Ultimate guide to Amsterdam

Windmills and Waterways: Amsterdam’s Free Guide to Lesser-Known Delights

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Welcome to our ultimate guide to Amsterdam! Where the bikes outnumber the people and the canals hold more secrets than the city’s diaries.

Here at Wingman, we’re not just your tour guide; we’re your local buddy, the pal who knows exactly where to find that hidden speakeasy or the best stroopwafel in town—crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, just as it should be.

We’re the whisper in your ear telling you which alley holds the key to architectural treasures and which canal bridge offers the most Instagrammable sunset views.

Amsterdam Canal with Bike

Hub of art, history, and tulips

Tulip Mania: More Than Just Petals

Before you dive into the labyrinth of lanes and the maze of canals, did you know that in the 17th century, tulips were so valuable in Amsterdam that they could trade for the price of a house? Yes, tulips weren’t just a garden variety affair; they were the backbone of a bona fide economic bubble! 

Top 3 wingman tours

With Wingman, exploring Amsterdam is less about following the crowd and more about discovering the heartbeat of the city.

Get Ready! We’re about to turn the dial up on your exploration meter!

Red Light District: A Walk on the Wild Side

Sure, it’s got a rep, but the Red Light District is more than just its neon glow. Navigate through this infamous neighborhood with the “Walk on the Wild Side” tour from Wingman.

Discover the hidden history, the unspoken stories, and yes, the undeniable allure of this legendary locale.

It’s the kind of tour that makes you go, “Oh, so that’s the story behind this!” Prepare to have your eyebrows raised—both from the tales you’ll hear and the sights, well, best seen to be believed!

One Day in Amsterdam: The Ultimate Dash

Only got a day to spare? No problem! “One Day in Amsterdam” is your express pass to the must-sees.

From stroopwafel stops to the clinking of bicycle bells, we pack in more Dutch delights than you thought possible in 24 hours.

It’s a whirlwind tour where you’ll get a taste of everything, ensuring your camera roll is just as full as your schedule. Rushing through has never been this rewarding—or this fun!

For Instagram Junkies: The Best Spots in Amsterdam

Calling all social media mavens and selfie aficionados—this one’s for you!

For Instagram Junkies: The Best Spots tour is your guide to becoming an instant IG sensation.

Discover the secret corners and iconic backdrops that’ll make your followers double-tap without a second thought. From the quirky Jordaan to the vibrant tulip lanes outside the Rijksmuseum, we’ve got your feed covered. 

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tourist traps to avoid

in amsterdam

We know your vacation time is precious, and nothing grinds gears like falling into a tourist trap. So, buckle up as Wingman navigates you away from the “tourist tax” and guides you through a trap-free travel experience with the following slide show…

Dodge the Diamond District Dilemmas

Beware the Sparkle Scams! Step into the glittering world of Amsterdam’s Diamond District with caution. While the allure of diamonds can be irresistible, not all that glitters is gold. Stay savvy and shop around before buying; high-pressure sales tactics and inflated prices often target unsuspecting tourists.

Sidestep the Souvenir Snafus

Skip the Generic Gifts! Those rows of clogs, tulip bulbs, and cheesy t-shirts might look tempting, but are they really worth it? Many souvenirs in central tourist areas come with a hefty markup. For authentic Dutch gifts, venture off the beaten path or visit local markets where real Amsterdammers shop.

Canal Cruise Caution

Navigate Beyond Touristy Tours! Canal tours are a quintessential Amsterdam experience, but not all are created equal. Avoid overpriced and overcrowded boats that can dilute the charm of the city’s waterways. Look for smaller, more personalized tours to truly appreciate Amsterdam’s canal belt.

Avoid the Coffee Shop Confusion

Not All Coffee Shops Brew Coffee! New to Amsterdam? Remember, a ‘coffee shop’ isn’t always a place to get your caffeine fix. Many tourists wander into these establishments unaware they’re geared more towards cannabis than coffee. If it’s a latte you’re after, seek out a ‘café’ instead.

Red Light Revelations

Look, Don’t Linger! The Red Light District holds an iconic status, but it’s wise to tread carefully. Respectful behavior is a must, and while it’s a popular spot for tourists, staying alert and safeguarding your belongings will help you avoid the less savory aspects of this famous area.

hidden gems of amsterdam

 

Discover Amsterdam’s Hidden Gems with Wingman.

Embark on a journey to the secret spots and tucked-away treasures of the city that even locals rave about. (With Coordinates!)

Off the Beaten Path

Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic)

Tucked away in the bustling heart of the city lies a 17th-century canal house with a hidden Catholic church in the attic. This museum offers a peek into religious tolerance and life in old Amsterdam. 

Fun fact: Previously, visitors had to wear shoe protection to visit the museum, but this rule has been abolished since the renovation in 2015.

Coordinates: 52.3751° N, 4.9003° E

Local Flavor, Literally

Noordermarkt Farmers’ Market

A vibrant market held every Saturday where locals gather to buy organic food directly from the farmers, artisans, and producers. A perfect spot to taste homemade cheeses, fresh produce, and artisan breads.

Fun fact: On Monday mornings (9 am till 1 pm) the stands on Noordermarkt sell antiques, books, jewelry, vintage clothes

Coordinates: 52.3798° N, 4.8860° E

 

Local Flavor, Literally

Noordermarkt Farmers’ Market

A hidden courtyard surrounded by historic buildings, including the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam.

This free to visit tranquil spot is a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Fun fact: Begijnhofje houses homes and churches for elderly ladies in the 16/17th century; and still today. 

Coordinates: 52.3698° N, 4.8895° E

 

Museums Off the Museum Path

Electric Ladyland: the Museum of Fluorescent Art

The first museum of its kind, dedicated to fluorescent art. It offers an immersive experience in a glowing environment that showcases the magic of fluorescent colors in art. You need a reservation!

Fun fact: The Electric Ladyland museum is a one-man show, and Nick Padalino handles all aspects of it. He is extremely knowledgeable about fluorescents, stones and UV lights, and his passion for this art form is charming.

Coordinates: 52.3757° N, 4.8841° E

 

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At Wingman, we’re passionate about transforming your travel experiences from typical to tremendous.

Each city is a new chapter in your adventure book, filled with unique cultures, sights, and sounds for you. 

Why stop at one? Explore our global network of destinations, from the romantic streets of Paris to the vibrant landscapes of Bangkok.

Dive into diverse cultures with our expertly crafted tours designed to enlighten and entertain.

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culinary delights of amsterdam

Forget those run-of-the-mill tourist traps where the menus are as bland as the decor.

Wingman’s Savor Amsterdam section is your secret menu to the city’s most scrumptious spots.

Gourmet Stroopwafels at Van Wonderen Stroopwafels

Taste the twist!

 

Tucked away in the bustling heart of the city lies a 17th-century canal house with a hidden Catholic church in the attic. This museum offers a peek into religious tolerance and life in old Amsterdam.

Fun fact: If you are overwhelmed with options get the crunch hazelnuts which has a sprinkle of sugar and nuts on top with nuttela and some homey in between.

Coordinates: 52.3751° N, 4.9003° E

Bitterballen at Café De Sluyswacht

Bite the Best!

Nestled by a quaint canal, this old lock-keeper’s house turned bar serves up the crispiest bitterballen in town. Pair them with a cold local brew for a flavor fest that’ll make your taste buds do the Dutch dance.

Pro Tip: If you get hungry ask for the locally made bitterballen, croquettes (vegan option available), fresh fries or the Dutch matured cheese.

Coordinates: 52.3691° N, 4.9017° E

 

Local Brews at Brouwerij ‘t IJ

Cheers to Choices

Situated right next to a classic Amsterdam windmill, this brewery offers a range of organic beers that are as unique as the venue itself. Whether you fancy an IPA or a seasonal special, it’s all brewed on-site and bursting with character.

Pro Tip: In the summer you can sit outside in the sun. The brewery has a large sunny terrace with a dock for boats. Check out the opening hours before going there! 

Coordinates: 52.3664° N, 4.9267° E

 

cultural insights of amsterdam

Step into the rhythm of Amsterdam where every corner turns into a stage, and every street echoes with the melodies of history and modernity.

Remember with Wingman you’re not just visiting.

You’re becoming part of the city’s cultural symphony.

Cultural Beats: Amsterdam’s Arts and Music Scene

Tune into Tradition!

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, where avant-garde meets classical in a stunning waterside setting.

Why visit: With its spectacular modern architecture and an acoustic quality that will make your heart sing, it’s a must-visit for any music lover.

Coordinates: 52.3779° N, 4.9135° E

Festival Fever: Celebrate Like a Local

King’s Day Festival!

Join the orange sea of revelers on April 27th, where the entire city bursts into a giant street party. It is renowned for being one of the biggest and most colourful festivities in the Netherlands, especially so in Amsterdam.

Pro Tip: Dive into open air mega parties, boat parties, and street performances that turn this national holiday into an unforgettable orange blur.

Coordinates: Across All Amsterdam

 

The Sound of Music

Concertgebouw’s Free Lunchtime Concerts

Every Wednesday, steal away an hour to enjoy classical performances in one of the world’s most famous concert halls—without spending a cent.

Good to know: They offer a broad range of music, with something for everyone: the majority of concerts include classical music, but you can sometimes hear more modern repertoire. The concert programme is announced one week in advance on their website. The concerts are 30 minutes long and are free of charge.

Coordinates: 52.3560° N, 4.8791° E

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

amsterdam top sights

Rijksmuseum

Well-known Fact: The Rijksmuseum is Amsterdam’s grand national museum dedicated to arts and history in the Netherlands. It houses an extensive collection of works by Dutch masters, including Rembrandt’s famous painting, “The Night Watch,” which is one of the most admired pieces in the museum.

Anne Frank House

Well-known Fact: The Anne Frank House is where Anne Frank wrote her poignant diary during World War II while hiding from Nazi persecution. Today, it serves as a museum dedicated to the memory of Anne Frank, offering a moving insight into the harsh realities of war and persecution.

Van Gogh Museum

Well-known Fact: This museum contains the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings and letters in the world. It provides deep insights into his life and developments as an artist, showcasing masterpieces like “Sunflowers” and “The Bedroom.”

Canal Ring

Well-known Fact: The iconic Canal Ring of Amsterdam, known as Grachtengordel, was built during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is celebrated for its picturesque bridges, historic homes, and vibrant, waterside cafes.

Vondelpark

Well-known Fact: Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest city park and a favorite gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. It offers a scenic escape with its open-air theatres, a rose garden featuring over 70 types of roses, and numerous cafés and picnic spots.

user testimonials

These aren’t just reviews; they’re passports to your next great adventure.

I thought I knew what to expect from Amsterdam, but the One day in Amsterdam tour completely changed my perspective. Started my day with the chimes of Big Ben and ended with the stunning sunset from a canal boat. Thanks to Wingman, I didn’t just visit Amsterdam.. I felt like I became a part of it.

Bernardo from Brazil

Hobby Traveler

Never thought I’d find a vineyard in the middle of the city or that I could fall in love with street art so much. The Hidden Gems tour was like a treasure hunt. Each location held a story that made the city come alive in the most unexpected ways.

Mia from Canada

Barista

The Savor Amsterdam tour was a FEAST! I tasted the best stroopwafels (bit too much lol) and discovered local brews that were simply out of this world. Wingman not only suggested places but also told me the best times to visit to avoid the crowds.

Sophie from the UK

Mom

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