the world’s most open-minded city
Next tour: August 22-25, 2017
Extend your trip with a four day (three night) stay in Amsterdam, the world’s most open-minded city, where the first legal gay marriages were performed in 2001. Amsterdam is the city where liberalism was invented, from free trade to social tolerance: already in the 17th century, it developed its policy of ‘gedogen’—letting things happen, even (shocking for the time) Catholicism and Judaism.
This side of Amsterdam had a major rebirth after the occupation in World War II. Many of us still remember the 1970s, when it was the ultimate city of free love and free drugs, and many aspects of that period are still alive, from legalized drugs and prostitution to its very active gay liberation movement. Indeed, it is a city that looks both backward and forward, with the beautifully preserved 17th century architecture and art of its charming center and an open-minded liberalism that could serve as a model for the future (if we are lucky!).
Day 1. This afternoon, the group gathers in our charming hotel (spread across 25 historic houses, set between 2 of the 3 grand new canals of the 17th century) for a walking tour that will show us the essentials of the city center and in particular its gay history (one of our local guide’s specialties). For dinner, we experience the city’s best-known culinary tradition, the Dutch-Indonesian rijstaafel—and then set off for a night-time tour of the famous red light district.
Day 2. Our guide’s other specialty is 17th century Dutch art, and we spend this morning at the greatest museum of that period, the Rijksmuseum, where we see masterpieces of painters like Hals, Vermeer, and Rembrandt—with some special details about the often-ignored sexy (though straight) side of Dutch Golden Age art. After some time to eat lunch in the cafés of the lovely Vondelpark, our afternoon ends with a tour of the city from a canal boat—probably the best way to appreciate the charms of this so-called “Venice of the North.” The evening is free for your own explorations.
Day 3. This morning starts with a visit to a sad monument, the secret apartment where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazi occupiers for four years, where she wrote her world-famous diary, and where ultimately they were discovered and arrested. We follow this with a more cheerful visit, to the National Maritime Museum, where we will explore the Netherlands’ great maritime history, including its gay side! This afternoon you are free to continue your explorations of the city and its museums. We suggest the Van Gogh Museum, with its peerless collection of the quintessential modern painter, or, if you are feeling like a break, let us explain how to get to an easily accessible nude beach! This evening we meet for a farewell dinner with a lovely view over this effervescent city.
To learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646)560-3205.
Group Size: Maximum 16
Single Supplement may apply
Please note that this tour includes daily walking tours of cities and museums.
* Gay history tour of Amsterdam
* Tour of the red-light district
* Sexy tour of the Rijksmuseum
* Canal boat tour
* Anne Frank House
Frequently Asked Questions
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Who Is Professor Andrew Lear?
Professor Andrew Lear combines a love of travel with a passion for gay history, and he brings both of those attributes to Oscar Wilde Tours.
Professor Lear holds a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from UCLA. He has published a widely praised book on male-male love in ancient Greek art, as well as a number of important scholarly articles in this area… READ MORE
Our tour starts and ends at our Amsterdam hotel. It includes hotel accommodation; On this tour we include all breakfasts, a welcome dinner, and a farewell dinner; services of escort and local guides; admission to all sights on the tour, and transportation to them (by taxi, minibus, and train).
What meals are included?
Breakfast is included every day in our tours, and on most days we include either lunch or dinner, according to the itinerary. On this tour we include all breakfasts, a welcome dinner, and a farewell dinner.
What is the level of the hotels?
Our hotels are chosen for excellent 4* quality, historic charm, and central location.
Is this a good tour for single travelers?
Singles are very welcome! Our groups generally consist of a mix of couples and singles, and there is generally a nice group ethos, so no-one will ever feel left out. Single rooms are available, with a supplement; we are also happy to try to find you a room-mate if you would prefer.
Will we have any free time to explore on our own?
In each city, we include a free afternoon, so you can explore, shop, or visit museums not included in the tour.
Is this tour designed for first-time visitors?
We try to design our tours both for repeat and first-time visitors. We include a number of lesser-known sights, but also major sights—which we see from the perspective of their often ignored gay history.
Who is this tour a good fit for?
Our tours focus on LGBT history and art and are designed for groups of LGBT people. They are however open to the LGBT-friendly as well.
Is this a good tour for people with difficulty walking?
All of the main sights in the tour are visited on foot, on walking or museum tours. There may be uneven ground, for instance in archaeological sites, and steps in some museums or historic houses. The amount of walking is not, however, excessive: we rarely exceed 2 miles a day. We travel from site to site by train or air conditioned bus (or at times, in major cities, in fleets of taxis or limousines).
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