Walking Tour on the Financial History of Amsterdam

Walking Tour on the Financial History of Amsterdam

Walking Tour on the Financial History of Amsterdam
5
About
All around the centre of Amsterdam, its buildings still remind us of its heritage as the centre of finance and financial innovations such as the Amsterdam Bank, the first stock exchange, the first loan to the United States and the ingenious Amsterdam Municipal Giro. Former banker and central banker Simon Lelieveldt guides you through his hometown. And while doing so he shares stories and insights on payments systems and banking that are still relevant today. While we do mostly private and business tours, feel free to inform whether an open tour is planned. At present however, due to the Covid-situation, we have suspended our activities.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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(2 reviews)

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5.0 of 5 bubbles16 reviews
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Tom L
Amsterdam, The Netherlands2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
I came across this tour while I was looking for a unique type of social event, for a finance conference that I was organizing. I highly recommend the experience! Simon responds very promptly and has plenty of suggestions for how to structure the tour. At the same time, he is flexible to work around your plans. We ended up booking a boat tour through the canal belt, and Simon joined on the boat and co-ordinated the route with the tour company. (He also offers walking tours.)

The tour itself was very interesting, filled with many historical anecdotes and also a broader view on how the Netherland's unique situation affected financial development. Simon is a highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic speaker. About half the boat ride was like a guided tour with him speaking, and he also incorporated several breaks to enjoy the city's scenery. This format works especially well for groups that are captivated by history and/or economics.
Written 26 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SandraReizen
Rotterdam, The Netherlands14 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Business
I went on this tour with a group of my international exchange students. Simon gave us a really nice tour and told us a lot about the city. It was interesting to learn more about the history of Amsterdam from a financial perspective. Thank you Simon!
Written 24 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jean B
Heeze, The Netherlands1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Family
Together with the family we celebrated the 25th anniversary of my professional banking career of which a large part in the domain of (international) trade finance. With Amsterdam as office location we were interested to learn more about the roots of this business in an Amsterdam’s historic context. We are delighted to have found such a knowledgeable, passionate, dedicated and friendly tour guide as Simon Lelieveldt. Next to historic interpretations he was able to link these to practices nowadays still applied. All of it was further illustrated by visiting the relevant hot spots in the center of Amsterdam. With an audience that had no- or little- background in the financial world he provided such an insight full 2 hours tour. He showed us really the historic world of finance -and |Amsterdam’s role/ position in it - very well. A great success and we sincerely recommend Simon for a trip in the historic world of Amsterdam’s haute finance (and where its prosperity is largely based on). It was sincere pleasure.
Written 25 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spinwido
Atlanta3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Business
I've been wanting to do this tour for a very long time and I finally got to. Simon was an excellent guide and he explained and showed the history of financial development in Amsterdam with expert knowledge and unabashed pride. It's definitely not the typical tourist Amsterdam and after the tour, I felt as if I knew and could see Amsterdam better. It's a must do for anyone interested in history, architecture, or in finance and development.
Written 15 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EsthervanLuit
Amsterdam, The Netherlands2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Business
Simon guided our company Innopay through the streets of Amsterdam with flair and erudite commentary. The company roots and still much of our ongoing business lies with payments, so to learn more about how the historic events in the financial heart of Amsterdam impacted the current landscape of payments as we know it, was a true treat. I'd recommend this tour to anyone with a keen interest in financial institutions and how they flourished with time, or with a want for knowledge on the backdrop of some of Amsterdam's most iconic buildings that laid the Dutch financial foundations.
Written 21 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JosjeInnopay
Amsterdam, The Netherlands1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Business
Although I live in Amsterdam now for years, this tour showed me new places and learned me new things about the financial history of Amsterdam. Very interesting! Simon had a convenient way of telling and was very enthusiastic. Would certainly recommend this tour!
Written 21 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

erinbtaylor
Lisbon, Portugal10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Friends
I'm normally not a fan of walking tours, but I was very excited to attend this one. Amsterdam played such an important role in the world's financial history that it would be remiss to visit the city and not take this tour! Simon was an excellent guide and I learnt a lot. I would totally recommend this to everyone.
Written 26 March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Neil D
Brooklyn1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Business
This was one of the most informative and eye-opening couple of hours I've spent in recent memory. Simon not only understands the specific contours of Amsterdam's history but he has a sophisticated understanding of how Dutch merchants and bankers have laid the foundation for unique modes of business still influencing Dutch financial decsion-making today. Simon not only linked the unique topography of Amsterdam to the dominant cultural and financial ethics of the city, but he also traces how within the history of Dutch finance and trading you find the seeds of innovative financial instruments still in use today. Simon himself is both a Wikipedia of Dutch history as well as a serious professional with an informed perspective. I can't recommend this tour highly enough, especially for someone looking to develop a bit of professional insight into what makes the Dutch and their financial institutions tick. Also, a very pleasant and affable chap!
Written 2 November 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bjohn1
Dayton, OH8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Friends
Our university group of 10 persons just finished Simon Lelieveldt’s financial history walking tour of Amsterdam. It was fabulous. We had only been in Amsterdam for two days, and the only museum we had visited prior to the tour was the Amsterdam (History) Museum for an overview of the city’s history.
Simon’s walking tour clearly explains the contribution of Amsterdam to economics and global finance. While weaving in and out of smaller streets and alleys--avoiding areas plagued by tourists—Simon traces the rise of a fishing village that cooperated in the building of a dam and exploited its ‘tax free status’ to become an entrepôt for goods moving from inland to the sea and to and from the Baltic and the Mediterranean seas. Simon points out that what actually enabled the Netherlands to master the Atlantic ‘bulk trade’ routes and later the ‘rich trade’ routes to Asia was a tradition of financial innovation. Not only was the joint stock corporation—the permanent joint venture, often with government imprimatur-- essentially invented in Amsterdam, but many of the ‘complex’ financial instruments that muddy financial waters today—options, puts and calls, derivatives such as forward contracts and futures—were all innovated in the commodity/stock exchange just off Dam Square.
Simon’s walking tour incorporates all the pivotal sites, but he also uses every stop to clarify important concepts. For example, the first persons to charge interest (usury) in Amsterdam were Lombards (Catholics) from Italy; their operations, equivalent to pawn shops, were then ‘nationalized’ by the city authorities to prevent abuses (excessive interest rates). The Exchange, where foreign currencies were transferred and trading accounts settled (typically on a particular day of the month), later morphed into a bank, much like the Medici maneuver in Italy. But most importantly, Simon emphasizes that was the migration of people into the Low Countries traders from the south--first Jews from Spain and Portugal, later Protestants and commercially-minded Catholics from Antwerp--that enriched Amsterdam’s capital stock. The migrants brought financial capital (funds), social capital (network connections with traders in other markets), but most importantly, human capital: skills and trading savvy.
Simon’s treatment emphasizes the process of ‘continuous improvement’ that enabled the Dutch ‘joint venture’—battling Spain for religious and political independence--to establish a global trading network which integrated the Spice Islands, South Africa, and Surinam, often to the detriment of their inhabitants. He doesn’t neglect to discuss the dark side: He ends the tour near an exhibit on the slave trade, and he is conscientious about revealing the role of trust, greed and derivatives in past (such as the infamous Dutch commodity bubble known as Tulipmania) and more modern financial crises.
Simon is low key and very good at ‘reading’ his audience, able to alter the pace to suit the audience and so well versed on financial topics that almost no question is outside his sphere. We would take another tour at the drop of a florin, if only he offered a sequel!
Written 9 July 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian F
Washington, District of Columbia, United States4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Business
Simon Leilieveldt is an unusual tour guide as he not only knows the history and details of Amsterdam's financial district, but he is a financial professional himself. This meant that while giving his tour he was able to connect Amsterdam's history with recent events to make the tour very relevant for my class of University students studying Global Economics. I led this group of students on a trip to Europe to visit organizations and institutions associated with European economic policy. At the end of the 2 1/2 week trip, Simon's tour was considred one of the top 3 highlights by the students. Simon is engaging, customizes the tour to fit the group he is leading that day, and can improvise depending on the questions and interests of the group. For example. since we were from the USA he brought us to a couple of locations relevant to American history and our relationship with the Dutch. It was much more interesting to have a tour with a focus rather than one of the more general tours of a city that you usually get when you visit Europe. If you have Simon as your tour leader, you will not regret it.
Written 6 June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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WALKING TOUR ON THE FINANCIAL HISTORY OF AMSTERDAM - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go