Tours & activities in Amsterdam

Alternative Tour of Amsterdam

Explore the alternative side of Amsterdam & experience contemporary art with entrance to the Modern Contemporary Museum


Due to the unusual tourism situation currently developing, we have temporarily suspended this tour.

ABOUT THE Alternative Tour of Amsterdam

Amsterdam truly is a city like no other. People come from around the world to experience the unique facets of Amsterdam's society, but this is your chance to see the local culture and the way the locals live! Join us on this 2-hour walking tour as we delve into the alternative scene that makes Amsterdam a must-visit destination for people over the world.


Your Amsterdam Alternative Tour meets at the National Monument at Dam Square and ends at Museumplein.


Liberal laws

Everyone knows that Amsterdam has liberal laws around things like drug use, and on this tour, your local expert guide will help you to understand the origins of these laws and to clear up any myths around them, as well as showing you some of Amsterdam's most famous coffee shops. Beyond the drugs, Amsterdam has always been at the forefront of "living and let live"; the Netherlands was the first country in the world to recognize marriage equality, with the first same-sex wedding taking place in Amsterdam.

Alternative housing and transport

Amsterdam houseboats line the canals, and you don't have to look too far to find a squat in Amsterdam either. On the Alternative Amsterdam tour, your local expert guide will explain how these phenomena were the result of the post-WWI housing crisis, as well as telling you about how the White Bicycle Plan was created to give everyone access to bikes and to combat pollution. Your guide will also give you an insight into how Amsterdammers today fight against gentrification and urban development.

Experience contemporary art

On this tour we also take you to the Modern Contemporary (Moco) Museum where you can explore an exhibition by Banksy. Learn how Amsterdam’s street art culture fits into the social commentary of a city that is known to be open and liberal.

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The Alternative Tour of Amsterdam starts in front of the National Monument in Dam Square

  • Uncover the myths and truths about Amsterdam's liberal drugs laws
  • Learn about how the Netherlands were on the forefront of marriage equality
  • Discover some of Amsterdam's unique housing arrangements, such as squats and houseboats
  • Hear about the White Bicycle Plan, which decreed that unlocked bikes should be available in the city to help combat pollution
  • Find out how the Amsterdam locals today fight gentrification and urban development
  • Get a taste of street art culture by visiting the Banksy exhibition at the Moco Museum



This tour doesn‘t run today

Inclusions & exclusions
What’s included
  • Expert English-speaking local guide
  • Entrance to Moco Museum (optional)
Additional Information
  • Participants on all tours and activities (no matter which provider) in Amsterdam are subject to a €1.50 "entertainment tax". This additional cost is already included in the price of your tour. Please note that this tax is not retained by SANDEMANs, nor by the freelance guides leading your tour, but is a compulsory, additional tax that is passed on directly to the Amsterdam municipality. Thank you for your understanding
  • Our business is connecting great guides and smart travelers, and we're proud that so many local guides employ us to welcome travelers like you on their journey through some of the world's best cities. No two tours are alike, and the sites, stories, and length of the tour will vary depending on what your freelance guide decides is best. That's why the tours we promote never get stale or feel scripted, and why both independent guides and savvy travelers prefer SANDEMANs
  • Wheelchair accessible
The Amsterdam Alternative Tour meeting point at the National Monument in Dam Square
The Amsterdam Alternative Tour starts in front of the National Monument in Dam Square Open in Google Maps
Tour start Tour starts here
End start Tour usually ends here
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What is a Select Tour?


Select Tours focus on a particular area or district of a city, a certain aspect of its history or culture, or take you outside the city on a day trip. Select Tours are perfect for those who have enjoyed an introduction to the city and wish to delve deeper into the stories the city has to offer. These tours often venture further afield and make use of local public transport.

As with the Free Tour, Select Tours are provided by local freelance guides in partnership with SANDEMANs NEW Europe, who bring their personal flair and expert knowledge to these specifically themed tours. Select tours have a fixed ticket price - we recommend purchasing your ticket in advance, either during a Free Tour or online.

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Participation in tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe is strictly on a voluntary basis. Neither SANDEMANs NEW Europe, nor the self-employed freelance guides who are the providers of the tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe, will be held responsible in any way for injuries to body or property incurred during tours. The tour guides reserve the right to deny participation in any tour, to any person, for any reason. Thank you for your understanding.

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