Amsterdam in summer

1 You can dine in a restaurant on a secret island

For a limited time during the summer, adventurous people can take a boat from Amsterdam to a nearby deserted island and enjoy a four-course meal in a specially constructed greenhouse. The pop-up restaurant experience on Vuurtoreneiland is a popular culinary draw, so be sure to book in advance.

Vuurtoreneiland. In the spring and summer (mid-May – September) people eat in the Summer Restaurant, a transparent glass greenhouse, sheltered from wind and rain, ‘eating in and of nature’. In spring and summer the atmosphere on Vuurtoreneiland is exuberant and light. Everything blooms and grows, perhaps there are even lambs this year! Food in the greenhouse is elementary, there is almost nothing between inside and outside, clouds and weather pass you by. Sometimes sunny and warm, other times spectacular storm skies, unique and different every night. The exuberance also translates into the food, now everything is harvested in the Beemster so a large variety of local vegetables determine the menu and there is also meat or fish.

There’s a festival happening every weekend

You could say that Amsterdam is a little bit festival mad. More than 300 festivals take place each year in and around the city – the bulk of these happening in the summer months. So no matter when you visit, there’s bound to be something going on. From huge dance music events to foodie festivals and cultural carnivals, Amsterdam’s festival agenda spans all tastes and genres.

A few recommendations

3 You can go to the theatre in the park for free

From May to September, an open air-theatre in the middle of the Vondelpark in Amsterdam hosts performances of dance, music, cabaret, comedy and children’s events. You can visit this on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s totally free (although donations will not be discouraged).

Theatrical heritage. Amsterdam’s Vondelpark is steeped in musical and theatrical heritage. The ‘Vondelpark Parties’ were organised in the park and the Music Pavilion and Vondelpark Stage both hosted music, operetta and dance performances over the years. The Vondelpark Open Air Theatre sprang into life in 1974, combining the ‘Vondelpark Parties’ and so-called ‘Happenings’, the name given to the performances organised at the time.

For more information visit our website and book now. To gain experiences that you will not soon forget!

The tour guide training from Keukenhof 2018 was great! Our lovely guide Olga went there and learned everything about the new season. We also offer private tours to the Keukenhof, for more information please check this page.

Keukenhof 2018 – training

During the ITB we met Michiel from the Keukenhof. The interest for the training was so big that the we were not able to subscribe anymore. Luckily we met Michiel and they made an exception for us. Super happy! Our lovely Italian guide Olga went there to study the park. Have you already met Olga? This friendly and super smart lady from Rome is a native speaker Italian but also speaks fluently English, Chinese and German. We must say that we are a bit jealous at her skills.

As there were so many subscribers, the guides were placed into different groups. Olga’s group started with a meeting of the tour guides. Together they had a presentation of Keukenhof in 2018. After this, the group of Olga went into the park and had a tour.

Keukenhof 2018 – flowers

The theme of Keukenhof 2018 is Romance in Flowers. These two subjects are very connected according to Keukenhof: “The most beautiful spring park in the world with it’s sea of flowers will put you in a romantic, spring mood.”.

They have over 7 million bulbs in the park, with a total variety of 800 tulips. Unfortunately not all the flowers sprout during the training. At the time of writing the wind chill of Amsterdam is -10 degrees Celsius. We had some very cold days the last couple of months so it is very hard for the flowers to come out.

The flowers inside came out a bit more, which was beautiful to see. We can not wait for the flower season so we can see all the different varieties of flowers bloom!

Keukenhof 2018 – visit

The park is open in 2018 from March 22 until May 13. Check out their website for more information. We hope to guide you soon!

 

ITB Berlin

88 Travelguide was present at the ITB in Berlin. What a great fair it was! We have gained so many nice new contacts and impressions. We will tell you more about that now!

ITB

The ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) is the world’s largest tourism fair. The companies that were represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines, car rental companies and a lot more. The ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin.

Keukenhof

It is so interesting to see what is going on in the world of travel! The holland stand was also very well represented. We met Michiel from the Keukenhof and that was such a nice conversation. Especially because our guides have a training in the following week at the Keukenhof. It brought us many new insights.

The Royal Concertgebouw

During our conversation with Anthony from GetYourGuide, Laura joined us and she is from The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. We were very excited, since we are going to do a combination tour with them. A city tour combined with a concert in the Royal Concertgebouw, how amazing is that! We will keep you informed about this, of course!!

Stromma

We also had a very interesting conversation with Alco from Stromma. They also offer great tours and there is a new cooperation coming up. Hint… more possibilities to admire Amsterdam from the water! As you might know Amsterdam is very beautiful from the water, definitely a must do! A fun fact is that Amsterdam has more bridges than Venice. It’s almost hard to believe. There are in fact 409 bridges connecting Venice’s canals. Amsterdam actually has 1281 bridges. That is three times as many as Venice.

Art tour

We are working on a art tour and at the ITB we had a lot of good meetings and conversations about it. We can not say much about it yet… But we are going to reveal little by little. Up to our next adventure!!

 

 

Six interesting facts about Chinese New Year

1 There’s no set date for Chinese New Year

According to the Lunar calendar, the Spring Festival is on January 1st and lasts until the 15th (the full moon). But when you try to calculate it with the solar (Gregorian) calendar, the date is all over the place. Chinese New Year ranges from January 21 to February 20.

2 The most fireworks are set off in the world that night

As in the myth about Nian, firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. So people stay up on Chinese New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. In the morning, firecrackers are used again to welcome the new year and good luck. If you’re in China during this time, you’ll probably be able to hear and see the fireworks for at least 3 nights (and it can go on for weeks).

3 The Spring Festival causes the largest human migration in the world

The most important part of Chinese New Year is the family reunion. Everyone should come back home for the New Year’s Eve dinner. But since in modern China, most elderly parents live in villages while their children work in the cities. The migration back home and to go on vacation is called chunyun (春运). The earliest you can buy train tickets is 60 days before. It leads to a mad rush of literally fighting for tickets. In 2015, statistics showed that around 1,000 tickets were sold each second.

4 Singles hire fake boy/girlfriends to take home

You know those nosy relatives during Thanksgiving? It’s even worse in China. Especially since having children and passing down the family name is one of the most important parts in Chinese culture. So they hire a fake boy or a girlfriend to take home.

5 The Chinese decorate everything red for Chinese New Year

Every family will decorate their homes in this color. Firecrackers aren’t the only thing that scared the monster away. Red is also an invaluable weapon, and used in nearly all Chinese New Year decorations.

6 Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival

The full moon on the 15th day of the Spring Festival. Closing of the Spring Festival, which started with Chinese New Year. Lanterns are hanging outside.

 

If you want to know more look at our news page and for our tours here!

Chinese New Year! Gong xi fa cai (恭喜发财)

Year of the dog

You probably know there are 12 Chinese zodiac animals used to represent years, 2018 is the year of the Dog. Zodiac signs play an integral part in Chinese culture.

Spring Festival

Chinese New Year also known as the Spring festival and In China, you’ll hear it being called chunjie (春节) is the most important holiday. It’s still very wintry, but the holiday marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts.

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. All stores are closed during the first five days of the Spring Festival, with some not opening until the very end.

Traditions

Houses are thoroughly cleaned to rid them of “huiqi,” or inauspicious energies, which might have collected during the old year. Cleaning is also meant to appease the gods who would be coming down from heaven to make inspections.

Ritual sacrifices of food and paper icons are offered to gods and ancestors. People hang scrolls printed with lucky messages on household gates and set off firecrackers to frighten evil spirits. Red envelopes filled with money are handed out. In fact, many of the rites carried out during this period are meant to bring good luck, luck to the household and long life to the family.

Most important is the feasting and the best part of the evening… Food! For example, yu sheng (raw fish salad) and fai-hai (seaweed) are often on the menu, which should provide happiness and prosperity. But one of the best-known dishes eaten with the Chinese New Year are dumplings: jiaozi. These steamed dumplings are real flavor bombs. The dumplings are not only eaten for their taste, but also because the shape reminds of gold nuggets and this symbolizes financial prosperity. The name jiaozi therefore refers to a banknote.

For more information and six interesting facts about Chinese New Year read our next article!

Plus check our news page and for our tours here!

A new collaboration with GetYourGuide!

We proudly announce that we started a collaboration with GetYourGuide! Our tours will be shown on their website very soon. Ready to book a tour?

GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is world’s largest online booking platform for tours, attractions and activities. They have a very diverse team that excists of 45 different nationalities who together speak around 30 languages. The team works hard every day to create the best experience possible for travelers. The only thing the travelers have to do is to book and enjoy the trip!

GetYourGuide’s community exists of local partners like 88 Travelguide that are specialized in different activitities, areas or sights all around the world. Showing you the world is their business! They check all of their partners to make sure that the guests are safe and sound while they’re out having fun.

What to do?

At the moment of writing this article, there are over 32,010 activities shown on their website. Whatever you want to do — nibbling on tasty tapas in Spain or snorkeling through colorful corals in Queensland — you find it at GetYourGuide. We are super proud and honored that we are now a part of the family. We look so much forward to the collaboration and can’t wait to guide the first guests of GetYourGuide.

Tours

In the beginning we will cooperate with the platform with our City tour, the Red Light District tour and also the Red Light District + Casa Rosso show tour. Sneak peek; we are working on a few new tours and can’t wait to put these online as well!

Within a few weeks we meet the guys from GetYourGuide again at the ITB in Berlin. We look very much forward to our trip and to start this adventure together!

Please keep an eye on our blog because more information about this collaboration and the new tours will be online soon!

Collaboration with Casa Rosso!

You might have heard of the most famous club in Amsterdam.. Casa Rosso! It is a club in the centre of the Red Light District and very famous because of the numerous sex shows they perform. Casa Rosso is very approachable and is a professional and more than interesting place to visit.

Practical information.

Without any doubt, it is the most famous and well known of all the Amsterdam sex shows. The club can be easily found due to the large neon pink elephant adorning the front of the building in the heart of the Red Light District. Casa Rosso has strong links to the almost equally famous Banana Bar, found not far away on the same canal. The layout at Casa Rosso is much more of a theatre set up than the free flowing, lounge-like Banana Bar.

Appropriate to its claims of being the oldest live sex theatre in the Amsterdam Red Light District, the venue here is larger and cleaner than for many other sex shows, with an impressive capacity of 180 seats. The room is air conditioned for those sweltering summer months, although the performers certainly aren’t wearing enough to benefit. There is a decent sized bar, which you may not need to use thanks to the attentive table service.
The atmosphere of Casa Rosso is much friendlier to women than in other sex shows, and you will find groups of girls or couples among the audience.

Casa Rosso – what can you expect?

The live shows available exist of strip tease acts, with both male and female strippers, light S&M shows and various adult tricks involving props such as bananas and pens. Of course, the biggest draw is the live sex acts and these are certainly well in attendance. These acts usually consist of a man and woman performing some very well choreographed and acrobatic sex acts with each other and form the main part of the show, with single performer acts happening in between.

Red Light tour & Casa Rosso

88 Travelguide now has a brand new tour, combined with a live show at Casa Rosso! We will first wander around the Red Light district with our guide, which will give you a deeper understanding of the area. After a visit to Manhattan Lingerie & Love Toys, our favorite adult toy shop, we will end the tour with a spectaculair show at Casa Rosso. Do we need to say more?!

Tangguo tour – part 1

To welcome our guests from Tangguo, we gave them a tour through Amsterdam. A part of the team visited the city before but they never had a city tour. Our lovely guide Teo and co-founder Manouk accompanied them throughout the day. After days of preparing and extra practicing, we were ready and very excited!

Introduction

Teo and me (Manouk) went to the Hilton Hotel where we picked up our guests. The taxi ride to the city was already a lot of fun! The Tangguo team was very enthusiastic and open and told us that they looked forward to the tour. After the exchange of WeChat ID’s we arrived at Dam square. I always find it so special that you can connect so strongly with people without speaking the same language. I experienced that during my trip through China and I immediately got the same feeling in the taxi as well. No doubt that this would be a great day!

As soon as we arrived at Dam Square, the Chinese favorite activity took place; to take pictures! We took a group picture and we both were so happy to be immortalized with our new friends and business partners. After we did a live stream and wished the Tangguo a happy new year, we started the tour.

The tour – part 1

Our guests were very impressed by the history of the city and the funny facts Teo told them. I personally found Teo very impressive, how is it possible that she speaks Chinese so well? I was already happy that I understood 9 words throughout the day. At least there is a start, but I have to admit that I am super jealous at her.

For the rest of the tour and the canal cruise in the lovely salon boat Tzar we would like to refer to the article Tangue tour – part 2.

Tangguo and 88 Travelguide help out Chinese tourists to discover the Netherlands.

We are very proud to announce that we, as one of the first companies in the Netherlands, started a collaboration with the very well-known Chinese travel app; Tangguo! Research showed that the young and well-educated Chinese middle class is no longer satisfied with the existing travel offer. They no longer want to visit six European countries within ten days. Instead of that they want to travel at their own pace, compile their own travel program and deviate from the usual path. Tangguo and 88 Travelguide are the perfect answer for this group of travelers!

Chinese tourists

The number of Chinese tourists doubled in the past five years to over 300,000, according to figures from NBTC and the Central Bureau for Statistics. They expect that more than half a million Chinese tourists will visit our country within five years. One group still does this in the way that we know Chinese people so well for in Europe; too many countries in too less days. But the new generation of Chinese tourists wants to gain much more experience during their trip. That new group wants more of a tailor-made journey and that is exactly what 88 travelguide offers.

Cooperating

Tangguo is one of the fastest growing and largest online travel platforms in China. With a market capitalization of 2 billion RMB (around 266 million euro) and 3.5 million members, they respond to this new demand of the Chinese travelers. They offer a series of new travel products and cooperate with parties such as 88 Travelguide.

Tojoy

The fact that Chinese people engage collectively is shown by the way in which Tangguo realizes it’s ambitious plan in Europe in general and in the Netherlands in particular. Tangguo is generously funded by one of the most prestigious business clubs and investment groups in China – Tojoy.

Locations

Tangguo’s head office is in the Hague. From there, the company covers the European market.

Tour guides Amsterdam are everywhere but nowhere like at 88 Travelguide! The company was founded in 2016 by two Dutch friends who love to travel and wanted to share their thoughts and feelings about Holland and Amsterdam with the rest of the world.

Team – Tour guides Amsterdam

88 Travelguide does their best to select a team of tour guides that fit perfectly to the values of the company. Our guides are ready and can’t wait to show you around! The wonderful team of enthusiastic, professional and motivated tour guides are widely employable. We offer English, Italian, Chinese (mandarin), Spanish, Dutch and French speaking guides. Almost all of the tour guides have a cultural, historical, architectural or art background which makes them the perfect partner to give you an unforgettable time in Holland.

Meet Riccardo Olivo

In this article we like to put the spotlight on Riccardo, our Italian and English speaking tour guide.

Hi There! My name is Riccardo, a freelance tour guide. I was born in Amsterdam from Italian parents and I’m more than proud to consider this wonderful city my home.

The combination of liveliness and calmness that can be found in this city is what I love so much. You can literally walk five minutes and pass from a busy street full of cafes, to a little hidden gem which seems to be virtually unknown.

I proudly show the sights and secrets of this amazing city to other people. Explaining the reasons behind it’s unique architecture and street planning. History and art history always fascinated me from a very early age, and the possibility of being able to inform other people about it thrills me.

Enough said, it’s time for you to experience it yourself!

Bookings

For more information about the tours of Riccardo please contact us. We are happy to answer all questions you have!

 

Amsterdam light festival 2017 is a must see! What’s better than having a canal cruise while you enjoy the beautiful light art works? We have the perfect partner, Amsterdam Boat Center. Make sure to book our tour now!

The water exhibition takes place from 30 November 2017 until 21 January 2018. During this time, various artworks will light up the canals of Amsterdam. The light art installations will be illuminated daily, from 17:00 until 23:00 o’clock.

Amsterdam Light Festival – what is light art?

Amsterdam Light Festival takes place every year city center of Amsterdam. Light art is a relatively young art form that experiences a great growth because of the LED revolution. Light is a versatile and highly visual ‘material’ that can be used both abstract and figurative. Both forms are reflected in the artworks of the festival.

Amsterdam Light Festival – what can you expect?

Amsterdam Light Festival offers a stage to light artists from all over the world as they present their work in the city for two months. The festival stimulates these artists to push their own boundaries. Through a worldwide distributed Call For Concepts they submit groundbreaking concepts. The Call for Concepts closed this March and the jury, led by Lennart Booij, selected 40 concepts. The jury selects the artworks that will become part of the festival. In this edition, 1800 artists from 93 different countries showed their interests for participation. This resulted in 900 submissions by designers, architects and artists, from 45 different countries all over the world. 35 artworks made it to the festival, one of which is ‘thinline’ by world famous Chinese artists and activist Ai Weiwei. The festival produces these installations together with the artists. 

In case you visit Amsterdam between November and January, make sure you don’t miss this breath taking and enchanting festival. It is absolutely worth it! The 88 Travelguide crew completely loves the artworks from this year.

For more information check out the website of Amsterdam Light Festival. Want to have a normal canal cruise? Book here!

Amsterdam canal cruise in collaboration with Amsterdam Boat Center! There is no proper visit to Amsterdam without a cruise alongside the ancient canal houses. Did you know there are over 1500 bridges in Amsterdam? And you never expect what can be found on the bottom of the canals. You learn this and more during a canal cruise!

Amsterdam canal cruise – daily tours

Join a Classic Canal Cruise along the enchanting canals of Amsterdam onboard one of the authentic classic salonboats. Enjoy the ambiance of the past in these beautiful boats as you cruise in comfort with refreshments available. The captain is your guide and gives you a personalized tour on the canals including monuments of the golden era, the Ann Frank house and many other beautiful sights along the way. The daily tours depart at 11.30 / 13.30 / 15.30 and takes around 1,5 hours. Feel like booking? Do it here!

Amsterdam canal cruise – private boats

Do you look for a more personalized Amsterdam canal cruise? Have a special occasion taking place in Amsterdam? For example for business relations, a small party or a family trip. Amsterdam Boat Center specializes in organized events of all kinds in Amsterdam. Wether it be a conference or private wedding, they are experienced in catering to large groups and providing a memorable cruise experience in Amsterdam. Let the sailors show you the highlights of Amsterdam in the comfort of your own private boat. They customize the private boat tours to your personal wishes. Wether you’d like a personal tour in the city or have a special occasion you like to celebrate on board, the crew makes sure it’s an unforgettable experience.

Amsterdam Boat Center also has the possibility to include a buffet for lunch / dinner and drinks. Just ask for the possibilities.

Their office is located close to Dam square, that is also the place where the canal cruises depart.