even been named as part of UNESCO’s "Memory of the World" Register.
You’re in Amsterdam and looking for somewhere to go for dinner with a little local flavor. Would you think of Indonesian? Probably not, unless you know your Old World history, and yet Indonesian food is as authentic to Amsterdam as are those Dutch clogs found in tourist shops.
Back in the day, the Dutch East India Company traded throughout what is now known as Indonesia, and for 300 years or so the area was a Dutch colony. As people migrated back to the mother country they brought with them the Rijsttafel, easily explained as the gringo version of the Indonesian feast, Nasi Padang.
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted in: Amsterdam, Netherlands
This week's Travel Cat is from Jaunted reader Sharon Pierson, who says of this cutie cat:
The Newbie Traveler / Photo Gallery / Amsterdam Travel / Netherlands Travel / Europe Travel / → All Tags
What would your life be like if you hadn't yet traveled to Europe? If you'd spent years reading travel novels and fantasizing over guidebooks, but hadn't made the big leap? This is the case for Andy Miles, who in his late twenties just embarked on a trip to hit most of the cities for the first time. He's walking us through the emotions and observations of a true Newbie Traveler.
There are a few things that most of us already know about Amsterdam:
· The Red Light District is full of scantily clad women dancing behind glass.
· The coffee shops serve something a little stronger than regular coffee, but more mellow than decaf (if you catch my drift).
· It's where Anne Frank wrote her beautifully heartbreaking diary.
It turns out that there's a lot more to Amsterdam than the three items listed above. Like, for example, did you know that in Amsterdam it's legal to use the bathroom in the street? Ok, that's not technically true, but it's also not entirely false. See, while walking around Amsterdam you're bound to run into a strange-looking spiral metal enclosure that always seems to be wet on its tiled floor.
When I saw the first one of these near my hotel I thought it was a piece of art. I was incredibly wrong, however; these enclosures are actually outdoor bathrooms open to the public, though I assume mainly for men as there are no seats and you're only supposed to go "Number 1" in them.
If you've ever been to Amsterdam you've seen themthe groups of young tourists who think it'd be cool to rent a boat and explore the city's canals, but then just end up blithely pedaling their way up one or two before giving up and hitting a "coffee shop" the rest of the afternoon.
Videos / Airlines / Awesome Stuff / KLM / AMS / 747 / → All Tags
We know starting the week off on Monday is always a little hard, so that’s why we like to entertain you every once in a while with a cool travel video. Today’s travel distraction comes to you from SpeedbirdHD who either has some pretty rad airport access, or else is just really good with the fancy camera work.
Just in case you can’t check it out immediately, the video shows, from pretty head-on, a KLM 747 taking off from Amsterdam-Schiphol. It looks as if the person filming the video is pretty much laying down on the runway, looking up towards the sky.
Kind of makes us want to head off to Amsterdam—or out of Amsterdam—pretty darn soon. Have a great week!
Nature Travel / Events / Amsterdam Travel / Holland Travel / Spring Travel / Foursquare / Social Media / → All Tags
Pay attention for a second. There are two things you need today. Like, right now. And they're both about the Netherlands.
First, today marks the beginning of the Floriade, a massive festival ofyou guessed itflowers. The Holland Floriade only comes around every 10 years, so this World Horticultural Festival hasn't happened since 2002. It's not in Amsterdam actually, but near the German border in the Dutch town of Venlo. There you'll find themed mini-worlds (like the real World Expo), 100+ gardens, acrobatic shows, green architecture and technology exhibits, plus Europe's biggest indoor flower show.
There's no need to rush, so long as you hit the Floriade before it closes on October 7. The high summer will of course be the busiest time, but we'd imagine that September could be ideal. Here's the official site.