Cheesemarket in Alkmaar (2017)

Yearly thousands of visitors from around the world come to Alkmaar for its cheese market. It is a special spectacle with a market filled with cheese and hauling cheese carriers. In 1365 Alkmaar got the weighing rights.

In 2017 the Alkmaar cheesmarket will take place from Friday, March 31st 2017 until Friday September 29. The weekly cheese market is held on Fridays from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. 

Program (subject to change):

09:50 h: the tourists are welcomed
09:55 h: the belluider introduced
10.00: The bell is rung and the market is open
10:05 to 10:50 h: oral explanations for the visitors in Dutch, German, English and French or Spanish.
10:50 to 11:15 h: the carillon is played
11:20 to 12:05 h: oral explanations for the visitors in Dutch, German, English and French or Spanish
12:15 to 12:30 : the carillon plays
13.00. PM end cheese market, Waagplein Alkmaar

There is also around the cheese market a lively arts and crafts market place. You can find other real Dutch pancakes, herring, farmer cheese, a clog maker, craft stalls and much more!

Evening cheese markets in 2017

In addition there will also be organized 8 evening cheese markets this year. This is organized for the first time! On Tuesday evenings, May 2, May 23, June 6, July 4, 18 july, August 1. Surrounded by a lively market.

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Rijksmuseum | Frans Hals under investigation

When visiting the Gallery of honour the coming weeks, you will see there is a famous painting of Frans Hals ‘under investigation’, by the Rijksmuseum, Frans Hals Museum and TU Delft.

Frans Hals Rijksmuseum

The scanning the “Lean Company” painting is done to find out if it is a genuine Frans Hals or not. The research is funded by the NWO Museum Exhibition and will take a few weeks. From February 20, 2017 also 5 major civic guard paintings (schutterstukken) in the Frans Hals Museum will be scannes.

Between January 22 and February 12, experts from the National Museum involved in the study, will twice a week give an explanation of the painting in the Hall of Fame. Showing the latest scan results.

Data: Jan. 31, February 5, 7, 12 (2017)

Time: 3:00 – 3:30 PM in Dutch / 3:30 – 4:00 PM in English.

Would you like a private tour in this marvellous museum? Contact Amsterdam VIP Tours. We will be happy to show you around…

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Winter in Amsterdam

Every year the Dutch keep hoping for a cold winter, in order to be able to skate on ‘natural ice’. The last week it has been freezing cold, but not cold enough. Tonight seems to be the last freezing night sofar.

The last winter the Amsterdammers were ice skating on their worldfamous canals was in February 2012. Here’s a picture:amsterdam_winter_2012 So from now on it will start getting warmer, and the days will start to get longer again. In wintertime the days are very short in the Netherlands, whereas the summers have very long daytime!

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National Tulip Day Amsterdam | January 21 (2017)

National Tulip Day in the Netherlands is the day the new tulip cutting season is officialy launched. This year it will be on Saturday, January 21.

In Amsterdam the Dam square will be turned into a giant ‘pick-garden’ with 200,000 tulips in different colors, by Dutch tulip growers. From 1 PM you can pick tulips (until they are finished). At least 10.000 people are expected to come to the event.

The theme of National Tulip Day 2017 is ‘Dutch Design’. The start of a new tulip season is celebrated throughout the Netherlands. Many florists will have special special actions in the following ‘National Tulips Weeks’.

Are not you the opportunity to come to Amsterdam? No worries! You can still check out what’s happening on the Dam! Click here for a live view: Live View Dam.

From March 23 – May 21 2017 the world famous Keukenhof exhibition of bulb / spring flowers will be open again. Book a private tour with Amsterdam VIP Tours to go there!

Have a flowerfull day!

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Winter Markets in Amsterdam 2016

In Amsterdam the wintertime days are very short. Winter is cold and dark in the Netherlands. Fortunately nice events are planned in wintertime, so you will still have a great time when visiting our lovely city. Next to the ‘Amsterdam Light Festival’, also wintermarkets will be organized in December. Hereby some nice 2016/2017 winter trip suggestions by Amsterdam VIP Tours:

Funky Xmas Market

On December 11 the Regular Sunday Market at the Westerpark will be turned into a special Funky Xmas Market. Specialty products, live music, Glühwein (mulled wine – hot with spices) and hot chocolate with cream (and rum) of course! Open from 12 – 6 PM. Address: Westergasfabriek, Polonceaukade 27, Amsterdam

NeighbourFood Market

You will find the tastiest winter food while wandering along the cosy market stalls and vintage products during NeighbourFood Market at the Westergasfabriek on December 17 and 18. There is also a children’s program, with workshops and performances by singer-songwriters. (17 December 12:00 – 8:00 PM & 18 December 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM).

Pure Wintermarkets

For ecological products and durable gifts you can go to the Pure Winter Market in the Amstelpark and Frankendael Park in Amsterdam on Sunday 11 & 18 December from 11 AM – 5 PM.

Christmas Village on Ice

In addition to the ice-skate rink at the Museumsquare, there will be Christmas markets, live entertainment and delicious food from December 17-30. Go ice skating or outdoor shopping with the Rijksmuseum in the background! Address: Museumplein, Amsterdam.

Christmas Market Haarlem

If you want to get away from Amsterdam for a day, it might be nice to visit the city of Haarlem, only a half hour away from Amsterdam. On December 10 and 11 you can experience one of the largest Christmas markets in the Netherlands here. The large Christmas village on the Marketsquare will have over 150 market stalls. There is plenty to choose from art, fashion and design, great food and of course local Christmas decorations. There will also be music, since choirs will be singing Christmas carols. Adress: Grote Markt, Haarlem.

Winterfair Alkmaar

Want to go a bit further? The quaint town of Alkmaar offers a Winterfair on December 11 from 11 AM. From December 15-18 there will be a Christmas Market in the old town of Alkmaar (until 10 PM!). Address: Paardenmarkt, Alkmaar.

Combine your stay in Amsterdam with one of these nice events. Don’t forget to book a private tour or cruise in Amsterdam as well, to make the most out of you stay!

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Amsterdam Light Festival

The winterdays in Amsterdam are very short and dark. To make the city more attractive for visitors, the city of Amsterdam organizes annually the ‘Amsterdam Light Festival’. This event puts the canalbelt and citycenter of Amsterdam in the spotlight. This winter is the 5th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival, which will be held from December 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017. As in previous editions, young established international artists show their light arts at several locations in Amsterdam.
Tours at the Amsterdam Light Festival
You can book a special walkingtour, bicycletour or Canalcruise with Amsterdam VIP Tours that takes you along the spectacular illuminated artworks.

The Watercolors tours take you through the many works of art and show the city from the water. From December 15 2016 to January 8, 2017 has Illuminade the trail, which runs through the city. There are guided tours and there are extensive programs and activities take place in museums, theaters, restaurants, shops and other locations in Amsterdam.

View of Amsterdam Light Festival website for more information on the route, artworks and the participating artists.

Contact Amsterdam VIP Tours for the a private tour or cruise!
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Rotterdam by Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was never able to see the modern skyline of Rotterdam. Yet his influence clearly visible in a series of recent paintings of the port city:

Instagram Amsterdam VIP ToursThe Costa Rican artist Erika Stanley portrayed striking Rotterdam buildings in the style of Van Gogh. She made colorful paintings of the Erasmus Bridge, the Market Hall, Central Station and the world-famous cube houses.

The artist loves both Rotterdam and the work of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh. That love comes together in the series “If Van Gogh…”.

The paintings are on display from October 29 in Thyade Art gallery in Rotterdam.

Would you like a private tour in Holland? Please contact Amsterdam VIP Tours for details!
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2 stolen Van Gogh paintings found after 14 years!

The works of art were found during grand Italian study. Today the Prosecutor of Naples announced (during a press conference) that the 2 missing paintings by Van Gogh were found. The found works are the 2 canvases that were stolen from the museum in 2002: ‘Sea at Scheveningen’ (1882) and ‘Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen’ (1884/85).

The conclusion of the curator who studied the work at the request of the Italian Public Prosecutor for authenticity and origin, was clear: “These are the real paintings!”. After 14 years of wandering the two works seem in fairly good condition. Both are no more equipped with their list and show some damage. When the work will come back to Amsterdam is still not clear.

The unique works of are of great art historical importance. The historical and artistic value of the paintings for the collection is large. ‘Sea at Scheveningen’ is the only painting in the museum’s collection of Van Gogh’s period in The Hague (1881 1883). It is one of only two seascapes he painted in his Dutch years and is an important example of Van Gogh’s earliest painting style in which he showed himself very quirky.

The ‘Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen’ is a small canvas that Van Gogh painted in early 1884 for his mother. Pictured is the church of the Dutch Reformed Church in Nuenen, which Van Gogh’s father worked as a pastor. In 1885, after the death of his father, Van Gogh took the canvas again in hand and joined the congregation in the foreground far, including women with a shawl which was worn in times of mourning. This may be a reference to the death of his father. The biographical charge the painting has great sentimental value.

Would you like a guided tour through the Van Gogh Museum? Contact Amsterdam VIP Tours for the possibilities!

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The Highest Swing in Europe!

As of August 25 one may swing at 100 hundred meters above the city of Amsterdam and be rocked over the city! That is possible on top of the A’DAM Tower. On the roof of the tower, today the Mayor Van der Laan  opened the new attraction. Since the mayor himself is afraid of heights, he did not dare to go himself, but his daughters were brave enough to go.

Two swings with 4 seats rock back and forth over the edge of the tower (with a safety bar). The swings are hydraulically controlled and people can rock along.

Next to the entrance fee for enjoying the view from up there, a separate ticket is needed for the attraction. As an introduction, the attraction is free for the first week, from September 2 the ride will cost 5 Euro.

Want to see more of the city after admiring the great views? Book a private guide with Amsterdam VIP Tours to walk the streets safely.

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Amsterdam Heritage Days on 10 and 11 September (2016)

It has been 100 years since the Amsterdam School style was born. Therefore Amsterdam organizes several events in town to celebrate this.

On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, you can explore all of these wonderful examples of the Amsterdam School once again during Amsterdam Heritage Days. During this weekend, you can visit 60 monuments for free:
50 Amsterdam School monuments and 10 other architectural gems. These buildings are typical of Amsterdam and must-sees, such as the Burgerweeshuis. For those who can’t get enough of the Amsterdam School style, there is an extensive program filled with walks, talks, boat trips, cycling tours, exhibitions, workshops, an evening program and a junior program. I am always very curious to find out what’s behind all these undulating facades. With that in mind, I advise everyone to visit as many monuments as possible during Amsterdam Heritage Days.

Download the program here: Program Amsterdam Heritage Days 2016.

Let yourself be surprised by this fanciful Amsterdam style!

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