Tag Archives: holland

Why you should visit Amsterdam in 2013

This year there’s no better town to visit than Amsterdam. Lonely Planet declared the city as one of the top 10 to visit in 2013. Dozens of museums and artistic venues are celebrating their reopenings, rededications, and anniversaries. The 400th anniversary of trade between the Netherlands and Russia and the 150th anniversary of the Dutch abolition of slavery will also influence events and activities. The city will be abound with concerts, exhibits, processions and sporting events. Check out just some of these fantastic opportunities:

  • From March to September, the Hermitage Amsterdam is hosting a grand Peter the Great exhibit.
  • Rijksmuseum has reopened this April after an extensive renovation.
  • The Royal Artis Zoo is celebrating its 175th birthday with a colorful parade of flora from all over the world.
  • The Van Gogh Museum also got a makeover as it celebrates its 40th anniversary—it reopened its doors to the public early May.
  • The world-renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is celebrating 125 years of top-rate musicianship.
  • The city is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Amsterdam canal belt.
  • The Carre is celebrating 125 years as a performance venue, kicking off the festivities with a visit from Moscow’s Opera Stanislavski.
  • Frans Hals Museum celebrates its 100 anniversary.
  • The Felix Meritis is celebrating its 225th birthday. A center for science, arts and culture is celebrating by opening its doors to its famous Observatory for anyone who’d like to visit. The center is also hosting readings, exhibitions, educational programs and tours.
  • Regular annual celebrations include the Gay Pride Parade in August, the Amsterdam City Swim and Dam tot Damloop marathon in September, and the Light Festival in December.

Catch a flight to Amsterdam this year to take advantage of this Year of Celebration! Delta flies nonstop from Portland to Amsterdam once a day everyday. Willamette Intl Travel can arrange your flight and hotel reservations, and advise on the best activities in and around the Netherlands. Call Wittravel to book your trip to Amsterdam and beyond.

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Filed under Europe, Netherlands, Where in the World is the WIT Client?

Tulip Time!

tulip 1

photo by Kivanc Nis, Creative Commons

The season for Tulips is just concluding in the Netherlands. Didn’t catch this year’s festivities of buds and blossoms? Never fear—it’s not too early to plan a 2014 tulip trip!

The Netherlands has a long history with these colorful little buds. Ever since the Dutch Golden Age introduced the tulip to Europe from the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands have nurtured a passion and some might even say mania for tulips. During blooming season from March to May, the Netherlands offers dozens of ways and places to enjoy these beloved flowers.

Like everything that is weather-dependent, the blooming season of tulips is unpredictable. Late springs can lead to missing the blossoms in March. The safest bet to catch the blooms is mid-April. The most well-known bulb region in the Netherlands lies between Haarlem and Sassenheim. This area includes the small village of Lisse, 30 miles southwest of Amsterdam and less than an hour away.

You can catch the bus from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Keukenhof gardens. Once there, you can rent a bike outside the garden entrance for about 10 euros. If you prefer more private transportation, book a guided tour, which includes coach rides and prepaid entrance fees. You can also enjoy the gardens as a shore excursion.

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photo by bertknot, Creative Commons

Another major tulip event is the Netherlands’ annual Flower Parade, held one Saturday in April. Floats, luxury cars, dancers and musicians travel along the 40-km route from Noordwijk to Haarlem. It’s an all day event—so pack a lunch!

Looking for a unique way to enjoy the tulip season? Several river cruises have opened for sale for 2014, some of which even focus on the tulip festivals. Cruise companies typically award early booking savings to their fore-thinking customers. Avalon Waterways has deals of up to $1000 per couple off for 2014, and Viking River Cruises is offering an Early Booking Discount that expires May 31, 2013.

A trip to Europe not in the stars next Spring? For a tulip festival closer to home, check out Skagit Valley, a.k.a. “tulip town,” in northwest Washington State. Here, you can enjoy indoor tulip displays and outdoor gardens, visit bulb shops, kite displays and snack bars. Snap a photo with your family in front of the picturesque windmill. You can even wander the fields aboard a tractor-pulled carriage. You can even purchase some tulips at one of the stands. These are not harvested until late summer or early fall, after which the bulbs are shipped to your home.

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photo by Hisa Fujimoto, Creative Commons

Missed the Tulips this Year? Call us for your trip in 2014!

If you want to catch the famous Dutch tulip fields in bloom, book your trip today to the Netherlands for Spring 2014. It’s not too early!

Delta flies nonstop from Portland to Amsterdam everyday once a day. Call Wittravel to book your trip today. We can arrange your flight and hotel reservations, and advise on the best activities in and around the Netherlands.

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Filed under Avalon Waterway, Europe, Netherlands, Viking Cruises