It's likely common sense that Amsterdam is one of the world's most authentic cities in part because of its permissive approach towards cannabis use. However, despite all efforts to advertise uncountable wonderful qualities the Dutch nation has to offer, the Netherlands is far from being the country where people smoke weed the most.
It's quite a long time since the day when my future aspirations would be shaped to become my life's biggest dream. Looking back 10 years ago, I can still picture myself on that airplane; my wanderlust was in search of an exciting new journey to lead to the unknown. That was March 2011 when I visited Amsterdam for the first time. It was love at first sight. Madly.
The Netherlands is a shameless country where the inside of people’s houses is widely shared like an open book. The daily routine of families is unfolded to anybody’s curiosity: as long as somebody is paying attention to it. For the record, I am. This impulse of keeping a secret watch on their privacy is just something I cannot help. Can you?
The convenience of being in a small country is the facility of moving around within a couple of hours. Cities are close enough and allow us to explore the surrounds whilst we bring joy to ourselves facing new landscapes and fresh environments. In the Netherlands this proves to be right. Plus, we can get it all: beaches, hills, forests, urban life, medieval villages, and much more.
Even if you don't live in the Netherlands, it won't take long until you notice, when you visit the country, that the main vehicle used by its citizens is something much more than just a means of transport to go from A to B: it's a lifestyle, something so personal that ends up becoming a companion for life. It's part of what being Dutch means.
She is a cheerful and light soul and the driving force behind the longest-lasting coffee shop in Europe. For the last 22 years, Marie Louise Velder has been opening the doors of 't Zonnetje koffie thee en kruiden and welcoming clients who trust her curatorship to pour them a selection of the most refined assortment of coffee in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is one of the most inviting cities to people who choose meat-free meals. Even if the restaurant is not dedicated to vegetarians or vegans, there is a good chance the place can easily cater to these customers' preferences. It is one of the best moments to come to Amsterdam for the ones who crave meals in which vegetables are the star of the show.
How much does a person have to be fascinated by a certain place to dedicate his entire life to study it? Not to mention this certain place remained untouchable and unvisited for years until this person could finally get in? This is the story of Sjoerd de Vries, an eccentric, nice and cheerful Dutchman who I met by coincidence during my daily strolls in Amsterdam.
Nobody chooses to live on a boat by chance. It's not a random choice of housing. On the contrary. You might want to get married to your boat and also deal with expectations and frustrations, to have patience and focus. However, in the end of the day, these four houseboat owners guarantee me that the advantages are greater when comparing to a house on the land.
A few months before my first visit to Rotterdam (2015), an arquitectonic landmark in the city had just opened. It was MarktHalle. An exciting discovery especially due to its purpose: besides its impressive building housing two hundred apartments, it is also a vibrant food market. It is the largest covered market in Holland.