03 March 2010

No cool colleagues?

This week's web recommendation is not really Asia-friendly given that none of the cities covered by the online guides are those in my part of the world. Also, the selection is rather limited with just Amsterdam, Antwerp (Belgium), Valencia (Spain), Vienna and Zurich featured.

However, as I was going to be in Amsterdam for a conference, I logged-on to the Cool Capitals site to get some tips ahead of my trip.

While the site is nicely designed, it needs more content beyond the headline attractions of the city such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum, and while I've been told that I've only scratched the surface of the city's culture, my own knowledge over-and-above the site through the help of cool colleagues means it definitely needs to be beefed up.

However in the absence of cool colleagues, it did has some nice suggestions.

For instance, it included details of one of my favourite areas in Amsterdam: ‘De negen Straatjes’ (or the Nine Little Streets). Located between the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, the area is full of one-of-a-kind shops, tea rooms and galleries, and is great place to start to search for unique gifts and products.

And you have to go there yourself as no one ever seems to know which of the nine streets (Reestraat, Hartenstraat, Gast-Huismolensteeg, Berenstraat, Wolvenstraat, Oude Spiegelstraat, Runstraat, Huidenstraat and Wijde Heisteeg) is home to their favourite shop!

Bon Voyage!

Travel Tip: Arrive on time for your flight out of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and visit the Rijksmuseum annex in the terminal after customs. Open from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m., admission is free and it's well worth a visit.

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