Three Sisters in Amsterdam

by Murielle Blanchard
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This year my two sisters and I decided to forget about gifts for Christmas and birthdays but instead to create precious memories. From now on we are going to celebrate once a year with a 4 night trip somewhere. This year was Amsterdam.

It was a perfect choice especially for traveling in April since it is prime time for the tulips. I would love to share with you my favorite highlights.

My top five museums are of course the great Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank House, but also the Rembrandt House and the often overlooked Willet-Holthuysen museum. I like when a museum is located in a private mansion with a private collection. It gives you a real feel for life at the time. The Willet-Holthuysen museum is located in the 1687 canal house of the wealthy heiress Louise Holthuysen and the art collector Abraham Willet. It is an interesting look inside a typical home with much of the original furniture and décor. It was the social hub of Amsterdam at the time.

The charm of Amsterdam resides in its canals, its colorful homes, its bookstores (there is one in every corner), its small shops and its people. For a taste of authentic Amsterdam flavor and Dutch culture I highly recommend a visit to a traditional Dutch pub known as a “brown cafe”. These local watering-holes are a quintessential part of Amsterdam’s culture and are the favorite haunts of some colorful local people. We made it our lunch stop every day.

If you are visiting Amsterdam in April do not miss a visit to the Keukenhof garden. It is a very easy 45 minutes bus ride and it is spectacular. The different designs and landscapes vary from traditional to very innovative. Each area is a piece of art.

My last suggestion for a pleasant day in Amsterdam is to rent a bike and join the locals. Be aware they go fast. You cannot look up and admire the canal houses. The best for that is to take a canal cruise or walk.

Let’s meet again next year …….