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Portuguese Synagogue

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Portuguese Synagogue: Our most recommended tours and activities

Amsterdam: Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

1. Amsterdam: Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Learn more about Amsterdam’s troubled past while gaining an insight into how the Jewish community lived and survived in the aftermath of the Second World War in Amsterdam. Hear about the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands from 1940 until 1945 and how it affected those living in Amsterdam and especially the Jewish community. Discover the Portuguese Synagogue, the Jewish Historical Museum, and stroll by the Headquarters of the Jewish Council. Learn how the Dutch behaved towards the Jews of Amsterdam and how the people endured the hardships as you pass sites like the Auschwitz Monument and the Dokwerker. The tour ends in front of the Anne Frank House, where you will learn more about her best-selling diary, how it was published by her father Otto Frank, and how it gained worldwide fame. Choose between group and private tour options.

Amsterdam: 2-Hour Stand Up Paddle Board Tour

2. Amsterdam: 2-Hour Stand Up Paddle Board Tour

Paddle through the heart of Amsterdam and discover the city on a fun and active tour. Pass bridges, beautiful town houses, and famous museums. Experience the city from the water on a 2-hour paddle boarding tour along its canals and the river Amstel. Your tour begins in a quiet section of canal so you can get used to the paddle board. Once you feel safe, you'll cross the Amstel and hit the city. Admire stunning houses along the river and paddle through the network of canals and bridges. Depending on the group's skill level, paddle level head back via the Red Light District or de Oude Waal. Both locations have plenty of highlights to check out. The last part of the tour takes you past the Nautical Museum and a replica 18th-century ship, before finishing up back at the original meeting point.

Amsterdam: Jewish Quarter Private Tour

3. Amsterdam: Jewish Quarter Private Tour

From the 16th to the 17th centuries, Jewish people were the target of much hostility in Europe and were often, tragically, expelled from their homes. Amsterdam welcomed much of Europe's Jewish population and the Jewish community in Amsterdam became one of the most important and vibrant in Europe. On this route through the old Jewish quarter, you will see the main points of interest in the area related to the culture of the Jewish community. From Waterlooplein (where the Spinoza monument is located), to the Amsterdam Zoo (site of the National Holocaust Memorial), and from the Hermitage area of Amsterdam (location of the Shadow Canal Monument) to the Nieuwe Herengracht canal, where you will find the Impressive Portuguese Synagogue.

Amsterdam: Private Pedicab Historical Sightseeing Tour

4. Amsterdam: Private Pedicab Historical Sightseeing Tour

You'll start the tour at Dam square, birthplace of the city, the main square and heart of the old centre of Amsterdam. It's the place from where Amsterdam started to evolve and where we find the royal palace, the new church and the national monument. Next stop is Zeedijk, nowadays a street but in the old days one of the dikes protecting the old city. Here you'll see the oldest cafe still standing today with it's original interior and a bit futher down the street get a glimpse of the nearby Chinatown. New Market square, with it's most important building, the 15th century city gate, standing right in the middle of it. This place is full of history and you'll learn all about it. Minutes later there will be a stop at the Montelbaanstoren, an old watch and defense tower, part of the Amsterdam expanded defense line early 16th century. From here there is also a good lookout over the 'oude Waal' where there are a lot of houseboats lined up with 17th century canal houses as background decor. Next will be the jewish quarter where you'll see the very first synagoge that jewish people were allowed to built in Western Europe over 350 years ago, the 'big synagoge'. On the other side of the street you'll see the Portuguese synagoge. Nearby there is the holocaust name monument with 102 thousand bricks giving the names of the dutch jewish victims of the second world war. Just opposite the monument are a row of beautiful old 17th century canalhouses that were inhabited by jewish sefardic immigrants who were succesfull in the diamond business. Then you'll see the Hermitage, a huge old 17th century widowhouse that nowadays houses the hermitage museum. The skinny bridge is one of the most iconic bridges of Amsterdam that beautifully lights up at night when hundreds of light bulbs accentuate it's skinny but stylefull design. From here you have a panoramic over the canalised river the Amstel, which is the main and widest canal in Amsterdam. It's a good place to take pictures! The ride continues thrugh the canal district which is the 17th century neighberhoud surrounding the old centre of Amsterdam. On any city map it can be clearly seen as half circles that go around the centre. Here you find the majority of the typical Amsterdam canal houses that were once the homes of successful merchants. Unlike modern times, all canal houses are slightly different, although we will see there are some typical similarities among them that unveil their building era. The final stop before returning is at Museumsquare which is the biggest and greenest squares of Amsterdam with beautiful scenic views over the surrounding museums. On one side resides the largest museum of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum, where the bigger Rembrandt paintings are on display, on the other side we will see the Concertgebouw, concert hall for classical music. Also located next to the square are the Van Gogh museum, the Stedelijk museum for contemporary art, the Moco museum (Banksky) and the Diamond museum. Enough to keep you busy for a few days if you have the time. You can set a desired location to finish the tour before hand.

Amsterdam: 2-Hour Jewish History Walking Tour

5. Amsterdam: 2-Hour Jewish History Walking Tour

Your morning or afternoon in Amsterdam will start at the statue of the dockworker at the foot of the Portuguese synagogue. Set off in a relaxing pace to make sure you really get to see, feel and learn all about the Jewish history and population from Amsterdam. The first Jewish inhabitants arrived in Amsterdam in the 16th century. From the start they established themselves in the area around the Jodenbreestraat. In the course of World War II this area was made into a ghetto by the Germans. They raised a big fence around the area and many bridges remained open permanently, so the inhabitants could only enter and leave the area at certain points. During many raids the inhabitants were taken away. After the war, this once vibrant and lively area had turned into a sad, abandoned, and neglected area. Your guide will take you back to the times of the rise of the Jewish people in Amsterdam and the sad period of 1940-1945.

Other Sightseeing Options in Portuguese Synagogue

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What people are saying about Portuguese Synagogue

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,507 reviews

Our Tour was exactly what I hoped it would be. Our guide, Jonatan, was friendly, funny, and extremely knowledgeable. He covered the history of Amsterdam in general and as well as the history of the Jews in the city. Since it is not included in the tour, we visited the Portuguese Synagogue and Jewish Museum immediately after which made for a very fulfilling afternoon.

This was a fantastic tour, especially prior to visiting the Frank museum. Our guide was knowledgeable, personable, and well-prepared! Highly recommend!

This was an amazing way to see Amsterdam. I was a first time paddle boarder but Morene is a great teacher! I would highly recommend it.

We appreciated the detailed context and back story. It was a somber, but powerful tour.

Arron was an amazing guide, so knowledgeable. Really enjoyed the experience. Julie