If I am traveling somewhere solo for the first time, I prefer to do tours to get to know my surroundings. Who am I kidding; I prefer to find the closest bar. But after that, I like to get to know the city i’m in.
On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I went on multiple tours because I didn’t speak the language and the tours were a great way for me to learn about the city in English. If you ever visit Amsterdam and want to learn about the city, I recommend Randy Roy’s Redlight Tour and the We Bike Amsterdam tour.
Randy Roy’s Redlight Tour
This tour was just plain awesome! Kimberley – who is actually American – gives an excellent tour of the Red Light District that made my dirty mind soooo happy. The 1.5-hour tour included wandering around the Red light District and learning about the sex museums, different sex shops, the history of prostitution, how prostitution is regulated, the go-to coffee shops, live sex shows and more. Uptight people, this tour isn’t for you. Kimberley is laid-back and funny and it makes the tour a blast! She has got a bunch of crazy stories and facts, and nothing was off limits. I ended up hangin’ out with Kimberley after the tour because she was so much fun!
For this tour, you meet in front of the Victoria Hotel (across from Centraal Station) , the price is 15 euros, and it includes a drink. Go to randyroysredlighttours.com for more info on the tour and to contact Kimberley.
We Bike Amsterdam Tour
This tour is COMPLETELY different from Randy Roy’s tour (sorry, no sex toy talk on this one. sad face.), but it was also amazing. This was a great way to be a local for a day. Our group met at Dam Square and then walked to get our bikes. The tour lasted about 3-3.5 hours and included a bunch of stops to tell our group stories and facts about different buildings and landmarks. I loved this tour because I got to: 1. Ride around Amsterdam on a bike like so many locals do, and 2. I got to learn a lot about the history of this beautiful city. We learned interesting facts like why the buildings in Amsterdam are so narrow and why certain canals have certain names. We also got to see the narrowest house in the city, we got to wander around the local parks and neighborhoods, and we even parked and were able to wander through a local famous church.
We stopped halfway through the tour at a local coffee shop for a quick snack (who am I kidding, I had beer), and we were able to see a huge chunk of the city. I will definitely do this tour again! Our guide was helpful and knew a lot of information about Amsterdam. She was also great at guiding us around the city on bikes, which is not easy considering she had to keep the whole group together and keep us safe on the roads. For more information on this tour, visit webikeamsterdam.com or follow them on Twitter @WeBikeAmsterdam.
If you have time for one more tour, I’d recommend going on a hop on/hop off boat tour so you can wander through the canals and see how beautiful boat houses and other parts of the city are.
Amsterdam, I loved you and I will be back!