Thinking of taking a walking tour while in Amsterdam?
When most people think of this canal-crossed city, they imagine exploring via oak paneled flatboat or bright red bicycle. While both modes of transportation are fitting in their own way the most intimate way to explore Amsterdam is undeniably on foot. From hidden cobbled alleyways, to subtle slender foot bridges, to exclusive local food markets, walking tours in Amsterdam can help you discover the secrets of the city.
Your feet– and a wide range of expert tour guides– will take you places that fashionable bicycle would never allow. In fact, an entire industry has bloomed to meet every traveler’s need– so whether you’re a total foodie, avid history buff or budget-conscious student, there is truly a tour for everyone. All you have to do now is pick your favorite!
Before we get to the best walking tours we should mention that Amsterdam is the fifth most visited city in Europe. There is a lot to see and do in this amazing city, but it isn’t exactly a budget destination.
So if you’re looking to save a few bucks choosing a budget accommodation option is your best bet. But don’t worry, you don’t have to stay in a sleazy hotel, Amsterdam has a whole slew of fantastic hostels. Interested? Here is our guide to the best hostels in Amsterdam. Stay in one and save money for other things.
Without further ado, here are some of the best walking tours in Amsterdam!
Hungry Birds Walking Tours in Amsterdam
- Tour Type: Walking Food Tour
- Duration: 4 – 5 hours
- Cost: €79 – €89 per person
If you are seeking a small, personalized (and delicious!) experience, look no further than Hungry Birds. This unique organization was started by five Dutch women passionate about spreading their love for culture through food. They see Hungry Birds not as just a tour, but rather a interactive food and drink experience with an emphasis on human connection and storytelling. They exclusively visit family-owned, local eateries and offer four distinct packages– and cookbooks– for the for food loving visitors.
While every tour on their site has its unique benefits, the Daytime Experience is hard to beat. Hungry Birds is worth every cent of the €79 booking fee with this four and a half hour tour.
The “original Hungry Birds street food adventure” is all about discovering a mix of traditional and modern Dutch food. The tour takes place in the trendy neighborhood of De Pijp, home of the famous Albert Cuyp Market and includes, as Hungry Birds so proudly states, conversations with local “food heroes”.
The Evening Experience is also a great way to participate in the city’s amazing culture (and food, of course!) if Amsterdam’s party scene isn’t quite for you.
Free Walking Tours Amsterdam
- Tour Type: Classic educational, alternative, or food tour
- Duration: 2 hours
- Cost: Free!
The name of this walking tour is as straightforward and enticing as their educational approach. Free Walking Tours Amsterdam relies on the cross cultural magic of storytelling to provide an engaging, comprehensive and (most importantly) free tours of this special city.
The tour company offers three different tours, a Classic Tour, an ‘Alternative’ tour and a Food Tour. While all three are fantastic, the Classic Tour is a perfect way to start off your urban adventure.
On the Classic Tour you will walk through the Royal Palace and Red Light District, all the while hearing about Amsterdam’s complex history with marijuana, trade, and transportation. This two hour tour is one of the best way to orient yourself in the city without a huge financial or time investment. Plus, if you enjoy the Classic Tour, you can always join for another tour later during your visit– or even later that day.
The best part about Free Walking Tours Amsterdam is that it doesn’t require any pre-registration for groups under 20. You can just show up! This company is truly perfect for the spontaneous, budget-conscious explorer.
HistoryWalks: World War II and the Holocaust in Amsterdam
- Tour Type: Historic
- Duration: 3 hours
- Cost: €30 per person
This incredibly informative tour is ideal for visitors who want to experience Amsterdam from a historical perspective. It is important to note that because this experience is so bespoke, HistoryWalks only runs tours on request– so you must book more than two days in advance. This particular tour, however, is well worth the planning.
HistoryWalks offers four tour guides for you to choose from– each is highly qualified Dutch historian with a specialized knowledge in World War II– and of course, perfect English. You will be led through the city’s relevant landmarks in chronological order from the occupation of German forces, to the persecution of the Jews, all the way through the shooting at Dam Square in 1945 and the Canadian Liberation.
This three hour experience is amazingly affordable at only €30 per person, so make sure to book ahead of time!
Eating Europe Walking Tour
- Tour Type: Historic, Food Tour
- Duration: 4 hours
- Cost: €115 per person
Eating Europe’s Walking Tour of Amsterdam is not to be missed. While this incredible culinary experience is seriously popular– it has been recommended by National Geographic, The New York Times, Lonely Planet and many more travel experts– the organization is far from overrated. They offer a range of experiences in both price and duration, so the choices can be overwhelming.
That’s why we recommend the Jordaan Food and Canals Tour. This mid-range experience truly includes the best of both worlds. The tour starts with a guided walk through the quirky cultural and historical sights of the Jordaan neighborhood, followed immediately by an hour long private boat trip through Amsterdam’s world famous canals– all the while tasting dozens of delicious Dutch delicacies and exchanging stories with your local tour guide. Come hungry, because over the course four hours you will taste everything from a creative take on the classic bitterballen, to a unique and exotic cheese spread to a warm indulgent stroopwafel.
If you love Amsterdam’s boating culture almost as much as their cheese selection– and don’t mind spending a little more– than Eating Europe’s Jordaan Food and Canals Tour is the experience for you.
Sandeman’s New Europe Walking Tours
- Tour Type: Historic, Alternative Tour
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Cost: Free
Sandeman’s New Europe Walking Tours offers so many contemporary, yet classic, Dutch experiences. Our personal favorite– unsurprisingly– is their Free Tour of Amsterdam, which occurs four times every day! This is the only free experience offered by this renowned tour company and is the perfect way to get your feet wet exploring Amsterdam on foot.
New Europe’s Free Walking Tour hits all of the main sites of the inner city and is amazingly comprehensive. You will be introduced to the city by an expert local guide, hearing about everything from Amsterdam’s wild history of drug decriminalization and prostitution, to the tragedy of Anne Frank’s story and Nazi occupation. You will also see a unique variety of physical landmarks ranging from the city’s smallest house, to hidden churches, all the way to the Jewish Quarter.
Clearly Sandeman’s New Amsterdam Tour achieves its goal in helping visitors get their bearings in a confusing new city– for free! What could be better than that?
Romantic Walking Tour
- Tour Type: Romantic Historic Tour
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Cost: €29 per person
You will fall in love with Amsterdam on this intimate tour for two. This one of a kind experience fuses art, culture and romance into one fantastic day.
The tour begins in front of the medieval city–an under the radar, gated entrance that is only a few steps away from Amsterdam’s only sculptural dedication to love. Within minutes, you will be whisked away by your local tour guide to a silent, hidden courtyard and secret garden , just the first among many!
You will stroll across the bridge made famous by Claude Monet, discover the city’s love affair with tulips, learn about Rembrandt’s hidden declaration of love in his famous painting, “The Night Watch”, see the most beautiful– and romantic– theatre in the Netherlands and end with a handmade chocolate from the city’s only traditional chocolatier.
Sound like a lot? Don’t worry, you stop halfway through at a courtyard cafe for fresh squeezed juice and dynamic conversation.
No romantic companion? No problem. This Walking Tour is so engaging you can even take yourself!
Urban Adventure’s The Original Amsterdam Beer Tour
- Tour Type: Dutch Beer Tour
- Duration: 3 hours
- Cost: $60 USD per person
The best part about this particular tour– besides the phenomenal beer of course– is that you get to explore the Amsterdam’s unique nightlife and red-light district while still enjoying an educational experience and delicious Dutch beverages.
Urban Adventure’s emphasizes that while this tour is not a bar crawl, it does include private tours and tastings at the best bars, breweries and beer halls in Amsterdam. Led by a local, English speaking guide, you’ll walk the streets of Amsterdam while learning about the brewing industry, see where Amsterdam’s original Heineken building first stood, visit the city’s boutique bars in the Red Light District and end at a traditional beer hall– all the while sampling three incredible beers and a snacking on traditional Dutch bar food.
This tour is so much more than your typical day drinking experience– it is truly a historical celebration.You’ll learn about the Belgium and German influences that shaped the Dutch brewing industry and see the spots where Amsterdam warehouses used to store beer back in the 15th century. It’s a fun night out with your friends, but also an educational opportunity– like if a beer buff and art historian met up for a drink. This tour is truly for visitors looking for something a little different– and worth every penny!
Clearly, Amsterdam offers no shortage– or variety– of walking tours. From fantastic food experiences to heart-wrenching, historical landmarks, to intimate, hidden romantic moments, Amsterdam is so much more than a European party capitol. So grab your shoes and start walking– there is so much to see! And as always– safe travels!
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