Travel

Grachtengordel-West

Establishment neighborhood
Amsterdam Duck Store
Oude Leliestraat 16, Grachtengordel-West
It’s virtually impossible for anyone—adult or child—to walk by this place without being drawn in by the neat rows of rubber ducks, which all make excellent Amsterdam keepsake alternatives to the ubiquitous windmill/clog/tulip magnets. There are rubber duckies of every possible size, profession (ninja, dentist, bag-piper), and theme (duck as Christmas ornament, punk duck)—though our favorites are the ones dressed up as other animals (cat-duck, sheep-duck, shark-duck, etc..).
Anne Frank House
Prinsengracht 263-267, Grachtengordel-West
Walking through the house where Anne Frank hid for more than two years—along with her family, the Van Pels family, and Fritz Pfeffer—is incredibly affecting. Although areas of the house have of course been refurbished, many original objects remain, as well as photographs, important historical documents, and handwritten notes and letters, including the diaries Anne wrote from 1942 to 1944. With great humanity, the museum's changing exhibitions portray different pieces of the Holocaust, Anne's life, the lives of the people who hid with her, and the people who helped keep the secret annex safe for two incredibly dangerous years. On a practical note: The wait to get into Anne Frank House can be long, but it's really a must-go (and captivating for school-age kids, too), so plan ahead if you can. The museum is trying a new entry system with the aim of making it easier for more people to visit. As of May 1, 2016, from 9am to 3:30pm, the museum will only be open to visitors who purchase an online ticket for a designated time slot. After 3:30pm, you'll be able to buy a ticket at the…
Max Brown Hotel
Herengracht 13-19, Grachtengordel-West
There’s something about the eclectic mix-and-match décor, dim lighting, and hipster staff that make this boutique hotel feel like a more intimate, Dutch equivalent of the Ace. The canal house set-up, residential location, and crazy-steep staircases lend any stay an extra authentic feel and the small-ish, well-priced rooms (there are larger options available, too) mean that it’s a great, non-corporate option for work trips or for those looking to spend the bulk of their time exploring. The on-site bar is actually frequented by locals and often plays host to local bands. We hear the Museumplein outpost is just as fun.
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