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Day-Tripping in Amsterdam

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Moving into the colder months, be sure to carry an umbrella or rain coat when you visit Amsterdam. Don't let the rain stop you from renting a bicycle. It's still the best way to see Amsterdam.

A city on a uniquely human-scale, there's so much to see in Amsterdam, focusing day trips in a single area will help you enjoy the city at a leisurely pace.   
MUSEUMPLEIN AND DE PIJP Amsterdam is home to dozens of great museums, not the least of which are the Amsterdam Historical Museum (Kalverstraat 92) , the inspiring Dutch Resistance Museum (Plantage Kerklaan 61), the Filmmuseum (Vondelpark 3), the Foam-Fotografiemuseum (Keizersgracht 609), the Royal Palace (Dam), and the remarkable Hermitage Amsterdam (Amstel 51). 
For a day trip, three of Amsterdam's best museums are conveniently within a block of one another in the Museum Plaza (Museumplein) just south of the city center.  
Ongoing renovation has temporarily closed the Stedelijk Museum (Museumplein 10) which houses an imp…

Hotels Pursue the Female Business Traveler

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Women are traveling more than ever and we're not talking about Thelma and Louise road trips.

Business not pleasure is getting women to pack their bags and travel to distant cities.  Web sites like Traveling MomThe Woman Road Warrior and Blue Suit Mom address a group seeking to balance work and family while being on the road.

Hotels recognize the trend. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reports that 35 percent of their business clients are women.

Trisha Clayton at the Mandarin Oriental notes that the mix at their San Francisco property is even higher, with women accounting for 40% of their business travelers.  Their just launched "Perfect Pair" program offers a two-room combo where a woman can have a separate bedroom and office space or, if the kids have joined her on the trip, a second bedroom. Their bath butler service, featuring bath salts, creams, hot oils and body washes, offers "Romance in the Clouds" and "Escape to the Pacific," necessary indulge…

Amsterdam's Food Scene

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EATING IN AMSTERDAM Most travelers agree, you don't go to Amsterdam for the food. The museums, no question. The canals and parks, absolutely. The Red Light District and the "coffee shops," sure, if that's your thing. But the food.  Not so much.

The restaurant food is hit-or-miss. Most dishes are under seasoned, but that doesn't mean you won't eat well.  You'll have good cafe food--great sandwiches, delicious cheese, excellent coffee, and lots of really good breads, rolls, and desserts.

EATING AND DRINKING WHAT'S LOCAL
Interestingly, some Dutch export products consumed at home taste much better when you're in Holland.  Heineken and Grolsch, for instance, have more subtleties and depth of flavor.    
Gouda isn't generally regarded as a particularly interesting cheese, but stop by Kaasland Singel (Haarlemmerstraat 2), west of Centraal Station, and have a sampling of the locally produced cheeses.  You'll be surprised that gouda can have a creamy…

Amsterdam 101

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AMSTERDAM, AN EASY GATEWAY TO EUROPE
The Netherlands is a good starter-country for Americans who want to visit Europe.

With easy access through Schiphol airport, Amsterdam is a compact city, hosting dozens of world class museums, miles of picturesque canals, well-maintained parks, narrow streets with old-world charm, hundreds of outdoor cafes and cozy bars.

Most importantly, English is the second language. So don't worry if you need help. You don't have to ask, "Do you speak English?" because everyone does. The city is a good destination for couples on a romantic get-away, families with children who want a rich cultural experience, and young men and women on holiday in search of entertainment and night life.
Amsterdam prides itself on being a dynamic city and the best way to keep up with new developments is to check out the Netherlands Tourism Board's frequently updated web site offering the latest information about accommodations, attractions, and entertainment…