As one of my friends is thinking of visiting the Dutch capital, I decided to have a look online to to get some ideas for her on things to do in Amsterdam. I thought that going on a couple of tours would give her an introduction to the city, and be an opportunity for her to meet some fellow travellers.
I saw that Withlocals offered a great selection of tours and activities in Amsterdam e,g. an urban farming bike tour, private vintage shopping and homemade gourmet dinners.
Withlocals is an online platform which directly connects travellers and hosts, enabling travellers to book affordable but unique experiences with locals as their private guide. It’s always good to see a city with a local who can offer you their insights into their home town. This helps travellers avoid falling into the tourist traps.
I thought that my friend would enjoy tasting some great food on the Amsterdam’s Favourite Food Tour by Withlocals. The tour includes five food tastings per guest. This tour is in the Pijp area, which lies south of Centraal Station.
Below is a guide to the itinerary, but the tours can be personalised to suit your preferences.
The first tasting is at the best fish seller in Amsterdam for a piece of delicious Kibbeling (fresh, fried fish usually served with garlic mayonnaise or tartar sauce) or authentic herring (often served with a sprinkling of raw onion).
Next it’s a visit to Cuyp Market, which is the largest daily outdoor market in Europe. Started in the early 1900s, it is now home to over 300 stails, where you can buy everything from food to souvenirs.
The next food on the itinerary is a warm Stroopwafel (syrup waffle). This consists of two thin layers of baked batter with a sweet filling between the layers. The Stroopwafel originated in the Dutch city of Gouda.
Then it’s time for a relaxing drink at a new Collective Cafe, where rather than items being priced, you can pay what you feel the food and drink is worth.
This is a walk around the Pijp area, which is now considered pretty hip.The area was originally built in the 19th century to provide low cost housing for the ever increasing population. The southern part of Pijp, which includes the Diamond neighbourhood, was constructed later, in the 1920s. Several of the streets are named in honour of Dutch painters including Van Gogh, Ruysdael and Jan Stein. The Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan lived in the area.There’s a small red light district by the Ruysdaelkade canal.
Next you will tuck into a Telo Kabeljauw (fried cassava with salted cod) and Baka Bana (fried plantain served with peanut sauce) at a Surinamese-Javanese family owned restaurant.
Your tour is rounded off with a cheese platter at the Gollem beer-cafe. Holland is famous for it cheeses, such as Edam, Leerdammer and Massdam. You may also be tempted to purchase one of Cafe Gollem’s own ales to accompany your cheeses.
As you can see, Amsterdam’s food is very cosmopolitan, with influences from many different cultures.
You can choose which private guide you would like to lead your Amsterdam’s Favourite Food Tour. Olav, pictured below, is described as a rock star chef, who is also a biologist.
Other guides include Bauke, the bohemian historian, Erika, the storytelling jeweller and Dina, the joyful chef. Each of the guides is featured in a video, which you can watch to help decide which one you’d like to lead your tour.
I think that my friend would select Erika, as she loves custom made jewellery.
Amsterdam’s Favourite Food Tour can be personalised to your own taste and interests. It costs from 35 Euro per person with eight participants, 44 Euro for four and 60 Euro for two. You can select a day (the tour is not available on Sundays) and start time from 10am through to 3pm.