Encircled by canals and bursting with color, Amsterdam is a city of bike trails, tulip beds and 800 years of history. Start pedaling...
ILLUSTRATIONS PETER JAMESFIELD
OWNER, DESTINATION SHOP
“The Restaurant As is a cool concept. It’s built in a church that used to be a techno club in the nineties. Now it has big communal tables and serves locally sourced food.”
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
“The Tuschinski Theatre, which was built in 1921, is my favorite place in the city. D.A. Pennebaker, Werner Herzog and Frederick Wiseman have all had premieres in the beautiful main theater.”
MARLOES VAN VUGT
OWNER, WALLS GALLERY
“I really love the Nine Streets. It’s full of boutiques, cafés, bars and all kinds of creative people. I still discover new things every time I go back.”
Image – Photolibrary
THE ALKMAAR CHEESE MARKET IS A DAIRY PARADISE
Wisconsinites may have claimed the nickname, but the Dutch are the true cheeseheads, and there’s no better place to sample their wares than the Alkmaar Cheese Market. A short drive from Amsterdam, Alkmaar is a sleepy Dutch town best known for a cheese bazaar it has hosted for 400 years. Each Friday, men in crisp white getups pull wooden sleds stacked with golden wheels of gouda to the town square. The cheese is laid out in long rows, just like it was in the 1600s, when dealers from across Europe traveled here to snatch up cheese wheels. Today the market is just for show, but visitors can get their fill of edam and gouda from booths surrounding the square. The market is open from April to September.
Image – Courtesy of Museum
of Bags and Purses
AMSTERDAM HAS A HOST OF STRANGE MUSEUMS
Plenty of cities boast art and history museums, but how many can claim entire institutions dedicated to cats, purses and houseboats? The KattenKabinet is a 17th century canal house that’s been transformed into a shrine to the feline, complete with paintings and poems. Pay close attention and you may spot a few furballs lounging next to the exhibits. A few blocks away another stately canal house has been converted into the haute Museum of Bags and Purses, which celebrates fancy totes from around the world with a collection of 4,000 pieces. Finally, located on the Prinsengracht Canal in the Jordaan, one finds the Houseboat Museum, which invites visitors inside to experience what life is like on the water. Go ahead, get your feet wet.