A is for Amsterdam

Want to travel to some of the world’s most interesting places, but don’t want to deal with the hassles, costs, and craziness of arranging a trip? Let’s armchair travel instead!

We’ll start out with one of Europe’s most culturally significant cities – Amsterdam. It’s also significant to the U.S.; New York, after all, was once called New Amsterdam when it was settled by the Dutch. Amsterdam is probably best known as the city where Anne Frank lived (and was hidden), as a northern Venice because of its canal system, and for its history as a financial center.

Learn more about this fascinating city:



Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City – Russell Shorto

  • A historical portrait of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique explores the ongoing efforts of its citizens to navigate its seaside challenges and democratic philosophies, revealing the influence of the liberal ideals that evolved there.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

  • A timeless story that stands without peer, this definitive edition brings to life the world of a brilliant young girl who, for a time, survived the worst horrors the modern world has ever seen–and who remained triumphantly and heartbreakingly human throughout her ordeal.

The Coffee Trader – David Liss

  • In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese-Jewish trader desperate to recover his lost fortune, enters into a partnership with seductive Geertruid Damhuis to introduce coffee to the city, and confronts a ruthless adversary. (Fiction)

The Golden Age of Dutch Art – Judikje Kiers and Fieke Tissink

  • Published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘The Glory of the Golden Age: Dutch Art of the 17th century’ at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.*

The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam – Chris Ewan

  • A novelist who moonlights as a thief for hire, Charlie Howard is suspicious when an enigmatic American offers to pay him to steal two small monkey figurines, a suspicion that becomes all-too-real when his employer is nearly beaten to death.

The Miniaturist – Jesse Butron

  • A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’

The Netherlands in a Nutshell: Highlights from Dutch History and Culture

  • Compiled by the Committee for the Development of the Dutch Canon in 2005, when the Minister of Education, Culture and Science asked it to design a canon of the Netherlands. Fifty themes detailed with a list of places to visit and websites.

Rick Steves Amsterdam and the Netherlands



The Fault in Our Stars

Ocean’s Twelve



Aerial Panorama

Audio Tour

Rijksmuseum Gallery (and Mix Your Own Studio)

Secret Annex at the Anne Frank House


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