Amsterdam, Model City

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Jan 18, 2014 / 0 comments

Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its newest program in Amsterdam with Amsterdam, Model City, a new culture and architecture tour that offers travellers an interpretative insight into the city’s status as an island of tolerance and progressive social policy.


Context Tours: Amsterdam, Model City


From the famous red light district to a thriving LGBT scene, squatter culture to innovative urban renewal, Amsterdam is commonly viewed from the outside as an inspiring example of open-mindedness and inclusivity. Dig a little deeper, however, and it’s possible to see cracks in the Utopian veneer. This tour looks at the historical, social and economic story of life in a so-called model city.

Amsterdam, Model City contextualizes the contemporary Dutch capital within its rich and, at times, dark historical narrative, making unexpected links between the Golden Age of the 16th century and modern social attitudes and their urban manifestations. Led by local historians and urbanism scholars, the tour takes in a number of central locations before veering off the beaten path to new and surprising parts of the city, such as KNSM and Java Islands—bodies of land reclaimed from the sea in the 19th century.


Context Travel: Amsterdam, Model City


The latest addition to Context’s newest programme, Amsterdam, Model City represents an exciting departure from standard city tour themes, adding another layer of experiential breadth and depth for which the travel company is known worldwide.

“This tour is unique in the way it stimulates critical thinking on the progressive image of Amsterdam,” says walk co-designer Rene Boer. “By exploring famous as well as lesser-known parts of the city, participants can arrive at a better understanding of how progressive policies in Amsterdam have come into force, how they have been contested and how they have impacted the reality of daily life in the city.”

Amsterdam, Model City lasts three hours and is available daily. Group walks cost €70 per person. Private tours cost €305 per party. As with all Context walking seminars, groups are led by a credentialed expert and limited to six (6) people maximum.


Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead “walking seminars” in twenty-one world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Kyoto.

A certified B Corporation, Context was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 and 2012 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit:




All photos courtesy and copyright Context Travel