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Playa Tortuga

June 27th, 2008

Playa Tortuga

With lots open-air cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from, Playa Tortugas in Cancun Mexico’s white sandy beach is a great beach to visit. With shopping and tons of watersports, you can definitely make this beach a day trip.

The water at this beach is clear, calm and deep which is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Playa Tortugas means Turtle Beach in English, here’s a perfect example as to why it is named this:

Diving in Playa Tortuga Reef 2007

If you want to rent snorkeling equipment head over to the northern end of the island. You can also rent sailboards there as well.

Tips for visiting Playa Tortuga

  • No entrance fee.
  • There is a public bus you can take that will drop you off right in front of the entrance.
  • This is one of the local’s favorite beaches so expect crowds.
  • Restrooms and changing areas are located along the northern end of this beach.

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Playa Delfines

June 25th, 2008

Playa Delfines

Playa Delfines is one of the less crowded beaches in Cancun Mexico, if you are looking for a Spring Break hot spot, this beach is not for you. This beach is more for avoiding the crowds, tanning and relaxing. Not the best place to swim because of the strong currents, swimming in these waters is dangerous. One of the highest points in Cancun, this beach has some of the best views. See a more relaxed side to Cancun and visit Playa Delfines.

Tips for visiting Playa Delfines

  • Free admission.
  • Restrooms at location.
  • Pack a lunch or bring a snack as there are not many places to eat near by.
  • Parking is limited so it would be a good idea to take a taxi or to take the bus.

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Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam

June 20th, 2008

Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam

Known for it’s trendy, hip fashions specifically for women, this street is typically less crowded than De Negen Straatjes or Kalverstraat. Lots of places to eat to choose from and excellent shopping basically sums up this place. You can find anything from fashionable clothing to gadgets and good food.

Two places to check out in Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam

  • Be sure to check out Pasja for some funky clothing fashions
  • de Keuken offers specialty kitchen products and a small, quaint restaurant

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De Negen Straatjes ‘The Nine Little Streets’ in Amsterdam

June 18th, 2008

De Negen Straatjes ‘The Nine Little Streets’

In the heart of Amsterdam you can find ‘The Nine Little Streets’; Amsterdam’s prestige shopping. Located between Raadhuisstraat and Leidsestraat, you can find anything from vintage stores to specialized theme stores. The coffee is amazing and the shops have a variety of specialty items, here are some examples:

  • Like shoes? Shoe designer Yvette Riemersma has a shop called Antonia by Yvette filled with this seasons latest fashions.
  • Enjoy the artwork of Bilal Chahal at BIHP, the Bar and restaurant that offers lunch, dinner, high tea, fine wines and cocktails.
  • Onitsuka Tiger Store Amsterdam carries imports from Japan such as sport shoes, clothes and accessories.
  • Marlies Katy Smit’s store, MK Jewelry has must see Designer Jewellery and Bespoke Jewelry. There are also Jewellers and Diamond Specialists.
  • Claire V is a designer boutique of designer silk and embroidered silk bags in the season’s best colors.

Interactive Google Map of de Negen Straatjes ‘The Nine little Streets’ in Amsterdam

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Canal Ring in Amsterdam

June 16th, 2008

Canal Ring in Amsterdam

In the 17th century, the Canal Ring became a very wealthy place. Famous merchants, extremely wealthy bankers and other very wealthy business owners built their magnificent homes here. The most prestigious residents built their homes on the Golden Bend or the Gouden Bocht. This area is located where all three canals intersect with Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. The Canal Ring is located Soutwest of the city center of Amsterdam. Also know as Grachtengordel, there are three main canals that make up this ring of canals:

The Princes\' Canal (Prinsengracht) Amsterdam

The Princes’ Canal (Prinsengracht)

The Emporer\'s Canal (Keizersgracht)

The Emporer’s Canal (Keizersgracht)

The Gentlemen\'s Canal (Herengracht) Amsterdam

The Gentlemen’s Canal (Herengracht)

The Canal Ring offers shopping, dining, museums and many other attractions.

 

Tips for visiting Canal Ring in Amsterdam

  • Bring an umbrella and a wind proof jacket as the weather in Amsterdam is known for changing often and very quickly.
  • Wear a good pair of walking shoes that will withstand the cobblestone streets.
  • There are a lot of people on bicycles, watch out for them when crossing the street.
  • Use a good map. Below is an interactive map of the Canal Ring by Google Maps:

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Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

June 13th, 2008

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

The Van Gogh Museum is located on Paulus Potterstraat 7 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The museum is home to more than 200 of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. In fact, it is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the world! Drawings and letters from the famous artist are also on display. Guided and audio tours are available through the museum.

Tips for getting the most out of your visit

  • Go to the information desk and pick up a free leaflet (available in 8 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Russian). The leaflet contains a biography of Van Gogh’s life and can be used while watching the presentation on the first floor of Van Gogh’s life in chronological order. The leaflet also contains a map of the entire museum by floor.
  • The audio tour is offered in 9 languages including Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin. If you are going to be visiting in a group you will need to make reservations in advance. If you are visiting with children ask about the Children’s Audio Tour (for children ages 7 to 12).
  • The Van Gogh multimedia tour uses PDA technology to take visitors on a tour through the museum featuring reproductions, stories, photos, letters, drawings, interviews, film clips, music and games. This tour is available in English and Dutch.
  • Don’t forget to stop by the Van Gogh Museum Shop. They have tons of informative books and magazines about Van Gogh and other artists from the 19th century.
  • The museum is accessible for disabled visitors.
  • To get to the museum take tram number 2 and 5 from the Central Station. Here is a map of the location below:

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Kalverstraat Amsterdam

June 11th, 2008

Kalverstraat Amsterdam

Kalverstraat in Amsterdam is the busiest shopping street of the entire street. Starting from Dam Square and ending about 750 meters down Munttoren, this street is the longest shopping street in Amsterdam packed with people! See the image below.

Kalverstraat Amsterdam

Tips for getting the most out of your Kalverstraat Amsterdam visit

  • Kalvertoren is a small shopping mall open 7 days a week. This mall stores such as features shops from department stores to boutiques. There are also many places to eat here as well.
  • It is most crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. Tuesday mornings are said to be the least crowded.

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The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam

June 9th, 2008

The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam

The Heineken Experience

This museum features rides, interactive exhibits and three bars. Learn about the evolution of the company’s history and brewing processes. The museum is currently closed for renovation until Summer of 2008 for expansion. Here is an overview of what the Heineken Experience has to offer prior to the expansion.

The Life of a Heineken Bottle Ride

Guests follow the path of the life of a Heineken bottle from making the bottle to filling the bottle to labeling and shipping the bottle. The floor of this ride moves for a better effect and the process is pretty cool to watch.

 

3 Free Heinekens

Heineken Beers

As you walk along the factory you will be given 3 free, fresh Heineken beers.

Souvenirs

At the end of your self guided tour of the factory visitors receive a complimentary souvenir from the Heineken factory

Other Attractions

  • Create your own music video and e-mail it to your friends.
  • Watch old Heineken commercials

Tips for getting the most out of your experience

  • Give yourself about 3 hours to take this self guided tour
  • Bring a camera as you will have many fun photo taking opportunities

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Museum Het Rembrandt in Amsterdam

June 6th, 2008

Museum Het Rembrandt in Amsterdam

Museum Het Rembrandt

The Museum Het Rembrandt is actually the artist’s 17th century house. Rembrandt lived and worked in the house from 1639 to 1658. The house has been recreated and very little of the original home remains but his artwork in displayed along with other artists from the 17th century on the upper levels of the home. The home has 10 rooms and is a sight to see itself.

Tips for getting the most out of your visit

  • But sure to check out the demonstrations of how Rembrandt created his sketch art.
  • Sketches are located in the new building attached to the old house
  • You can purchase reproductions of Rembrandt’s work as full sized prints or postcards in the museum’s gift shop

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The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

June 2nd, 2008

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

The Anne Frank House is located at #263 Prinsengracht in the center of Amsterdam. This is the infamous house where Anne Frank and 8 others hid during Nazi Germany. Their story was captured by Anne Frank and later discovered in the dairies she kept. On May 3rd 1960 the Anne Frank House officially opened as a museum. The museum is well preserved and contains many original objects on display including Anne Frank’s diary. Guests can walk through the house where there are different rooms with exhibits, including the actual hiding place behind the bookshelf door.

What you should know before you visit the museum:

  • The museum is open daily, check the official museum’s website for times here: The Anne Frank House Opening Hours & Admission Prices
  • Set aside at least one hour to explore the house. There are no tours or tour guides, only a tour brochure with background information about each room which is available at the entrance.
  • Due to the steep stairway, this museum is not accessible to guests with walking difficulties

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