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Exclusive Route through 3 Coffeeshops in Amsterdam

Curiosity or vice? We could say, if we were to exaggerate a little, that Amsterdam’s coffeeshops are almost National Heritage sites. Here are the 3 coffeeshops you can’t miss out on when you visit Amsterdam.

Silent but Alive – Dolls and Puppets in the Czech Republic, Prague

Dolls with moving body parts are not only a popular souvenir of the Czech Republic, they’re also a part of its history. This is why today we’ll travel first to the origin of Czech dolls and then give you advice about where to buy the best dolls and puppets in Prague. These dolls have been part of the Czech tradition since the 18th century, when Czech puppeteers toured Central Europe to tell stories and entertain audiences. At that time, the manufacture of dolls and puppets developed into an art form in the Baroque era. Great attention to detail was given, for example, to the design of the puppets’ faces. Traditionally, they are hand-carved from linden wood, polished with beeswax and then painted. They represent different characters, from devils, witches and wizards to clowns, kings and princesses or even Czech celebrities such as Špejbl, Hurvínek or Švejk. Many of these beautiful puppets are true works of art. The stories of the puppet shows are based on classic stories like Faust, Don Giovanni or Czech historical dramas. In Prague there are many places to buy dolls and puppets. Here are some recommendations: In the Havel market you’ll find traditional wooden toys, costume jewelry, souvenirs, and handicrafts as well as vegetables, fresh fruit and flowers. Havel Market is one of the oldest markets in Prague and is a haven for collectors and bargain hunters. It is said that you’ll find the most beautiful and original puppets of the city here. The market is held every day from 8 am to 6 pm, and it’s located near Wenceslas Square. The Puppet gallery has...

The Magic of Skating on the Canals in Amsterdam

Once in a while the canals in Amsterdam are transformed into long ice rinks. It’s not a phenomenon that happens every year, in fact very difficult to foresee, but when it happens, the winter picture of the city is unbeatable. People all convene in the street, because for them it is a truly national event. Of course, skating on the canals of Amsterdam is a magical experience.

Tulip Mania: The National Tulip Day Inundates Amsterdam by Colors

Talking about Holland means talking about tulips. National Tulip Day, which is celebrated on January 17, marks the kick-off of the season in the low country. And of course, this is a day that is celebrated in style in the city of Amsterdam. In the city’s Dam Square, you’ll find the largest tulip garden you’ve ever seen. The city center is transformed into a festival of smells. Take a walk through what seems like a gigantic rainbow, buy flowers, or simply snap pictures that you won’t need to retouch with Instagram.

Sinterklaas 2013 – Amsterdam

St. Nicholas, typically associated to Christmas, will be the star of a great festival celebrated on the 17th of November 2013 in the Netherlands. This is not just a regular celebration; it is a rooted Dutch tradition that never fails to mesmerize locals and visitors. In anticipation of St. Nicholas’ arrival, streets, houses and shops all over the country are decorated with images of the venerable red-dressed old man with the white beard. Although it is not very clear why Sinterklaas lives in Spain, every year during mid-November he arrives by boat to Amsterdam along with his assistants the Zwarte Pieten (the black Peters). Wearing elegant medieval clothes, Sinterklaas and his assistants navigate the beautiful waters of the Amstel River, while waiving at families that enjoy his colorful parade from the riverbanks. The cheerful boat-parade ends at noon at Amsterdam’s Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum), where Santa and his assistants are welcomed by the city Mayor. Photo: Sander van der Wel At half past Twelve Sinterklaas gets on Americo, his beautiful white horse, and heads towards the famous Dam square in a joyful parade led by his beloved assistants, who throw millions of candies to the happy crowds that enjoy this show full of music and dances. At Dam Square, you’ll find thousands of families craning their necks to get a glimpse of Sinterklaas’ arrival. Multiple acrobat shows and, of course, the Zwarte Pieten, who wouldn’t spot throwing candies until everyone get a piece, liven up this beautiful event. Starting on the 17th of November and until the 6th of December, Santa and his loyal assistants get down the chimneys to...

Queen’s Day in Amsterdam

The arrival of the 30th of April becomes a huge event in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam. The Dutch celebrate their national day and their queen´s birthday in an atmosphere where festive cheer and fun gather more than 700,000 people. This year is especially unique since Queen Beatrice is abdicating her throne after the festival, after 33 years in it. Therefore it will be the last ´Queen´s Day´. From 2014, it will be the turn of her son and successor, King William, so this year´s Queen´s Day is expected to be especially emotive and multitudinous as a farewell to the outgoing Queen. The night before There´s so much will to party in the Dutch capital that the activities begin the night before Queen´s Day. From 7pm onwards, the parties start arising around the city and last until daylight. In the streets, in the bars… you´ll find entertainment everywhere! The markets If there´s something that Dutch people are passionate about, that´s commerce and this day is proof of that. From the early hours of the morning, the streets fill with stalls that sell anything and everything. Children and adults offer things that they want to get rid of (toys, books, clothes) in a jovial atmosphere, since the most important thing here is to socialise and have a good time, so everything is sold at symbolic prices. Try and bring cash since it´s a great chance to find some bargains. The Jordaan district This district is the most popular one during the festival since, as well as the numerous market stalls, drinks stands and food stands that you can find, there...

Paradiso in Amsterdam

If there are two places that we would never link together in this world, they are a club and a church. Just thinking that a sacred temple could be related or, even worse, become a profane and recreational temple dedicated to fun, seems like a crazy idea. Such a crazy idea that if it ever happened, it would have to be somewhere really crazy or open to different possibilities. If there´s somewhere in the world like that, that´s Amsterdam. And so, in this special city, famous for its coffee shops where it´s legal to smoke marihuana, its red light district, its canals, its museums and for being the capital of the Netherlands, there´s a club that used to be a church, a temple where all the local church goers used to go. This old temple was abandoned in time and it was restored as a venue for shows, something that could have only happened in Amsterdam (since I cannot imagine anywhere else where this could also happen, unless it´s a temple that was destroyed for X-reasons, but it´s not the case). The building, a very beautiful one, is today one of the biggest concert venues, clubs and cultural centres in the city. The ritual changed, although there´s a new ritual in place now, and it focuses on worship of music. Paradiso is divided in three areas: the first one is the concert venue, the second one is the club and the third and last one is the cultural centre. The concert venue is divided in two rooms; a big one and a small one. The latter is dedicated to...

Cannabis Cup 2012 in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the interesting capital of the Netherlands, full of museums, art in every corner, flowers, beautiful bike trails, beautiful sunsets in their channels and of course, its cafes licensed to sell marijuana ofthe best quality in the world. Perhaps this last point is the one that most tourists and everyone else, have in mind when visiting the city or at least is in the top positions in the ranking of reasons to visit Amsterdam. In all honesty, for fans and consumers of marijuana, Amsterdam is one of the paradises on earth and this grows even more in the days when they celebrate the “Cannabis Cup”. What is the Cannabis Cup?, Well, this is a contest, the largest worldwide contest where you choose Cannabis and taste the best sprouts of the season. As many may know, marijuana is harvested in autumn, like many other plants, including some famous wine  grape strains. Thus, in the Netherlands this harvest period is celebrated in the capital with a great contest where all varieties are tested and also you find crop management courses, fertilizers, such as testing and other,  basically its a festival on how to become a specialist in the subject, The 2012 version of the Cannabis Cup will be held from the18 to the 22 of November and do not forget that it is also a festival, the largest in the world, so you can share experiences with marijuana lovers worldwide and  spend days without feeling guilty or any kind of remorse because everything is legal, spreading peace and security to enjoy such a special event without any police disturbance Remember that...

PICNIC Festival Amsterdam 2012 Speaks New Ownership This Year

Amsterdam’s reputation has gotten a boost by hosting this event for the creative and innovation industries. The festival brings in around 3,500 professionals from all over the world, who are scattered and centered around the technological, governmental, nonprofit, creative and educational industries. This year the theme of the PICNIC Festival Amsterdam is ‘New Ownership: the shift from top down to bottom up’. The festival is going to have an overlook about how technology benefits people, business and organizations. Improvements, new ideas, concepts or even prototypes may be made. The organization may arise questions upon the improvements, which would clarify their mind and help them in using them in their company or organizations as well as, the festival would have a learning environment for them. New Ownership Awareness among the people has arisen to what it used to be, internet and social media play a strong role in it. People now know that matters can be taken into their hands, and every person has the potential to cause a change in the society. The change may be for small scale or even a greater scale. The main goal for the festival is to seek opportunities for transformation: products, models, processes, experiences, services and cultures. The festival is scheduled to be on September 17 and 18 at Amsterdam’s new EYE Film Institute. There would be seven main areas on which the PICNINC Festival 2012 would focus on. Those 7 main areas are: Fundamentals. Governance. Business. Sustainability. Education. Health/life sciences. Media The participants would have a wide range of activities. The program would include 6 of them those are: Co-creation workshops and...