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On a recent mother/daughter visit to Amsterdam, we picked up the 72-hour I Amsterdam City Card, a great way to explore both highlights and lesser-known gems around culturally-rich Amsterdam.

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The I Amsterdam City Card comes with a free detailed city map. Once you’ve gotten the hang of boarding one of the numerous, well-connected busses, trams or metros in Amsterdam (included in the fee), set foot inside some of Amsterdam’s beautiful museums or head to Zanse Schans for a taste of traditional houses and windmills in an open-air museum village.

The card’s chip gets activated the first time you visit a museum, attraction or board public transit.

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You’ll also get a free one-hour canal boat tour, highly recommended for another perspective of life along Amsterdam’s canals. A handful of canal tour companies are located near the main train station along the Damrak, with additional launch spots around the city (marked on the map).

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[Canal tour along the IJ with view of ultra-modern EYE Film Institute Netherlands]

The recently-renovated Stedelijk Museum remains one of my favourites, filled with modern and contemporary art collections from around the world.

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum

Out of the wide choice of included museum entries, we opted for the Tassenmuseum aka Museum of Bags and Purses.

A hidden gem with growing popularity (and a constant stream of visitors), the Tassenmuseum is considered one of the top eight fashion museums in the world.

Back in the 16th to 19th centuries, bags were integral to both men and women—clothing lacked inner pockets, thus beginning a lifestyle of bags by design and necessity.

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum

The immense collection (numbering over 4,000 articles) contains handbags, coin boxes, travel bags and accessories made of straw, beads, mesh, coral, brass, tortoise shell, leather and countless other materials. You’ll gain an appreciation for the craftsmanship that went into many of these beauties!

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum
[Evening bag of silk, brass, imitation coral; circa 1920’s]

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum
[Art Deco bag]

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum
[Judith Leiber ‘Socks’ evening bag named after the Clinton’s cat, 1996]

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum
[Sarah’s Bag; Lebanon, 2016]

Collecting purses began as a hobby for former antiques dealer Hendrikje and her husband Heinz Ivo. A 30-year passion now fills two levels of a beautiful museum housed on the Herengracht, the largest collection of purses in the world.

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum

On now through August 27, the It’s a Men’s World exhibition poses the question, “When does a man decide to carry a bag, and when is a pants pocket enough?”.

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum

Downstairs in the gift shop, feed your inner fashionista with a selection of Dutch-designed handbags and accessories. There’s also a tea service housed in two gorgeous rooms containing Fabritius Dubourg’s ceiling paintings enrobed in elaborate gold accents.

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum

Through the years, the home’s been occupied by wealthy residents as well as by businesses. In 2006, the building was purchased and renovated by a benefactor so that the Tassenmuseum could be housed here (relocated from the Ivo family home in Amstelveen).

Museum of Bags and Purses/Tassenmuseum

Find the Tassenmuseum at Herengracht 573.

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Get outside the city! The I Amsterdam City Card also gains you entry to Castle Muiderslot, the Netherlands Fortress Museum in Naarden and Teylers Museum in nearby Haarlem, a lovely city a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam worth an afternoon exploring on foot or on a rental bike.

Note that if you plan on visiting neighbouring museums, there’s an add-on 1, 2 or 3-day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket good for busses, trams, metros and trains in the Amsterdam area.

If you’ve got your heart set on visiting The Rijksmuseum, the I Amsterdam card provides a €2.50 discount on admission.

Whether your idea of a city vacation includes museum visits or walking the streets and letting life unfold, this card is a handy way to get around and enjoy Amsterdam. There’s even restaurant freebies and discounts included in the mix.

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Pricing for the card (at the time of this writing) is 24 hours, €57; 48 hours, €67; 72 hours, €73.15; 96 hours, €87. You can order the card online and have it delivered via DHL Worldwide (delivery charges apply) or pick it up in person at Amsterdam Centraal Station or Schipol Airport.

Our I Amsterdam City Cards were courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing. Opinions, as always, are our own.

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