Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category

World’s Tulip Capital: Keukenhof


2010
02.26

Everybody knows about Dutch tulips in spring, how colorful and popular they are. A great place to see it in its natural environment is at the world’s largest garden: Keukenhof, located in Lisse, South Holland. More than 7 million bulbs are planted each year.

Keukenhof Garden

It’s an easy daytrip from Amsterdam and a great activity. For photo lovers, make sure to bring your macro lense to get some good upclose shots of flowers.

The garden is very interesting as it’s not just a plain exhibition of tulips. The way hues are positioned,  the textures of the flowers, the proximity of it all… makes a visit to Keukenhof an unforgettable experience. Especially if you’ve been travelling in large cities for awhile, it’s truly refreshing to spend some time in nature.

Plan around 6 hours to wrap this activity, transportation included. If you’re an avid cyclist, it’s very easy to get there by bike.

  • Transportation: Get to Schiphol airport by city bus and then hop on bus #58. It is well identified which bus goes to Keukenhof.
  • Money: €21 per person, including bus fare from and to Schiphol.
  • Schedule: open from mid-March to mid-May. Best to go in mid-April.

 

Top 10 Overrated Attractions in Europe


2010
02.20

1. Manneken Pis, Brussels

It’s a tiny little men peeing in a fountain, on the corner of a street, with hundreds of tourists in awe around it. It sometimes has costumes. When I was there, it was an orange tuxedo. Lovely.

2. Astronomical Clock, Prague

The clock is not really interesting. It’s more of a tourist trap than anything, so beware your belongings… pickpockets thrive in this area.

3. Stonehenge, England

The stones are actually pretty impressive, especially when learning how it got there. What’s not impressive is the 20 feet distance from the stones and the nearby motorway.

4. Champs-Élysées, Paris

Large busy boulevard. Too many tourists. Angry French drivers. Luxury stores aplenty. Make sure you pack a bunch of “patience” before going there.

5. Vatican City, Rome

Too much luxury in such a tiny place. Definitely worth a visit though, as long as you don’t think about world hunger.

6. The Spire, Dublin

That’s basically just a tall, metal thing in the middle of O’Connell street.  You can’t really walk past it, unfortunately.

7. La Barceloneta, Barcelona

The beach is dirty and overcrowded. Too many Asian masseuses asking around (repeatedly) for clients. The sea is filthy and cold. Just don’t rely on this spot  to  have a true “Spanish beach experience”.

8. Moulin Rouge, Paris

The Boulevard de Clichy burlesque club has nothing to brag about. It looks like something you would normally see in Vegas. Plus, tickets are very, very expensive.

9. Heineken Brewery, Amsterdam

Video simulation. €15. Enough said.

10.  The Louvre, Paris

Perfect if you want to wait hours outside, argue with non-queuing people, walk around in an overcrowded corridor and fight your way to catch a sight of the Joconde, hidden behind a glass wall and two guards.