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Grachten Festival (Canal Festival)

grachten festivalGrachtenfestival 2012
The Grachtenfestival 2012 takes place from 10 – 19 August

If you are into classical music than you must not miss this. The Canal Festival (Grachtenfestival) is a summer spectacle which will fill the Amsterdam summer evenings with classical music. The free concerts are held at special locations like houses and gardens of locals, concert halls, historic buildings, museums and the area around the Prinsengracht. Check here for more information:

The Maritime museum

Het Scheepvaartmuseum, the National Maritime Museum, shows how the Dutch culture has been shaped by the sea. Stimulating, interactive exhibitions allow visitors to explore 500 years of maritime history. Attractive object exhibitions show the best of our world famous collection. We have special exhibitions for children, including See you in the Golden Age and The tale of the whale. We even have one for children under the age of 6: Sal & Lori and Circus at Sea. And last but not least: the exciting ride Voyage at Sea is suitable for all ages and the famous replica of the VOC ship Amsterdam is back at the quay. Het Scheepvaartmuseum has been completely renovated, but still exudes history and is a beautifully imposing and impressive building in the heart of Amsterdam.

Het Scheepvaartmuseum welcomes visitors from all over the world. A day ticket gives you access to our beautiful and inspiring exhibitions and the opportunity to learn about the fascinating maritime history. We also have various museum facilities that are open to the public free of charge, including the Central Square, the Open Courtyard, the museum shop Het Pakhuys, Restaurant Stalpaert, the library and the waterside patio. Perfect for a stroll, a delicious meal or a nice cup of coffee or tea while enjoying the museum’s ambiance.

 opening hours

  • The museum and the museum shop are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • The restaurant and patio are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • The library is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.
  • Het Scheepvaartmuseum is closed on Queen’s Day (30 April), Christmas Day (25 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January). The library is also closed on 24, 26 and 31 December.

 ticket prices

  • 15.00 euros | adults (18 and up)
  • 12.00 euros | groups: min. 15 p. (reservation required)
  • 7.50 euros | children 5-17 years, seniors (65 and older), holders of Stadspas, CJP (Culture Youth Pass)
  • free | children 0-4 years, Museumkaart (National Museum Pass), I amsterdam City Card, Rembrandt Society, ICOM

how to get there?

Het Scheepvaartmuseum is approximately a 15 minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station. To reach the museum you can cross the Prins Hendrikkade or take the route passed the Amsterdam Public Library. The museum is also easy to reach by public transport. Bus 22 (Indische buurt) and bus 48 (Borneo Eiland) depart from the Nicolaaskerk, the church at your left when leaving the main hall/main exit of Amsterdam Central Station. Both buses stop close to the museum at Kadijksplein.

More information you will find on the website of the maritime museum

Van Gogh Museum

vangoghA visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a unique experience. The museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the world. It provides the opportunity to keep track of the artist’s developments, or compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century in the collection. The museum also holds an extensive offer of exhibitions on various subjects from 19th-century art history.

Read more at the Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam on a bike

bikerentAutumn is a beautiful time to get on a bike and explore Amsterdam, the trees are colouring golden brown and the (coffee)shops are warm and cosy.  Amsterdam is a small city, if you are not in a hurry you can walk through the city from one pace to the other. Walking from the Red Light District to the  cultural center (near the Vondelpark) only takes about 20 minutes.

But if you want to see more of the city on a day you might want to rent a bike and drive freely  around in the city.

There are a couple of places where you can rent a bike.

MacBikes has three outlets, if you are coming by train there is a Macbike on the left when you leave the Central station.  check map

There is a MacBike at the leidse plein and a MacBike in the east center of Amsterdam. Prices from € 7

There is also a place called mike’s bikes Tours where you can get a biketour through the city or just rent a bike to do your own tour. Prices from €5

The Amsterdam Tulip Museum

tulipmuseum1.jpg In this museum you will learn about the story of the world’s most dangerous flower, whose beauty drove Sultans, the wealthy and the common man alike to madness and bankruptcy.

Founded in 2004, the Amsterdam Tulip Museum seeks to fill a void in the history of the tulip. Amsterdam has no comparable institution dedicated to telling Holland’s fascinating horticultural story. Located in the Jordaan district, the museum offers a special reward for anyone interested in gardening, or simply sightseeing in Amsterdam. The exhibits include several interactive video displays that trace the tulip bulb from its ancient wild origins to modern 21st century cultivation.

Amsterdam Tulip Museum
Prinsengracht 112
1015 EA Amsterdam
Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.
Telephone +31 (0)20 421 00 95
Fax +31 (0)20 421 34 04

Canal cruise


Amsterdam wouldn’t be Amsterdam without all its characteristic little canals. Renting a canal bike and get lost is great fun, but for you lazy guys out there, there are also guided tours on canal boats, most of which leave near the central train station, but also from the backside of the Paradiso, at the Singelgracht. A day pass gives you unlimited use of the canal bus and includes discounts on some attractions. Or if you’re in the party mood, go for the pub or cocktail cruise. Check some of these websites for more information:


The Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum

Since the opening in 1985 of the in Amsterdam, almost a million interested people have visited this permanent exhibition. Each year, some 95,000 visitors from all parts of the world come to this exceptional centre of culture and knowledge, located at 148 Oudezijds Achterburgwal in the heart of the Red-Light District. As its name suggests, the Museum is dedicated to the cannabis plant and its many uses. The Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum is unique in the world, and offers a true voyage of discovery – one that fits perfectly with any visit to Amsterdam.


Open all week from 10.00 until 22.00 hours.
Admission: € 5.70.
Groups, 10 persons or more € 3,85.
Free admission for children under 13 yrs. accompanied by adults.
Tram stop: De Dam.
5-minute walk from Central Station.


They have a small website which is to be found here

Eastindiaman Amsterdam

Eastindiaman Amsterdam


VOC ships like the Amsterdam sailed to the Far East. The outward journey took around eight months, the return voyage one month less. From 1602 to 1795, 1461 East Indiamen made 4800 voyages. Less than 4 per cent (192) were lost at sea.

The original Amsterdam sailed up the North Sea in 1749. In a raging storm the rudder snapped. The master decided to beach the brand-new ship on the south coast of England. Thus he hoped to save the people on board, the cargo and the vessel.

But the East Indiaman soon sank into the mud, never to be freed again. The wreck has provided archaeologists with valuable information about the construction of VOC ships, their cargoes and life on board.

The Amsterdam, a VOC ship from 1990

In 1985, almost 200 years after the demise of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, the keel was laid for a new East Indiaman. The original example was largely copied during construction. But modern standards also created differences: the hull and decks are made of tropical wood instead of oak, there is standing room between the decks, the spars are glued and stairs replace ladders. More than 400 volunteers worked on this new Amsterdam, which has been berthed at the Maritime Museum since 1991.

On the outward voyage, half the hold was filled with food and drink for around 240 men for eight months. On the return journey, the hold was filled with cargo and victuals for only around 70 men.

Cargo on the outward journey

On their way to Asia, the East Indiamen carried bricks and guns for the various VOC settlements and strongholds. And, of course, food, drink and clothes for the sailors and VOC soldiers on board. Plus pots and pans and tools. Silver and gold coins and bullion were brought along for the purchase of Asian goods.

Return cargo

Products from all over Asia filled the hold. Tin, pepper and other spices, fabrics, tea and china were stowed in such a way that they could withstand the voyage to the Netherlands without breakage or rot.

Bread room

The bread room was iron-plated to keep the supply of hardtack and cheese safe from vermin.

read more on the maritime musuem

Roots festival Sunday July 5 – 8

This edition of the Amsterdam Roots Festival takes place from Thursday July 5 till Sunday July 8. Four days of music from every corner of the world, at five different locations in Amsterdam, bring the roots of music from every culture to one Festival.


Roots Indoor starts off the Festival at the best venues in Amsterdam: Melkweg, Paradiso, Tropentheater and the Sugar Factory. Trendsetters from  the world music scene guarantee an adventurous musical program. The full program is available online from mid April at this website, Facebook and Twitter.

Roots Open Air takes place in Oosterpark on Sunday June 26 from, 12:00 am till 22:00 pm.  With seven stages, multiple concerts, performances, presentations and workshops , this exuberant outdoor music festival marks the ending of the Amsterdam Roots Festival.  The Roots Open Air outdoor festival creates a setting in which the audience becomes part of a dynamic scene, mixing with the music and acts, reflecting the essence of the festival. International artists perform alongside local talent and there is an extensive children’s program: Kids@Roots. The stages and tents are surrounded by a Worldmarket of more than a 100 booths with a wide variety of products from near and far, including dozens of exotic eateries.


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