WHO IS AMSTERDAM


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Frequently Answered Questions

Everything you wanted to know

About us

What's with the name "Who is Amstedam"?

We asked ourselves the question: “What is a city made of?” For us, the answer is clear. It’s the people. This is why we focus on the Who and not just the What. We believe by introducing you to the faces behind what you do, it’s the first step to making you feel more at home in our city.

Who's behind Who is Amsterdam?

We’re a bunch of Amsterdammers — born and bred + transplants. So here’s our core team: Who is Amsterdam is the brainchild of Alexandra. Rachael came on board from the get-go, and we’ve since been joined by the magnificent Paul, a proud Amsterdammer through and through who built this beautiful website from scratch and offers sage advice and coffee. And then there’s Michael, an Irishman-turned-Amsterdammer who’s our very first intern. There you go.

Didn't you start out offering tours?

You’ve been stalking us. We likey. Who is Amsterdam started as Who is Amsterdam Tours in 2018. We started with the singular purpose of connecting locals and travellers in a personal and meaningful way — through our original Who is Amsterdam walking tour that shares facets of Amsterdam through stories of locals who embody our city’s major themes. This approach led to us getting on Lonely Planet’s “Best of Amsterdam 2019” list, winning an AirBnB Experience award for “Best Connection” and TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice 2020.

Then the pandemic hit. And we realized we had to evolve. So we started our YouTube channel to guide travellers digitally and transformed from a tour company into a platform that houses Amsterdam’s best local independent tour companies — to give travellers peace of mind and a go-to for real Amsterdam experiences. Read why we decided to do that here.

What do you mean by 'real Amsterdam'?

When we travel, we love connecting with locals who let us experience life as is. To us, this is the joy of travelling — to learn from local ways, to blend in, to feel at home in a new place.  This is exactly what we do. Instead of mainstream experiences that are often scripted and impersonal due to capacity, we connect you to our best local independent experience makers who focus on giving personal experiences — pioneers and trailblazers who do things with a twist, and most of all, who are simply themselves. With our WIA family, we know you’re well taken care of.

What makes you different from other platforms?

Our motivation to start an Amsterdam collective and platform is to keep things local. Amsterdam, like many global cities, faced the problem of mass tourism. Platforms like Airbnb and TripAdvisor benefit from the massive footprint, and though they offer local-focused and review-driven perspectives, they’re not directly on the ground. So we decided to do something about it.

As independent local tour operators ourselves, we understand the importance of strengthening our local community through mutual recommendations. Next to Tours and Tickets which offers a variety of discount-driven mainstream activities and attractions and the now-global WithLocals which offer private tours by locals, there wasn’t a home for our fellow independent local tour operators to shine. We wanted to change that and challenge the status quo. By keeping the focus on the local, lesser-known greats and providing travellers like you a one-stop-shop for the real Amsterdam to make you feel at home in our city.

Are you related to iAmsterdam?

They may sound like the answer to our brand name, but no, we’re not exactly their ambassadors. However, we’re an official partner (an extensive network called amsterdam&partners) and that’s something we’re proud of.

About the WIA family

How do you pick your partners?

Great question. First of all, we have personal relationships with all of them. We’ve worked with them, experienced their magic, drank beers with them, etc. These are our friends whom we know run amazing and personal experiences for their guests.

Another pull factor is that all of them are independently-owned and they run on the same beliefs that you’re as much a part of our city as we are — so you’re not a mere number in a group. You’re one of us and you make the experience.

What are the requirements for them?

Ready for our 3 A’s? They’re…

  • Authentic

All of our partners are real people. They read and respond to your emails personally. They run their own experiences with their handpicked team members. They’re local independent entrepreneurs who started from scratch — from all walks of life — who view guests not just as tourists, but fellow travellers. And they take pride in giving you the real Amsterdam experience and adding value to your trip —  not just feed you with facts and figures. It’s all about interaction and you’re invited.

  • Alternative

We’re for those who hunger for what’s beyond the mainstream. All of our partners are pioneers and/or the cream of the crop in their respective fields. Think the founders of the first food tour in Amsterdam, inventors of intimate boat tours and small-group countryside and tulip tours in Amsterdam, the list goes on. We joined forces with them because we believe Amsterdam has so much more to offer than just discount-driven trips to the Ice Bar, Madame Tussauds and giant floating tanks that fit 50. Not that there’s anything wrong with them. We simply would like to share our home with you in a genuine way — do the things we do, eat, float, bike like a local. Because in the end, this is why we travel. And we believe you deserve different.

  • Awesome

Though everyone specializes in different things, we all have a few things in common. We care for our guests, we’re real, and yes, we’re obsessed with our city. And yeah, we’re damn good at what we do, too. Need we say more?

 

Who handles the bookings and transactions?

For our own original experience, products and services, we handle all the bookings, transactions, queries and all the minute details. If you have any questions, we’re right at your side and you can contact us by filling out this form.

For other awesome experiences under our ‘Best of Amsterdam’ section, you can book most of them directly through our website. Once the booking has been confirmed, all further communications and queries about your upcoming experience are done via our partners directly. You can contact them with the contact details in your booking confirmation email.

For experiences that are not bookable directly via our website, you’ll be redirected to our partners’ homepage where you can book your experience via their booking platform or email. Using our designated promo code “WIA”, you’ll receive a cool discount for both public and private experiences.

If you need further assistance with booking any experience, reach out to us and we’d be happy to help connect you to the relevant party.

Do you receive a fee when I book an experience?

We like to keep things transparent — it’s as refreshing as a tall glass of H20 (sparkling, preferably).

We don’t charge our partners a ‘membership fee’ or for setting up their personal page (which involves a ton of voodoo). Partners are invited in trust by us personally and all the groundwork is done for nada.

For each booking, we receive up to a maximum of 20%. This enables us to do the following:

  • Keep our operations afloat — website, administrative costs, etc
  • Support us in seeking out more authentic and awesome local experience makers for you. We’re committed to giving you the very best our city has to offer and to give you an amazing and unforgettable time in Amsterdam.

Before you book

Why is there an extra 6% fee for some activities?

Some of our partners, like us, work with an Amsterdam-based booking platform called FareHarbor which powers more than 15,000 tour operators globally.

The 6% fee goes towards Fareharbor for handling all transactions and bookings so that we’re able to spend more of our time crafting better experiences and to be present for our guests.

For the activities that do not require the extra 6% fees, these partners work with different booking platforms. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Why isn't there a discount for all experiences?

To track the sale of activities that are not sold via Fareharbor, a promo code is the best way to do it — so you end up with a sweet deal. Win-win, right? In an ideal world, we’d love to give everyone a discount for everything. And free hugs, a lifetime of lollies and “you get a car, you get a car and YOU get a car!”. But since we’re independent I-don’t-need-a-man(ager)-trepreneurs, we give discounts where we can and pool our resources towards the upkeep of our biz — and keeping our pets alive.

I'm a student. Can I get a discount?

Good news. The generous Those Dam Boat Guys do offer discounts for who they call ‘humans-in-training’ AKA students or children. On the day of the experience itself, remember to flash your student ID or you’re ‘obliged to buy them 6 beers’ according to their terms and conditions. 🙂

And there’s more. The awesome Hungry Birds offer free food for kids under 6.

All details are shown under our respective partner pages under ‘Best of Amsterdam’ in the Experiences section.

What are the terms and conditions?

You can read our terms and conditions for our original experiences, products and services here.

For all other experiences from our partners, you can find the terms and conditions during the booking process right before you pay.

 

How do I book a public experience?

On every Experience page, you’ll see buttons to book your preferred experience(s). Once you click on it, it’ll either redirect you to our partner’s booking page or you’ll see availability for booking right away.

For experiences with exclusive discounts, you’ll see the message, “Get X% off using promo code ‘WIA’”. Simply fill in the booking form and add the promo code before you make your payment. Voila, easy peasy.

How can I pay for public experiences?

For those who use FareHarbor as a booking platform, you could  pay with credit card,  IDEAL (a local payment system) or SOFORT (a German payment system).

For partners who work with other booking platforms, the options vary (Apple Pay being one of the additional options for some). But credit cards are always welcome.

How do I book a private experience?

All private experiences by us (under ‘Originals’ in our Experiences section) or our partners (‘Best of Amsterdam’) are bookable via email.

For our partners, simply email them with your preferred date, number of people, the experience you’d like to join and your specific wishes, and mention promo code ‘WIA’ and you’ll receive an exclusive discount. If the discount is not applied, please contact the individual partner and they will update the total amount.

For further assistance, please contact us and we’ll reach out to them for you.

How can I pay for a private experience?

For our original experiences, here are our payment options:

  • Bank transfer (our preferred choice)
  • Via Paypal
  • By credit card via Paypal (you don’t need a Paypal account for this)

For private experiences provided by our partners, please inquire when you make a booking request. They’d be happy to help you out.

After you book

How can I change or cancel my booking for an experience?

For all in-person experiences, you can change or cancel your booking via the respective experience provider — electronically or via a phone call. You can find the information in your booking confirmation email.

Help! I didn't receive a booking confirmation email.

No sweat. The best and fastest way is to reach out to our partners directly via the contact details at the bottom of their respective experience pages.

Need help? Drop us an email with your name, phone number, and the name/date/time of your experience. We’ll reach out to them and get back to you as soon as we can.

What is the cancellation policy?

For our original experiences, click here to read our cancellation policy.

For all other public tours by our partners, please check the cancellation policy under ‘terms and conditions’ before you pay for your ticket.

For private tours by our partners, simply ask them for their cancellation policy when you email them for a private tour request.

Will my experience be cancelled if the weather sucks?

For our own original experiences, should the weather forecast predict a life-threatening hurricane of fire or ancient floods, then yes, we’ll notify you about a cancellation. All of our in-person experiences run rain, snow or shine. #champs

For all experiences by our partners, please reach out to them via the contact details in your booking confirmation email if you’re concerned about the weather.

I did not receive my refund.

For our own experiences, please contact us and we’ll get that sorted for you.

For all other experiences by our partners, please contact them respectively through the contact details in your booking confirmation email.

What if I'm running late for my experience?

If you’ve booked an experience with us, reach out to us directly via email or call or WhatsApp us at +31 62889 7599.

If you’ve booked an experience with our partners, please contact them via the contact details in your booking confirmation email.

What if I have an emergency?

If you’ve booked an experience with us, reach out to us directly via email or call or WhatsApp us at +31 62889 7599. We’ll weigh the situation delicately and come up with the bestest and fairest decision for all of us.

If you’ve booked an experience with our partners, please contact them via the contact details in your booking confirmation email.

Each partner is responsible for handling booking queries, including emergency situations. They tend to be fair and hey, they’re pretty nice too.

Who should I contact if I have a question?

If you’ve booked an experience with us, please reach out to us if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help!

If you’ve booked an experience with our partners, please contact them respectively with the contact details in your booking confirmation email.

 

Covid-related questions

What happens if I have to cancel my trip due to Covid?

We understand that travel is tricky these days. Just like most in the tourism industry, we want to make this as easy as possible for everyone.

Here’s our Covid cancellation policy until further notice:

  • Full refund if the booking is cancelled 7 days before its scheduled day or earlier.

  • Full “store credit” if the booking is cancelled 24 hours before its scheduled day or earlier.

  • All our tips and recommendations if the booking is cancelled within 24 hours of its scheduled date and time, but no refund or store credit. Sorry about that!

For all experiences booked with our partners, please contact them respectively using the contact details in your booking confirmation email.

Thankfully, the travel bug is here to stay and there ain’t no cure. We hope to see you soon!

Where can I get tested if I'm not well?

We got you. If you feel unwell, please make an appointment to get tested (free of charge at this time of writing) with GGD Amsterdam. You can find the hotline in this link right here.

What happens if I feel unwell?

If you’ve booked an experience with us, please contact us via email or call or WhatsApp us at +31 62889 7599 and skip the experience. We’ll issue you a “store credit” and you can use it during your next trip to Amsterdam. Thanks for your understanding!

If you’ve booked an experience with our partners, please inform them using the contact details in your booking confirmation.

Do I need to be vaccinated to join an experience?

If you’ve booked an experience with us, no, you don’t need to be vaccinated nor show a negative test to join us.

If you’ve booked an experience with our partners, please contact them via the contact details in your booking confirmation email for more information.

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