81. Be a tourist in my own city (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Finally, another goal finished!

Yesterday, two friends and I went to Amsterdam just to take the free tour around the city. The tour was set up by Sandeman, which is a company founded in Berlin. They changed the principles of touring to make sure the tourist doesn’t carry the risk, but the tour guide. By making the tour essentially free, you can decide how much you want to tip at the end of the tour, instead of having to pay a set amount of money before the tour even starts.

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The starting point of our tour – National Monument at Dam Square.

Our tour started at the National Monument at Dam Square, where we all had to gather together before the start. You then get put in a group with a tour guide. Rachel, our tour guide, started by asking where everybody was from. She was very motivated and enthusiastic and also turned out to have a great sense of humor. Starting from Dam Square, our tour covered the Anne Frank house, the Red Light district (where I’d never been before), the VOC and a lot of other places. The tour was meant to be about two/two and a half hours, but ended up lasting three hours.

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The narrowest house in Amsterdam: the red building.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, because the buildings that were showed weren’t very special to me. I liked the tour most for the information that I was told. Since I was born in the Netherlands, I’ve been taught Dutch history for a big part of my life. A lot of things I remembered having to learn once, but I’d forgotten most of it. Some things I still knew and other things were totally new to me.
Still, even if you’re Dutch yourselves, the tour still wouldn’t be a waste of time. Especially if you’re not from Amsterdam, a lot of the information can be new. If you’re not Dutch, I would recommend the tour even more. It’s a fun and quick way to get to know more about the city.
Just one thing: don’t believe any Dutch words your non-Dutch tour guide will tell you. Our guide tried to say ‘Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie’ and failed miserably, though we had a good laugh about it. If you want to know how Dutch words sound, try to find a Dutchman to say it for you.

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