It’s no secret that Amsterdam has an over-tourism problem. Dam Square is thick with tourists and pickpockets, and the Red Light District (properly known as De Wallen) has become an adult Disneyland where stag parties run wild.
But all is not lost for visitors to Amsterdam. In the city’s outlying neighborhoods, there’s plenty to experience away from the central crowds…
Read the rest at Make Change
In my first piece for Ensemble Vacations magazine, I spill the dirt on all the best places to go in the neighbourhood I call home.
There’s no better way to understand a destination than to see how locals live. From exploring cozy houseboats to touring grand canal homes, here’s how to get an inside look at life in the Dutch capital.
Museum Van Loon
Built in 1672, this grand canal house was the former home of the Van Loon family. The Van Loons were well connected in Dutch society: Willem van Loon was a co-founder of the Dutch East India Company, and later generations included Amsterdam mayors, bankers and ladies in the queen’s court…
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When reading a menu in an unfamiliar language, Google Translate is usually your best friend. But in the Netherlands, the literal English translations of some Dutch staples will leave you scratching your head.
For these five Dutch foods, Google Translate is no help at all…
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Amsterdam’s bar scene is hundreds of years old yet feels decidedly modern: you can sidle up to a bar where sixteenth-century sailors took respite from the sea, settle into a cozy lounge or explore the thriving cocktail culture in ultracool places to see and be seen.
For the local experience, try a jenever, the juniper-based Dutch spirit that evolved into gin. You’ll likely see your fellow patrons with two glasses: follow their lead and order a beer chaser, a classic pairing dubbed a kopstootje or “little headbutt.”
Read the rest at TimeOut Amsterdam
The first lesson of café culture in Amsterdam is that a coffeeshop is not your standard coffeeshop. The former offers a high that doesn’t come from caffeine…
If it is a coffee break that you are looking for, you want a café. The choices are abundant, from cozy hideaways that embody the untranslatable Dutch concept of gezelligheid (a kind of cosiness) to bright and modern spaces in up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Not a fan of coffee? Order a mint tea: instead of a tea bag, your mug will be stuffed with fresh bunches of mint and served with honey—and probably a little cookie, too.
Read the rest at TimeOut.com
From the Rhine to the Danube to the Elbe, Europe’s rivers are the backbone of this continent, connecting major world capitals and small country towns. Here, we look at 10 of our favorite European destinations to explore from a river cruise ship.
Read the rest in the Ensemble Travel Experience Travel E-zine
Sure, Amsterdam offers plenty of fine dining – but you’ll get your share of that on your river cruise ship. Fueling yourself with classic grab-and-go street food favorites gives you a real taste of Dutch life for just a few euros as you snack your way through the city. Here are our top picks..
Read the rest in the Experience Travel E-zine