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Amsterdam is one of the greatest small cities in the world. From its vast network of charming canals and historic sites to its colorful culture and world-famous museums, Amsterdam boasts all the advantages of a big city while retaining a quaint, peaceful atmosphere. Bike around like a local, then board a boat and float leisurely along the canals to see this incredible destination from a different perspective. Discover the wonders of the world-famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and marvel at all the other must-see sites, including the Oude Kerk (the city's oldest church), Magere Brug (a double-leaf Dutch drawbridge dating back to the 17th century), and the poignant Anne Frank House.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Amsterdam. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Amsterdam and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Amsterdam insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Hello, my name is Léon. I was born and raised right here in the capital of the Netherlands. After traveling and studying Tourism, I now welcome Monograms guests to my amazing city. As a Local Host, meeting people from all over the world, and getting to know different cultures, makes my job more than enjoyable.
Take a stroll to Dam Square, sit at one of the terraces and watch the people go by, to get a feel for the city. You'll see bicycles are a favorite means of transport - there are nearly as many bicycles as citizens.
If you've read her Diary or seen the movie, you'll want to see where Anne lived and wrote her remarkable and poignant story - the Anne Frank House. Visit the attractive Rembrandt House where the Master lived and worked for 20 years. Both locations are on walking routes that your Local Host will be pleased to tell you about so you can discover more of Amsterdam at your own pace.
See the famous Heineken Beer Brewery Museum or the more recently opened T'IJ Brewery specializing in biological ingredients with the second largest wooden windmill in the Netherlands standing next door. Brewery de Prael, located in a renovated building in the city center, keeps up centuries-old traditions.
Amsterdam has many splendid museums, these are just a few, ask your Local Host for more details according to your tastes. Discover 500 years of history at the Maritime Museum. The Van Gogh collection has some 200 paintings, 550 sketches, and hundreds of letters from Van Gogh to his brother, Theo. The Bags & Purses Museum is devoted to historic handbags, purses and suitcases. The museum's collection includes 4,000 items dating back to the 16th century.
The Hortus has an expansive collection of more than 6,000 varieties of plants illustrating over 350 years of Dutch horticultural history. From the "coffee plant that fathered all the coffee in Brazil" to a nursery created exclusively for tropical palms, it's a heavenly destination for plant-lovers the world over.
With over thirty weekly markets, there's plenty of choice. Wander through the Albert Cuyp market, the Dappermarkt, the Flea market on Waterlooplein, or see the Floating Flower Market on the Singel Canal. Ask your Local Host for more details.
Families may wish to visit the Artis Royal Zoo and Planetarium located in the center of Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands. Relax at Vondelpark which attracts tourists, residents, and everyone in between. The park is home to a selection of restaurants and cafés, a skate rental shop, an open-air theatre and a rose garden with more than 70 types of roses. The park was designed by landscape architect L.D. Zocher and has been awarded national heritage status.
Shop or browse along the P.C. Hooftstraat, located in the Museum Quarter neighborhood, home to high-end clothing, jewelry, and specialty stores, as well as boutiques selling more luxury labels. Good buys in Holland include diamond jewelry, wooden articles such as clogs, embroidery and Delft pottery. In the 17th century, Amsterdam's canal diggers, bridge builders and stonemasons called the Jordaan district home. Now eccentric, one-of-a-kind shops, chic restaurants, and art galleries, make this a unique spot.
When you're ready for a snack, try one of the local pancakes, there are over 300 varieties! Or sample the similar poffertjes. Pea soup is another specialty made with peas, potatoes, carrots, celery, smoked bacon, and sausage. Jenever, Dutch liquor, is made with the Juniper berry (the key ingredient that gives the spirit its distinctive flavor).
Rijsttafel (translation: "rice table"), is a medley of dishes from all over the Indonesian islands, and a perfect introduction to colonial Indonesian cuisine. Modern-day rijsttafel is anywhere from eight to 40 small plates—a variety of meats, vegetables, and condiments, like sambals and pickled dishes—all eaten with rice or noodles.
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