Amsterdam's Jordaan: Saturday Market

When in of the most beautiful parts of Amsterdam is the Jordaan. A working class district constructed in the early 17th century. 

Jordaan Market, Amsterdam.
The neighborhood was under threat from destruction in the 1970s. The local municipality wanted to modernize the area.

Locals got together and saved what was possible. Saturday is market day. Locals and visitors flock to the neighborhood by local produce and shopping for an array of items.

Our travel tip: On Saturday visit the Anne Frank House and book your tickets online so you don't have to line up. After, head up to the Jordaan market and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Jordaan. 

If you wish to visit the Jordaan join the Omy Amsterdam Jordaan sightseeing walking Tour. Groups are limited to 4 people. This allows you to pop into local places and experience the beauty of the Jordaan. 

For more information visit our website:

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

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This Day in Amsterdam History: 31 January 1696

The Amsterdam City Council had decided to impose tax early in the month on the burial of people and businesses engage in funerals. Industry people spread the word that the poor would be unfairly affected.

People that had suffered under previous taxes revolted at the new tax. On 31 January 1696 furious  set upon the house of Mayor Jacob Boreel on the Herengracht. They thew all of his belongings into the canal. The mob then descended on the house of city Captain. He was already hated for his heavy handed approach.

The City Council acted fast. The city militia was allowed to shoot on the crowd. Two rioters who had gained entrance to the weigh house on Dam Square were thrown out of the window.

The riot stopped as suddenly as it had started. The end result was that the tax on the dead was repealed.

Photo: from Amsterdam City Archives (no google+ account)
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When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Best Coffeeshops in Amsterdam: small and local

When in coffeeshop questions have always been asked. Mindful that most Amsterdammer do not smoke weed. We sent out a resident specialist guide from the Amsterdam Coffeeshop Industry Tour to check out the best of Amsterdam's famous cannabis coffeeshops. Please note that the Tour is not a smoking tour but a tour on the development of the industry in Amsterdam.

The criteria was simple find Amsterdam Coffee Shops that :

  1. Are known for their quality.
  2. Are small and local. Not the well marketed high profile sites.
  3. Finally, are known for consistent and high quality.

Utopia Coffeeshop

Located in the old historic centre this unassuming place is easy to miss. Smoking locals and regular toking visitors to Amsterdam have always had high regard for this cannabis and hash Coffeeshop. Always known for their friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere the shop is only open from 6pm due to new 2014 restrictions. Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 132.


Located at the top of town in front of the Eastern end of Central station. This Coffeeshop is multiple award winner of the prestigious 420 Best Coffeeshop Award. Their product is blue ribbon material. Opening hours are not set. They open and close when they wish. True professional stoners. Address: Geldersekade 2.

Worthy mentions outside City Centre

1e Hulp

Located in the inner west. 1e Hulp, translated to 1st Aid, has been a locals' favourite for many years
Also, a recipient of bronze and silver 420 medals this is a typical local hangout. The 1940s interior and relaxing environment and quality product has meant 1e Hulp makes our list. Address: Marnixstraat 194.

Club Media
Located just off the famous Albert Cyup Market in the now trendy De Pijp neighbourhood.  Club Media is a clean and local the place has a menu full of organic weed. Famous for affordability and organic produce. Address: Gerard Doustraat 83 85.

If you wish to make your own decision feel free to analyse on a community board called The Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!
When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Sightseeing Guided Tours: an overview

When in Amsterdam...a sightseeing walking tour is always recommended. The compact old city centre has a surprise around every corner. Amsterdam is also a great base to explore the surrounding countryside.

This post is an overview of the tours available in Amsterdam. It is not an exhaustive list but a guide to your choices and the pros and cons of your choice.

Why take a tour in Amsterdam:
  • You learn something.
  • You get a real person with which to talk. No recorded messages that have replayed for years.
  • There is no stress for you about directions.
  • You cover a lot in a small amount of time.
  • You get your bearings and tips to enjoy the rest of your time in Amsterdam.
  • You receive local recommendations instead of what is on the web. We notice that Amsterdam web recommendations are always the same. This is because many people writing on the web do not live in Amsterdam.
  • Always recommended on the first days of arrival.

Types of sightseeing walking tours:
  • Large group mainstream tours
Large group is defined as any tour of more than 12 people. Normally 15 to 50 is the regular size for this group. This is specific to Amsterdam or any small town.

- value for money
- provide an overview of the city 
- hit main sights
- you can tick a lot off your list
- cater to large travelling groups

- You are limited to staying outside for most of the tour.
- Interaction is limited with the guide due to the number of people.
- You are prone to up-sells. 
- The guides are working the commissions
- The places you are taken are designed to cater to mainstream tourism.
- Not so flexible. You are on a strict schedule.

The main players in this group are:

Amsterdam City Tours

Started by a family it is now one of the largest tour agencies in Amsterdam. They cater to travellers and business groups in an wide range of languages.

Tours and Tickets

This company burst onto the scene a few years ago. You will find there offices at all the main locations in Amsterdam. They teamed up with Lindbergh Tours in 2013. Most of the tours you will find advertised on the internet will filter back to this large organisation.

Lindbergh Tours

This company teamed up with Tours and Tickets. It is an older company than Tours and Tickets, they are an incoming tour provider. They also can organise hotels and transfers.

Sandman's New Europe Tours

A large multinational headquartered in Berlin. They provide free tours and smaller paid topical tours. Groups are normally 30 people or more. Lead by local youngsters these tours are frequented by the budget traveller or college student.

  • Small Group Sightseeing Tours
Small group sightseeing tours are defined by groups of fewer than 12 people.  This group also includes independent tour operators. These operators may do a tour of more than 12 people but rarely. Becareful, when searching 'small group tours' in Amsterdam many are not that small. Remember the city is small so the smaller the group the better for this category.

- Cover more in a short amount of time
- Get out of the weather. Amsterdam weather is always changeable. Small groups let you escape the worst of a storm in a local hangout cafe. 
- More time to talk and ask questions of the guide
- Personalised feeling.
- Can also provide private sightseeing tours of Amsterdam.

- You may not like the guide
- Not a large group of travellers with which to interact.

Some of the many independent sightseeing guided tour operators in Amsterdam:

Omy Amsterdam Tours

Established by guides that worked for the mainstream companies. They take small groups to the extreme with groups of 4 or 6 people maximum depending on the tour.

Joy Ride Bike Tours

Highly rated local Amsterdam company that prides itself on good customer service. Rated #1 Bike Tour company in Amsterdam.


A former student at the local University of Amsterdam. Amsterdamsel has built up a netwok of guides and locals to cater to her ever growing demand.

Final Point

Whether big or small there is an activity for you to do in Amsterdam. Have a look through review sights like Tripadvisor or Yelp. Always remember to read the reviews with a grain of salt. Most importantly....

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

European Travel Shoe Tips

When in walk a lot. A European trip always means time on your feet. Shoes are important. Your first line of defence against the dreaded blister.

Do not wear those white sneakers! Leave those white tennis shoes at home. Walking through Europe the comfy white sneaker does't cut it.

  • They stand out and scream tourist.
  • Once they are wet and dirty they look wet and dirty.

Everyone wants to look good. Yet, there will be times you need to chase down that train, plane or bus. You need a shoe that is comfortable, durable, but stylish.

We have asked our guides what shoes they wear. We also searched "best travel shoes for Europe" and synthesised the results.

What to look for:

  • Rubber soled shoes
  • Shoes that can be worn to all occasions. From walking tour to a nice dinner.
  • Leather. Always looks good and great for those rainy days.

Women's' shoes

  • Rubber soled flats. They get you over the cobbled stones and look good on most women.
  • Loafers. They come in a range of colours and styles.
  • Ankle high boots with rubber sole. 
  • Coloured sneakers. Show your personality.

Men's shoes
  • Leather loafers
  • Dark leather sneakers

Recommended shoe brands for travel:
  • Break those shoes in before you leave.
  • Socks are important too.
  • Rub soap on the inside of your sock where you are prone to blisters.

Here is a list of webpages to further your reading:
- The savvy backpacker
- Walking Shoe Guide

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged