About this tour

Let us walk you through the history of the city - from its very founding to the legalization of prostitution and gay marriage in recent times. How come this city has been one of the freest in the world? You will discover that this goes back far in history. Also, did you know that in the 17th century, Amsterdam was the richest city in the world - home to a vast trading empire? We will tell you more about how the Dutch tolerance and the country's economic might were related.

  • Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Language: English (Dutch on request)
  • Price: tips only
  • Availability: check the calendar here
De Waag on Nieuwmarkt

De Waag on Nieuwmarkt

This tour will cover

On this tour you will learn and talk about:

  • The unusual founding of Amsterdam
  • Julius Caesar in the Low Countries
  • The history of the Red Light District 
  • Amsterdam's history as a Holy Catholic City
  • The violent destruction of the churches
  • Rembrandt, Van Gogh and other famous painters
  • Amsterdam as the wealthy center of a global empire
  • How this city helped create capitalism
  • The French invasion under Napoleon
  • World War II and the occupation by Nazi Germany
  • Jewish history and the history of religious freedom
  • And more...
Rembrandt's house

Rembrandt's house

Where does the tour depart from?

We gather in front of the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis in Dutch) on Dam Square. See the map to your left for the exact location we leave from. Or click here to open it in a separate window.

Royal Palace on Dam Square

Royal Palace on Dam Square

What time do I have to be there?

The History and Culture tour leaves every working day at 9.30am and 12.30pm.

Please make sure you are there 15 minutes in advance so you don't miss the tour.



How do I find the tour guide?

Look out for your Amsterdam Free Walking Tour guide holding a red and white umbrella.

In case you cannot find the tour guide, call the following number: +31 (0)6 31 23 72 98.


Red and white umbrella

This is probably the best free walking tour on my trip so far. Peter is very intelligent and can tell a lot about Amsterdam’s rich history. I really enjoyed the tour.
A great way to get to know the city, see some beautiful buildings, and learn about the history to put everything into perspective.