What to do in Amsterdam in March

Not quite spring yet, and winter is not quite over.  With that in mind, what in the world is there to do in Amsterdam in March?
Turns out quite a lot!
March 4 – 8 : 5 Days Off
Just when your feet had recovered from last October’s Amsterdam Dance Event, in rushes 5 Days Off, a manic electronic music festival held in Melkweg & Paradiso.  Hosting some big names but more often some about-to-be-bigger names, this festival is worth the sore feet.
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March 11 – 15 : Cinedans
For a different kind of festival this month, check out Cinedans.  Focusing solely on films focused on dance or choreography, you will find both long and short fiction and dance documentaries on offer.  The program is already available, so if you have any interest in the world of dance, then this is definitely something for you.
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March 12 – 22 : Rozefilmdagen
From small beginnings, the 18th edition of the Rozenfilmdagen has now grown to 11 days of films centered around LGBT issues and stories.  This festival takes place in the Ketelhuis in Westerpark, and there will be many subsequent Q&A’s with directors or actors in the films, so it is sure to be a thought-provoking and poignant festival.
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March 13 – 15 : TonTon Club XL
Fans of the TonTon “Barcade” are going to love this:  for one glorious weekend, the TonTon Club will be moving to Westerpark and taking up the spacious rooms of the Westergasfabriek for TonTon Club XL.  There will be music and food and more games than you can shake your joystick at.
Entry is free, which means more muntjes to spend on Street Fighter and pinball.  To say that this will be the highlight of March is an understatement.
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March 14 & 15 : Neighborhood Food Market
Coinciding with the above arcade festival is the Neighborhood Food Market in and around Westergasfabriek.  If you haven’t visited it yet, this is a market offering a wide selection of food & drink from local sellers.  So it’s a great chance to support your local economy, as well as simply a good atmosphere.  With the TonTon Club XL going on at the same time, there is basically no reason NOT to spend time in Westerpark on this particular weekend.
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March 14 & 15 : 24H West
The Center, Jordaan and the Pijp are already known as “cool” places to hang out, but in the other neighborhoods, you have to sometimes dig a little to find the charm.  On the weekend of 14 & 15 March, however, you will have a little help with the digging.  IAmsterdam is hosting 24 Hours in the West showcasing the best of what this buurt has to offer, and it is quite a lot.  There will be loads of family activities, workshops, events and tastings to check out, as well as the Local Goods Market in De Hallen, so if you’re not a fan of the West now, after this weekend you very well might be.
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March 18 : Sustainability: a Need to Read introduction by Willa Stoutenbeek
The first in an upcoming series, this after-hours event takes place in and is hosted by the American Book Center.  Willa Stoutenbeek, founder of the sustainable communication & PR agency W.Green, will curate a list of books about sustainability and explain why these are in her “Need to Read” list.  An interesting way to spend a night in a book store, and Hotel V is especially interested in the subject matter, so see you there.
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March 18 : Fine Wine & Swine Late Night Dining
After a successful first event, The Lobby will be hosting a second edition of Fine Wine & Swine, a late-night dining evening celebrating everyone’s favourite dish, the procureur (pork from Baambrugge).  There will be a 3-course offering with seatings at midnight, something nearly impossible to find in Amsterdam.  This edition’s theme: Prohibition.  Reservations only by email: thelobby@hotelv.nl
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Have a lovely March, and we will see you in the springtime!
Love,
the V crew

From Amsterdam with Love on Valentine’s Day

Did you know that Hotel V Nesplein was listed on Tripadvisor as one of the top Most Romantic Hotels in the Netherlands? (Number 12 if you must know.)

So when it comes to romance and love…who you gonna call?

That’s right: us.

Saturday is Valentine’s Day, here’s a shortlist of what you can do or buy in Amsterdam for your loved one this weekend.

Let’s start with the Old Faithfuls…

For the Lingerie Lover:

Hands down one of our favourite spots to make her panties drop (or actually to make her put them on if truth be told) is Agent Provocateur.  Long famed for being tantalyzingly teasing, these tiny underthings are an investment and a half.  But Valentine’s Day only comes once a year…  (There was a really naughty second half to that thought, but for the sake of the children, we will not elaborate.)

Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur

For the Chocoholic in your life:

Chocolate strikes you right in the heart strings.  Sure, it destroys your teeth along the way, but damnit, it’s worth the extra trip to the dentist.  Drop by Pompadour in the Negen Straatjes to pick out a selection of gorgeous bon-bons for your love, and watch him or her melt.

Photo by iamsterdam.com.br
Photo by iamsterdam.com.br

Cocktails for Him & Her:

We’re not gonna lie…our cocktails at The Lobby are an aphrodisiac.  We see it nearly every night: guy meets girl at The Lobby for a date, they order cocktails, the cocktails lead to conversation, the conversation leads to cuddles on the couch, and next thing you know off they go, hand in hand.  Just call us Cupid!  Not sure what cocktail you want?  The V crew is more than happy to recommend their favourites.

Don't underestimate the power of the Love Couch at The Lobby.
Don’t underestimate the power of the Love Couch at The Lobby.

For your Classical Music Lover:

Nothing says “woe me” like classical music…if you’re into that kind of thing.  If you’re not, skip ahead to the next paragraph.  If you are, then the Valentine’s Day special at the Concertgebouw is the place for you and your sweetheart.  Featuring an array of classic pieces from across Europe, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will help get you in the mood for love.  Tickets are 49 euro, concert starts at 8:30 pm.

Make aural love to your honey at the Concertgebouw's Valentine's Day show. (Get it? AURAL? HA!)
Make aural love to your honey at the Concertgebouw’s Valentine’s Day show. (Get it? AURAL? HA!)

For the Eager Beaver:

You know what?  Why don’t you just jump right in.  Take the plunge.  Bite the bullet.  Sweep your darling down the aisle and GET MARRIED.  For a day.  After which the marriage is annulled when the sun sets.  In other words, just enough time for the “wedding night” (wink wink) and a great story to tell at parties.

Weeee! We're getting laid tonight! (Photo by Shutterstock, we don't actually know these people.)
Weeee! We’re getting laid tonight! (Photo by Shutterstock, we don’t actually know these people or if they did, in fact, get laid that night.)

For the (Gay) Commitment-Phobe

So you’re looking for love, but not longer than a night?  Well homies (and homos), we have got the party for you.  Rapido is back at Paradiso with their ‘Carnival Edition’ on Sunday 15 February.  Expect hot male bodies, not much clothing, and hedonism to the max.  It would be shocking if you found the love of your life at Rapido, but completely normal if you found the lust of your night.  So go get ‘em tigers.

Club Rapido at Paradiso: not for the fully dressed
Club Rapido at Paradiso: not for the fully dressed

So wherever you find yourself this Valentine’s Day, whoever you find yourself with, and in whatever level of commitment you are, have a very, very lovely Valentine’s Day weekend.

From Amsterdam with Love

– the V Crew

What to do in Amsterdam in January

We know, we know: you partied too much in the festive season, and now you’re all “detox, yoga, no drinking for the month of January” etc, etc, etc.  We’ve heard it all before.

We applaud your new-found sense of health & fitness, but that’s no excuse for staying indoors and being boring.

Therefore we present to you this list of what there is to do in the city in January.  Because this is Amsterdam, and the fun never stops, not even for your New Year’s Resolutions to drink more water this year/save more money/stop cursing.

Let’s start making or breaking your resolutions now shall we…..

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9 – 11 January : Food Parade

My resolution is to eat less in 2015.

Why in god’s name eat less when this weekend brings an indoor food truck festival called Food Parade?!?! Three days of indoor food, music, theater and DJ’s. If you are feeling that guilty about scarfing 10 different dishes within one hour, then just stay there and dance the calories away.  Problem solved.

Free entry until 8 pm, and after that it’s 10 euro.

Location: Edel & Het Sieraad (Postjesweg 1 in West)

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10 – 11 January : IjHallen

I want to save more money in 2015.

The Ij-Hallen, the self-professed “largest flea market in Europe” is once again on this weekend.  You’ll find things you never knew you needed, or just HAD to HAVE.

So you know all that money that you saved last week?  Good job!  Now go spend it on a table lamp shaped like a dancing poodle.

Open from 09:00 to 16:30 on Saturday and Sunday.

Location: T.T. Neveritaweg 15 in North

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15 January : The #FailedIntellectual Goodwill Tour

I want to get smarter in 2015.”

Not quite a lecture, not quite art, not quite performance, not quite philosophy…but sort of a little of all of that.

Confused?  So are we, so we are really looking forward to this public discussion in the lobby of Hotel V Frederiksplein between Nein Quarterly editor Eric Jarosinski and Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg.  Hosted by our friends at Lebowski Publishers, this is sure to be an interesting evening that will stretch your brain powers.

RSVP soon to selin.kuscu@lebowskipublishers.nl because it is nearly booked full!

Free admission

Location: Hotel V Frederiksplein, Weteringschans 136

15Jan

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16 & 17 January : Whisky Weekend

I want to drink less in 2015.

Well that’s just absurd and if no one else is going to talk any sense into you, then we will.  Or rather, we will let Mark Twain do the job:

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” ― Mark Twain

OK now that that’s settled and you are back on track, check out the 7th Whisky Weekend at the Posthoornkerk, where in addition to tastings (including a welcome whisky with your entry ticket), you can also taste whisky-related products, cheeses, or stop for music (Scottish- what else?) or cigars.

Tickets are not cheap, but then again neither are you right?  ;)

Location: Posthoornkerk, Haarlemmerstraat 124-126

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17 January : Amsterdam Hotel Night

I want to travel more in 2015.”

Weeeelllllllll.  How about travelling not very far at all, but still getting the hotel experience?  Can we meet in the middle with that one?

Be a tourist in your own city during the Amsterdam Hotel Night, where hotels open their rooms up to Amsterdammers for cheaper than normal, so that you can experience your city as visitors do.  Each hotel also runs a program of activities and events that night and into the next day, so it’s a great way to get that travel-and-experience-new-things feeling without going through that whole annoying airport headache.

For those who prefer the comfort of their own bed, there is also the possibility to buy a ticket just for the events for 17.50 euro and skip the hotel sleepover.

Location: Hotels all over Amsterdam

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17 January : National Tulip Day

I want to commune with nature more in 2015.

Because we’re Dutch, yeah?  Tulips once ruled our world, more valuable than money or diamond…and now we are giving them away for free!

Dam Square will have a dedicated garden of around 200,000 tulips where you can pick your own tulips by the fistful.  How quaint!

But get there early, yeah?  You know how us Dutch can be around free things…that’s a sight you might not want to see…

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30 January – 1 February : Food Soul Festival (indoors)

My resolution for 2015 is to eat smarter.”

If by smarter then you mean a little bit of soul music with your pulled pork BBQ, cheese fondue and side of burger, then the Soul Food Festival is for you.  Another food truck festival, this time indoors up in the Great Wide North of Amsterdam, turning the Kromhouthal into a great big restaurant with tons of choices.

And soul music, don’t forget the soul music.  Sounds like it will really be worth the trek up to the North.

Entry is free, just bring your appetite.

Location: Kromhouthal, Gedempt Hamerkanaal 231 in North

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Ongoing throughout the month of January:

“I want to try something new in 2015.”

You may have gone ice skating before.  If not, then super, let’s do this.

If you have been ice skating, then surely you have never gone ice skating like this before…75 meters in the air.

For the rest of the month the Ramada Apollo Hotel will have a rooftop ice skating rink.  That’s right- 18 floors up, skate your little heart out with a fantastic view.  Entry is €8,50 including skate hire and a drink.

Is it Olympic-sized? No. It’s on a roof.

Is it fun and novel?  Yes.  So get your skates laced up and hit the roof.

Location: Ramada Apollo Hotel, Zell Am Rembrandt in West

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There you have it, every reason to make or break your resolutions in the month of January.  Then you can relax for the other 11 months until we do it all again next year.

Love,

the V crew

Hotel V: Episode 1, “Wanted: a New Amanda” (#vacature)

Hotel V is searching for a new reservations manager to replace Amanda, who has been working there for a loooong time…perhaps *too long*.

Will they find a replacement before she drives the whole team mad?

Help the V crew! If you know someone who would be a good fit, send them to jan@hotelv.nl.

Job Description:

Reservations Manager for a busy family of hotels in Amsterdam. Experience with reservations in the hotel industry will have preference over all else, but attitude, sense of humor, and a feel for customer service is definitely a plus.

This weekend in Amsterdam (Sept 6 & 7, 2014)

It’s Wednesday!  Who is looking forward to the weekend?

*Raises hand.*

Well we are all in luck, because this weekend is chock full of things to do (Amsterdam Fringe fest, anyone?).

In fact, let’s start there.  The Amsterdam Fringe festival will be running in locations all over the city until the 14th of September. 

Not Dutch-speaking?  No problem!  They have a full program where language is not a problem.  You have no excuse to not bask in some fringe culture now.

Looking particularly enticing is the Fabrique Erotique life-sized puppet show at the infamous Casa Rosso.  This is an easy, guilt-free way to tell your parents that you went to a live sex theatre in the Red Light District.  Won’t they be so proud!

“But ma, I did it for the culture!”

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For even more unique experiences, check out this list of other things you can do this weekend in Amsterdam:

SATURDAY 6 SEPT

Valtifest- 7 Deadly Sins

Photo credit: http://v1.studenten.net/

Valtifest is a heavily themed festival which marks the end of the festival season every year, and is once again raiding the NDSM wharf with this year’s theme: The 7 Deadly Sins.  You have exactly 3 days to think up an ass-kicking costume and join the (over-the-top) fun.

Here are some photos of when the V-crew went in 2011.  I am sure they will just LOVE that I am dragging those photos up again! (Sorry, not sorry!)

Pintar Rapido Weekend

Photo credit from the London Pintar Rapido: http://adebanjialade.blogspot.nl

Fancy yourself a painter?  Or perhaps you really are, in fact, a painter? (Sorry: “ar-teeest“.)  

Super, this weekend is for you!  After much success in Spain and London, the Pintar Rapido artist’s event is coming to Amsterdam.  Painters are welcome to sign up, pick a spot in Amsterdam, and make a painting in one day, which will then be exhibited on Sunday in the Posthoornkerk on the Haarlemerstraat.The top award is 1,000 clams, so if you truly are a (starving) artist, then this is the event for you.  

All us other non-painter types can also enjoy walking the streets while the painters are at work (if you can find them) or simply checking out the exhibition on Sunday.

Food Night on Javastraat

Photo credit: http://www.oost-online.nl/

Eat your way through the east of Amsterdam!  Less Godzilla-style, more The Very Hungry Caterpillar-style.

Amsterdam’s up-and-coming East will serve up their yearly ‘Food Night’, a street food market on the Javastraat from 5 to 11 pm. Expect…..food, obvs.  And lots of it.

Facebook event page

Hungry Birds Street Food Tours

If you have been following Hotel V’s blog long enough, you might remember our super-stagiare-turned-V-Crew-member Zosia.  Zosia has since spread her wings and flown off (sniff) to start a unique tour concept which guides visitors on a culinary wander through the city (by foot or by bike).

Hungry Birds has three different tours running on Saturday, so check them out!

And don’t just take our word for it just because Zosia is a friend of V (that’s straight nepotism!).  Read the reviews on Tripadvisor, where Hungry Birds is rated as the Number 4 thing to do in amsterdam!

Hungry Birds Facebook page

(PS: We knew her when.)

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SUNDAY 7 SEPT

Free Sunday Morning concert on the Museumplein

This weekend will mark the 20th anniversary of the Sunday Morning concerts in the Muziekgebouw, and to celebrate they are offering a free concert to be broadcast live at 10 am on a large screen on the square.  Bring a blanket and a picnic breakfast*, sit back, listen and enjoy!

Facebook event page 

* a breakfast is apparently also offered for this event, but no word as to what pricing or food yet!

CineRoest Jamieson Movie Night

Back over to the East on Sunday for a special movie night at Roest, commemorating the late, great Robin Williams with a screening of Hook at 7 pm.  entry is 5 euro and that also gets you a Jameson & Gingerale.  A hook of a bargain if you ask me!  

(Did you see what we did there?  ….Didn’t really work, though, didi it?  Sorry.)

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There you go, kiddos!  There is truly no excuse to stay in this weekend.

Have fun!

Classical Music and Canals….. welcome to the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival !

Floating stages, open skies and beautiful music.  Get ready for it, because this year’s Grachtenfestival edition will be held between August 15th and August 24th.Grachten-Festival-Amsterdam

The Grachtenfestival (‘Canal Festival’) is an annual festival of classical music held at special locations around the city centre. Over a period of ten days, the Grachtenfestival provides a stage for young musical talent, choosing an appropriate and often historical setting for each musical event on or beside Amsterdam’s numerous waterways.

Grachtenfestival_header  piano on the canals The Grachtenfestival’s combination of location and repertoire means that classical music is performed to the highest levels, but presented in a way that is accessible to all. This is what makes the festival unique in the world.

 teaser grachtenfestival

Hopefully the Dutch weather cooperates a little so you can pick your spot along the canals and enjoy a truely special event.

Gay!

Gay:

having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music. Synonyms: cheerful, gleeful, happy, glad, cheery, light hearted, joyous, joyful, jovial; sunny, lively, vivacious, sparkling; chipper, playful.

Sounds good to us!

From the 26th of July till the 3rd of August it’s Amsterdam Gay Pride time again!

 gaypride canal 

Get ready for a full week of events, exhibitions, shows, parties and a town filled with colourful people. www.amsterdamgaypride.nl is the website that provides you with all the necessary details, dates and locations. Make sure to visit one the many sport events, our favourite is with out a doubt the Drag Queen Olympics.

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The Gay Pride week is traditionally closed off with a full power party weekend starting this coming Friday the 1st. Check the complete party agenda here.

The highlight of the Amsterdam Gay Pride weekend is the famous Canal Parade on Saturday afternoon. Where most parades use trucks, Amsterdam has boats! 80 spectacular decorated boats with beautiful (and scantily clad) boys and girls will sail from 14:00 till 18:00 through the Prinsengracht and Amstel river. The gay parade is watched by 300,000 spectators every year, so you better get there early to secure your spot along the canals!

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Enjoy your pride week. Rainbows guaranteed!

The V crew

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