Who knew you could buy a little string instrument for as little as €35, learn to play it in days and ramp up in weeks to performing in an urban orchestra? If you're looking for a laugh to go along with your live music, hit Amsterdam's Uke Boutique, a canalside shop with a website that borrows a line from Beatle George Harrison to let us in on a little secret: "Everyone should have and play a uke. You can't play and not laugh."
The small showroom stocks a wide range of ukuleles, from basic acoustic to concert, electric and designer models. You can also buy accessories, books, sheet music and handcrafted "ukalicious" straps, both in the shop and online. In addition to ukuleles, other small instruments are available, including harmonicas, flutes and melodicas.
Both group and individual lessons are offered, for adults as well as children. The shop also plans ukulele workshops for parties and corporate team-building events. For a real laugh, order a whimsical, custom doll in the likeness of yourself or a friend, hand-crafted by The Uke Boutique's owner, who also operates Crazy Orphelia's Arts Emporium from inside her instrument shop. They're not cheap, but they sure are funny!