History

10 Facts about Dutch gin

Dutch gin

Jenever is Holland’s national spirit since the 17th century. It is said Dutch people have the same amount of words for jenever, as the Eskimos have for snow. English speakers however will know the lovely spirit by the name of Dutch gin.

Want to know more? Here are 10 facts about Dutch jenever [...]


6 Myths

Holland is famous all over the world for some of the weirdest facts. Not all of the crazy facts are true however.

Here are some of the myths about Amsterdam that are popular.

Find out if they are true or not in this list of Myths about Holland.

1. Prostitution is legal in Holland

True. [...]


Amsterdam Canal Houses

Canal house amsterdam

In 2013 Amsterdam celebrates the 400 year anniversary of the Amsterdam canal rings.

Many canal house museums show the beautifully original and restored 17th, 18th and 19th century interiors of the mansions along the Amsterdam canals.

In 2013 there are special exhibitions dedicated to the beautiful interiors of these mansions along the water, giving an deeper insight in the life of an Amsterdam merchant family. [...]


Side trip The Hague

binnenhof2jpg

The Dutch city of The Hague lies about an hour from Amsterdam and is a great city for a side trip. From Amsterdam Central Station to The Hague it takes takes 50 minutes by train. While Amsterdam is the city of republicans and commerce, The Hague is the city of royalty and aristocracy.


History Museum

Courtyard of Amsterdam Museum

Right behind busy Amsterdam shopping street of Kalverstraat lies an tranquil courtyard and the museum that tells the history of Amsterdam. From Amsterdam’s birth as a farmers and fishermen’s settlement along the banks of the river Amstel and the inner sea, to a fast growing European port, trading goods for Europe, to the rise of […]


10 Facts about Dutch beer

Beer kettle

Beer from Amsterdam has a long history. From the Middle Ages until now, Amsterdam people have always loved the golden grain juice. In fact, they drink beer, like we drink water. Heineken is Holland’s most famous beer brand. Its aggressive marketing strategy crushed all of Amsterdam’s local beer brewers. Luckily, in recent years, more and […]


Jewish Quarter

Amsterdam Synagoge

The neighbourhood just east of the centre, near Waterlooplein is called Plantage or the Amsterdam Jewish Quarter (Jodenbuurt). Jewish immigrants lived here from the 16th century onwards. Only 28.000 Amsterdam Jews out of 120.000 survived the Second World War. The few buildings they left behind: the Portuguese Synagogue, the Holland Theatre and the Jewish Museum, […]


Western Islands walk

Western islands Amsterdam

Just West of Central Station Amsterdam lay three peaceful islands. These ‘Western Islands’ are wonderful for a beautiful 1,5-hour walk. Starting at the Westerdok, a completely reconstructed docklands area where you find the latest in architectural fashion we walk west via the remarkable ‘Silodam’, an old industrial complex, transformed into apartment buildings, to the islands […]


Amsterdam Chinatown

Amsterdam Chinatown streetsign

The origins of Chinatown go back to the year 1910, which makes the Amsterdam Chinatown the oldest Chinatown in Europe. The first Chinese arrived in The Netherlands around 1900 on ships of the Dutch VOC. They worked as sailors, stokers in particular, on large steamships. Most of them came from poor areas, such as the […]


Santa in Holland

Sinterklaas

Santa has arrived in Holland with his helpers the Black Petes and a boat full of presents to give to children. Santa in Holland is celebrated not for Christmas, but on December 5th.   Bishop Saint Nicolas Nobody knows if Santa ever really existed. Fact is in the 8th century, people came up with the […]


10 Facts about Van Gogh

Van Gogh 'The Olive Trees' (1889)

Before heading off to the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum, here are 10 facts about the painter artist Vincent van Gogh.   1. Not from Amsterdam Van Gogh was born in the South of The Netherlands, near the Belgian border. 2. Not famous during his life Though Van Gogh is now considered on of the most […]


Slavery in Amsterdam

Slavery momument in Amsterdam

This week a friend from India asked me about the history of African slaves in Amsterdam. His question took me by surprise. Apart from the monument against slavery at Oosterpark, there are almost no specific places in Amsterdam that remind us of the mass amount of African slaves taken to the Americas to work on […]


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