About

Amsterdam 209

Photo-bombed by a reveller, while guiding a special high school group from America during Queen’s Day 2011 in Vondelpark!

Amsterdamsel Tours take you where other tours don’t. When it comes to this city, it’s the little details that count. Our walks go deeper, off the beaten path to the secret gardens, macabre archways, and unexpected paths that uncover the essence of Amsterdam’s past and personality…stopping for a tasty treat now and then, of course.

Not only will you orient yourself to the city in a unique way, you will also acquaint yourself with pivotal moments in Amsterdam’s 800-year history and culture…and actually like it!

Amsterdamsel Tours is the local expert on visiting the Netherlands. Our small team has one thing in common: a passion for showing you the best of Dutch culture, history, and nature.

A home-grown company, many tours are still lead by its owner, Larae Malooly. By founding Amsterdamsel, she wanted to change the way people experience Amsterdam. Click here to learn more about why she started.

From Amsterdam to Zutphen, our traditional walking tours and specialised excursions offer something for everyone. Why are our tours particularly interactive and dynamic? Here are a few reasons!

Customised

It’s your trip. Enjoy it on your own terms. Begin when and where it suits you best. Our private tour option is still the most popular way of designing a tour to match your interests.

Stellar reviews

Our guest’s reviews say it all. We love guiding and designing trips, and it shows.

Expertise

Our team of local guides not only have years of experience, but most come from a variety of professional backgrounds that add expert knowledge to every tour–be it history, architecture, water management, fashion, or international relations, to name a few.

Small groups

We guarantee no more than ten people on any traditional walking tour. It’s part of our sustainable tourism goal. Which brings us to….

Sustainability

We are home-grown and won’t go corporate. Small parties, meeting with locals, recommending local activities and eats, plus avoiding mainstream tourist “traps” is all part of how we strive to approach your experience with cultural sensitivity. In a time when tourism is all about quantity, we focus on quality.

Philosophy

Amsterdam was destined to be different. It deserves a different kind of guided tour, and so do the most curious of travellers. Choosing to explore with Amsterdamsel Tours enhances your world view in a city that once brought the world to its harbours and back.

Explore the city’s true nature with not only a genuinely witty city tour, but learn about Amsterdam’s notorious reputation through its dynamic past. Trace its brick-lined streets with Amsterdamsel Tours to discover its glorious art and architecture and 800 years of social upheaval and inspiration. There is a bit of history over every bridge. A bit of wonder behind every gabled façade.

Your professional and experienced guide can take you to the top sights, but also focuses on hidden treasures along the way instead. Storytelling with a human touch is our main philosophy. Concepts are more important than commentary.

An Amsterdamsel Tour engages travellers in a dynamic way, always with an honest perspective and respect for local culture and historic context. A proper tour gives travellers a sense of a city’s soul, its birth, and what sustains its heartbeat today. Amsterdam is alive, and if you want to truly feel its pulse, this is the tour for you.

About the founder

It was love at first sight when Larae Malooly moved to the Netherlands in 2005. Winter was in full swing in Amsterdam. Clouds were so low that even she, measuring 1.47m, could touch them. The icy wind whipped at her hair. Swans in the canals eyed her suspiciously. Bicycles, rain, and Dutch cheese intrigued this desert rat.

Larae w Amsterdam Flag

Larae with Amsterdam’s flag

She was there for a purpose, but it wasn’t the purpose that she thought. She moved to the Netherlands on a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship to study abroad, build cultural bridges, and obtain a master’s degree in International Relations. But it turned into a love affair with Amsterdam. She studied the city’s history and culture more than the assigned reading on economics and politics. She immersed herself headfirst into both.

She learned to count to 21 in Dutch at blackjack tables in the Holland Casino on Leidseplein. Every band she ever meant to see live happened to be performing at Paradiso or Melkweg. Every month faithfully revealed another exhilarating festival or celebration. Famous academics and lecturers seemed to always be giving talks at universities and inside old churches. Knowledge: the real religion.

And Amsterdam: her ideal town. Riding a bike everywhere instead of looking for parking and getting speeding tickets. Sitting at the terrace of a cafe on a chilly autumn day with apple pie and hot chocolate. Or a wheat beer come the fleeting summer. Meeting interesting people: scholars, misfits, professionals, buskers, creatives… All here from around the globe to hand-carve their own individuality, Amsterdamsel herself included, in perhaps the best possible place to do so.

Larae became a tour director for EF Tours in 2006, leading cultural and educational tours all over Europe for student groups, and later throughout the United States and Middle East. Soon, she was giving her style of unique city tours of Amsterdam, and in 2009, established Amsterdamsel Tours with the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce (KvK 34341429) to share this sublime Amsterdam experience with visitors.

And yes, she uses MSc in International Relations she earned from the University of Amsterdam in 2008. Her guiding style also combines seven years of experience as a broadcast journalist, public speaker, and freelance writer. When she is not giving Dutch tours, she travels worldwide as a director of tours for large tour operators including Trafalgar, EF Tours, Travelsphere, Page & Moy, and Just You.

It’s not clear whether this love affair with Amsterdam is going anywhere. But like all passions, one needs no reason to keep doing it except the joy of it. Entertaining walking tours reveal Amsterdam’s unique history and culture that carved its once formidable place in this world, guided by an experienced and quirky damsel and her team.

Advertisements