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Banned Books & Literary Walking Tour

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Experience hosted by Mary

2 hours
Includes drinks, tickets, equipment
Up to 5 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

Amsterdam has an incredibly rich literary history. Multiple factors provide the key to an understanding of the remarkable success the Dutch Republic had in the sphere of publishing, printing, and bookselling. In the 17th century, more books were printed in the Netherlands than in all other European countries put together.

We meet and have a short tour (entry fee included) of Amsterdam's most obscure library (Dan Brown's inspiration), then walk through the city, visiting the most interesting literary landmarks, see locations of books set in Amsterdam (i.e. The Goldfinch), and book markets.

Halfway along we stop at a local literary cafe for a coffee or tea. We continue on, with more landmarks, book shops, and libraries.

I forward an extensive list of books on Amsterdam and reading recommendations when you book. So you can read up before your trip!

Some names you'll hear: Spinoza, Irving, Vondel, Multaluli, Reve, Nescio.

I also provide a printed and digital map of every street in Amsterdam named for Dutch writers and the landmarks.
Other things to note
Guests should wear walking shoes and be able to walk for 1.5 hours.
I offer the tour on Friday for the AMS book Market but feel free to contact me for a private tour for 2 or more on other days.
Amsterdam has an incredibly rich literary history. Multiple factors provide the key to an understanding of the remarkable success the Dutch Republic had in the sphere of publishing, printing, and bookselling. In the 17th century, more books were printed in the Netherlands than in all other European countries put together.

We meet and have a short tour (entry fee included) of Amsterdam's most obscure library (Dan Brown's inspiration),…

Mary's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practising good hygiene and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Drinks
    or tea!
  • Tickets
    Entrance to Embassy of the Free Mind - retail 12.50€
  • Equipment
    1) Recommended Amsterdam reading list - when you book! so you can get a hea...
From $73
/ person
No dates available

Meet your host, Mary

Host on Airbnb since 2008
  • 42 Reviews
  • Identity verified
A historian and technologist, originally from New York City, I moved to Amsterdam and sought to find the origins of the global literary influence of the Dutch and Amsterdam, in particular. This walk is a tribute to Amsterdam, Dutch writers, the beauty of books, book markets and libraries, and their inspiration. You can find my list of suggested books on Goodreads "There is Something About Amsterdam!" list.
I offer the tour on Fridays but feel free to contact me for a private tour for 2 or more on other days.
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app. Learn more

Where you'll be

Here are highlights of the places we will visit:
An obscure library in a mansion
Two vintage book and art markets
A book store visit with a free BookLovers Tote
A literary cafe
Visits to important statues, landmarks, streets and multiple locations featured in novels set in and/or about Amsterdam.
Kathy
November 2019
I loved this tour so much! Mary has interesting knowledge about Amsterdam that I hadn’t heard despite my very in- depth research before my trip. She clearly cares about the literary history of the city and loves sharing it, which made the tour even better. I added several books to my reading list after this tour and bought three along the way. I highly recommend anyone with an interest in literature and/or desire to do something off the beaten tourist path in Amsterdam book something with Mary! I will be booking again when I return someday!
I loved this tour so much! Mary has interesting knowledge about Amsterdam that I hadn’t heard despite my very in- depth research before my trip. She clearly cares about the literar…
Samantha
September 2019
the was very nice. It wasn't so much a banned book tour as a literary tour. We very much enjoyed it! She had a wonderful understanding of the subjects and gave us so much information.
Gessica
September 2019
This Tour was such an amazing idea. I am really glad I decided to do it despite the fact that I live in Amsterdam. Mary was really nice and professional and she made me discover many wonderful new things of the city. Highly recommended!
Veronica
August 2019
This tour gives you A LOT of information. You will see a lot of interesting places while getting your steps in. I suggest not planning anything for the time directly after the tour so that you can go back to get a closer look at some places. I also learned a lot about the history of Amsterdam from a non-local which I found interesting.
This tour gives you A LOT of information. You will see a lot of interesting places while getting your steps in. I suggest not planning anything for the time directly after the tour…
Lisa
August 2019
Wonderful journey to the literary scene and history surrounding Amsterdam. I really enjoyed the tour with Mary and she was one of the best tours I've been on, she was passionate and professional.
Antoinette
July 2019
This Dutch literary walking tour was unique, relevant and thought-provoking. My teenager, a group generally hard to please, really enjoyed it too. Mary, a fellow former New Yorker, was wonderful!

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 5 guests ages 10 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

What to bring

Comfortable walking shoes

Perhaps an umbrella, this is Amsterdam!