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Europe 2015

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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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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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Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
During Holland's Golden Age, when spice trade with Asia and North Africa was booming, wealthy merchants built mansions along the expanding canal ring that became Amsterdam. Today the fashionable homes have been reincarnated as upscale offices,...
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Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
From vintage shops and hipster boutiques in the Negen Straats (Nine Streets) to posh designer outlets on P.C. Hoofstraat, Amsterdam's shopping scene is nothing if not eclectic. There's something for everyone on Kalverstraat, a shopping street that...
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Singel, 1012 XG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
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Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Going here and seeing all the instruments of torture really sent shivers down my spine. Very cool to see but in a really creepy way, like the Human Body Exhibit :). From the top you get very nice views of Gent. Worth a visit if you are in Gent.
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Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Sivan Askayo visited Flanders as a guest of Visit Flanders. The Design Museum of Ghent is located in a beautiful 18th-century house that belonged to a rich Flemish family. The original parquet floors and the decorated walls and ceiling are well...
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Korianderstraat 2, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Belgium is known for a lot of things and fine beer is near the top of that list. Given how popular beer is I was surprised to learn that there’s only one operating brewery in Ghent itself, but what a brewery it is. The Gruut Brewery is relatively...
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Pijlsteeg 31, 1012 HH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wynand Fockink founded his namesake distillery on this narrow alleyway off Dam Square in 1724 (and the building is even older, dating to 1679); some 70 varieties of jenever (Dutch gin), fruit brandy, and liqueur are still produced here today. In...
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Herengracht 90, 1015 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Arendsnest is a pub specializing in Dutch beer. There are many, as it turns out—the Belgians get all the glory, but the Dutch are also fine brewers. They also serve a really great variety of cheese, a reminder that nothing goes with cheese as...
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Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amazing brew and an even better view—what's not to love about Hannekes Boom, a relaxing beer garden in the revitalized neighborhood surrounding Amsterdam's Central Station? In addition to drinks and hearty nachos, sandwiches, and burgers...
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Marnixstraat 164-166, 1016 TG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Don't dress up to visit this grunge bar tucked on Marnixgracht in Amsterdam's Oude West. Don't be put off by the abundant graffiti covering its gritty exterior, either. Inside, Café Soundgarden is a welcoming, unpretentious pub with a spectacular...
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Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
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Westerstraat 30, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
While walking the streets of Amsterdam I stumbled on this great local cafe that has "Boca's" (aka small tapas like sandwiches). There were lots of options from sweet to savory to choose + a great beer and wine selection. It is a perfect place for...
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Tweede Egelantiersdwarsstraat 2, 1015 SC Amsterdam, Netherlands
It was the fifth of seven food stops on our Jordaan Food Tour (http://www.eatingamsterdamtours.com/jordaan-food-tour/), a four-hour gastronomic adventure through one of Amsterdam's most scenic and historic neighborhoods. We'd already devoured...
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Are the Dutch so tall because they consume so much dairy? Hard to say, but the important thing is that delectable cheese made from the milk of cows and sheep grazing on lush pastures in Holland is sold throughout Amsterdam. Netherlanders have been...
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Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Just down the street from the Anne Frank House is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. It feels more like a shop, shelves filled to the ceiling with a huge variety of Dutch cheeses, including the world-famous gouda and edam varieties. If you are strolling...
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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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Prinsengracht 381, 1016 HL Amsterdam, Netherlands
If artful cuisine served in sleek yet homey ambiance appeals, it would be sinful to miss Envy, a chic pearl on Prinsengracht, honored for the sixth consecutive year by Michelin. You're not likely to commit gluttony at this Italian deli-inspired...
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Warmoesstraat 129, 1012 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cocktail bar-restaurants typically excel at one or the other, rarely both tipple and nibble. Four month old Tales & Spirits, located in the beating heart of Amsterdam, manages to succeed on both fronts. The cocktails are both creative in name...
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Rozengracht 2, 1016 NB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The atmosphere is heavy, the decibel level very low, and the wooden decor both comforting, and inviting. People in this café are either locals reading the newspapers while sipping a cappuccino, or, like me, tourists who just visited the Anne Frank...
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Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Whether you call them 'pancakes', 'crepes', or 'pizzas', the delicious creations at the Pancake Bakery are sure to satisfy any hungry traveler. Directly down the street from the Anne Frank House, this restaurant is a small and consistently...
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Elandsgracht 108, 1016 VA Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a rainy summer night (thunder! lightening!), we had very low expectations of getting a table at Balthazar's Keuken—mostly because something I read said that it was hard to get in. But there was a table, right in the back by the open...
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With the opening of this salon-de-thé meets pâtisserie in August, the left bank got a lot more interesting. Graduates of Ferrandi cooking school, Charlotte Siles and Guillaume Gil sought to create a contemporary environment where gourmands of...
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93 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France
I had my misgivings about La Patisserie des Rêves (literally, the pastry shop of dreams). Widely hyped since its opening in 2009, Philippe Conticini's whimsical space breaks with traditional codes both in decor and dessert. I had seen photos of...