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Get Pedalling on an Amsterdam Cycling Holiday

Cycling holidays offer a cheap way of seeing some of the world’s top destinations while also keeping you fit.

There are several hotspots that are very suited to such holidays – but one of the most desireble has to be Amsterdam.

The city is home to 400km of cycling paths and its 750,000 residents own 650,000 bikes between them.

With Amsterdam also featuring roads and streets that are particularly great for cyclists and pedestrians as opposed to cars and other motor traffic, taking a cycling holiday in the city will likely be a supreme experience.

Get on your bike

There are lots of places to rent bikes from in Amsterdam, including the Dam, the Central Station and the Leidseplein.

You can get many different varieties of bicycle in close correlation with what you need to do while in the city, along with mopeds and scooters for longer journeys in and around Amsterdam.

It costs about EUR8 a day to rent a bike, making it an cheap different to getting on public transport or hiring a car to see the capital of the Netherlands.

Two-wheeled tourism

There are a number of options for holidaymakers hiring a bike in Amsterdam when it comes to sightseeing.

If you’re unsure about going out on your own, you could take a cycling tour with one of the multiple companies that offer such packages.

These tours are led by experts and offer you the chance to meet others like yourself who are keen to see Amsterdam from its cycling paths.

if you really need to explore by yourself, there is plenty to see and do.

Some of the most popular sights include the Anne Frank House and Dam Square, which is flanked on three sides by the National Monument to World War II victims, the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the impressive Royal Palace.

you might also need to go shopping on Kalverstraat and in the 9 Streets district or take in attractions such as the Artis zoo and the Amsterdam Dungeon.

If you get lost, it is more than likely that the friendly locals – who will likely be on bikes themselves – will be able to aid you find your way back to your Amsterdam hostel or hotel.


Amsterdam’s Top Art Galleries

Amsterdam, Netherlands has a long history of appreciation for high profile art and artists – here is a listing of the top five art galleries.

1.) The Lieve Hemel Galerie is located at Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 3; it is one of the most desireble destinations for finding contemporary Dutch paintings. Since many of the Dutch masters painted centuries ago, their paintings are located in museums. The Lieve Hemel shows the work of modern Dutch painters. This art gallery also comes complete with extensive collections of silver and ceramics. Virtual exhibitions are available for the Internet savvy.

2.) The Rembrandthuis (or Rembrandt House) is located at Jodenbreestraat 4-6; it has been made available to the public since 1911. This master artist spent more than twenty years here – track the changes in his painting style as he matures. See his etchings, drawings and paintings. Learn more about Rembrandt, his teachers and contemporaries at this superb museum.

3.) The Rijksmuseum is located at Stadhouderskade 42; it is a well known landmark known around the world for its collection of Dutch masters like Jan Steen, Pieter Hoogh, Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer. learn about Dutch history, particularly during its height from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries by carefully perusing the drawings, paintings and sculptures at this world renown site. This is a must-see for the Dutch art fan.

4.) The Stedelijk museum is located at Paulus Potterstraat; it is a modern art museum filled with paintings from artists like Cezanne, Matisse, Monet and Picasso. there is a divine sculpture garden for an enjoyable familly stroll. really like the supreme range of contemporary art at the Stedelijk.

5.) The Van Gogh museum is located at 7 Paulus Potterstraat; it was opened in 1973 and has become quite popular. The collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s works is amongst the world’s largest collection with more than 200 of the artist’s paintings. It also includes exhibitions from other famous artists. Learn more about Van Gogh’s life at this museum.

Discover the rich tradition of Dutch art at these wonderful Amsterdam art galleries. Get as close to these art galleries as possible by finding good Amsterdam hotels within walking distance. There are several hotels in Amsterdam to choose from, so be careful.

you might even find art experts at some hotels in Amsterdam. So compare your options for the best prices for Amsterdam hotels.


Curacao Gives Back to Its Visitors During Tourism Week

Each year, the people of Curacao celebrate the vital role tourists play in their economy by hosting a week-long event designed to show visitors the most interesting aspects of local culture. As special events take place across the island and many of the most popular tourist attractions offer discounted admission rates, Tourism Week is, in fact, one of the best times to visit Curacao. Additionally, as Tourism Week falls just before the beginning of peak travel season, visitors may also find discounted lodging rates at some of the island’s best resorts. Tourism Week, held annually during the final full week of September, will run from Monday, September 21 until Monday, September 28 this year.

Tourism Week in Curacao corresponds with World Tourism Day, an event designed to draw attention to tourism’s impact on local cultures and economies. built up in 1980 by the World Tourism Organization – an agency of the United Nations – World Tourism Day is celebrated each year on September 27. While World Tourism Day serves as the most important consideration of international travel issues, the World Tourism Organization also works throughout the year to educate locals and tourists alike about exciting tourism opportunities and sustainable travel practices.

Though destinations throughout the world host special events on World Tourism Day, Curacao is one of the few places that celebrates with a week-long holiday. One of the main events of Curacao’s Tourism Week is the Traffic-Free Road, known locally as the “Kaya Liber.” Staged in central Willemstad along the Nieuwe Haven – the city’s primary port – the Traffic-Free Road converts one of the island’s busiest thoroughfares into an extensive pedestrian walkway. Along the Traffic-Free Road, tourists will be able to interact with friendly local ambassadors, while plenty of local artists, vendors and performers are on hand to share the best Curacao has to offer. While tourists certainly look forward to the vibrant atmosphere of the Traffic-Free Road, local artists and businesses treat the event as one of the year’s best showcases and networking opportunities. As a the event generates so much interest from both tourists and locals, the Traffic-Free Road has quickly become one of the most ultimate street festivals in the Caribbean.

Though the Traffic-Free Road serves as the focal point of Tourism Week, ambassadors also visit resorts and tourist destinations throughout the week to serve as guides, answer questions about local culture and honor visitors for their role in Curacao’s achievement. While the island’s ambassadors strive to make each attraction a friendlier and more enriching experience, visitors will also find that many of Curacao’s museums and attractions offer discounted admission rates throughout the week. Some of Curacao’s popular cultural destinations also host performances, parties and other special events during Tourism Week. Similar to the Traffic-Free Road and extensive outreach programs, each of these activities are created with the island’s visitors in mind.

during the week prior to Tourism Week, locals participate in the events of Culture Week – a celebration or the island’s unique history that includes many educational opportunities. Historians and local officials visit schools and community centers, while media campaigns seek to educate the public about the most interesting aspects of local culture. During this time, many locals also participate in the Goodwill Host program that promotes expertise about all aspects of culture and natural history. After graduating from the program, the hosts serve the community and engage travelers at a number of popular destinations. While some of the events of Culture Week encourage the participation of visitors, the event in fact helps the island prepare for Tourism Week. In finding out about local history and culture, the citizens of Curacao are able to educate travelers about what makes their island such a unique and fascinating place.

As Tourism Week represents the island’s genuine appreciation for its visitors, late September stands as one of the best times to explore Curacao’s attractions and cultural offerings. When combining the discounts and opportunities offered during Tourism Week with reduced off-season lodging rates, this autumn event rises to the top of the listing as not only one of the Caribbean’s most eye-opening experiences, but also one of the region’s best values.


Amsterdam – A Historic, Cultural and Fun Visit

Amsterdam was founded in the thirteenth century. it started as a little fishing village in the Amstel River. The little village grew rapidly and is nowadays the largest city of The Netherlands. There are only a few medieval buildings left to see and visit: the Oude Kerk, Houten Huis and Nieuwe Kerk. The Oude Kerk (Old Church) has a typical octagonal bell tower and around the charming building little houses stick to its sides.

History of Amsterdam

The city centre of Amsterdam is known for its fascinating old houses and the majority of them date from the eighteenth century. There are also a few efficient buildings that remain from the Golden Age (1585-1672). This period was the most desireble money-making moment for this trading city. Visit the Zuiderkerk, the Westerkerk and the Royal Palace on Damplein as the most important buildings from that period. But also the many nice canal houses like the Poppenhuis (Doll House), the Huis met de Hoofden (House with the heads), the Gecroonde Raep (the Crowned Turnip) and De Dolfijn (the Dolphin) are worth a visit.

Venice of the North

Amsterdam has winding canals and nearly 1.300 criss-crossing them. Singel, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Prinsengracht are the most important canals in the city centre. the strongest way to explore them is by taking a canal boat. Another option is renting a bike and cycle enjoying your ride on the cobbled streets along the canals. Between the main canals and the Amstel River there are many smaller canals to be discovered. be sure to explore Leliegracht, Bloemgracht and Brouwersgracht with their typical Amsterdam houses.

well known Art Collections

Apart from the canals and lovely buildings, you’ll find some of the world’s greatest art collections. The Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum are the most much talked about museums in Amsterdam and located not far from one another. Not much talked about yet, but worth well a visit is the biggest photography museum Foam.

Liberal and Dynamic Culture

lots of tourist knows Amsterdam for the cannabis and legalized prostitution. Of course the nightlife of Amsterdam is an incredibly diverse and dynamic. The most vibrate parts of town are Rembrandtplein with pubs, restaurants, cafés and hotels. At and around Leidseplein you will find coffeeshops and cinemas, but also traditional ‘brown’ bars and the best stages. The picturesque Jordaan is famous for its Dutch pubs with real Dutch music, the Negen Straatjes (nine Streets) is best for shopping and of course the lively Red Light District.


The Netherlands North Sea Flood Defenses

In 1953 major flooding took place in South Holland when a tidal wave broke through dikes flooding the islands of the region killing 2000 people and running vast amounts of agricultural land.

To prevent another event of this magnitude happening again the Dutch government launched the ‘Delta Project’. As a result of this project The Ooster schelldedam was built between 1976 and 1986. The dam itself is 3 km in length with 62 flood gates in between piers 38m high. The gates only close when the sea becomes dangerous meaning disturbance to industry and surrounding national parks is kept to a minimum.

Following the building of this flood barrier, the construction of a storm surge barrier, on the Nieuwe Waterweg, near the major port of Rotterdam, began in 1991. This barrier was constructed so it would cause the least amount of disturbance to shipping in and out of the port and it was predicted that the barrier would only close on average twice every ten years.

The Maeslant barrier was finally completed in 1997 consisting of 2 gates each 210m long. These gates reside in docks lying along the banks of the waterway and during storm surges, these docks are flooded allowing the hollow gates to float. A little ‘locomotive’ then enables them to move into the middle of the waterway, taking less than half an hour. Once the gates meet, valves in there walls are flooded and the cavities fill with water, sinking them to the concrete sill on the channel bed. The joints on the gates are ball and socket type, allowing free range of movement. The joints are 10m in diameter and weight 680 tonnes each.

The Maeslant barrier is controlled by a computer, with a decision and support system known in Dutch as the Beslis & Ondersteunend Systeem. The computer calculates the expected water levels in Rotterdam and surrounding areas on the basis of water and weather forecasts.


Discover a Cultural Amsterdam

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a large, divine city with an unusual yet effective array of architecture and very friendly residents. Although Amsterdam may have accumulated a reputation for its wild party-scene, this only makes up a little section of the Dutch capital; the rest is Amsterdam is a stunning collection of museums, art galleries and other cultural attractions that create a trip to Amsterdam memorable.

Of all the different museums and galleries to see around Amsterdam, one of the most interesting and certainly one of the most unique is the Van Gogh Museum. This museum is home to more than 200 of Van Gogh’s paintings along with containing more than 500 of his sketches. As the biggest Van Gogh collection in the world, the museum is an art lover’s paradise.

Also located in Amsterdam is the Rijksmuseum or state museum. The Rijksmuseum is the largest museum in Amsterdam and indeed the Netherlands. Attracting more than a million visitors per year – both from Amsterdam and abroad – the Rijksmuseum is an fully popular attraction in Amsterdam, made famous by its ‘Masterpieces Exhibition’. This exhibition features some of the most common knowledge pieces of Dutch apart from a period know as the Golden Age of the Netherlands, an important included in Dutch cultural history.

If museums and art galleries don’t interest you, why not check out some of Amsterdam’s famous canals? The city centre is a collection of canal rings, and walking along them enables one to explore the city in a more peaceful and relaxed manner to pushing your way through its busy streets.

there is one other way to explore Amsterdam, and one that the city is common knowledge for, and that is on a bicycle. Finding a bicycle to rent is never a problem as there are copious bike hire shops around the city and a number of government-run schemes which allow you to hire a bike almost anywhere in the city and leave it in a exceptionally different location when you’re finished.

Whichever way you choose to discover Amsterdam, by foot or by bike, it’s always worth having a look at the Dam Square. The dam square is located in the rather centre of Amsterdam and has been situated at the rather centre of Amsterdam’s history for many centuries.

It was for example the reception area of Napoleon during the 1808 take-over of Amsterdam. Dam Square is also the location of Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th century church that has been the location of many royal coronations and weddings and is today a popular exhibition space with regular displays showing elements of Dutch culture and history.

On a trip to Amsterdam the problem is not so much finding exciting, interesting things to do in the city, but finding the time to fit them all in. When researching how to spend your day it is a good concept to speak to a tourist office or the concierge of one of the hotels in Amsterdam to see what they recommend as the best of what Amsterdam has to offer.