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Tom's tips


Tom's tips

We know you are excited about your next trip to Amsterdam! We will help you with the most useful recommendations concerning food, shopping, activities and much more! We want to make the best out of your stay in Amsterdam. From drinks to design, you can find some fun and original options.

Where to stay

The Dutch capital has plenty accommodations to offer, from exciting private houseboats to suites in luxurious hotels.

Located in one of the oldest canals, the stunning building of the Sofitel Legend The Grand is an absolute gem full of a very rich history. It's outstanding hospitality management and gastronomic offer make it a great place to stay in Amsterdam.

The four star Hotel Boutique Estheréa is housed in a row of 17th century buildings on the Singel. The 93 rooms all have rich, colorful interior and are accessible by elevator.

If you want to enjoy a stay out of the ordinary in a perfect location, you should consider The Toren, a boutique hotel located in an almost four hundred years old building at the Keizersgracht.

If you like to go local and feel homely, you should seriously consider to stay with Oki and Frank, who are amazing hosts. Le Quartier Sonang is a perfectly located small B&B with two luxury rooms and the best homemade breakfast waiting for you.

One of the newest five star hotels is located right behind the royal palace. With the nicest roof terrace in Amsterdam -including a narrow but splendid swimming pool-. W Amsterdam hosts 238 stylish guest rooms, including WOW suites!

If you are looking for a unique and typical Dutch accommodation during your stay, we highly recommend to rent a houseboat in Amsterdam. Watch the swan and geese swim by while you sit back and relax, enjoying the reflection of the water dancing on the ceiling. No hotel room in the world that can beat this.

Right next to the Vondelpark and the most important museums of the country, lays Museum Suites, a small boutique hotel that offers luxury rooms in a nineteenth-century mansion.


Where to eat

Amsterdam is the most international city in the world and when it comes to food, for us everything is about diversity. There are superb restaurants where fusion is the magic word.

If you like fish, Cafe Restaurant Amsterdam is a great option. It's located near our favorite park, you may want to go earlier to enjoy the Westerpark with your family and friends.

Located in a set of greenhouses, restaurant & nursery De Kas believes that food tastes best when it is prepared with the freshest, local ingredients. So they grow their own herbs and vegetables in the greenhouses and gardens at the restaurant and on their farm in The Beemster. An absolute must.

Next to the main University buildings, in a narrow street named Gebed Zonder End (Prayer Without End) lays the music cafe restaurant Kapitein Zeppos. A hidden gem in the city center with a Mediterranean kitchen .

Why not to take the free ferry to the NDSM? Here you will find the coolest cafes and restaurants with the best views over the water. The IJ Kantine is a family friendly restaurant with good food in an awesome location in Amsterdam Noord.

Indonesia was the colony that brought the most diverse and interesting flavors to Holland. You should not leave Amsterdam without trying one of the delicious rice tables at Blauw!

We also recommend Bordewijk and the romantic restaurant Belhamel as great places to go.


If you are thinking about Michelin star and top end restaurants, please click here


Gratitude tip: Although tipping is highly appreciated, you are not obliged!


Where to drink

With more than 500 cafes in the center alone, Amsterdam has enough places to enjoy a good espresso or genuine draft beer.

Blue 360° is one of the few top terraces with a 360° view you can enjoy in Amsterdam.

The Brouwerij 't IJ serves great organic beers in an old bath house next to a beautiful windmill.

Pllek is a charming bar and restaurant built out of sea containers next to the NDSM. The view is unbeatable. And they even have their own beach!

Last but not least, our favorite brown café in the Jordaan, 't Smalle.


Cycling in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has more bikes than people. 84% of the population owns a bike and together we cycle annually 15 billion kilometers. Obviously Toms Travel Tours organizes diverse bike tours in the city and to the surroundings, from a few hours to multiple days cycling tours in The Netherlands.

We always require from our guests that they are frequent and experienced cyclists, as moving on two wheels in the city center can be challenging.

Cycling the Amsterdam way: Blend in! Always cycle on the right side, never stop in the middle of the road, look first when you like to turn and give clear direction with your hand. Please remember to have lights on in the evening and don't forget to lock your bike properly!

Our favorite bike rental shop is called Star Bikes. It's located in a quiet street just behind the Central Station and the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, perfect place to practice before taking off! Be aware that the frames of our beloved Opafiets or Grannies bike have a different brake system!

Boating in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city of water and there is nothing better than to discover the city by cruising it's beautiful canals! 

There are several options that suit every budget and preferences. Please find out some of our favorites here or send us an email and we can arrange a tailored canal cruise for you! 

Amsterdam Green

We are proud to live in a city that is  moving in the right way! Amsterdam is a great hub for diverse sustainable projects. We are happy to share some of them with you!

De Ceuvel is an innovative project in the north of the city that consists of offices located in restored old boat houses, displayed offshore. Not only a fairytale-like result, but a hip place to have a drink too!

If you want to get inspired, visit Vega Life, a creative shop full of the most original stylish sustainable (vegan!) shoes and clothes.

One of our favorite conscious beauty salon with strictly clean, natural and organic cosmetics is called Cosmetics & Care.


Some other recommendations

If you like to visit museums, we highly recommend you to book the tickets online way in advance, in order to avoid the queue, especially  in the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House. Make sure you book the Anne Frank’s tickets two months in advance if you don’t want to miss it.

However, it's not only about these museums. Amsterdam is quite a popular destination and busy city (with very good reasons!) and Amsterdammers like to plan their agendas ahead... if there is something that you don't want to miss (such as dinner in a well-known restaurant, a concert or festival), please make sure to make your booking ahead!

About visiting the Red Light area with your family… everybody has heard about this rough district in town and many people are curious about it. You should consider if you like to visit the neighborhood or not, in our opinion it’s a no-go for children…

Not all shops and restaurants in The Netherlands accept VISA so it's smart to bring some Euros in cash.

Please use ATMs from the well known banks; small ATMs in snack bars or tourist shops charge way too high exchange rates!

In The Netherlands people are allowed to smoke cigarettes on the terrace of a restaurant or bar. If you prefer a non-smoking area, just ask the restaurant staff for a smoke free table.

Last but not least, the funny and unpredictable Dutch weather. Please bring layers of clothes (always!) and be prepared with your sunglasses and your umbrella, you might need them both in a few hours. And don't forget some comfortable shoes of course!


Our Story


Our Story


Toms Travel Tours is a boutique tour company founded with great enthusiasm by two avid travelers and reliable guides. We work with a select team of good friends and excellent guides. All of us have a passion for Amsterdam and understand the word Hospitality at its best!

We are Dutch-Argentinean business partners that met in the white beaches of Mozambique. 

Born and raised Amsterdammer Tom is a travel photographer and Ana a historian but our real passion is to travel. We know how beautiful it is to experience new places, interact with the locals, enjoy the diversity of the food and get thrilled by the cultural differences. Some years ago we decided to use our passion to show Amsterdam and The Netherlands the way we would like to experience it if we were visitors ourselves.

You can guess the rest of the story. Our country is so beautiful and we like our work so much that it could only get better and better. Some of our very good friends, excellent, funny, knowledgeable and reliable guides decided to join us in this adventure. Nowadays we only miss you in joining our tours and to discover the best of The Netherlands with us!

Tom and Ana were charming, knowledgeable and willing to shape their tour to our requests.
As a result we really enjoyed our day with them and would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to see some of Amsterdam’s hidden treasures.
— Roberta - United States - Tripadvisor

We have a great team we trust for our Dutch, English, Spanish, Chinese, German, Italian, French, Greek and Portuguese speaking guests.




Some of the international media is writing about Toms Travel Tours. Get inspired by the various publications about Toms Travel Tours. Check out a selection of articles published in blogs, magazines, websites, books & more...


Daily Mail Online, February 2018, Amsterdam amble: The best walking tours in the capital, by Alicia Rivers

JustLuxe, October 2017, Amsterdam Offers Touring, Wining and Dining Done Your Way, by Diane Sukiennik & Michael Reiss

Man's World, May 2017, 48 hours in Amsterdam, by Prachi Joshi

Tom van der Leij, Beau Magazine, 2017

  Travelgirl Magazine  February 2015 Edition

Travelgirl Magazine February 2015 Edition

Macblogster, june 2013, Bijzonder Amsterdam ontdekken met Toms Travel Tours, april 2013, Lancering Toms Travel Tours

Our tours can be useful for different media purposes. We are always interested in contributing to new pieces. If you would have any media inquiry please feel free to contact us, we can give you information, images and all other sort of material. We would like to help in all kind of ways.


Events agenda in Amsterdam

Events agenda in Amsterdam

If there is something Amsterdam can be proud of it must be the amount of cultural events that take place in the city year round. Indoors and outdoors, for free or not and for all the tastes and ages. Have a look and choose what you want to do while you visit us!

Amsterdam in 2018 month by month


1 Nov - 5 Nov: Da Bounce Urban Film Festival – Pathé Arena

3 Nov: Musuem Night Amsterdam – Various locations

11 Nov: Arrival of Sinterklaas – Various locations

14 Nov - 25 Nov: IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – Various locations 

15 Nov: Turn on the lights – De Bijenkorf

18 Nov - 25 Nov: PAN Amsterdam – RAI Amsterdam

22 Nov - 25 Nov: Amsterdam Art Weekend – Various locations

24 Nov: Welcome to the Future Indoor Day Festival – Warehouse Elementenstraat

30 Nov - 21 Jan: Amsterdam Light Festival – Various locations

30 Nov - 2 Dec: Meesterlijk – Westergasfaibriek


5 Dec - 13 Dec: International Queer and Migrant Film Festival – Various locations

6 Dec - 10 Dec: Master of LXRY – RAI

21 Dec - 30 Dec: WinterParade – Zuiderkerk

22 Dec: Valhalla – RAI

26 Dec - 1 Jan: TangoTrain – Various locations

Amsterdam in 2019 month by month


18 Jan - 10 Feb: Flamenco Biënnale – Various locations

19 Jan: Nationale Tulpendag – Dam

19 Jan - 20 Jan: Paradiso Korendagen – Paradiso

23 Jan - 27 Jan: Jumping Amsterdam – RAI

25 Jan - 27 Jan: Food Soul Festival – Kromhouthal

26 Jan - 2 Feb: IMPRO Amsterdam International Spontaneous Theatre Festival – Compagnietheater


16 Feb: Chinese New Year – Dam

16 Feb: Wonderland Festival – Warehouse Elementenstraat

21 Feb - 24 Feb: Sonic Acts Academy – Various locations


1 Mar - 3 Mar: Amsterdam Coffee Festival – Westergasfabriek

5 Mar - 10 Mar: CinemAsia Film Festival – Various locations

6 Mar - 10 Mar: HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show – RAI

14 Mar - 17 Mar: Cross-linx – Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

14 Mar - 22 Mar: Roze Filmdagen – Het Ketelhuis

23 Mar: Open Toren Dag – Beurs van Berlage


Apr: Tulp Festival – Various locations

3 Apr - 7 Apr: World Minimal Music Festival – Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

9 Apr - 14 Apr: SOTU Festival – Various locations

10 Apr - 16 Apr: Cinéma Arabe – Rialto

10 Apr - 20 Apr: Imagine Film Festival EYE – Filmmuseum

16 Apr: Whisky & Spirits Festival Amsterdam – Zuiderkerk

16 Apr - 21 Apr: Pop Arts Festival – Various locations

19 Apr - 21 Apr: DGTL Festival – NDSM

21 Apr - 22 Apr: Awakenings Easter Special – Westergasfabriek

21 Apr - 21 May: Springsnow Festival – Various locations

26 Apr - 27 Apr: Bredewegfestival – Bredeweg

27 Apr: Koningsdag – Various locations


28 May - 2 Jun: Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival – Various locations

30 May: Hemeltjelief Festival – NDSM

30 May - 2 Jun: Taste of Amsterdam – Amstelpark


1 Jun - 2 Jun: Amsterdam Open Air – Gaasperpark

6 Jun - 30 Jun: Holland Festival – Various locations

11 Jun - 22 Jun: Cineblend Festival – Various locations

14 Jun - 16 Jun: Open Tuinen Dagen – Various locations

15 Jun: Mystic Garden Festival – Sloterpark

15 Jun - 16 Jun: Aalsmeer Flower Festival – Aalsmeer

16 Jun: Cycle Tour Amsterdam – The Harbour Club Amsterdam

27 Jul - 4 Aug: Pride Amsterdam – Various locations

30 Jun: Amsterdam Roots Festival – Oosterpark


1 Jul: Keti Koti Festival – Oosterpark

1 Jul - 14 Jul: Julidans – Various locations

12 Jul - 21 Jul: Over het IJ Festival – NDSM

19 Jul - 20 Jul: Welcome to the Future – Het Twiske

19 Jul - 21 Jul: Wonderfeel – Noordereinde

24 Jul - 28 Jul: Landjuweel Festival – Ruigoord

24 Jul - 10 Aug: Hortus Festival – Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

27 Jul - 28 Jul: Milkshake Festival – Westerpark


9 Aug - 18 Aug: Grachtenfestival – Amsterdam

10 Aug: Appelsap Fresh Music Festival – Flevopark

15 Aug - 24 Aug: World Cinema Amsterdam – Various locations

15 Aug - 25 Aug: Pluk de Nacht Filmfestival – Stenen Hoofd

20 Aug - 28 Aug: Summer Dance Forever – Various locations

23 Aug - 25 Aug: Uitmarkt – Various locations

23 Aug - 26 Aug: Mysteryland – Floriadeterrein

23 Aug - 26 Aug: Jordaan Festival – Marnixstraat / Appeltjesmarkt

31 Aug: Valtifest – Thuishaven


4 Sep - 15 Sep: Nederlands Theater Festival – Various locations

5 Sep - 8 Sep: Amsterdam Fashion Week – Museumplein

5 Sep - 15 Sep: Amsterdam Fringe Festival – Various locations

6 Sep - 7 Sep: Wilhelmina Huiskamerfestival – Wilhelminastraat

7 Sep - 8 Sep: Amsterdam Maker Festival – Marineterrein

8 Sep: Amsterdam City Swim – Marine Etablissement

14 Sep - 15 Sep: Klassiek op het Amstelveld – Amstelveld

15 Sep - 21 Sep: West Beach Filmfestival – Noordzijde

20 Sep - 22 Sep: Unseen Amsterdam – Westergasfabriek

21 Sep - 22 Sep: Dam tot Damloop – Prins Hendrikkade


3 Oct - 6 Oct: Camera Japan Festival – Kriterion

9 Oct - 13 Oct: KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival – EYE Film Instituut

10 Oct - 12 Oct: Read My World Internationaal Literatuur Festival Amsterdam – Tolhuistuin

19 Oct: AMF Amsterdam – Johan Cruijff ArenA

20 Oct: TCS Amsterdam Marathon – Olympisch Stadion

Free concerts the whole year

Bimhuis – Jazz venue has free "Workshop + Session" on Tuesdays at 20:00 (please check, this is not every week!).

Concertgebouw – Free lunchtime concert on Wednesdays at 12:30. Get there early to ensure admission (please check, this is not every week!).

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ – Free lunchtime concert on Thursdays at 12:30 (please check, this is not every week!).

Netherlands Opera/Ballet – Free lunchtime concert in the foyer on Tuesdays at 12:30 (please check, this is not every week!).

Markets in Amsterdam

Noordermarkt – Every Saturday - Biological Market

Lindenmarkt – Lindengracht – Food, clothes and more in the Lindengracht

Waterlooplein – Monday to Saturday

Albert Cuymarkt – Monday to Saturday

Sunday Market - Sundays

Museum Market – Museum Square - Sunday market - Arts and crafts, food and music

IJ Hallen – Every third Saturday of the month