Discover Amsterdam beyond the obvious. Through the Shared history tours you dive into a deeper layer of the city. In each of the 7 administrative districts you find stories that shine a light on the social history of Amsterdam. The returning themes are migration history, colonial past and World War II. Take a tour through one of the lesser known areas and be surprised by the rich history from a unique perspective.
* tour price based on 3 hours including VAT, excluding entrance fees. For more hours the price will be adjusted accordingly.
- Visit a local neighbourhood beyond the main tourist attractions
- Migration history stories
- Stories of Amsterdam’s colonial past
- World War II stories
- Prolong and/or customize to your wishes
What our guests say about our tours
"perfect start of the weekend"
Eva tailored the tour to our interests (architecture and history) and heritage (South African), so it became very personal. We explored the lesser trodden tracks but no less fascinating areas of Amsterdam. I cannot emphasise enough how much I enjoyed the morning with her and would highly recommend anyone coming to Amsterdam to put this as their first stop. Thank you Eva – you are truly wonderful!!!!!!
Jean, South Africa
"Completely different tour style"
I came to live in Amsterdam last year. I went on a tour with Eva to learn more about my new city. We went through my own neighborhood and on the way she explained a lot of things and told a lot of stories. Now I understand my own neighborhood and city much better than before! This style of tour guiding is completely different from other, touristic tour guides. I recommend Amsterdam Odyssey to everybody!
About the tour
The Shared history serie is an initiative of the municipality of Amsterdam. The idea behind it: Amsterdam is the most multicultural city in the world. By sharing stories from different social historical perspectives, people gain more understanding of each other’s past. And when you understand each other’s past, you – hopefully – create more understanding in the present and future. A noble goal of the city of Amsterdam, which we underscribe completely!
Amsterdam is the most multicultural city in the world. People with roots in 180 different countries call Amsterdam home. Everybody has his or her own, personal story. Besides that, there are also the stories of the different groups. How come many Chinese ended up here early 1900’s? What was the situation in which we invited guest workers from around the Mediterranean Sea in the 1960’s and ‘70’s? And what exactly is the story of the people from the former colonies?
In each administrative district, there are places and stories about these people and their history. China town, Sikh temples, mosques, synagogues, multicultural markets, food from all over the world. Many things are visible yet missed easily when just walking by. You will be surprised by the amount and the content of all the stories we’ll share with you!
Stories of Amsterdam’s colonial past
Stories about this part of our history used to be presented from a very one-sided perspective. The ‘white’ perspective to be precise – with nothing but heroic tales. Fortunately times have changed, and the narrative is changing. Each story has (at least) two sides. Where there’s a winner, there’s a loser. When one person gets more, another person gets less.
Yes, we do live in an amazingly beautiful city with splendid canal houses. And yes, we still marvel about the prosperity of the Golden age while strolling around the canals. But we believe it’s good – important, even – to be aware of that other side of the stories too. Colonizing, conquering, suppressing and enslaving people aren’t right things to do.
In each of the administrative districts you find traces of Amsterdam’s colonial past. Street names, monuments, people, and cultural centers remind us of this part of history. We are happy to take you along and broaden your horizon!
World War II stories
From May 10th 1940 till May 5th 1945, Amsterdam, like the rest of the Netherlands, was occupied by the Nazi’s. In 1940, about 10% of the Amsterdammers was of Jewish descent. In 1945, almost all of them were gone. The majority of the Jews lived in the east and south of the city. Therefore, the focus of Jewish history tours and/or World War II tours is often in these areas. But actually the anguish of the war was felt through the whole city. Jews, Nazi proponents and resistance heros all lived in all neighbourhoods.
In each district, you find traces and stories. Bombs and grenades hit in several parts of the city. Behind the doors of normal looking houses, illegal documents were printed and plans were made to safe fellow citizens. Each neighbourhood has its own monuments and footmarks, referring to the years of war time in Amsterdam.
Where is the meeting point?
Since we customize each tour, the starting point and route will be adjusted to your itinerary and wishes.
Where exactly does this tour take place?
There are 7 Shared history tours, one in each administrative district of Amsterdam. These districts are: Centrum, Noord, Oost, Zuid, West, Nieuw-West and Zuid-Oost. Are you interested in a specific district? We will be happy to guide you there. Are you interested in the concept in general, but don’t know which of the districts would be most interesting for you? Please let us know and together we’ll choose the most suitable tour.
I have particular interests and/or special needs. Can this tour be customized?
Yes. Please contact us, and we will be happy to come up with a tailor-made tour for you.
Is the tour suitable for young children?
This tour is suitable from the age of 12. In case you are interested a walking tour with children under 12, please book through our family tours page.
Is this tour suitable for people with reduced mobility?
The tour is appropriate for guests with good mobility. We can adjust the walking pace and include short breaks if necessary.
Can this tour be done by car?
In some districts the Shared history tour can be done by bike or by car, if this is more convenient. Please contact us and we will tailor the most suitable tour for you.
The weather is bad, what happens now?
Amsterdam Odyssey tours will take place under any weather conditions, unless a formal warning regarding the weather has been issued by the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Dutch weather can be unpredictable. Make sure to pack and dress accordingly!