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Iona Brannon’s Europe

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Begijnhof 29, 1012 WT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Escape the bustle of the city by ducking into the quiet courtyard garden of Begijnhof. Located just a few minutes on foot from the Koningsplein and the Singel canal, this tranquil oasis dates back at least as far as the 14th century. Look among...
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Herengracht 427, 1017 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring Amsterdam aboard a canal boat is an iconic way to see the sights, with myriad tours and cruises plying the 65 miles of waterways that lattice the city. From many spots you can join simple, hour-long cruises with narrators describing...
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Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s State Museum reopened in 2013 after a decade of renovations, and it is oh so worth a visit! Weave your way through the museum's vast assemblage of historic art (there are over 8,000 pieces!) to check out works from Dutch masters...
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Nieuwe Leliestraat 4, 1015 SP Amsterdam, Netherlands
When I think of Amsterdam, I immediately think of the national liquor of the Netherlands, Genever. Genever or Jenever (for Juniper) is a grain product invented in the 1600's in the Netherlands, and it is from this product that gin evolved. You can...
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Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
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De Wallen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The red-light district in Amsterdam is a very busy place with an odd mix of life in one small neighborhood. In a peculiar way it’s very beautiful—there’s so much happening both visually and mentally it takes a bit to process it...
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Timorplein 62, 1094 CC Amsterdam, Netherlands
“If I want to know what’s going on, I go to Studio/K, a cool cinema and café. It’s run by students from universities around the city who are really on top of what’s happening in terms of concerts and events. In the...
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Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands
If €18 for a few glasses of Dutch brew served against a backdrop of old Heineken commercials and a quasi-3D movie starring a guy swimming in a pool of beer sounds entertaining, by all means visit The Heineken Experience. You may find your...
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Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unexpected surprises abound in Amsterdam. On the city's east side, you'll find one denoted by a tall windmill: Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery), a small brewery and pub situated in the former Funen bathhouse, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Opened...
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London's Chinatown, wedged between Shaftesbury Avenue and Leicester Square, is the go-to destination for locals wanting to grab some great food before a show, or after a big night out. There are endless good restaurants along these backstreets,...