Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken on an interesting walking / street food tour of the historical city center. Along the way, you will be treated to typical Dutch snacks such as a stroopwafel, a herring or kibbeling fish, a croquette, licorice, poffertjes, chocolate and of course the famous Dutch cheese.
Amsterdam, the city that was named after the Amstel river, is world-famous for its canals, locks, bridges and well-preserved centuries-old buildings. Most of which can be seen in the ‘canal district’. This unique area was laid out in the early 1600s and would obtain its final shape by the 1660s. Amsterdam, by then, was Europe’s third most populated city and admired for being so well organized, tolerant in religious matters and for the system of aid for the poor it had developed to deal with the needs of the urban poor and sick. An international and accommodating city that forms the splendid embodiment of what has been named ‘The Golden Age’. The architecture of the elegant town homes that were built in the residential sections of the ‘New Town’, continues to impress up to today.
The Van Loon Mansion is housed within the former residence of the Van Loon family and together with its garden and carriage house, constitutes an ensemble that is typical of the ‘Golden Age Grand Town Home’. Today, it is the only remaining architectural ensemble in town. The rooms inside all reflect on fashions associated with wealth and refinement. The walls are graced with family portraits that are grouped so as to showcase the unions between Van Loon and other powerful families.
Since Amsterdam is an excellent walking city, strolling down the paved streets, your guide will point out famous landmarks such as the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the former civic orphanage on Kalverstraat and the neighboring Begijnhof (scenic courtyard complex of centuries-old homes still in use by a community of women, formerly addressed as “begijnen” – a lay catholic sisterhood established in 1389), the Sephardic synagogue in the former Jewish district and the former home of Rembrandt van Rijn. All are within walking distance of most hotels.
Street Food Tour
De Jordaan and De Pijp neighborhoods are lovely local areas, home to famous street markets and offer plentiful opportunities for a lunch or coffee break. The Nine Street district with its local stores, boutiques and cozy restaurants is also interesting to walk through.
You will be taken to the famous Albert Cuyp Market, located in De Pijp, where you will find fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, flowers and plants as well as beautiful fabrics, trendy clothing, fine leather ware and jewelry. With its 260 market stands, Albert Cuyp is Holland’s largest street market offering a variety of things to see. You’ll find the statue of Holland’s popular singer André Hazes at the corner of first Sweelinck Street. In De Pijp you will be treated to typical Dutch street food and we will have a coffee in a traditional Amsterdam café.
The tour will end back at your hotel, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure.