Tag Archives: Europe

REVIEW: MapsWithMe Travel App

Travel is getting tech savvy and the mobile devices boom has enabled the traveller to carry the world in his/her pocket. Now your mobile device helps you call, stay connected socially and help you find your way on the move. I love twitter and I happened to come across the MapsWithMe service during one of those fun events like #ttot.  I’m always curious about new technology and I was drawn into checking out their website. Two words, offline maps & no-grey-screen maps came out glaringly.  I downloaded the app and I was seriously impressed, so I decided to get in touch with them and review their product. MapsWithMe have been very kind to have offered me their Pro version.  Here’s what I liked about the product.Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-05-44

So, when you download the app and launch it for the first time, it does a small download to get the world map in place. Once that’s done you are ready to kick off.  The user interface is very intuitive. You can get your way around all its features very easily and usually within a tap of a button.  When you selected the region you want to explore or plan to travel to, just download the detailed map of that place.
This is great for those who love to research and know about their destination well in advance and it also lets the whimsical people find places that fit their fancy.  I love to plan my trips, even to the exact minute if possible and I really would find this handy. The biggest positive in all of this is that it is completely offline. Once you’ve downloaded the detailed map for a region/country you can search for a little food stall right at the corner of a street offline!

Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-06-20 Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-12-41 Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-11-28 Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-11-46 Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-07-37 Screenshot_2013-11-23-22-07-18
The maps are rich in details. You can search for food joints, shops, hotels, sights, entertainment, atms, and even transportation individually or see them simply overlaid on to the map. The GPS constantly gives you the correct direction and the distance from your marked destination.  Another helpful feature in the app is the note tool. You can pin down locations that you want to visit and add a note to it. It’s a handy tool especially when you are unsure of how you plan to spend your day while travelling.

The biggest pro of this app is that it works offline.  MapsWithMe gives a great viewing experience to the user as it doesn’t get those grey patches you typically see when you zoom into a map online. I downloaded the detailed map for India and I was impressed by the quality of information that the maps gave.  I’d surely recommend this app for digital nomads and frequent travellers.

You can check out the features and download the app for your iOS/Android device by clicking on this link: http://mapswith.me/en/home

Do leave your thoughts on this review in the comments below!

TC Original: Tips for Travel in Russia

Russia is huge and I mean massively huge. It’s half of Europe going all the way to Alaska in North America. I recently travelled to Russia visiting the cities of Moscow & Kazan. Both these cities are beautiful and have their own unique charm. It’s got the European charm that everybody loves and at the same time it has something unique that sets it apart from rest of Europe.  Elements of the ‘Mysterious Russian Soul’ are there in the air and you can feel it when you interact with the people.  Below are some tips which I gathered from my trip.

Visa & visa registration:
Now the Russian tourist visa has a bit of red tape, at least in India. You can get a tourist visa of 30 days maximum and you ought to have proof of hotel reservations for your duration of stay. You need to have an official ‘Invite’ from a tourist agency. They usually charge you anything between 20$ – 30$ for the ‘Invitation’ and a little more if the Russian embassy in your city requires a hard copy.
Once you’re in Russia, ensure that you register your visa with the local post office or immigration office. If you stay in a hotel/hostel, they will do it for you as it’s their lawful obligation.

Internal Travel:
Internal travel in Russia is as modern as it gets. The preferred mode of transport between major cities is by train. Long haul journeys can be fun. It’s recommend trying the Trans- Siberian line. Moscow to Vladivostok is an interesting journey you can try! It would surely be value for money.  In Moscow the metro is great for internal transportation. Places which are further away from metro stations are easily connected with buses.  Kazan on the other hand is much smaller. I’d surely recommend visiting the stunning new Metro Stations.
Kazan Metro

(Kazan Metro)

People & Culture:

Hollywood movies have demonised the Russian and created a negative image of Russians all around the world. Well, the fact is that they are as human as anybody else. The women are drop dead gorgeous and the men are thorough gentlemen (most of them at least).  The culture of Russia is welcoming. There is a huge diversity with people having different ethnicities like Marie, Chuvash, Slavic, Tatar and many more. It’s amazing to see how the communist rule unified all these different ethnicities under one banner. People is Russia love to have a good time, enjoy life  and after all that is done, work hard. Every town in Russia will have a ‘Banya’ a community pool and you are sure to find a ‘Piva’ (Beer) Store next to it.  It’s not advisable to visit them, but if you’re adventurous by all means go for it.

Language:
The official language is Russian, however there a many dialects and sub-languages within the country. Almost like India, the language changes after every 30-50 kms.  Russian is easy to gather and understand if you are attentive.  You can try learning some of these words:

Pri-ve-yt – Hello
Zd-rast-we-tya – Formall Hello
Da – Yes
Neyt – No

Baton – Bread
Vada – Water
Kuri-tsa – Chicken
Spa-ci-bo – Thank you
Bye – Pokah

Money:

The Russians use the Rouble as their currency. Thankfully it trades at 2 INR to 1 RU.  Things are generally expensive in Russia. Sadly the simple jobs don’t pay so well but all the prices are of European standard.  If you eat simple and local you can easily survive in 400 roubles a day for food.

Did you find this helpful? Do leave your comments below, I’d love to chat up!

The Tomorrowland Experience by Adam Beaumont

Tomorrowland has only recently become one of the most in demand music festivals in the world.

 

Location

The festival is located in a small town in between Antwerp and Brussels in Belgium. The town is aptly named Boom. his prime location means that people from all around Europe can visit within hours, cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, Lille, London are all within a a few hours via train.
 Truly International

Tomorrowland was this year visited by people from over 245 different countries which must be a record for a music festival. From as far as Brazil and Australia this is the festival the world wants to go. If you want to go to a truly international festival with people from all around the world partying and having fun together then Tomorrowland is the festival to travel to.

Sell Out

Tickets for Tomorrowland 2013 sold out within minutes this year with an estimated 1.8million people trying to get the 80,000 tickets on sale. The sheer demand for this festival means that the tickets not only sell out but are only available if one decides to purchase from a secondary ticket agent which is often much more expensive.

Best Dance festival on the Planet

Tomorrowland is by far the best dance festival in the world as voted by visitors from all areas of the world. Tomorrowland has won many fantastic awards and has gone from strength each yeah. Every major DJ has stated that this is the best festival in the world and the one gig that they look forward to most in the year.

Guaranteed Good Weather

Mid-July is guaranteed to be hot in the town of Boom, last year the temperatures were amazing with the sun starting from first thing in the morning and lasting all day until the night. With this guaranteed good weather this makes the festival much more better, no need to worry about packing wellington boots like most other festivals.

Excellent Value

Tomorrowland has the best venues, best stage, best production, best layout and best DJs for a festival in the world.  One would expect the tickets to be expensive but the value is truly fantastic. UK and festivals in Sweden, Norway and Germany normally cost twice as much as this festival yet do not offer the same facilities and headline acts. The great value is no surprise as 180,000 purchase tickets within minutes each year.

World’s Best DJs

Only the best of the best DJs in the world will be at Tomorrowland and the headline acts truly are the best DJs on the planet. Whilst the lineup has not yet been released, the headline acts are guaranteed to be truly amazing. Last year the main headlines were Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia and David Guetta.

Friday, 26th July

MAIN STAGE

Tiësto
Sebastian Ingrosso
Hardwell
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Fedde Le Grand
ARTY
Otto Knows
NO_ID
Nervo
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano
MC Stretch

Saturday, 27th July

MAIN STAGE

Avicii
Armin van Buuren
Axwell
Knife Party
Chuckie
Sander van Doorn
Zedd
Thomas Gold
Audien
Maxim Lany
MC Stretch

 

Sunday, 28th July

MAIN STAGE

David Guetta vs Afrojack vs Nicky Romero
Steve Angello
Steve Aoki
Alesso
Joachim Garraud
Yves V
Deniz Koyu
Porter Robinson
Djaxx & Neurotique
MC Stretch

6. Excellent Location

Being located in Belgium means that people can travel to Tomorrowland very easily as the country is located in central Europe. Major cities such as Antwerp, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and many others can be reached within a couple of hours on the fantastic railway system in Belgium. Amsterdam is a major hub for flights from around the world and is the chose city for incoming flights for people wanting to enjoy the festival.

7. Amazing Venue

The venue is located in a park just outside the town of Boom in Belgium. The bowl shape allows for a truly magnificent festival with views of the stage from all sides. Inside the layout is amazing and no expense shared for the production and detail of everything. The amount of detail truly is remarkable for a festival with a lot of reference to the Tomorrowland theme. Pictures of inside the venue to follow shortly.

 Unlike any other Festival

Tomorrowland truly is a festival that is not like any other, with the international crowd, excellent venue, central location and worlds best DJs you will not find an event anywhere in the world. Even the camping environment is themed so that you completely feel the Tomorrowland atmosphere.

24 Hour Party

If you are looking for a 24 hour party festival from the arena to the camping then Tomorrowland 2013 is the place to be in the summer. Whilst the festival arena opens at around 12:00 and finishes around 2am the party continues in the Dreamville camping for those people with the weekend pass.

 

10. 180,000 People 

Each year 180,000 people purchase tickets within minutes of the Tomorrowland festival going on sale and it makes it the fastest selling festival in Europe without doubt. If you are wondering whether to come to Tomorrowland then simply ask yourself why 180,000 people would come, this is without the many thousands that are unlucky and cannot by the tickets because of the sheer demand.

 

Credit – This awesome article is by Adam Beaumont on event-traveller.com. Read the complete article with pictures HERE.

 

5 Best Places To Surf in Spain and France by Todd on surfstronger.com

As surfers, going on a bona fide surf trip can be a key and exciting part of the surfing experience. And while far flung places like the Metawais, Bali, or Tahiti, are often the places surfers dream about first, we’ve often thought about getting over to the “Continent” to surf France or Spain.

Our friends over at Surfholidays.com have provided us with their fave top five European surf destinations. Check it out!

If you ever have the chance to take that a once in a life time surf holiday then there is no better option than a trip through Northern Spain and South West France. We have taken a look at the 5 places that you have to visit along the way.

1. Mundaka

We’ll start here as for many it’s the easiest to get to. The city of Bilbao is only 25kms away and most major airlines fly here. Now what you do in Mundaka really depends on what kind of a surf vacation you are on. If you’re a good surfer you will definitely want to try it, if not then you can marvel at it from the viewing area and watch surfers catch barrel after barrel as the water travels in land to the town of Guernica. Mundaka is a very traditional Basque town; it’s also worth taking some time to wander the narrow streets.

2. Zarautz and San Sebastian

From Mundaka make your way back on to the motorway for a quick hour drive to Zarautz or else stick on the country roads; great if you have time as they are picturesque and mountainous plus there are a few surf spots along the way. Zarautz is home to arguably Spain’s biggest surf town. While it’s not a big town as such, the main reason it’s so popular is because of its 3kms beach that runs parallel to the towns promenade. The promenade is packed full of restaurants, bars, basketball courts, skate parks, cycle lanes, skate lanes and many other amenities that make it a great place to send some time. The beach is a great beginners surf beaches, a perfect spot for surfing lessons and because of its length there are numerous points for improvers and the more advanced. The town is host to a WQS event every September

3. San Sebastian

20kms from Zarautz is San Sebastian. It is without doubt one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The focal point of the city is its old town – packed with lively bars and delicious restaurants – it is often referred to as the gastro capital of Spain. The city also has what every city can only dream of, two spectacular beaches, one of which is the very consistent La Zurriola. Spend as long as you want here, sitting in the sun and surfing it as often as you like.

4. Biarritz

This can also be a starting point thanks to the cities international airport which is only 10kms from the city itself. It’s 40kms from San Sebastian. The city has been described as the birthplace of European surf. Its two beaches offer perfect conditions for all standards and both comes alive during the summer with surf festivals and events taking place almost every day.

5. Hossegor

While Biarritz might be where European surf began, Hossegor has become its surf Capital. Just 30kms north of Biarritz lie beach after beach of perfect surf. This is what surfing holidays in France are all about. Three towns join together, Capbreton, Hossegor and Seignosse and possess the best beach breaks in the world. The WCT has held an event here for years and it’s easy to see why. Hossegor really has it all but be careful, the beach bars come alive at night and you might never get to sleep…

Credit – This awesome article is by Todd on surfstronger.com. Read it HERE.

Noshing Around Quebec City by foodgal.com

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA –It’s easy to build up an appetite, strolling around this historic city in the chill of winter. And one of the best and most fortifying meals I had on my trip to this capital city was at the artsy Panache restaurant.

The restaurant is located inside the luxe Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel, just steps from the edge of the St. Lawrence River in the old port district. Indeed, in the 1800s, the impressive stone building served as a maritime trading center for glassware and tableware merchants. During the construction of the hotel, plates, vases and other pottery were unearthed, which are now carefully displayed throughout the hotel. Even the hotel room numbers have little antique chunks of porcelain highlighted next to them.

My fellow food writers and I — all guests on this trip courtesy of Quebec City Tourism — had the pleasure not only of dining at the restaurant one night, but eating in a private room with the chef, Francois Blais, during what would be his last week at the restaurant. Blais, who opened the restaurant eight years ago, felt it was time for a change. But don’t be surprised if he opens his own, more casual restaurant in Quebec in the near future.

Blais has been a pioneer in Quebec City when it comes to sourcing local ingredients within 100 miles from small family producers and championing sustainable seafood. The dinner was testament to that dedication.

It included pillowy gnocchi smothered with locally foraged wild mushrooms, as well as polenta-crusted calf sweetbreads that were as big as my palm.

The centerpiece was a locally raised, seven-week-old piglet that was spit-roasted and served with an assortment of root vegetables from the restaurant’s all-organic farm on the nearby Ile d’Orleans.

Accompanying the succulent pork was a sauce made from cranberries, grown locally and among the plumpest we’d ever seen. A representative from Nutra Fruit, a Quebec City company that produces cranberry products, explained why their dried cranberries, in particular, are so huge compared to the piddly, shriveled ones we usually find in American supermarkets. Most of those, he says, are driedafter they have been juiced and sliced. Nutra Fruit’s dried cranberries, on the other hand, are whole, un-juiced berries that are dried. These are so delectable and satisfying that they’re a true pleasure to nosh on just plain out of hand.

Another restaurant not to be missed is the famous Le Saint-Amour, which was just named “best restaurant of the year” by Guide Debeur 2011. The restaurant has been around since 1978, but its cuisine continues to innovate and push the envelope.

Just consider the duck foie gras plate we enjoyed. The restaurant is known for its foie gras dishes. This one included the decadent liver not only in a terrine, and pressed and seared, but sandwiched inside a matcha macaron, of all things. And yes, it actually worked, with the subtle sweet-bitter notes of the crisp cookie playing off the rich foie cream inside.

A palate cleanser of “Dark Valrhona Chocolate Consomme” had us all talking. The tiny warm little glass of liquid arrived at the table looking for all the world like weak tea, but the flavor was that of a intense dark chocolate bar. It was astounding. Think of tomato water, which is clear but carries the potent flavor of a perfect tomato, and you get the idea.  Chef Jean Luc Boulay makes the consomme in a time-consuming process that involves combining water and chocolate that’s eventually strained through cheesecloth. More than that, he didn’t want to divulge, unfortunately.

Brewski lovers will want to visit Korrigane Brasserie Artisanale, a brew pub that opened just last summer that makes some quite unusual beers, including seasonal ones brewed from whole blueberries or pumpkin. I became a fan of the latter, especially for its smoky flavor.

We spent an afternoon sampling the beers — which are not bottled and available only at the brew pub — while happily nibbling on an assortment of local charcuterie and sweets we had picked up at nearby gourmet food shops.

Quebec boasts three culinary schools, all of which operate restaurants that are open to the public. We had a chance to visit Ecole Hoteliere de la Capitale, the largest of the schools, where we met Suzanne Sylvester, a chef-instructor, who used to work in the United States at Tra Vigne and Domaine Chandon, both in California’s Napa Valley. American-born, she moved to Quebec 17 years ago, after meeting her husband, a French pastry chef.

With the price of elite culinary school programs in the United States costing as much as a year at Harvard, it was remarkable to hear that tuition for this school is a mere $200 per year. Currently, there are about 400 students enrolled in the year-long program.

Lunch is a bargain, too. You can enjoy three courses with a glass of wine for all of $10 per person. Our repast included a lovely seafood salad over grilled pineapple, and a hearty lamb stew braised with local apples.

If you can’t make it to Quebec anytime soon, you can still enjoy a taste of this distinctive city from one of our guides, who kindly provided us with the recipe for an age-old, winter-time libation known as the “Caribou.” Back in the day,  this drink was a mix of alcohol and caribou blood. Thankfully, the modern version appeals more to today’s palate, with red wine replacing the blood.

Although some versions call for brandy or port, this one requires just a bottle of red wine. Enjoy two glasses from it. Then, fill the empty void in the bottle with vodka or Everclear, along with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a cinnamon stick. Shake the bottle every day for three weeks, then enjoy. Sante!

Credit: This lovely article is by www.foodgal.com

6 Hidden Corners You Should Not Miss in Seville,Spain by Sandra on ytravelblog.com

This is a guest post by Sandra from Seville Traveller

Seville is located in the South of Spain , and according to a large majority (including me), it is the most beautiful city of the country. It is not surprising though that it receives more than 1.8 million visitors every year.

As you can imagine, some prefer to discover Seville on a guided tour sharing the experience with another 30 people. But others, independent travellers like you and me, opt to wander around looking for authenticity and uniqueness.

While most of you may associate Seville with bullfighting, flamenco, delicious tapas and amazing sights like the Giralda tower or the Cathedral, the truth is that Seville has a lot more to offer. Actually, most visitors come back after realizing there is so much to see.

Here is a list of some of my favorite places, all of them are away from the touristic circuits and off the beaten path…

Iglesia de Santa Marina (c/ San Luis, 39)

IGLESIA DE SANTA MARINA

Seville is a very old city, dating from the times of the Roman Empire. As a consequence, it is full of monuments, buildings and structures that have been there for centuries. The Iglesia de Santa Marina is one of them.

It was built in the 14th century using the base of an old mosque and it has survived earthquakes, fires and wars. I am always impressed by the simplicity of its design and, at the same time, the personality it has. If you get there and you see that the doors are closed, have a drink at some of the bars around and wait until it is mass time.

Plaza del Cabildo

The Plaza del Cabildo is probably the only circled-square (plaza) in Seville. It is just 2 minutes away from the Cathedral but many miss it because you need to enter through a passage at the Avenida de la Constitución. Look for the entrace while you walk towards the Cathedral.

The action takes place on Sundays, when people from everywhere gather to sell, buy and exchange collectors (stamps, coins, stickers…). Even if you cannot make it on a Sunday, the detour will be worthwhile.

Convento de San Leandro (Plaza de San Ildefonso, 1)

CONVENTO DE SAN LEANDRO SEVILLE SPAIN

The convent is famous for the yemas (sweet made with egg yolk and sugar) the nuns sell there. It was built in the 17th century and, apart from the magnificent retablo mayor(altarpiece) it has two lateral retablos made by Martinez Montañés.

He was a Spanish sculptor (1568-1649) and he is considered one of the masters of the Sevillian school. These two masterpieces seem to be alive and any museum would charge you a fortune to let you admire them.

Plaza Doña Elvira

PLAZA DONA ELVIRA

Despite the fact that the Barrio de Santa Cruz (the old Jewish Quarter) is generally crowded, this little square is the perfect place to sit and relax while feeling the water flowing at the fountain. The mornings are usually not the best time of the day to get there as you will see lots of tourist groups walking around the narrow streets of the barrio.

I prefer to go there early in the afternoon, while everybody is resting after lunch. I consider it a very special place because every little detail is important: the tree’s shade, the mosaics of the benches and the balconies around. It makes me feel I am in a small village of Andalucia rather than in a big city.

Las Golondrinas (c/ Antillano Campos, 26)

TAPAS ANYONE?

After walking around the center, Triana neighborhood deserves a visit. Cross the Isabel II bridge (also known as Puente de Triana) and head to Las Golondrinas, my favorite tapasbar in the city!

There, you will have the chance to taste the best Spanish food and refresh yourself. The menu is not very long (ie. You will not have to choose among dozens of tapas) but the selection is so good you will come back if you have the chance.

Apart from the great local atmosphere, the bar is decorated with typical Sevillian elements. You will love it.

La Alameda de Hércules

LA ALMEDA DE HERCULES

According to the experts, this area is the origin of Seville. In fact, the oldest church of the city, Omnium Sanctorum, is a few minutes walk from there. On each end there are two  huge Roman pillars. At the top of one of them is a statue of Hercules, the founder of Seville according to an old legend.

However, the main attraction of the Alameda is not the columns but the bars and terraces that surround the area. Here, you will find the perfect spot to either have a great breakfast (Sevillanos love to have it at a bar), some nice lunch or a drink in the evening.

This lively neighborhood has developed in the last few years the most trendy atmosphere you can find in town. It is a mix of bohemian and cutting edge styles, where people dress and live differently from the rest. Some venues host independent music bands and the neighborhood is one of the best places to enjoy Seville’s nightlife.

Remember, this is only a sample of all the secrets Seville hides. I could have written an endless list, but I had to choose among all of my favourite places. I am sure that you will find many more plazas, corners and alleys that will marvel you.

Credit: This lovely article is by Sandra on http://www.ytravelblog.com

Amsterdam Travel Tips by The Blonde Abroad

Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe. While it is well-known for its taboo tourist attractions, Amsterdam boasts so much more than cheap thrills. My first trip to Amsterdam, admittedly, was a bit of a disappointment.

So, on my second trip, I made it a point to stalk out the best of the best in the city.

  • Language: The official language is Dutch, but nearly everyone speaks English as a second language.
  • Currency: The Euro is used as currency (€)
  • Credit Cards and Banks: Most restaurants and hotels will accept credit/debit cards. Be sure to carry plenty of cash for small purchases and public transportation.
  • Climate: You can visit Amsterdam all year round, but the winter months may be too cold for walking or cycling around the city.
    • Cold season: November to March
    • Warm season: June to September

Helpful Tip:

Depending on your type of trip, I’d recommend getting an iAmsterdam card. The card includes free admission into the most popular museums, free public transportation and a free canal cruise. Plan your trip to see if the iAmsterdam card can save you money on your trip.

Calculate your savings>>

Accommodation in Amsterdam can be pricey – even at hostels!

Budget-Friendly Accomodation:

  • The Flying Pig DowntownDorms & privates, Wi-Fi, kitchen, bar. Prices range from €17-52 per night. The Flying Pig is my favorite hostel in Amsterdam. It’s in a great location and has a really cool vibe.
  • St. Christopher’s Inns: Dorms & privates, free breakfast, bar, restaurant, Wi-Fi. Prices start at around €36 per night. St. Christopher’s has multiple hostels around Europe and is well known for great quality and service.
  • The Bulldog HotelDorms, Privates, Apartments, Wi-Fi. Prices start at around €18 per night. The Bulldog Hotel provides basic accommodation and is centrally located in the Red Light District.

Helpful Tip:

If you’re a solo female traveler, I do NOT recommend using www.Couchsurfing.com in this city. While there are plenty of great locals offering a free place to stay, the site suggests using caution in Amsterdam. I suggest not taking a chance.

The Best of Amsterdam Accommodation:

  • Lloyd Hotel: This hotel is by far the most unique hotel I’ve ever stayed at. Lloyd Hotel is the world’s first 1 – 5 star hotel. Each room is designed to surprise even the most well-travelled guest. It’s located 15 minutes by tram outside of city center and is a funky breath of fresh air.
  • Banks Mansion*Reader Recommendation*

“[Banks Mansion] was a great place to stay and right on the canals. Great breakfast every morning and a very generous happy hour in the evening! It was also in walking distance of the Flower Market.” -Steve

  • Mauro Mansion: *Reader Recommendation*

“The best place to stay by far is Mauro Mansion – it’s right by Central Station and in the heart of old downtown. It’s run by a gay couple and they are the kindest gentlemen I’ve ever met.” -Becky Mahan, Stranger in this Town

Amsterdam is full of history and activities! Whether you prefer museums or high tea!

  • Canal Cruise: Get a feel for the history and layout of Amsterdam by boat. Take a full tour or hop-on-hop-off tour and travel through the canals of the city.
  • Van Gogh Museum: The Van Gogh Museum is fantastic. There is an incredible collection of Van Gogh’s work from the beginning of his endeavors as an artist.
  • Cycle Amsterdam-Noord: Rent a bike and take the free ferry across to Amsterdam-Noord to spend the day cycling. Follow Route 9 by the marked pathways and explore the dike villages, grassland landscape and the island of Marken. (47 km/4-5 hours)
  • House of BolsHouse of Bols is one of the best tours I’ve ever been on. Learn about the history of traditional Genever and experience a one-of-a-kind cocktail experience.
  • Visit De Drie Fleschjes: Visit the oldest tasting room in Amsterdam, “Three Little Bottles,” opened in 1650. Enjoy a drink and take in the ambiance of antique barrel-lined walls and burning candelabras.
  • Coffee Houses & The Red Light District: While this side of Amsterdam tourism isn’t exactly my thing, that’s not to say your shouldn’t at least peak your head in to see what the hype is all about. Rumor has it, for tourists, getting high in Amsterdam won’t be legal for long.
  • Heineken Experience: Despite the touristy nature of this tour, I really enjoyed it and think it’s a great bang for your buck. The tour lasts nearly 2 hours with tons of activities, two free beers, plus a free souvenir. (I scored some aviator sunglasses!)
  • Pack a Picnic in Vondalpark: If you find yourself in Amsterdam during good weather, chances are, Vondalpark will be packed with people. Take a walk through the park, picnic and people watch.
  • Albert Cuyp market: Don’t miss this market! It’s the largest in all of The Netherlands. Come hungry and try some local cheeses and dutch Stroopwafels. You can also score some great souvenirs here. (Open from 9:30 am to about 5 pm, Monday to Saturday)
  • Handbags & High Tea at Tassen: Visit the largest collection of handbags and purses in the world! Even if you aren’t a fashionista, the collection is fascinating. Some of the over 4,000 handbags at the Tassen Museum date back to the Middle Ages (when even men wore them)! The museum café is beautiful as well and offers a yummy High Tea at a bargain. (Plus, there’s free WiFi!)

Cheeses and sweets and meats, oh my!

  • Stroopwafels, Poffertjes & Pancakes: These delicious Dutch treats are not to pass on. There are plenty of spots to satisfy your sweet tooth around the city. My favorite stroopwafels are from a little vendor by the Van Gogh Museum and the best poffertjes and pancakes are at Pancakes!. You can also grab these sweets at the Albert Cuyp market.
  • Meatballs: The name says it all! Check out the restaurant Meatballs for some homestyle cooking in the Red Light District. Don’t worry fellow veggos, there are plenty of options for vegetarians too!
  • De Kas: My favorite restaurant in the city, De Kas, creates one menu daily based on the harvest of their own nursery. Everything from the food to the organic wine is outstanding. It’s farm to fine dining!
  • Ask the Locals: Want to skip the touristy spots? Ask the locals! My friend Sabine, fellow blogger and Amsterdam native, has an awesome Foursquare list of all the best locals spots to eat in town! Check it out: foursquare.com/sabinedewitte/list/amsterdam 

    Credit- This lovely article is written by The Blonde Abroad. Click the hyper link to view the article with pictures and videos.