This week we interviewed one of our tour guides, Isabelle. She has plenty of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry and is committed to creating memorable experiences for her guests. And not only that, but she also believes in giving something back to the city of Amsterdam.
Here are her answers to our questions:
Q: How did you become a tour guide?
A: I became a tour guide when I returned to Amsterdam after completing a world trip. At first, I worked as a hostess on a boat, where I found that it was also up to me to tell people about what they were seeing. Since I enjoyed that part so much, I decided to study to become a national guide. And since 2015, I’ve been working as a tour guide.
Q: Why would you recommend doing a food tour?
A: Doing a food tour is a great way to get to know a new area. You learn not only about the food, but – at least on our tours – also about the culture and the history. You discover a local neighborhood. You learn where to go and where not to go, and you learn the difference between real and fake cheese, for example.
Q: What would be your number 1 tip for someone who has only a few days to spend in Amsterdam (besides a food tour)?
A: Definitely to do a boat tour, because it’s one of the best ways to see Amsterdam from a different perspective. It’s also very relaxing. I would also recommend a bicycle tour, but only for people who are used to riding a bike. And I would suggest doing a bicycle tour in Amsterdam North, where it’s a bit quieter.
Q: What is your favorite food, and where in Amsterdam do you most like to eat it?
A: It depends on my mood. I love Italian food. And in terms of Dutch food, I’d say bitterballen. Specifically, the ones from Patisserie Holtkamp. Even though I’m vegetarian, I make an exception for bitterballen!
Q: What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned during your time as a (food) tour guide?
A: How much knowledge I lacked about Dutch food and its history when I first became a tour guide. For example, why herring and cheese are so typically Dutch. Even though I’d always been surrounded by food when I worked in bars and restaurants, I never stopped to think about the history behind it.
Q: What other tours do you provide, besides the food tours?
A: All kinds of tours in Amsterdam. Walking dinners, boat tours, bicycle tours, family trips, business trips, and more. You can find information about my tailor-made tours on my website, https://adamgoodchoice.com. As part of my tours, I also like to support good causes to give something back to the city of Amsterdam. For example, during tailor-made tours I often take my guests to the place where Eberhardjes – the cookies of Amsterdam – are made. Or I hand out these cookies to my guests. The foundation behind these cookies aims to connect the people of Amsterdam, residents and visitors alike.
When you do a food tour with Isabelle, you learn all about the local (food) culture, history, and traditions. She’ll answer all your questions and give you great tips for additional places to visit – and avoid – during your stay. By the time you’re done with your tour, you’ll feel a true connection with the city, and you’ll know what it means to live like an Amsterdam local.
Want to discover the real Amsterdam with us?