Museum of Bags and Purses

Cheap and Offbeat Amsterdam

On Monday, ash from the Icelandic volcano caused the cancellation of a lot of flights and left a lot of people stuck at the airport.


I was one of those people. I’d booked a one-day return trip from Amsterdam to Liverpool just to tour the John Lennon Airport, where the slogan is “Above us only sky.”

The airport has this 25 ton, 51-foot long yellow submarine sitting out front and I bet a lot of volcano-delayed travelers would have liked to have fired this up as an alternative form of transportation.

There’s lot more to Lennon stuff – and a fun-looking fossil ‘mystery tour’ – at this airport, so I’m determined to make my way back there soon.

But since I was stuck at Schiphol, I used to the time to work on the slide-show-style story about Amsterdam I had due. You can see the full story – Cheap and Offbeat Amsterdam on, but here are a few photos that didnt’ make it into the story.

These suitcases, carry-ons from another era – are on display at the Museum of Bags and Purses

And it’s hard to miss these giant eyeglass frames at the National Museum of Spectacles.

Love the layover: Museum of Bags and Purses

There are a lot of things to love about Amsterdam, including the canals, The Van Gogh Museum, The Rijksmuseum, the cheese, the bicycles and the chocolate.   On my most recent visit, I discovered one more: The Museum of Bags and Purses Hendrikje.

The 4000 piece collection includes pouches, pockets, purses, suitcases and accessories dating back to the 16th century and tells a wide variety of stories about fashion, art, history, decorative arts, and industrial innovations.

Here a just a few of my favorite items in the collection, starting with, of course, this assortment of trunks and suitcases:

This bag is actually a working telephone!

And this tortoise-shell bag inlaid with mother of pearl is the purse that started the collection.