11. January 2013 09:05
If 2012 was all about London, 2013 is shaping up to be Amsterdam's year. There may not be an Olympics or Jubilee scheduled in the calendar, but there are a succession of key anniversaries and events taking place in the Dutch capital. We take a look at five worth getting excited about:
Four centuries of Amsterdam's canals
Arguably Amsterdam's most iconic sight, 2013 marks 400 years of the city's historic Canal Ring - a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world's most unique urban landscapes. The three most famous are Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht; symbols of the Dutch Golden Age. There are more than 100km of canals in total, in addition to 1,500 bridges and 1,550 monumental buildings.
Canal celebrations tend to culminate on Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) on 30th April, a national holiday that marks the birthday of More...
27. December 2012 10:35
With four days to go until New Year's Eve, we spoke to bloggers and travel industry experts to find out the best places to welcome in 2013.
Alice Bzowska: Budapest
Hungarians take New Year's Eve seriously and it should come as no surprise that one of the most exciting places to celebrate the end of one year and the start of another is in the capital city of Budapest.
Szilveszter, as it's known to the locals, comes in the form of anything from swanky fancy dress balls to dinner on the Danube River with traditional folk dances and live gypsy music.
Partying in one of the many charming and cobbled squares is a great way to welcome in the New Year, and one of the most exciting of these is Vorosmarty Square. Winter parties in this stunning More...
14. March 2011 11:44
A nurse from North Yorkshire has taken up the challenge of walking 2000 miles across Western Europe for charity, using maps supplied by Stanfords. Andy Dennis, a staff nurse on the Intensive Care Unit at Harrogate District Hospital, will be walking from A to B - from Amsterdam to Barcelona - to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF – or Doctors Without Borders – is an international humanitarian medical aid organisation that provides care to those affected by conflict, epidemics and natural disasters in over 60 countries around the world. Andy has previously worked for the charity on projects with displaced people in Uganda and Sudan.
So far, intrepid Andy has raised over £13,000 through talent contests, concerts, radio interviews and burlesque nights. He aims to bring this amount up to £16,800 with donations and further fundraising events. This money will then be used directly to fund two crucially important MSF volunteer placements abroad. Passionate about the vital work that the organisation does, Andy says: “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with MSF and I now wish to help provide this opportunity for others.” More...
4. January 2010 17:36
Capital of the Netherlands and yet Amsterdam is a city you can easily explore by foot. From my first steps in the city I loved its atmosphere; quirky and open-minded, the city is a delight to visit.
Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world; there are bikes everywhere in the streets. To give you an idea, there are about 500,000 bicycles for about 760,000 inhabitants! It is not something you expect from a European capital.
Amsterdam is, in my opinion, much more than the “coffee shops city”, this beautiful city deserves to be known for its wonderful architecture, particularly in the historic centre; and for its peaceful and quiet atmosphere, which is ideal for a relaxing weekend trip.
I particularly liked wandering in the fabulous floating flower market (Bloemenmark) with its colourful cactuses, tulips and bulbs of all kinds. I could not resist buying a few of them! More...