Home Tours Quintessential Amsterdam: The Grand Tour of the Old City

Quintessential Amsterdam: The Grand Tour of the Old City


In a nutshell. Explore the essential sights of old Amsterdam, a wealthy Renaissance harbour city that spared no expense for its tree-lined grand canals, humpback bridges, merchant’s homes, and royal squares. This tour covers 800 years of history through the eyes of the sailors, traders, artisans, guardsmen, and merchants who made Amsterdam the wealthiest maritime power in the world.

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Dam Square National Monument.jpgPracticals. The walk lasts three hours or so. Meet at Dam Square - at the big obelisk - about five minutes prior to your tour. It looks like this (photo, right). Click here for a map of exactly where it is. Many trams stop at or behind Dam Square. 

Themes. Architecture, Dutch Renaissance (the Golden Age), water reclamation, the Inquisition, the Reformation, liberalism, homosexuality, economics, miracles, orphans...you name it, we discuss it.

Areas. The Quintessential Tour roams off the beaten path down small alleyways while taking in highlights like Dam Square (de Dam), the Old Church (Oude Kerk), New Market (Nieuwmarkt), Rembrandt’s House, the Amstel River, Rembrandt Square (Rembrandtplein), the Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt), and more.

More details. For centuries, Amsterdam has maintained a beauty and authenticity recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Via its tiny avenues and hidden courtyards, this walking tour offers the perfect orientation of the old city centre. Its old façades and cobblestones tell stories spanning 800 years of art, architecture, seafaring, and faith. Understand a truly unique history featuring some notorious characters: Rembrandt, Anne Frank, Vincent van Gogh, Baruch Spinoza, Rene Descartes, Napoleon, William the Silent, and Czar Peter the Great, kings, queens, queers, rebels, and pirates! And if you love food like we do, we can make time to sample street food and drinks along the way (an optional cost to you).

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