9 special Amsterdam city tours

You want to explore Amsterdam differently? With a real insider that knows the city like the back of his hand? Perfect! We have the best guided tours through Amsterdam.

A great way to experience Amsterdam like a local is a tour by a real insider.

We usually plan one or two guided tours when doing a city trip, in order to get to a completely new impression from a city.

The following guided tours show you the exciting history of the red-light dirstrict, insights into the different city districts and the real Amsterdam.

Read our articles about Amsterdam
Also read our blog post: Where to stay in Amsterdam

#1 Bike Tour through Amsterdam

How do real Amsterdams move around? With a bike, of course!

Thus on a bike tour through Amsterdam you move around like a local and get to know the most beautiful parts of the city.

On this two hour tour you ride on bikes across the most famous parts of the city with an English speaking guide while getting a first glimpse of the most important sights.

The tour is especially useful if this is your first trip to Amsterdam and you want to get a broad overview on the city.

Jenny did this tour when she studied in Holland on her first time in Amsterdam and can really recommend this Amsterdam guided tour.

To the bike tour on Amsterdam

Bikes in Amsterdam
Bikes! Bikes everywhere! On a bike tour you get to know Amsterdam like a local.

#2 Red-light District Crime Tour

The Amsterdam red-light district is the setting of all kinds of villain stories.

The best about this tour: the guide is a real Amsterdam crime journalist. At his side you’ll explore the the dark sides of this district.

You’ll get to know the red-light district from a different angle and through the eyes of a reporter: he gives you an impression on the red-light district you wouldn’t get otherwise.

If you’re interested in the coffee shop system, the legalization of prostitution and how it is linked to the crime rate of the city, this tour is just right for you.

It takes about 1,5 hours. A plus: the number of participants is limited to 7 people, so it’s easier to engage with the guide.

To the red-light disctrict crime tour

#3 Red-Light District Tour

If you haven’t been to the red light district, you have not really been to Amsterdam. What happens behind the scenes of Europe’s most sinful mile?

No doubt: the oldest business in the world is both fascinating and hideous at the same time. Still, a certain curiosity towards the wanton night life cannot be denied.

On this tour you learn about the negotiations between the women and their suitors, how much the business costs, and with how many men the women sleep each night. If you’ve always wanted to know about the Casa Rosso, the Moulin Rouge and the Banana Bar, this tour is just right for you.

The highlight is definitely the original peepshow of the 70s, the nostalgic gem of the tour. You have to be over 18 years old to participate in the tour. If accompanied by an adult, young people over 16 years old are allowed to join.

To the Red District Tour in English / in German / in French / in Spanish

 Our Tip: If you want do the tour with younger participants, you should book a private tour. This way the tour can be adapted to the participants’ age.

Amsterdam red light district
We definitely recommend a guided tour through the red light district.

Also read our blog post: Amsterdam travel tips + best sights & hidden gems

#4 Walking Tour “Dark” Amsterdam

Dark Amsterdam sounds very mysterious and you will indeed get to see the dark, and hidden sides of the city: the red light district, the Zeedijk (which used to be one of the most sinful streets of Amsterdam) and Chinatown.

Highlight of the tour is a visit to the Red Light Museum of Prostitution.The tour is in English and takes 2 hours. The minimum age limit is 18 years.

To the Walking Tour “Dark” Amsterdam

#5 Canal Tour with Burgers and Beer

What makes Amsterdam so special? We could name quite a few things and the canals are definitely one of them.

As the city is located 26 % below sea level, something needed to be done 300 years ago in order to keep the city from being flooded.

The result is the many canals on which you can cruise comfortably. On this 1,5 hour ride you can see all the highlights of Amsterdam and will be getting information by the guide.

On top of that you’ll get tasty burgers and beer. What else is there to want? If you want a vegetarian meal you can specify that when booking the tour.

To the Canal Tour with Burgers and Beer

Amsterdam Canal Boat
Amsterdam is perfect to explore by boat.

# 6 Dinner Cruise with four-course menu

Amsterdam has not only a beautiful charm during the day.

Especially at night, the city lights are a delight for every romantic.

If you want to spend the night on a luxurious boat while watching the lights, eating tasteful delicacies, this tour might be just right for you.

With the docks and canals in the background, the attentive crew cater for a nice atmosphere and the well-being of the guests.

Included are beer, whine and soft drinks as well as a four-course dinner.

To the Unique Dinner Cruise

#7 Ajax Amsterdam Stadium Tour

If your heart beats for soccer, you will love this tour. Ajax Amsterdam is one of the most famous clubs in the world and on this tour you will see their home: the Johann Crujiff Arena, named after the most famous Ajax player.

You may step foot on the holy pitch, take a seat on the substitutes’ bench and go to places of the stadium, that is usually reserved for players and officials.

For every football lover, this tour is something very special!

To the Amsterdan ArenA Tour

Amsterdam Arena
A game in the Amsterdam Arena is a fantastic exerience. But if you want to step foot on the grass of the pitch yourself, a stadium tour is your only chance. Basti went all the way to Amsterdam for the UEFA Cup finale in 2013. That’s what we call real football love!

#8 Coffee Shop Tour

On this walk you will get to know the best coffee shops in the city and experience the coffee shop culture up close.

Throughout the tour you’ll learn about the current drug policies and the history of marijuana. Of course, you can try the weed in the best shops of the city – only if you want to.

Your local guide certainly knows where to find the best Ganja in town and which kind is right for you. If you want to, he will show you how to toll a joint.

To the Ganja Cultural Coffee Shop Tour

#9 Windmill Tour around Amsterdam

Far away from the busy Amsterdam, you can do this entertaining and informative trip through the picturesque landscape of the Netherlands.

The historic windmills of Zaanse Schans as well as the typical green houses and warehouses are definitely worth a visit.

This tour leads you through the picturesque surroundings that still resemble those of the 17th century: the windmills, the rustic fisher village Volendam, the one-hour canal tour and a visit to a traditional cheese factory are the highlights of this half-day tour.

To the Windmill Tour

Windmill of Amsterdam
Windmills simply belong to Holland. You will see some of its most beautiful on this tour.