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view of Groningen train station, with the Starbucks in the left wing

The most beautiful Starbucks?

You know how sometimes you get so used to what you see every day that you stop noticing it? I’ve walked by the Starbucks in the Groningen central train station hundreds of times in the course of commuting to and from my job up in Leeuwarden. I just didn’t pay much attention to it until…

view of Hooge der A with ships

Groningen walking tour

Groningen is the perfect place for an off-the-beaten-track weekend escape. Home to a world-class university, its young population makes it dynamic and hip, yet its small size keeps it friendly and relaxed. This walking tour could last from two hours, if you just stroll, to all day, if you take your time and stop to see…

detail from Rembrandt's studio

The Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam: A review

This entry is part 6 of 25 in the series Amsterdam Museums

You could easily be forgiven if, at first, you just walk by the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. You might notice that it’s pretty, but so are so many houses along the old canal rings. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a small commission on anything you buy through clicking the links….

The dressing table holds glass bottles and brushes at the van Loon Museum in Amsterdam

Van Loon Museum: A restored Golden Age house

This entry is part 5 of 25 in the series Amsterdam Museums

After the Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder museum and The Canal House Museum, our last stop was the van Loon Museum, a restored Golden Age canal house. This is what I’d been expecting when we visited the Canal House Museum: rooms that give an impression of how wealthy residents of Amsterdam’s Golden Age lived and, to…

two row houses of brown brick, with lots of windows and step gables.

Canal House Museum Amsterdam: A review

This entry is part 4 of 25 in the series Amsterdam Museums

I already posted about the first of the three little museums I visited in Amsterdam with a friend: Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder. After a bite for lunch—Burgermeester has surprisingly good burgers!—we moved on to the Canal House Museum Amsterdam (In Dutch it’s called Het Grachtenhuis.). It’s not surprising that a canal house museum is housed…

Ons Lieve Heer op Solder: A surprising little museum

This entry is part 3 of 25 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Tourists in Amsterdam, if they visit museums at all, generally hit the big ones: the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh, for example. But there are dozens of smaller museums in Amsterdam that are just as interesting and worth seeing. Ons Lieve Heer op Solder is one of them. Ons Lieve Heer op Solder history This…

The Milkmaid, by Vermeer

Yes, you CAN visit the Rijksmuseum in 2 hours!

This entry is part 18 of 25 in the series Amsterdam Museums

I’m not a museum person. That’s not to say I’m not interested in art, or natural history, or science, or whatever the museum is about. It’s just that I don’t have the patience to concentrate on one thing for very long. At the same time, I’m not physically up to it; for some reason standing…

children at the door with their lanterns

St. Maartens Day: A sweet local tradition

Today is St Maartens Day here in Groningen, a children’s tradition that is relatively unique to this area. On the 11th of November, once the sun goes down, children go door-to-door begging for sweets. Instead of threatening “trick or treat” like on Halloween, the deal here is that they sing a song, and in return,…

How Americans see the Dutch

(Nederlands vertaling beneden) When I posted about how the Dutch see the Americans, it wasn’t particularly complimentary, so I promised to write the opposite post: how the Americans see the Dutch. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and spend money, I will receive a small percentage of what…

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