Amsterdam: It is not just funky cigarettes and Red Lights
When people think of Amsterdam certain images pop into their head. There is the famous Red Light District. The 160 man made canals that intersects throughout the city. The coffee shops that sell other things besides coffee. Yet if you know where to look you will find an active community of fellow alcohol connoisseurs. Amsterdam has been for centuries an open tolerant city. While the rest of Europe raged with religious violence in the 1700’s Catholics and Protestants and Jews lived side by side. This openness continues today and makes Amsterdam a welcoming city for its 730,000 residents and tourists alike. You will hear many different languages as you walk the streets throughout the city. The history of Dutch colonialism and its influence will be found throughout the city from its wonderful Asian restaurants to its large diamond brokerage houses. Amsterdam has also undergone a serious cleanup effort in the last several years to the point where the canals are now flushed twice a week and fish have returned to these beautiful canals.
A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without visiting the main cultural sites of this dynamic city. One museum you must visit is the Rijksmuseum which holds many of the great Dutch Masters greatest works including Rembrandt’s famous painting the “Night Watch”. Other great works will captivate your eye and soul from the 15 to 17th century. Though after a leisurely tour of the Rijksmuseum continue a short distance to the greatest whiskey bar in all of Amsterdam, the Whiskycafe L&B.
Whiskycafe L&B has been open for over 35 years and has an amazing selection of over 950 whiskies from distilleries around the world. This snug wood paneled bar with chalkboards all around you listing all the different whiskies available. The bar is located on a popular street filled with great restaurants and other great bars. It has a wonderful relaxed vibe and you will find people of all ages and income enjoying a great whiskey and conversation. The bar staff encourages you to ask questions about different whiskies and regions it comes from. The owner Leon Eslshoff also runs whiskey tastings at the bar on certain days to anyone who wants to learn more about whiskey.
Another cultural spot to visit is the recently expanded Anne Frank Museum. It is a riveting experience that has also been updated to include the recreation of Otto Frank’s business. What was once a warehouse commercial area during Anne Frank’s time is now filled with hotels, restaurants and even a great pancake house down the street. A short walk from the museum is the Cadenhead shop of Holland.
So take the time and visit the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Rent a bike and crisscross the many canals that intersect the city. Visit the museums that hold such a rich European history. Wake up early in the morning to visit the tulip gardens and later stroll to a wonderful pancake house for brunch. Though in the end visit and drink like the locals with our friends at the Cadenhead shop of Amsterdam and the Whiskybar L&B.
Anne Frank Stichting Postbus 730 1000 AS Amsterdam telefoon: +31 (0)20 - 5567100 fax: +31 (0)20 – 6207999
Stadhouderskade 42; entrance during renovations: Jan Luijkenstraat 1, Amsterdam, Netherlands Phone: 020/674-7000
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 82-84
1017 RD Amsterdam
Cadenhead of Amsterdam
Rozengracht 232 1016 SZ Amsterdam Tel nr 020-3306287
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