Are you planning to visit Amsterdam but don’t know if you should take a tour or not? In this guide, we cover all the best tours of Amsterdam to take this year and why we love them so much.
Pro Tip: Planning your trip to Amsterdam? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re in the city. Check out our guide to Amsterdam for more planning resources, our best Amsterdam tours for a memorable trip, and the top things to do in Amsterdam.
Should You Book One of the Best Tours of Amsterdam?
The short answer is yes. But why?
Amsterdam is a city that has a lot to offer and even more to explore! The food and drink scene is fantastic. Indonesian and Sumerian influences highlight the Netherlands’ imperial past, mingling with class local dishes like salted Herring. There are over forty-five miles of canals and three-hundred-and-twenty miles of cycle lanes. So, it’s no surprise to find that canal cruises and cycling tours feature heavily on this list.
On top of that, there is the Anne Frank Museum and two world-class art museums in the form of the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. There is much more to see and do than most people first expect. A guided tour can make sure you don’t miss any vital sites, so be sure to check out our best tours of Amsterdam below.
Not ready to book a tour? Explore our Amsterdam Guide.
The Top 8 Best Tours of Amsterdam
The late Anthony Bourdain once said, ‘Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.’ It should come as no surprise that I often put food tours at the top of these lists.
I don’t think there is a better way to understand a city than a food tour. You get to learn so much. I’m not saying don’t go to the major monuments and museums; I’m saying do both.
With this tour, you’ll explore the historic Albert Cuyp Market as you join a food-obsessed local guide for an afternoon of seafood, cheese, street food snacks, and delicious local beer. From pickled herring to exciting Asian fusions, this is a deep dive into the Dutch food scene and undoubtedly one of the best tours of Amsterdam.
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our Amsterdam Guide for more resources.
2. Rijksmuseum Art Connoisseur Guided Tour
There are 8,000 works of art in the Rijksmuseum. If you were to spend sixty seconds in front of each, it would take 133 hours or five and a half days without sleep or rest to see the entire collection.
The point I’m trying to make is there is a lot to see. You don’t have time to see everything, so what should you see? You can pour through guidebooks and free guides like ours or let a local art expert guide you through the key pieces with insights, history, and more. I know which one I would choose.
With this tour, your expert guide leads you through the key highlights of the Rijksmuseum and learn about the Golden Age of Dutch art.
- Rembrandt’s portraits
- Jan Steen’s family interiors
- Vermeer’s ‘The Milkmaid’
- Ferdinand Bol’s self-portrait
- ‘The Night Watch’
- 7th-century delftware
- 17th-century dolls house
- Entry to The Pierre Cuypers Library
Not ready to book a tour? Find out if a tour of the Rijksmuseum is worth it.
Would you rather explore Amsterdam by bike or from the water? It’s your vacation, so why choose? Do both with this fabulous combo tour.
Jump on your fully equipped bike to cycle around some of the city’s most essential and beautiful sites. You’ll see the historic Dam Square, Vondelpark, the Rijksmuseum, and more.
After working up an appetite on the bike, you can jump aboard your ninety-minute luxury canal cruise with drinks and food on board. It’s the perfect tour for anybody wanting a good city orientation.
- Friendly, local guide
- 2.5 hour bike tour through Amsterdam
- 90 minute boat tour
- Knowledgeable boat captain
- Drinks and bites on boat
- Iconic landmarks and canals
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our Amsterdam Guide for more resources.
There is a reason Amsterdam is called the Venice of the North: canals, lots of them. One hundred sixty-five of them, in fact, stretching over seventy-five KM.
You’ll cruise past Amsterdam’s most important neighborhoods like Jordaan, Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and the Golden Bend. Add on top of that an open bar, allowing you to enjoy some delicious local Dutch Lager.
You’ll have a skipper and host to ensure you don’t miss anything, a fun and informative way to see the city and one of the best tours of Amsterdam.
- Refreshments including beer, wine and soft drinks included
- Expert Local English Speaking Team of Skipper and Host
- 1 hour canal cruise through Amsterdam’s most important neighborhoods
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our guide to the Best Bars in Amsterdam
This tour is a must for those wanting a deeper understanding of life in Amsterdam during WWII. History should occasionally make us feel uncomfortable. Reflecting on past horrors is often the best way to ensure we don’t commit those same horrors again.
You’ll start outside the Jewish Museum and meet up with your guide steps away from the Dokwerker, a monument dedicated to the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands, Jonas Daniel Meijer, before heading into the Jewish Quarter.
Your expert guide will talk about the Nazi presence in Amsterdam, its effect on the Jewish community, and how young Anne Frank hid in a Dutch household.
Then, onto the Hollandsche Schouwburg Museum and the Portuguese Synagogue before finishing outside the Anne Frank House Museum, where you will be free to explore if you choose to do so.
- Guided tour through the Jewish Quarter
- Detailed stories about World War II
- Historical World War II sites
- Stops at the Hollandsche Schouwburg Musem
- See the outside of the Portuguese Synagogue
- Views of The Anne Frank House museum
- Local English-speaking guide
Not ready to book a tour? Check out the Top Things to do in Amsterdam
6. Amsterdam in a Half Day by Bike
Cycling is an integral part of Amsterdam’s culture. There are few cities in the world so bicycle friendly. In fact, there are 515km (320 miles) of dedicated cycle lanes.
So, while in many cities, my favorite way to get around is on foot, in Amsterdam, I love nothing more than getting on two wheels to explore as much as possible.
With this tour, you’ll join our fun storytelling guides to discover the top sights in Amsterdam in the most authentic fashion. Ride through the city’s coolest neighborhoods, cross over the canals, and sample local beer on the best bike tour of Amsterdam.
- Local English speaking guide
- Maximum group size of 10
- Bike rental with helmet included
- Jordaan district
- The Heineken Factory (Exterior)
- A visit to a local brewery
Not ready to book a tour? Check out Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Indulge in traditional Dutch cuisine and discover culinary influences with your friendly local guide.
On this hand-crafted food tour in Jordaan, a neighborhood renowned for its enchanting canals and world-renowned culinary scene.
You’ll get to sample Dutch classics like traditional jenever, bitterballen, and herring. You will learn about the influence of Indonesian and Suriname dishes, and your expert guide will share insights into the neighborhood’s history and culture. You’ll finish the tour well-educated and satiated.
- Try Café Papeneiland’s famous apple pie
- Sample bitterballen
- Indonesian-inspired cuisine
- Suriname-influenced cuisine
- Herring the “Amsterdam way”
- Stroll along Brouwergracht Canal
- Sip jenever
Not ready to book a tour? Check out the Best Restaurants in Amsterdam
Explore not one but two world-class art museums in a day with an expert licensed guide. Not seeing the works of the Dutch Masters while in Amsterdam should be considered a crime. At the Rijksmuseum, you will see pieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer, amongst many others.
Then your tour departs from the norm, and your local expert guide will lead you to the recently opened Van Gogh museum. You’ll learn all the details about the often controversial artist’s life, about his drive and prolific production.
A tour full of curiosities and stories about the life and work of the genius of Van Gogh and the Dutch Masters.
- Rembrandt’s Night Watch
- Vermeer’s The Milkmaid
- Van Gogh’s Self Portraits
- Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
- The Life and Art of Vincent Van Gogh
- Top Works from the Dutch Masters
Not ready to book a tour? Check out How to Visit the Rijksmuseum