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Dead Bikes of Amsterdam

Abaondoned bike on a canal bridge

  People often ask how the city deals with dead bikes. By dead bikes I mean bikes that are locked in a public place with no apparent owner. There are a lot of bikes in Amsterdam. The figure that does the rounds is that there are about 1 million bikes owned by the 800 thousand…

The narrowest houses in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's narrowest house

Amsterdam houses tend to be quite narrow. But sometimes this narrowness is taken to extremes! Which is the narrowest depends on how you define narrow. Do you take into account only the width of the facade? Does it matter if the house widens away from the street. I think so.

Amsterdam Drinking Water

Deer by lake

  Nice restaurants provide a free carafe of tap water on request. This is how the conversation goes: Waiter: Would you like water? You: Yes please. Waiter: Still or with gas? (Almost tricking you into ordering a bottle.) You: Tap water will be perfect thank you, I hear you have wonderful tap water here, I’ve been…

Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Forever!

Keukenhof Gardens vista

Early spring is tulip time and a fantastic time of year to visit Holland. Keukenhof Gardens is an extravaganza of shapes and colours of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, orchids, lilies, cherry blossom, apple blossom, wisteria, and a whole lot more too! If you visit Amsterdam in April you really must visit Keukenhof Gardens. People often ask…

De Belhamel – French – €€

De Belhamel French Restaurant Interior

De Belhamel is a long-established and much-loved restaurant in Amsterdam and I don’t know why it took me so long to eat there. Well, I did today and it was fabulous. It is the kind of place you can really push the boat out and have a superb – and to be fair pricey –…

Zaanse Schans Windmills

Windmill at Zaanse Schans

The Zaanse Schans is very pretty but very touristy. There is a museum and then various so-called museums that are actually shops, like the Bakery Museum, the Cheese Farm. What is totally worth seeing are the windmills along the river. I went the sawmill and the oil mill, €4 entry to each windmill. There is…

A History of the World’s Most Liberal City – Russell Shorto

Amsterdam Book by Russell Shorto

This is my favorite read about Amsterdam. Mr. Shorto writes narrative history, so picks out lives of people and uses them to illustrate and enrich the historical tale. I cannot recommend reading this book enough, preferably before you visit. It will enhance your stay here and probably get you coming back for more. I cheekily…

The Epic Story of the Dutch Tulip

Some Reading For The Flight, The Dutch Tulip… I wrote the following article for people who’re coming to Holland to see the tulips. The idea being that you have a long flight and some hours to kill, and I thought I might keep you occupied with a relatively long read about the history of tulips…

Singel 404 – Lunch Cafe – €

Outside Singel 404

The sandwiches here are legendary for their tastiness and size.  Singel 404 has been around for about 20 years and is cozy and unpretentious and a great place for a quick, filling tasty lunch. They have a small mezzanine level and a couple of cute little tables outside in the summer.  It is located at…

Loetje Centraal Station €€

Food at Loetje Centraal Station

Brilliant to find that the quality of steak is the same here as at the original Cafe Loetje near the museums.  Loetje Centraal Station could not be easier to find, it is in the pretty white building directly opposite the main entrance to Central Station, about 20 meters walk.  There is a wide long terrace…

Droog – Dutch Design

Inside Cafe at Droog

In the early 90s, Droog put Dutch contemporary design on the map. The idea was to go back to the essence of a product, play with it, add a shot of dry (droog) wit, use materials in an unexpected way, connect to history and archetypes. The results are fun and inspiring. Visit the showroom/shop/hotel (the…

Cafe De Klos – Best ribs & chicken – €€

Ribs at De Klos

Hell yeah. De Klos has 2 things I am addicted to… Smoked chicken and UNSMOKED ribs (in my opinion the smoked ribs are way too salty). You get half a smoked chicken, warm and a salad & bread for about 18€. The unsmoked ribs come with salad and bread also. You get 3 slabs of…

Vesper – Cocktail Bar €€€

Outside Vesper Cocktail Bar

What an awesome find by someone on a tour of mine. Vesper  is a cocktail bar that is so tucked away I have never stumbled across it.  There is a very interesting offer of cocktails on their quirky menu including beer-based and wine-based cocktails and ingredients as unusual as BBQ sauce!  Of course, they can…