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Amsterdam – Did you know?

Amsterdam can be a pretty odd place. There are all sorts of little facts and things that locals know about but strangers would never expect. I bet you didn’t know any of these things about Amsterdam.

The name Amsterdam comes from the combination of the river Amstel and the dam that was built on it in order to found the original village there. You might have heard of Amstel as the name of a beer that was named after the river, because that’s where it was brewed.

Amsterdam has the most museums of any city in the world, measured per square metre. There’s a museum around almost every corner, covering all sorts of weird and wonderful topics, from famous painters to (inevitably) the history of marijuana.

If global warming causes the sea levels to rise, Amsterdam will be one of the first world cities to get flooded, because it’s so close to sea level and is almost entirely flat. Better see it while you can!

You can’t visit Amsterdam’s parliament building, because there isn’t one. Although Amsterdam is the largest town in the Netherlands and is the official capital, all of the government functions take place at the Hague.

When it comes to transport, Amsterdam boasts over 600,000 bicycles, almost 250 trams, over 150 canals – and around 1,200 bridges. Hardly anyone drives in the city centre, and it’s almost impossible to find anywhere to park there.

Finally, you almost certainly won’t know that one of the canal boats in Amsterdam, known as the Poezenboot, acts as a home for stray cats. A woman who had been re-housing stray cats had the idea of getting them a houseboat – after all, if people can live in them, why not cats? Forty years later, the volunteers at the shelter look after seventy cats at a time.

The history of Amsterdams red – Part 1

The Dutch are moral realists. They don’t believe that making so-called vices illegal will cause them to go away, or result in fewer people indulging in them. In the Netherlands, both prostitution and the purchase and smoking of marijuana are legal, based on the theory that since many people will pursue these activities anyway, you might as well create safe and comfortable venues for them.

When I visited the 800-year-old red-light district, or Rossebuurt, of Amsterdam in 1984, I was coming from a city well-known in the U.S. for its moral liberalism: San Francisco. Yet even in San Francisco, as in every other town and city in America, prostitution is against the law. Sex workers either hide away, reachable only by phone or the Internet, or they lurk on street corners in the seedier parts of town, where they are the victims of beatings, robberies, murder, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. In contrast, Amsterdam red-light prostitutes pay taxes, have access to medical care if they want it, and even have their own union and information center.

Like other tourists, I was amazed at the apparent cleanliness and orderliness of the sex worker industry in Amsterdam. Here were prostitutes in alluring outfits openly offering sex to tourists and locals from the windows and glass doors of their one-room apartments. I was surprised that there was a 14th century church, the Oudekerk or Old Church, in the same historic neighborhood that featured brothels, sex shops, sex clubs, and marijuana and sex museums. And I was amused by the Disneyland-like atmosphere of the prostitutes’ colorful, brightly lit bedrooms facing an otherwise ordinary street.

But in the intervening years since I visited, clouds have appeared in the controlled atmosphere of Amsterdam’s red-light district. Not everybody in Amsterdam approves of prostitution, and there is discrimination against them, particularly economic discrimination. There are also many illegal immigrants working as prostitutes. According to Amsterdam vice cops, two main groups of human traffickers now flourish in the area and try to take advantage of young women by forcing them into prostitution. Many of these women are lured to Amsterdam from Eastern Europe. A 2004 Amsterdam study found that many prostitutes are not independent workers and have a pimp who is either a former boyfriend (called a “loverboy”) or involved in human trafficking (called a “Turk”).

For the past five years, Amsterdam has

Celebrate Christmas in Amsterdam

If you have ever wanted to celebrate the Christmas season in a brand new and interesting place, you might want to think about celebrating Christmas in Amsterdam.

An Amsterdam city break is a great idea if you want to spend the Christmas season somewhere new. First of all, it is going to have a slightly cooler climate, which means that you will still feel as if you are in the middle of the winter. Yet, it will be much more mild, meaning that you can still enjoy walking and biking around the city, as well as traveling on the canal. These are the best parts about Amsterdam, so you want to be sure that you can do them during your visit.

Christmas City Breaks in Amsterdam

There are many great things about celebrating Christmas in Amsterdam. First of all, there are several churches that you can visit no matter what your particular affiliation is. This means that you will be able to still enjoy your favorite holiday services, without having to worry about not being in you home church. There are several religious monuments and shrines that you can visit during your stay, which will make your Christmas even more memorable.

The part of spending Christmas in Amsterdam that you will most likely enjoy the most is the fact that the city is one that is always wide open, welcoming, and full of joy. For the Christmas season, there will be carolers, Christmas parties, pageants, and celebrations no matter where you are going within the city. Not only that, but these celebrations are all very welcoming, which means you will be able to enjoy them no matter who you might be or why you might be in the city.

Amsterdam Christmas Breaks

While you are in Amsterdam for Christmas, be sure to rent a bike and ride through the streets. Also, a visit to the house of Anne Frank is a must for anyone who is in the city at any time. You will want to stroll along the canal, and visit all of the historical monuments that you can find along it. And be sure to stop into the small café s and coffee shops to get a taste of what Amsterdam is all about. You will be able to enjoy each moment of your Christmas season if you spend it in Amsterdam. The people are friendly, the houses are warm and safe, and you will feel as if you are directly in the middle of the joy of the season.

Amsterdam an experience you will not forget

Mention Amsterdam, and you get a certain reaction – drugs, red light districts are the first things that come to mind. There’s a lot more to Amsterdam than that, though, as you’ll see if you go there.

Amsterdam has a long and rich history, full of ups and downs. It started in the 12th century as a tiny fishing village, but quickly grew thanks to trade with the Germans and Scandinavia. By the 17th century, it was one of the world’s richest cities, acting as a financial centre in much the same way as New York does today. However, wars with Britain and France combined with the rising popularity of other areas saw it lose this status quite quickly.

When the Industrial Revolution got to Amsterdam in the 19th century, it became an important capital once again. Canals were built to the North Sea and the Rhine, and more and more people started coming to Amsterdam again. The Netherlands was neutral in the First World War, but suffered terrible losses in the second, as the Nazis took over with little resistance, decimating the Jewish population and killing off the city’s lucrative diamond trade.

Today, Amsterdam has a huge and varied multicultural population. It’s either on a real high or failing once again, depending on who you believe, but regardless, it has long been a tourist destination for those who are interested in going to a city that is ‘magical’ in more ways than one. Ultimately, Amsterdam can be a gritty, downtrodden kind of place, but there are plenty of people who like that in a city, and there’s no denying that it also has some beautiful architecture and landscapes. It’s become a Mecca of sorts for Europe’s hippies and students, and a visit will, at the very least, never be a dull experience.

Discover The Dutch Culture In A Budget Hotel Amsterdam

The best way to life new experiences in the old continent is visiting Amsterdam. A lot of attractions are waiting for you. As first step, visit a Budget Hotel Amsterdam to stay in the city. A tour for the most important museums would be great to begin your exploration in Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Stedelijk Museum and Rembrandt Museum are home the best art collection of the country.

Another popular tour in the tulip’s city is a tour by the canals. With an affordable price, you can hire a boat to go through canals. If you are in group or with your couple, you also can rent a big boat to feel comfortable. At night, the tours are romantic because thousands of lights illuminate this part of Amsterdam. Fortunately, tourists can find a Budget Hotel Amsterdam close to the canals.

The Anne Frank House is another traditional place to visit in Amsterdam. This house is like a museum due its rich history. Here, Anne Frank wrote her famous daily about the German occupation during the World War II. Don’t miss the chance to visit this house and take pictures.

Cycling in Amsterdam is a cheap way to move around the city. If you like to workout, there is not anything better. Bike’s rent is very common in the country, you would find more bikes than cars and it is not a joke. Remember to rent a lock too, because the bicycles theft is frequent. Never leave a bicycle unlocked, not even for two minutes.

Holland is a country football’s fan. Its talent players play in the most recognized Europe football’s teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Milan, etc. Visit the Ajax’s stadium in Amsterdam and don’t forget to book a room in your Budget Hotel Amsterdam.

Where to get the best value vacation for your money

Want to get away yet?

Program offers trips around the world

Syllabus Monday has come and gone.

Dr. ACROP and Dr. Town House have nursed our first hangovers of the semester courtesy of the lovely Aunt Chilada.

Now sitting in my dorm, hair all askew, I am surrounded by books thicker than my super long twin bed, asking myself, is it time for break yet?

Every student goes through it. The initial excitement of a new semester beginning: new teachers, new courses, and the relief that the painstakingly awful classes from the previous semester are finally behind you.

The first few weeks are a breeze, as students settle into the quad between classes to enjoy the last few days of summer that have held on through September.

But come October when the nights go from a refreshing chill to an unbearable cold, and midterms begin to pop out of nowhere, all students will be excited for is vacation.

Quinnipiac students, I have been introduced to a money saving wonder of the world, and I mean that literally.

Last March, I was stressed beyond belief planning a trip around Europe. The prices of plane tickets were outrageous, so I browsed the Internet for backpacking around Europe and discovered a program called EF College Break.

They had an ultimate Europe trip, which went to 14 cities in 35 days and my trip, with everything included except lunch and dinner, came to just under $4,000.00.

EF College Break is a program that allows college students to travel around the world at an affordable price.

Already done Europe? Why not walk on a wall in China or discover the beauty of India. How do luxurious white sand beaches in Cape Town, South Africa sound? Or even if you wake up and decide you want to ride a camel to a pyramid in Egypt, EF College Break can do that for you as well. I was so impressed with EF College Break, I even became a campus manager for them.

With trips ranging from 4 cities in 7 days to 14 cities in 35 days, EF College break has one of the widest varieties a student can choose from, and all at an affordable price. How does New Years Eve in Florence and Rome sound? Or a week in Paris, Amsterdam, and London?

Every trip price includes round-trip airfare, transportation to every city, a tour guide, entrance into every museum and an event that is part of the trip. If there is a city you are in but there’s something extra you want to see, every city has a day or evening of free time where you can go off on your own and explore.

EF College Break allows you to change your departure date and place back to the states and the airfare will still be included. If you want to go but are not sure if you can, EF College Break allows you to change trips or cancel within 99 days of your departure date.

College students everywhere can stop daydreaming around all those books. You can get off Facebook because it hasn’t changed since the last time you checked it five minutes ago. You can book the trip of your dreams at a realistic price today.

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Holidays – Amsterdam, an Introduction

With more canals than Venice, Amsterdam is considered one of Northern Europe’s most exquisite yet controversial capitals. From the grand 17th century architecture that shimmers amongst the image defining canals to the bawdy scenes of the Red Light District, Amsterdam is a true Dutch delight.

Legend has it that the capital was founded by two fishermen that touched ashore with their dog sometime during the early 13th Century. Today the city radiates out from the Central or “Centraal” Station, which serves roughly 150,000 passengers a day.

The central station is likely to be the port of entry for any visit to Amsterdam, and just a stones throw away from the station is Amsterdam’s historical centre – Dam Square. The Square is probably the best place to find your bearings and begin exploring the city centre.

Off the square, many make their way down one of the cities main streets such as Damrak or Rokin, where you will find a flurry of interesting establishments from inviting souvenir boutiques to high class designer outlets. If you would rather take the city in at your own pace though then you could take a stroll down one of the countless cobbled streets passing over the capitals landmark ancient bridges.

Going South East off the Square you will find yourself drawn in by the unique scene of De Wallen, more commonly known as the Red Light District. This area pulls visitors in from all over the world to experience its relaxed view on soft drugs and raunchy shop windows. The area however, is also Amsterdam’s oldest district, home to the Oude Kerk, the ‘Dams oldest parish church, which was erected in 1306.

If you are interested in the arts, the ‘Dam has a lot to offer with some of Europe’s finest galleries and museums, like The Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt’s House and the National Maritime Museum. August is a particularly exciting month to visit as this is when Uitmarkt is held, which marks the beginning of Holland’s cultural season. Stages are set up throughout the city with a tremendous amount of free performances from jazz sessions to theatrical dance.

On the other hand, if you can brave the cold temperatures of winter, you could partake in the majestic ice skating that takes place throughout the city’s frozen canals.

Whenever you choose to visit Amsterdam you are sure to leave enchanted and craving your next visit. Cheap holidays to the ‘Dam are easily organised online, with many last minute holidays proving particularly cheap. It’s recommended to use a holidays comparison site to source your trip.

The history of Amsterdams red

Amsterdam’s red-light district is perhaps one of the most famous in the world and has become a symbol for the dutch liberalism that is notorious amongst a traditionally conservative Europe. The red light district is now most famous for prostitution which is legal in Holland but is also known for it’s drugs and drinking, again due to relaxed laws in the country as a whole. But nowadays the red light district is becoming something of a tourist attraction due to it’s colorful history and rich heritage.

Indeed the red light district dates back to the 14th century when Amsterdam was a key port along the shipping routes of Europe. It was a stop off for weary sailors who enjoyed a good drink and soon became known for its breweries and distilleries that served many drinking establishments. Along with the drinking came the prostitution as the area was flooded with sailors far from home that offered easy business for this most historic of trades.

Before long there were established sex shops and brothels springing up all over the area and what is now known as the traditional red light district has been born. Little changed over the years and centuries that followed apart from Amsterdam became less important as a shipping route and so the sailors left. But by now Amsterdam’s red light district had a strong reputation and people travelled from miles around to visit for the sex industry alone. The red light district continued to thrive and grow and indeed one of the best known areas of the district, De Wallen, covered many street blocks and canals in the heart of the city.

Today, Amsterdam has become a prime destination for stag parties and hen parties as pre-marital joliment is sought in ever more extreme ways. But the notoriety of the district has also attracted many visitors who are not there to experience the vices on offer but who simply wish to observe this area that has become part of Amsterdam’s rich history. There is now even a world famous “sex museum” to attract tourism! Either way the red light district is still big business in Amsterdam and continues to grow, despite some controversy in recent years regarding human trafficking. An influx of African and Eastern European women sparked many investigations into the legality of people coming to Amsterdam and often the results were unacceptable in that they highlighted the ugly side of the business. Women were being tricked into prostitution in exchange for passage into the country and many suffered in appalling conditions.

But the red light district has come out fighting, taking a tough stance on those who commit such offenses and closing down brothels and clubs associated with the practices. Amsterdam is keen to lose the image the investigations may have portrayed and is doing much to promote the good conditions that exist within the district.

Travel experiences: Exploring our need for out of the ordinary places

There are two things desparately conspiring to take hold of my life. One is, like all others writing on this channel, to travel anywhere, anytime, and almost anyplace. Two is debt from these travels. I don’t regret these debts at all, they just make it a bit harder to take the next trip. At least when I lean back and think of Amsterdam, I have a fairly good story to go along with that trip’s rather large debt.

I was studying and teaching in Germany one spring and wanted to visit another country before I left Europe to fly back home. I thought why not Amsterdam, I had to stop there and change planes anyway. I called to change my ticket and could only arrange to spend a day in Amsterdam. Not nearly enough time, but I thought I’d take what I could get.

I was a bit naive about Amsterdam. I had heard of ‘hash bars’, but I didn’t realize they were also known as ‘Coffee Shops’. So as I was leaving Germany a student asked if I was going to go to a coffee shop while in Amsterdam, and I am a coffee addict, so of course the answer is, “Why, yes, Timo, I believe I will be going to a coffee shop while in Amsterdam.” I didn’t understand the looks my students gave me at the time. You live, you learn. I will never misread looks like that again; the “Sweet, our teacher’s a pot head” look.

So I packed up my things bought chocolate for my family for Easter to bring back home with all of my coins that I had acquired from being in Europe, boy do they like their coins. I had no more paper money at all and just enough change to buy a couple of meals and a bus ride to the airport. Thanks to my handy dandy credit card (which is now begging me to pay it back or I will have to deal with the collections agancy), I was able to take out a cash advance to have a bit of money in Holland as well.

I got on the plane and flew the 45 min or so from Berlin. Got off the plane and decided to then look for accomodation. Didn’t realize that Amsterdam was so popular over Easter. I though people would travel some place warmer. I thought, “Well you do have your sleeping bag with you, so if worse comes to worse, there’s always the park bench.”

I had a great dinner in a brewery when I got into the city. The first meal I had had in about a week that wasn’t from a Turkish fast-food place. I decided to walk around a bit and view the canals. I found some great cafe’s, had some coffee. I also saw all of these ‘coffee shops’ littering the streets. I thought that the

Cheap flights – varied travel locations at great prices!

From the first passenger flight was initiated, the history of flying has traveled a long way. The advanced technology has allowed us to travel long distances, in short period of times and at great prices. Airlines have diversified their services to cater to the ever increasing demands of their customers and learned how to effectively promote their offers for cheap flights. Thus being the case, the Internet emerged as one of the most comfortable and reliable environment for the promotion of different airline companies and their truly attractive prices.

The reason why airline companies have started to use the Internet to advertise their cheap flights is mainly connected to the growing number of Internet users. All represent potential clients and there is a high chance that they are interested in finding such services online. So, why not take advantage of the incredible cheap flights offered by all these companies, all standing just a few clicks away from you?

The two words that are associated with the use of online search engines are comfort and affordability. Cheap flights are not hard to find as long as you search for them patiently and thoroughly. Airlines have developed their offers in order to satisfy even the most diverse tastes, providing their clients with all the information they need to know about affordable travel plans, flying options and other relevant information.

They highlight the importance of being flexible when it comes to picking out a travel plan, demonstrating that cheap flights are truly accomplishable. They offer connection flights for the destination you want to reach and at cool prices also. These search engines have become truly popular, giving access to multiple traveling options, destination and fitting diverse budgets. The offers provided online cannot be so easily surpassed, being really helpful for those looking for some cheap flights.

Zoom onto the map presented online and pick a destination. If Amsterdam is the one you are interested in, then you will be able to see all the possible destinations leaving from the specific point. At the same time, you can verify all the airlines that offer passenger flights to and from Amsterdam, along with their offers and incredible discounts. The route map can be especially helpful, considering that it offers a condensed amount of information. Provide the information for departure and arrival, the airline of your choice and also the preference for any hotels. Use the same websites to find a car rental service and prepare yourself to benefit from some of the greatest prices for flights Amsterdam.

Companies like Sky Europe, Atlas-Blue and Easy Jet all have incredible offers for flights Amsterdam and many other destinations. The Internet has managed to make available all this information to us, providing us with all the info we need to know on the subject. No matter if you are looking for business-related or recreational flights Amsterdam, you are sure to find something to fit both your schedule and your price range. If you want to save on airline tickets and use that money for something else, then the Internet is the perfect place to search for cheap flights. Airlines provide discounted tickets, helping you to travel without spending a fortune.

The Internet allows you to book cheap flights Amsterdam online without spending endless hours or being forced to go from agency to agency. Amsterdam is not the only destination that comes with cheap flights; low cost airlines have now offers for destinations in the entire Europe and not only. The online booking engine is quite easy to use and the entire array of discounted offers is clearly displayed. It is more than obvious that clients have no reason to be dissatisfied, having so many destinations to choose from and so many offers to entice them!