8 TOP WALKING TOURS IN AMSTERDAM

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Amsterdam is one of my all-time favourite cities. I’ve been going there regularly for over a decade and even lived there for a while. It’s a city with a skewed reputation, frequently dismissed as a destination to party and indulge in the illegal Red Light District.

But Amsterdam has so much more to offer.

If you want to explore the city, there are essentially only two methods to get around: bicycling and walking. And, thankfully, for those who enjoy walking (and/or biking), the Dutch capital provides a plethora of scenic strolls: along lush canals, past centuries-old churches and tiny canal homes, and down narrow cobblestone alleyways.

Take a walking tour to see what lies under the city’s surface. I bring them with me to every city I visit. They’re the ideal method to learn about history and culture while also engaging with a skilled local guide who can offer their knowledge and insights.

Unsurprisingly, Amsterdam offers a variety of interesting tours, ranging from sex worker-led tours through the iconic Red Light District to tours that highlight the city’s recreational drug culture to strolls that focus on the city’s history.

Here’s a selection of the top walking tours in Amsterdam to help you pick which ones to take!

1. Free Food Tour Amsterdam

During this free two-hour walking tour of Amsterdam’s food, you may sample Dutch gouda cheese, scrumptiously sweet and gooey stroopwafels, deep-fried savoury bitterballen, and fresh herring. While you snack on traditional meals, the knowledgeable local guides provide a great insight into the history and culture of Dutch cuisine. And, yes, you do get free food on the tour (but keep in mind that these are taster bits, so don’t expect to fill up).

Your guide will leave you with personal suggestions at the end of the trip so that you may continue eating your way around Amsterdam long after the tour is done. What’s the catch? All you have to do at the end is leave a nice tip.

2. Hungry Birds

This female-owned tour company has been providing hungry guests with information and food from Amsterdam for over a decade. “Mother birds,” as they refer to their guides, take food-loving guests on a 4.5-hour tour of this quaint Dutch metropolis, munching on all sorts of culinary Dutch treats. Some people call it “Dutch food,” although it’s actually “Dutch food” in Indonesia.

Tours start at 89 EUR.

3. HistoryWalks

Despite the country’s neutrality during World War II, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1939 shortly after the war broke out. Their “World War II and the Holocaust in Amsterdam” tour, led by a retired history professor, gives tourists a rapid tour of the city as seen through the prism of World War II. It’s a fascinating three hours, and the guides are quite knowledgeable. This is the tour for you if you’re a history geek like myself, or if you just want to understand more about the conflict from a Dutch viewpoint.

Tours start at 35 EUR.

4. Ultimate Party Amsterdam

These crazy, party-themed pub crawl tours are joyful and entertaining. Join the Red Light District bar crawl, which includes unlimited vodka shots for the first 30 minutes (and then at every stop you get another free shot of booze). The tour culminates with free access to Amsterdam’s largest nightclub. This tour isn’t just about getting drunk (though that’s a huge part of it), but it’s also a great opportunity to learn about some fantastic party venues so you can return later and explore more on your own. It’s also a terrific method to meet new people if you’re travelling alone.

Tours from 25 EUR.

5. Eating Europe

Eating Europe, which began in Italy a decade ago, now provides tours in several major European cities, including Amsterdam. The local guides know how to eat — and where! The food tour through the fashionable district of Jordaan offers a terrific flavour of the amazing food culture there. The 3.5-hour walking tour visits some of the nicest sites in the area, as well as street food and food markets, where you can try traditional and inventive variations of Dutch food, as well as some wonderful foreign food. The expert guides also provide an excellent overview of Dutch food as well as the history and culture of eating in Amsterdam.

Tours start at 89 EUR.

6. O My Amsterdam Tours

, and we can only use it once. It’s quite OK to fire up a joint and fly higher than a kite at some cafés. This 2.5-hour tour delivers a bong-sized dose of Amsterdam’s drug culture and history, introducing interested tourists to cannabis grow rooms and the marijuana museum, among other locations, while discussing drug culture here. The book even describes the difference between terrible cannabis and excellent weed. It’s a real adventure!

Tours start at 35 EUR.

7. Prostitute Information Center Tours

The Prostitute Information Center, or PIC, in Amsterdam, tries to refute several myths and prejudices regarding prostitution, in general, and in Amsterdam, in particular. Every Wednesday through Saturday at 5pm, a current or former sex worker takes tours of the Red Light District, describing the trade’s customs and introducing visitors inside an actual room where prostitutes entertain customers. Of course, you may ask as many questions as you like. It contains everything you’ve always wanted to know about sex work but were too frightened to ask.

Tours from 25 EUR.

8. AllTourNative Amsterdam

This Dutch city boasts a thriving alternative culture scene. And the greatest introduction to it is to take a guided walking tour. The “Street Art and Alternative Amsterdam” tour by AllTourNative Amsterdam brings tourists to some of the city’s top street murals, galleries, and coffeehouses that promote and generate an alternative culture in Amsterdam. The 2.5-hour trip will undoubtedly take you to places you would not have heard of as a tourist.

Tours from 20 EUR.

9. 360 Amsterdam

360 Amsterdam offers a variety of great walking tours, including guided tours that focus solely on Anne Frank and the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, tours that take visitors to the city’s most Instagrammable spots, food-focused walks, and a Seven Sins of Amsterdam tour, which is a two-hour guided walk through the Red Light District, weed-scented cafes, and other “sinful” activities. In summary, they provide a plethora of fantastic tours that are also reasonably priced.

Tours start at 18 EUR.

Conclusion

Amsterdam is a fantastic city with something for everyone – and every budget. There’s a walking tour for everyone, whether you want to learn about the drug scene and the Red Light District or have more refined tastes and want to learn about the city’s history.

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