Guiding is not regulated in The Netherlands, so no prior declaration or certificate is needed.

However, bringing groups through and guiding in Amsterdam does require a permit and is regulated. Please see more under Amsterdam.




While guiding is not a regulated profession in the Netherlands and thus access to the profession cannot be controlled, Amsterdam has used its powers to control commercial activity by imposing significant restrictions on organised walking tours, capping group size at 20 within defined areas. 

Tour guides need a permit to conduct groups (4 to 20 pax) within the restricted areas. Guiding permit application form is available

On 23 August 2019 it was announced that these previously announced restrictions will not be implemented until 01 April 2020. There will be a four-week consultation process about the intended measures in October 2019. Members can contact Amsterdam Gemeente directly by emailing if they would like to know more.

Main proposals include: 

  • Group walking tours (over 4 people) in the RLD will be banned from 01 April 2020. This does not include the entire De Wallen area, but only by sex workers’ windows.  

  • Group sizes in the city centre (excl the RLD) will be decreased to 15 people, currently it is 20.  

  • Free tours and offering services to consumers in the street without official accreditation will be prohibited.  

  • The City will, in consultation with the industry, introduce an official accreditation for tour guides that can only be gained if the guides fulfill certain quality requirements.  

  • Guides that offer tours in the centre, but beyond the RDL will also need an exemption; this is currently not the case.

The price will be around €200 per guide.

In banning organised walking tours within the RLD and proposing further restrictions in a wider area, the authorities have decided that organised tours of any size are a significant contributor to over-crowding, that groups cause nuisance, and that sex workers are adversely affected by group tourism. This is disputed. Nevertheless, the Gemeente’s apparent priority is to prevent the windows where sex workers are visible from being treated as a commercial tourist attraction. This appears not to recognise the area’s broader cultural and historical appeal.  

International Association of

Tour Managers Belgium

© Copyright 2019 by IATM Belgium. 

Tel: +32(0)4 76 444 469


Prinses Elisabethlaan 11

8450 Bredene -  Belgium