Let’s be honest. When you’re visiting Amsterdam, you have to see the Dam Square, Red Light District and Rijksmuseum. But is it also a must to hop on a hop-on hop-off bus to check off all main tourist attractions like the typical tourist?
Even though many tourists still jump on that double decker bus, Amsterdam is a city brimming with local secrets and hidden gems that are off the beaten path. So what better way to explore the real city (and avoid the crowds!) than to go on a walking tour with a local?!
Local Amsterdammers are filled with pride for their city; they know its in and outs, know it’s beautiful nooks and crannies, and know which parts of the city offer incredible experiences without any tour groups or crowds.
But where can you find a local Amsterdammer, willing to take you around?
Hi,hi Guide (www.hihiguide.com) is a platform that connects travelers with locals from all over the world. You get to choose a local you like, who will customize a tour itinerary matching your interests. It’s 100% private and pretty cheap too – you can hire a local from €12,50 per hour!
Visiting Amsterdam? Here are 7 reasons you should take a walking tour with a local Amsterdammer!
Why You Should Take a Walking Tour With a Local Amsterdammer!
Explore More Authentic Places
Amsterdam has many famous must-see attractions. These places aren’t famous for nothing, so we’re not saying you should blow them off completely. But it does mean that they’re not the most authentic experiences.
While lining up at the Rijksmuseum, waiting to see Rembrandt’s Nachtwacht, is undoubtedly exciting, you’ll get that real Amsterdam feeling when trying mini Dutch pancakes at the Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp instead.
You’ll feel more like a local when visiting popup art galleries at the former shipyard, NDSM Wharf, or catching an underground concert at Vondelbunker – a cold war bomb shelter that now hosts music, art exhibits and a micro beer brewery.
While tourists are sailing down Amsterdams Keizersgracht (the Emperor’s Canal), locals are instead hanging out in one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe. Locals know where the hidden secrets lie, and will be able to give you a taste of real Amsterdam life.
Traveling is about getting new insights that broaden your perspective on the world. But walking shoulder to shoulder at the Rokin probably won’t result in a lot of new lessons!
When talking to Amsterdammers about their culture, history, traditions or customs, you have the opportunity to learn new things on a more personal level. And as opposed to being led by one guide in a group of 20, when you have a local showing you around, you’re able to actually chat to them, and ask them questions.
You’re able to have real conversations when you’ve hired a private local for a walking tour of their city, and they’re able to open up to you on a real, human level. You almost forget you’ve hired them, because they quickly feel like a genuine friend.
Which leads up to our next reason …
Meet New Friends
It’s not always easy to get in touch with locals in Amsterdam. The bars at Leidseplein may seem like the perfect solution, however it’s more likely that you bump into other travelers than locals.
It saves a lot of time if you simply book a local to walk around with, and being that you can choose your local guide based on your interests, whether it’s photography, history, architecture, art or food, this is a fantastic way to make new friends.
Hi,hi Guide walking tours are private and therefore intimate and personal. And it really does feels as if a local friend is guiding you around town. When viewing local profiles and deciding who to book, you have photos of the local guides, and a run down of their interests.
For instance, Mira, was born and raised in Amsterdam, and offers to give you her student-perspective. Mathilde is an Instagram obsessed photographer, who will show you great spots to take fab pictures.
Cesar describes himself as an artist in love with history, art and inspiring places. His walking tour of Amsterdam will open your mind and creative soul.
The ability to pick someone who you’ll vibe with, share interests with, and with whom you’ll have a great time, is one of the best ways to make long lasting friendships!
Make Valuable Memories
Of course, the most valuable memories often emerge during spontaneous discoveries. So why not embrace the idea of throwing out your guidebooks and letting a local surprise you with his or her favorite places in Amsterdam.
Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone results in situations you will always remember!
Get Local Recommendations
Amsterdammers know ‘their’ Amsterdam best. Where to eat the tastiest dishes, where to hang out with friends, where to drink the best craft beers or which the best neighborhood to stay during a city break.
Your walking tour is only the start of your local immersion though – before you leave, ask your local guide for some quick advice. These recommendations from local insiders will help you to get more out of your time in the city.
Get Along With Local Customs
Amsterdam is becoming quite crowded in certain places, and as such, there’s a level of local aversion that is growing towards tourists. But your local Amsterdammer will tell you all about the local customs in order for you to adapt your behavior.
For this reason, it’s a great idea to organize your walking tour for one of your first days in the city. You’ll not only receive an introduction to Amsterdam, and have access to a local source of knowledge for planning the remainder of your trip, you’ll also benefit from their knowledge in how not to act like a typical tourist.
When you’re able to blend in, and behave in accordance with local customs, you receive much more respect from other local Amsterdammers. But there’s no real way of knowing these unwritten rules of etiquette unless you’re told about them.
That’s where a local comes in!
Popular tourist attractions are often surrounded by overpriced restaurants who actively aim to hurt your budget. It’s more likely your budget will survive if you’re going to places where locals eat and drink.
For instance, why would you pay the same amount of money for a hamburger and fries if you could buy 5 plates of Italian pasta for the same money – that is way tastier?!
Locals don’t pay tourist prices – they know where to go, eat, shop, drink, and how to get around without breaking their cost of living. And when you can hire a local from €12,50 per hour, you’re 100% saving money!
Want to book a walking tour with a local Amsterdammer?
Jump over to hihiguide.com to find a guide you’ll love!