Best Tours in Amsterdam

Sometimes a guided tour is the way to go, even if you usually prefer to fly solo. A tour can be a great way to investigate out-of-the-way areas, to get an insider’s perspective on where locals eat and play in the city, and to learn about interesting aspects of the city’s history, inhabitants, or architecture. These are some of our favorites in Amsterdam.

Boat Tours

Amsterdam City Tours. There is a lengthy roster of tours organized by Amsterdam City Tours, from walking tours to boat tours to countryside excursions. Popular choices include the Red Light District walk, the day and evening canal cruises, and daylong bus trips to Marken, Volendam, and the windmills, Amsterdam, North Holland. 020/530–1098; www.amsterdamcitytours.com. From €16.

Wetlands Safari. Leave urban Amsterdam behind and board a canoe for a half-day or sunset tour with serene views of grassy farmland, Dutch windmills, and a wide variety of birdlife. No canoeing experience is required; the tour is a slow-paced affair. Wetlands tours run mid-April–late September. A picnic lunch and beverages are included. Amsterdam, North Holland. www.wetlandssafari.nl/nl/english. From €51.

Food Tours

Hungry Birds. You may be in for a deliciously calorific journey across Amsterdam with Hungry Birds, but you get to work off some of what you eat as you amble through the city. The tours take you to Amsterdam's markets, eateries, and street stalls to sample Dutch treats like the syrupy stroopwafel, herring, deep-fried bar-snack staples like bitterballen, as well as some of the tastiest delights served by the city's international community. Expect to visit 8–10 spots on a 4½-hour tour. Amsterdam, North Holland. 618/986–268; 619/296–774; www.hungrybirds.nl. From €79.

Walking Tours

That Dam Guide. Mark Law—or one of his knowledgeable cohorts—is the engaging and entertaining tour leader who takes small groups of visitors around Amsterdam's historic city center or the Red Light District, impartng all sorts of wit and wisdom. They are equally good at explaining what city life was like for philosopher Spinoza in the 17th century as they are at giving contemporary context to the sights and sounds of the city. There's also a small group countryside driving tour offered March–October. Amsterdam, North Holland. 627/269–604; thatdamguide.com. From €25.

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