The centre of Amsterdam is relatively small: most distances are walkable, and walking is pleasurable, giving the best chance to appreciate the Amsterdam architecture. As you walk the streets, you cannot help but feel the rich history of the city in everything around you.
With so many stories and so much history, Amsterdam is the type of city you should discover on foot.
As you can see on a map, the Amsterdam was built as a crescent. In the middle you have the old centre bounded by the canal called the Singel. It contains the Red Light District around the Oude Kerk, the Nes theatre street, a quaint maze of small streets and quiet canals, and the Royal Palace at the Dam, with pedestrian shopping streets Nieuwendijk and Kalverstraat going north and south.
Surrounding the old centre, you have the 3 concentric ring canals Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, together called Grachtengordel (Canal area). All four canals (with the Singel) are nice to walk along. The Herengracht is the grandest, especially along the 'Golden Bend' to the east of the Leidsestraat. The Prinsengracht is perhaps the friendliest with its houseboats and many restaurants, cafés and pubs. The streets that connect the ring canals, especially the area called 'The Nine Streets' in the section between the Brouwersgracht and the Leidsestraat shouldn't be missed for their lovely individual shops.
To the west of the ring canals, in the area on the map where the streets all run at an angle to the canals, is the Jordaan, a lovely area to walk, with quiet canals, and tiny streets, and many unusual shops. You'll find a lot of the better restaurants and more interesting bars there too.
Guided city walks
Prices are for Adult (13 years and older) and Child (4-12). Infants (0-3) can join for free.
|Tour / Organisation||Duration||Price|
|Canal District guided tours / Gilde Amsterdam||3 h||€10 | €5|
|Architecture Walk / Architecture Centre Amsterdam
Discover the architectural highlights of the IJ Waterfront, such as the National Maritime Museum, Central Library and A'DAM Tower. The tour ends at the iconic EYE Film Museum after a scenic ferry ride crossing the IJ river.
|Free Tour of Amsterdam / SANDEMANs||2½ h||free|
|Alternative Amsterdam Tour / SANDEMANs||2 h||€14|
|Guided walk old town / Amsterdam Old Town||2 h||€11|
|The Story of Amsterdam / WOW Tours||3 h||€30 | €12.50|
|Jewish History / Gilde Amsterdam||2-3 h||€10 | €5|
|Pub Crawl / Lindbergh
Visit 5 pubs and a club, party and receive free shots. Enjoy a night out in Amsterdam and share great moments with your fellow-travellers and locals.
|Anne Frank Walking Tour / 360 Amsterdam
Walk from the Jewish Quarter to Anne Frank House and listen to stories of WWII
|2 h||€22.50 | €12.50|
Beware of bicycle lanes
Beware of walking on bike paths, which are distinguished by their reddish colour: cyclists will show no mercy. Also take care when crossing roads, even at a green pedestrian light. Cyclists consider themselves pedestrians in Amsterdam, and so tend to ignore traffic lights.
Tip Wear comfortable walking shoes
Comfortable walking shoes are a must in Amsterdam. Many streets are cobbled. It is therefore recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes when you're strolling the streets of Amsterdam.