After living for six years in Amsterdam--arguably the greatest small city in the world--I've amassed enough experiences to fill several perfect days. But since "Several Perfect Days in Amsterdam" doesn't have the same punch, I'll restrict myself to just one.
It had been more than eight years since we were in Amsterdam. When the much-reconfigured Rijksmuseum re-opened, we were ready for another visit to the Netherlands. It was just a matter of following our usual practice of finding a musical event around which to build an itinerary.
There's nothing like a relaxing afternoon spent basking in the glory of world-famous paintings and sculptures -- not to mention picking up a keepsake in the museum shop. Here, our favorite collections of art, and suggestions for must-see masterpieces and gift-shop grabs.
Imagine... traveling to Europe when the crowds are thin, the weather is pleasant, and the costs are slashed. Don't think it exists? It does. Europe's shoulder seasons are ideal times to plan international travel.
In the Netherlands, the idea of "Unique and Boutique" is alive in every city. The hotels I discovered each had their own je ne sais quoi, their own special gift to their guests, separating them from their peers and enticing travelers' attention.
As the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a hot spot for weekend travelers. There are hundreds of things to do, from sightseeing at historic sites and museums, and smoking in coffeeshops, to simply enjoying its upbeat nightlife.
As she arrives to the Palace, the Queen would look up at the sculpture of Atlas carrying the heavens on his shoulder for the last time and perhaps feel a sense of relief that all the weight of the Netherlands will be off her shoulders.
Just strolling along the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam is a wonderful way to spend a day, but we've got five activities you can't miss during your springtime trip this year. And of course, where to stay nearby.
These bars range from high-end watering holes to comfortable neighborhood grottos, but all are characterized by their 16th-century inspired wooden decors and walls stained from years of cigarette smoke.