Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Around Town: Walking Tour in Amsterdam

Earlier this month, one of my very best friends from Florida, Jolie, came to visit for two weeks on her very first trip to Europe! We had a brilliant time together, as good friends usually do, and it was especially fun to show her about this darling city I happily call home.

Although Amsterdam is known as a bike friendly spot (actually, that's one of my favorite aspects of living here!) it's nearly impossibly, especially for visitors, to properly take in the sights while steering and peddling their way along the fietspad

Cycling in Amsterdam is great fun and a definite necessity for locals, but everything whizzes by so quickly! That's why I recommend all visitors to take more time to stroll the streets and enjoy the picturesque scenes.

Let me get to the point, walking tours are a good thing!

That said, it's no surprise I also love a leisurely walk in the city because it's simply a relaxing way to see a new perspective of life happening around you. You'll never be able to catch the details of Amsterdam's historic canal houses, cute window scenes, or little spring flowers while rushing along on a bike! Plus, walking offers great opportunities for picture taking, which is an absolute must.

We chose Sandmans Free Tours for extremely biased reasons as my colleague Mark, a witty ginger from Ireland, just happens to be a guide for them (Hi Mark!)

Although I've been along the same tour a few years ago, this round did not disappoint. We spent a few hours learning the history of Amsterdam, while wandering the streets, peaking around tiny alleys and chucking at our guides entertainingly off color jokes. While I'm already acquainted with the history of Amsterdam, it was great fun to hear Jolie's unfamiliar point of view, observations from a fresh perspective are so interesting. Our tour was great combination of history and humor!

Yes, that's a boob, Amsterdam's Oudekerk is located in the heart of the Red Light District.

Oh look, it's Amsterdam's thinnest house! Can you believe someone really lives there?!

A few snapshots around the Jordaan neighborhood in west of the city center

If you're visiting Amsterdam, showing friends around the city or just curious to explore a bit of history definitely check out these tours. And don't forget to tip generously if you found it fun,
the tours may be free but the guides still gotta eat!

Speaking of eating, our tour ended in the Jordaan and after browsing a few overpriced cute boutiques I took Jolie to one of the tastiest vegan restaurants in town, De Bolhoed. You may remember it from my Friday Pieday series and although it's been ages since I visited their food was yummy as ever!

Note: If are are brave enough to hop on a two wheeler in Amsterdam here's a little secret...
The locals exactly don't appreciate amateurs taking their sweet time frivolously cycling and pretty please don't ring your bells obnoxiously, it's just annoying. While you might be leisurely cycling along be warned there's a chance swarmed by dining bells and angry locals zipping past.
Just stay to the right, be aware and everyone's happy! So, now you know. 


  1. I look forward to taking walking tours and biking tours of Amsterdam. Love the photos.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  2. Can I come again so you can be my tour guide? Awesome. Visitors are the best!

  3. I am really happy that Spring is finally here , I am enjoying it so much, on Monday I went to AMS and I was walking around the Jordaan and de negen straatjes. So pretty. BTW I nominated you for a Liebster blogger award, if you want to play the info is here.