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Amsterdam & Haarlem, Holland/The Netherlands

Dutch Art & Culture. Canals, Shapes, Poetics

Your Journey

One hundred sixty-five canals give Amsterdam its unique charm, a postcard view in every direction, from curved bridges bejeweled with bicycles to colorful public art. The Dutch capital is full of life, a green and inviting town where business people en route to the office pedal past children and animals at play. World-renowned museums, art galleries, music clubs, and theaters are complemented by the easy-going, welcoming locals and a picturesque small-town feel. The city’s small footprint and attention to urban planning and design make it easily navigable by foot, efficient by public transit, and intuitive by bike.

Exploring this gem of a city begins with a rich history of Amsterdam from the 17th century to the present, starting with the Golden Age of Dutch painting and ending with iconic imagery that challenges conventions. We look at Dutch design’s use of contrast, wit, and reduction and take excursions to world-renowned museums and esteemed design firms, as well as experiencing commercial and street art. 

Engaging with Amsterdam’s unique dedication to art as everyday will challenge preconceived notions of what city living means and allow visitors to explore the best of an urban community that feeds the senses and enriches the mind.

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– Stay at a bespoke hotel with an emphasis on community, functionality, and beauty

– Tours of historic works of art and architecture and street art

– Workshops and discussions with contemporary artists & designers 

– Shopping excursions to both fashionable districts and local markets 

– Diverse dining experiences that reflect the international diet of the Amsterdamer 

– Specially curated explorations on bike or foot

– Thought-provoking conversations sparked by project-based discoveries

Art and Design Workshop Amsterdam


A typical day involves breakfast, group discussion of specific art, design, and cultural topics, exploration of a landmark, museum, or design firm. Free time is built into every day to allow individuals to break out and explore anything that catches their interest in more depth. Project discussions and excursions of a cruise, shopping, or sight-seeing wrap the days before group dinners. 


Day 1

– Arrivals at leisure to accommodations 

– Lunch and shopping at Haarlem open air market 

– Welcome reception and dinner

– Included Meals: Dinner


Day 2

– Discussion of Dutch Golden Age & Project Overview

– Exclusive visit to Frans Hals Museum

– Presentations by trip leaders about work and creative topics.

– Evening at leisure

– Included Meals: Breakfast 


Day 3

– Guided walking tour of city of Amsterdam

– Tour Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum

– Luncheon & discussion

– Included Meals: Breakfast & Lunch


 Day 4

– Explore Haarlem’s historic landmarks and beach, observing Golden Age’s influence on everything from artisan pottery to contemporary architecture

– Attend concert in Golden Age church 

– Course sessions, group gatherings and time to create

– Included Meals: Breakfast 


 Day 5

– Lively discussion of nineteenth-century Dutch art and design 

– Course sessions, group gatherings and time to create

– Behind-the-scenes tour of Stedelijk / Van Gogh Museum

– Included Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

 Day 6

– Spend the day walking/biking Amsterdam

– Lunch and tour at Droog Design w/talk on 20th c. & contemporary trends

– Individual feedback & crit sessions with trip leaders

– Included Meals: Breakfast 


Day 7

– Street art tour and workshop

– Afternoon canal tour on private boat

– Course sessions, group gatherings and time to create. Prep for final presentations.​

– Included Meals: Breakfast & happy hour refreshments


Day 8

– Breakfast followed by our final presentations. 

– See and explore everyone's projects. 

– Enjoy a celebration and farewell dinner

– Haarlem evening walk after dinner 

– Included Meals: Breakfast 


Day 9

– Visit Botermarkt 

– Farewell Dinner

– Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 10

– Departures at leisure

– Included Meals: Breakfast

David Hardy and Molly O’Donnell are university professors and enormous fans of all things Dutch. They’ve been leading groups of artists and those seeking novel inspiration for years and have learned as much from these adventures as they’ve imparted. They encourage participants to tag along with them on optional side trips to nearby towns and points of interest or to see local friends. 

Art and Design Workshop Amsterdam

Your Journey Includes

Our Team: Our Art Immersions team will guide you through the entire experience

Transfers: Private transfers

Food and Drinks: AIP knows the most fabulous places to enjoy all types of cuisine in Holland. Arrival and Final Celebration Dinners included in price

Accommodations: Residence at a traditional Dutch hotel

Logistics: Private airport transfers and all ground

transportation * Flight not included in price

Activities: Day trips, workshops led by AIP teachers, museum visits


Creative presentations: lectures, critiques, workshops by AIP leaders

Academic: Course credit for University students/educators *approved by your University

Peace of Mind: International Health Insurance is provided for all of our participants.

Your Art Practice

This trip focuses on visual culture, with each explorer creating their own work of art or design to take home as a unique memento that reflects their journey into the heart of Dutch art, design, and culture. 

-Visit the Rijksmuseum, The Stedelijk, Van Gogh Museum

-Meet artists & designers practicing in Amsterdam

-Attend al fresco luncheons with educators and friendly locals

-Discover art as part of everyday experience

-Sail up canals ringing a city in harmony with the sea 

-Explore parks where farm animals have free range

-Tour a city that puts the human first and the car last

Art and Design Workshop Amsterdam

Trip Details and Pricing

PRICE: $3,900

This experience includes almost everything you need.

*Rooms are all shared.

Private rooms are available for an extra fee based on availability.

Airfare is not included.

“They who are outside the door have already a good part of the journey behind them” (Dutch expression).

Art and Design Workshop Amsterdam

Suggested Reading:


Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

Russell Shorto


Why the Dutch are Different: A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands

Ben Coates


The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

Simon Schama


Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel

Ruth Bernard Yeazell


Van Gogh’s Ear

Bernadette Murphy



The Assault

Harry Mulisch


The Masterpiece

Anna Enquist


The Dinner

Herman Koch



Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl


Three novellas: De uitvreter (The Freeloader), Titaantjes (Little Titans),  and Dichtertje (Little Poet)

Nescio (pseudonym of Jan Hendrik Frederik Grönloh)

Image by Dana Marin (Amsterdamian)

"What would life be if we didn't dare to take things in hand?” —  Vincent van Gogh

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