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Muiderslot Castle

This entry is part 22 of 22 in the series Amsterdam Museums

When you were little, did you ever draw a picture of a castle? If you were like me, the castle in your picture was square, with a tower in each corner, crenellations along the walls and a drawbridge to an arched gateway in front. I’ve been to a lot of castles in my travels, but…

Eating Europe’s Jordaan Food Tour: A review

Rows of pretty small houses and shopping streets lined with a mixture of hip and quirky stores, along with a smattering of “coffee shops” leaking the reek of marijuana out onto the sidewalk: this used to be my image of Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighborhood. It never occurred to me until I took a Jordaan food tour…

Menkemaborg in Uithuizen: Dressed to impress

Groningen has three nearby manor houses or “stately homes” that are open to the public and furnished to allow visitors to learn about local history. I’ve written about one of them before: Fraeylemaborg, which I only half-mockingly referred to as the “ancestral home.” Another is Menkemaborg, a similarly impressive display of wealth and social position…

Boat Bike Tours: A review of “Hansa Highlights”

One of the first people I met on my recent week-long trip with Boat Bike Tours was a retired Canadian man named Peter, who told me right off the bat that this was his third tour with the company. I took that as a good sign. Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in that I…

the detail shows a group of men in long, striped robes, with beards and turbans, and a group of locals dressed in black with wide-brimmed hats and white collars.

Amsterdam Historical Museum

This entry is part 21 of 22 in the series Amsterdam Museums

I visited the Amsterdam Historical Museum (more properly just called the Amsterdam Museum) as an afterthought. It was on my list: one of the many small museums in Amsterdam that I like to visit and write about. That day, though, I wanted to see Below the Surface, an archeological exhibit in Rokin metro station. But…

an array of objects arranged in neat rows are all that makes up Below the Surface Amsterdam

Below the Surface in Amsterdam

This entry is part 19 of 22 in the series Amsterdam Museums

When I went to see Below the Surface in Amsterdam, to be honest, I hadn’t done my research. Just a quick internet search, and I added it to my list of what I might see that day in Amsterdam. I expected a museum, a small one, in or near Rokin metro station, since that was…

An outstanding art museum in the Hague: Mauritshuis

My initial interest in visiting Mauritshuis, an art museum in the Hague (Den Haag), had to do with one single painting: Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer, painted in about 1665. But this outstanding little Den Haag museum has many more gems of Golden Age painting. A disclosure: This is a sponsored post:…

A self-guided Rotterdam walking tour: Architecture and art

Rotterdam is famous for its post-war architecture, mostly because a World War II bombing in 1940 destroyed much of the city. Yet it didn’t just rebuild and settle in; it is still constantly changing, expanding and reinventing whole neighborhoods. On a recent visit, I took a tour of a few new buildings, but I also…

De Rotterdam Architecture Tour

Very little of Rotterdam survived World War II. While this means it is not the place to see the Netherlands you expect – charming streets along canals, 16th century merchants’ homes, or picturesque windmills – it is the place to see post-war architecture. This is why I signed up for a tour with De Rotterdam…

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