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nov 19 2014

The "Starry Night" Bike Path Is Like Nothing You've Ever Seen

What's your favorite painting? Hold that image in your mind for a sec, then imagine the brushstrokes, shapes, and colors brought to life—so you could actually walk right in. Whoa. Right?

Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde has brought my favorite painting to life in a unique way that melds contemporary technology with a masterpiece of 19th-century art: Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night." The Starry Night Bike Path, a winding half-mile in the city of Eindhoven that is illuminated by thousands of LED lights and special paint, interprets the swirling shapes and colors of Van Gogh's painting. I don't know about you, but for me the work of Van Gogh is highly personal—as if the artist, with his dramatic strokes and thick layers of paint, is reaching out to me across the years, teaching me a new way to see and feel. I'm psyched that a contemporary artist is attempting to transport an audience in a similar way. Roosegaarde has spoken enthusiastically about how the path, which opened to the public on November 13, makes a statement about technology and cultural history—and is also a popular spot for first dates. What's not to love?

may 22 2014

What Are Your Favorite Things To Do In Amsterdam And Barcelona?

By this time next week, I'll be sailing the scenic canals of Amsterdam, strolling down the Seine in Paris, enjoying Swiss fondue for lunch, living the high life in Monaco, and seeing the Sagrada Familia, among other impressive Gaudi creations, in Barcelona. I'm going on vacation, this time with some friends on Contiki's 10-day Amsterdam to Barcelona tour, which also includes stops in Paris, Lucerne, and the French Riviera (do I really have to mention how excited I am about this trip?!) The good news is, you can come, too! Follow along with my adventures as I post photos from the road to our brand new Instagram page, @budgettravel.

apr 05 2013

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum Reopens—Here's Where to Stay!

Budget Travel has four affordable Amsterdam hotels that will put you in the heart of the city.

(Courtesy kpm1031/myBudgetTravel)

On April 13, Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum will open its doors after a 10-year, nearly $500 million renovation. The 1885 structure has been restored to its 19th-century glory, with the added advantage of contemporary lighting and design that will literally put works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and other Dutch Masters in an ideal light.

nov 14 2012

Could 'Marijuana Tourism' Be Next For Colorado and Washington?

A cafe in Amsterdam

Will towns in Colorado and Washington start building their own Amsterdam–style cafés?

(Courtesy JustineTheQueen/flickr)

With new legislation effectively legalizing marijuana for recreational use in two U.S. states, Amsterdam-style entertainment could be right around the corner. Under the new state measures in Colorado and Washington, marijuana is legal to use if you are at least 21 years old and possess no more than one ounce (or 28.5 grams) for recreational use. Similar to alcohol, the recreational marijuana would be taxed and sold only at state-licensed specialty retail stores. Public use is still forbidden in both states, and residents would now be permitted to grow up to six plants at home in Colorado (though home growing is not allowed in Washington). 

apr 20 2012

If Tourists Can't Buy Pot, Will Amsterdam Tourism Suffer?

An Amsterdam coffeeshop (Courtesy Michelle Baran)

Amsterdam is beloved for its canals, houseboats, museums, bikes, pancakes, and yes, for its cannabis. But a government plan to prohibit foreigners from buying marijuana in the Netherlands could put a damper on tourists' high.

The government has proposed a plan that would only allow Dutch residents, not foreigners, to purchase marijuana, The Associated Press reported.

jun 11 2010

BT Bookshelf: 3 specialized summer guides

Comprehensive, all-purpose guidebooks are great for your first few visits to a new place, when you need advice on everything from where to grab breakfast to which hotel is worth a splurge. But when it comes to the old favorites you revisit again and again, a sharper take on familiar territory is in order. Three new books out this month from The Little Bookroom—each compact, colorful, and concentrated—allow you to take fresh looks at iconic destinations.

may 24 2010

Utrecht: Holland's "Festival City"

Utrecht's downtown (Courtesy zoetnet/Flickr)

Although Amsterdam is as much of an experience as it is a place, the city of Utrecht—the fourth largest in the Netherlands and an enclave for students and artists alike—provides an idyllic setting for families. With at least 16 festivals year-round, this first-century city proves that there's much more to Holland than windmills and tulips.

aug 14 2009

The best value in European river cruising keeps getting better

(Courtesy Avalon Waterways)
(Courtesy Avalon Waterways)

Never let it be said that we don't have "all hands on deck" when it comes to monitoring the latest travel innovations. On August 8, President, Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc., Nancy Telliho christened the good ship Avalon Creativity in Volendam, a Netherlands fishing village. The Creativity is the eighth ship that Avalon Waterways has added to its European fleet since 2004.

jul 22 2009

Russia's Hermitage opens a "wing" in Amsterdam

Hermitage Amsterdam (Courtesy Marcus Koppen)

As you walk through the new Hermitage Amsterdam, you may feel a bit underdressed for the occasion.

Luckily nobody will be staring at you because the elaborate ceremonial court dresses and uniforms that engulf the room are all worn by mannequins. It's part of the opening exhibition "At the Russian Court: Palace and Protocol in the 19th-Century."

jul 13 2009

Worth reading: Darn good free museums in Amsterdam

A canal in Amsterdam (Courtesy laceyn1/myBudgetTravel)

A few of our favorite links from around the 'net right now.

Dam good: five free museums in Amsterdam. [EuroCheapo]

The top airline meals in the sky—because yes, some airlines still offer real food. [Jaunted]

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