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Introduction to Amsterdam Tour with Old Town

Get acquainted with the origins of Amsterdam from the Golden Age to modern day liberalism
From US$377 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Nieuwmarkt
  • Amsterdam Canal Belt
  • Royal Palace Amsterdam (Town Hall)
  • Dam Square
Photos & Highlights
  • An orientation to Amsterdam's charming Historical Center
  • Led by a local historian
Select a date
Tour Description
In this 3-hour introductory walking tour of Amsterdam, we'll visit Amsterdam's Old Town with a local historian, painting a vivid image of this free-wheeling and artistic city, from the charm of the canals to the pleasures of De Wallen. This is a perfect orientation tour for first-time visitors.

Amsterdam's Old Town

Our walk begins just a stone’s throw away from the spot that helped give Amsterdam its name: Dam Square. We’ll discuss the origins of the city and form an understanding of the foundational aspects of Dutch culture, which are reflected in the development of the medieval city. We'll get our bearings at this central square, also home to the World War II National Monument and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church). The church isn't used that often these days, except for the most special of occasions—like royal investitures, and the wedding of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. 

Into the City Center

From here, we’ll move through the streets of the city center, making our way past the Royal Palace. This impressive building was once the Town Hall until Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (not the one you're thinking of, but his younger brother/step-son-in-law—we know, it's confusing, we'll spare the details) seized power in the Netherlands and installed himself as ruler. Although it wasn't long until control shifted back to the House of Orange, the name has stuck.

As we continue, we'll catch a glimpse of Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage Site: the architectural marvel of the canal belt. (If you want to spend time getting to know this area properly, we have a Dutch Golden Age Tour that can help with that.) Along the way to the canal belt, we may also stop in at the Begijnhof courtyard, a time capsule of the 17th century. We’ll take time to discuss Amsterdam’s economic flourishing during those years and how that success has made the city what it is today.

By the time we finish our walk together, we’ll have a sense of how Amsterdam came to be and what it is today. We’ll have had a taste of the city’s story—all the better to get out and explore further on your own, or on one of our other Amsterdam Walking Tours.


Will we visit the Red Light District on this tour?
As of April 2020, Amsterdam has prohibited walking tours from passing prostitution windows in the city center. While this may be a topic for discussion on your Introduction to Amsterdam tour, you will not spend time in the Red Light District itself.
Where You'll Start
144 Reviews (4.88)

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Giorgio was terrific. Very knowledgeable and engaging. And he tailored the tour to some of our specific interests. Five stars.
Henk was excellent. We felt like we were shown around Amsterdam by a family friend. He was engaging and kind. I would highly recommend both the tour and guide.
Jurgen shared his love and knowledge of Amsterdam and provided me with a tour that covered Golden Age and more modern history. We explored various neighborhoods of Amsterdam, which allowed me to see where they are in relation to one another. I feel confident I can explore further on my own over the rest of my week here. This was my first private one-on-one tour, and I greatly appreciated how Jurgen made it more of a conversation than a history lecture. I think he appreciated my questions, and the sometimes random paths my questions took us down. Jurgen happily pivoted when I expressed interest in seeing a theater that wasn’t on his original itinerary. Awesome!