Amsterdam's Old Church attacked by Robots in Tears of Steel

When in Amsterdam....understand Amsterdam has a thriving IT industry. The Blender Foundation is a Non-Profit Organization that spreads the word of Blender. Blender is a 3-D open source modelling program created by Foundation Chair Ton Roosendaal.

Established in 2002 the Blender Foundation has been supported by entrepreneurs, Netherlands Film Fund and  companies. The Foundation brings together talent to work on projects. The Blender Foundation also organizes an annual conference to support and share experiences and developments in the 3-D arena. The latest product is Tears of Steel.

Tears of Steel is the fourth project the Blender Foundation has produced. Watch as the iconic Old Church of Amsterdam in the middle of the Red Light District is overtaken by Robots. When in Amsterdam...Enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

IPhone 5 hits Amsterdam streets

When in Amsterdam...look out for product launches. Amsterdam as a diverse and international city is always a test case for new products.

Many have been gripped this week with the release of the IPhone 5. People have linned up for days and the pre-orders have topped 2 million for the new phone. The phone's ticket price is around 600 euros. Pranksters from Amsterdam's Apple shop decided to glue a new phones to Leidseplein, one the main squares in town. They sat back and enjoyed the site of passing people trying to pick up the phone. See the results. 

When in Amsterdam....Enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Art in Amsterdam's Red Light District

When in Amsterdam....the Red Light District hosts an Art Fair once a year. AIR (Art in the Red Light) is now in its 8th year. Contemporary Art, Photography and Jewelry go on display in the Old Church of Amsterdam.

AIR has been at the forefront to diversify Amsterdam's notorious Red Light District. The exhibition is displayed in the Gothic church in the middle of the district. This year the exhibition extends to the windows of the Church's outbuildings.
Installation by Jompet Kuswidanato  

59 local and international Artists are on display. Local artists include product designer Marjan van Aubel, landscape photographer and Amsterdam resident Wouter van Buuren and jeweler to the celebrities Otazu. International guests include acclaimed Indonesian visual artist Jompet Kuswidanato, Icelander and instillation artist Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson, and video, performance London artist Alexis Milne winner of the Start Point Prize.

Installation by Razia Barsatie

By Midas Zwaan

Printed Glass by Deborah Roffel

Paintings by Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson
By Tjalling Visser

In addition that all the art pieces are for sale each Artist provides a piece for auction. This auction is held towards the end of the exhibition. Part of the proceeds go to charity. AIR is supports Orange Babies, an organization that assist those suffering  AIDS in Africa.

The AIR exhibition runs 20 -23 September at the Old Church in Amsterdam.

The exhibition is free with admission. Those with an IAmsterdam Card or a Museum Card entrance is free.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

WW II Hero Honored with Amsterdam Bridge Name

When in Amsterdam....look at the names on our bridges. Amsterdam has over 2000 bridges. Many have been named after prominent people from Amsterdam.

On September 2, 2012, Bridge 234 was named the Pieter Meerburg Bridge. This bridge is located on the Nieuwe Keizesgracht near the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historic Museum.

Pieter Meerburg

Pieter Meerburg is credited with saving the lives of 350 Amsterdam children during the Nazi occupation. Meerburg was a student in Amsterdam during the Second World War. He organized Amsterdam Jewish children to be smuggled to safety and adopt a new identity.

The organization Pieter led was called the Amsterdam Student Group. Composed entirely of volunteers, the students, men and women, would pretend the Jewish babies were their own. They were assisted by an Amsterdam pediatrician Dr. Fiedeldij Dop. The doctor would cycle around to families whom were close to deportation and ask them entrust their infants to Meerburg.

When demand exceeded the number of safe houses Meerburg talked local business owners into providing sanctuary for the young Amsterdammers.

Bridge 234 now the Meerburg Bridge

Meerburg was titled "Righteous Among Nations" by the Israel association for Holocaust Remembrance in 1974. Pieter Meeburg died in 2010.

When in Amsterdam....look at our bridge names. There is a story at every bridge.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Monument Day

When in beginning of September Amsterdam opens monuments for the public. Amsterdam  Monument Day  allow people to access areas not normally open to the public. Best of all the event is Free!

This year 65 monuments are open. Each year there is a theme for 2012 it was Going Green in 2014 it was transport. Check their website for update information. Click here for a map of the locations.

The weekend is not just open monuments. There is a full program of events, walking and bike tours, and workshops. There is something for all ages. A children's program has also been developed for the youngsters.

Most of the information is in Dutch but there is a substantial English program.

A few of the buildings can only accommodate limited number of guests and reserved tickets are needed. At the moment of writing all were taken. Reserved tickets that are not claimed can be asked for at the main information center. Provided the days' popularity do prepare for lines for these tickets.The main information center for the weekend is the Amsterdam City Archives. Locally known as the Bazel Building.

Great weather is forecast for the event so get out an enjoy cultural Amsterdam.

The Omy Amsterdam Tours' City Centre Tour will incorporate the event in the tour on September 8 and 9. Tour group size is limited to 5 people. Limited space is available. Book here.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam's International Students: a few tips

When in Amsterdam...every year in August international students come to live in our beautiful city. OMY Amsterdam Tours and other independent tour operators come together to introduce Amsterdam to our new international students.

Amsterdam has always recognized the importance of international relations. Visiting students become an important part of our community and ambassadors of the city for life.

Welcome new International Students of Amsterdam

However, arriving in Amsterdam to live or visit is daunting. The body's senses overload with new sounds, sights and smells. Bicycles wizz past with little respect for pedestrians and the streets are like a Daedalus Labyrinth.

For our new international students we have these tips:


Get a Museum Card.

For just under 50 euros this card is worth every cent. You will have access to most of the museums in the city and hundreds throughout the country. The card allows unlimited access from the time of purchase for 365 days. On the rainy days before class pop into a museum for 10 -15 minutes and learn the history of beautiful Amsterdam.

Put Museum Night in your diary NOW. You will have to buy a ticket but this will be the best night of your semester in Amsterdam. Amsterdam museums open until 2am for one night of the year. Our cultural guardian museums fill with bands, DJs, special exhibitions targeting people 18-35 years old. Most major cities have such a night. Every year this event is sold out. In Amsterdam in 2012 it is November 3. Tickets go on sale October 3. Put it on your calender NOW. You can thank us later.


Get a bike

You won't be able to beat the all mighty bicycle in Amsterdam over six months so you may as well join us. If you are uneasy on a bike go to one of our open, quiet, squares or parks and practice. Do what the young childeren do when they start, go around and around in circles at different speeds. The cheapest legal bike you can buy is with ASVA. They meet once a week at the Student Information Centrum to sell bikes for around 55 euros.

Invest in good locks

Thousands of bikes are stolen each year in Amsterdam. You don't want to loose bike if you can help it. A two lock system is mandatory.

Learn to lock you bike

Never step away from your bike unlocked. Amsterdammers will attest to this. Always lock to something sturdy so you bike cannot be carried away or tossed into the canals. Always lock the front wheel to the frame. There is nothing worse then wheeling you bike home with one wheel.

Your bicycle will become you best friend in Amsterdam. Many students have fallen in love with their two wheel steeds. At the end of their stay they often ship their old Dutch bike home despite the cost.

Public Transport

Instead of bike you may need to use the public transport network. Get a discount card. For around 50 euros a year you get a 40% discount on public transport. If the website is too much go to the Centraal Station to speak to the people at GVB for advice.


Learn your local street market. Every neighborhood has one. The produce, in many instances is cheaper than the supermarket. The marketers are true hardy Amsterdammers. They stand out no matter what the weather. They are small business owners. Entrepreneurial spirit is at the heart of Amsterdam. Support them and Amsterdam becomes stronger.

Buy Flowers at your local market. Amsterdam street markets have access to the largest flower in the market in the world down the road. You can pick up flowers all year around for the price of a pint of beer. You will live in no other place in the western world and buy flowers so affordable.

Albert Heijn

The major supermarket chain in the Netherlands. Not always the most affordable AH is normally the most accessible  Make sure you get a bonus card. What discounts are on offer can only be afforded with a Bonus Card.

Alternative Supermarkets 

Dirk van den Broek is cheaper from Albert Hein by around 30% but no fish or meat.

Lidl is another affordable option.

C1000 is positioned in outer Amsterdam

Cheap Eats

The old city center does not offer to many cheap student meals. A few good places are located around the University of Amsterdam buildings.

T'Pakhuis - simple sturdy pub meals at good prices. Perfect for that night when you want to eat out. Prepare for a wait as the place is always busy.

Broodje Bert - (Single 321) A sandwich that resembles a mountain. This sandwich can not be eaten with your hands it is so big.

Walking Tours:

OMY Amsterdam Tours encourages our international students to learn about Amsterdam. If you have friends or family members visiting bring them on our City Centre, Red Light or Neighborhood Tours.

A 2-4-1 offer on demonstration of your University of Amsterdam student card will be offered until June 1 2013. Mention your student card in booking and bring it to the tour. Maximum of two student cards per tour.

If you have a group of international students and want to take one of our tours we will provide you a competitive price. All OMY tour guides were students. Check out our reviews.

Add to the knowledge

If you have a tips or advice to add please share. This way next year we can pass on your tips to the next international students in Amsterdam.

Most importantly when in Amsterdam ....ENJOY!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged