Nederlandse Gidsenorganisatie Guidor

10 Things To Know About Nederlandse Gidsenorganisatie Guidor

1. What year was GUIDOR – The Dutch National Guides Association established, and where is the headquarters?

Guidor was established in 1957 and the headquarters are in Amsterdam.

Certified Tourist Guides in Rijskmuseum © Guidor

2. What is the primary mission/goal of GUIDOR?

The primary goal / mission is to deliver guiding services of the highest quality and professional level. Guidor achieves this goal by ‘matching’ qualified guides with the clients, ensuring the specific requests and needs are met.

Locally, Guidor cooperates, among others, with:

  • Amsterdam Marketing
  • Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board (ATCB)

3. How does someone become a qualified tourist guide in The Netherlands?

Tourist Guiding is NOT a regulated or protected profession in the Netherlands. Anyone can be “a guide”. However, in order to become a qualified tourist guide:

  • one needs to follow a 15-month course called “National Tourist Guide Course” at the ROCvA educational institute. The course consists of practical and theoretical subjects, and is completed following final theory and practice exams. Successful graduates obtain the National Tourist Guide diploma, or
  • external candidates can take the GiVak Exam (Guidor Guide’s Competence Exam) that covers: canal-boat or moving vehicle guiding, museum guiding, written theory exam and foreign language(s) exam.

4. After becoming qualified, what are some of the professional development classes that guides typically take in the Netherlands to enhance their knowledge and skills?

During the less busy times of the year, GUIDOR offers a versatile programme of CPD (Continuous Professional Development). The programme ranges from lectures on contemporary topics of interest, history and art, to short in-depth specialised museum tours, and day familiarisation trips to various areas/sites. The latter meant as “sharing best practice” tours for both new and established guides. There is a system of registering participation in CPD events and guides need to participate in several of them every year in order to be considered active guides by Guidor.

5. Is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in the Netherlands wear?

Yes, and we wear it proudly: Avers: Text: Identity Card, Guidor logo and name, Guide’s name, Guide’s pass photo, validity (3) years, code- number. Revers: FEG logo, WFTGA logo., est. 1957.

6. How many qualified tourist guides are members of GUIDOR?

167 full members, 5 senior members, 42 aspirant members.

  • What are their diverse backgrounds? Our guides are, among others: art historians, architects, translators/interpreters, journalists, engineers, school, college and university teachers, former corporation managers, marketing specialists, secretaries, travel agency workers or owners, active artists (painters), social workers.
  • Also, how many languages do they guide in ? Of the total membership 30-40% are not native Dutch, offering at least 20 different native languages (see
  • Do they specialize in themed tours? Yes. Specialisations range: walking tours, cycling tours, coach tours, canal-boat tours – in cities and in the countryside.
  • Some of the themed tours are: Jewish Amsterdam tour, Golden Age Tour, Tulip Festival, museum and art galleries guiding on permanent and specific temporary exhibitions (various museums across the country); Amsterdam Street Art tour; city walks in many Dutch cities, Dutch Windmills, Dutch Countryside, Windmills and Clogs, First Reclaimed Land (17th century polders), The Delta Works (stride against water), Dutch fishermen villages, Venice of the North – Giethoorn; VOC – Dutch East India Company, Amsterdam – city of diamonds, Modern Architecture (various cities), various open-air museums, Battle Fields near Arnhem (WWII), special interest tours: architecture, water management, agriculture/horticulture, tour in the biggest Flowers Exchange, 21st century farming: floating city farm (Rotterdam).

Tulips at Keukenhof Spring Garden © Guidor

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in the Netherlands?

Our members are distinguished for their professionalism, quality and reliability. In-depth knowledge and up-to-date information. Guidor guides also benefit from reduced-price entrance tickets at certain venues and season-related attractions expertise i.e. temporary exhibitions, offers, festivals.

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in The Netherlands?

There are several ‘must-see’ places but here’s some suggestions:

  • The capital city Amsterdam with its’ UNESCO listed famous Canal Belt in the centre
  • Museums in Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum with the collections from the Middle Ages through the Golden Age until the 20th century art (photo: National Museum (Rijksmuseum); Van Gogh Museum with the world’s biggest collection of the artist’s paintings and drawings.
  • The Hague – seat of the Dutch Parliament, government and the royal residence - with the oldest Parliament Buildings in the world in continuous use. (photo: Binnenhof), the Peace Palace
  • Windmills at Kinderdijk (UNESCO listed site)
  • Windmills and old crafts at the open-air museum Zaanse Schans
  • Rotterdam – with its inspiring modern architecture, featuring cube houses
  • Rotterdam Sea Port with state-of-the-art facilities on and around man-made islands
  • Keukenhof – the most beautiful spring garden in the world with 7 million blooming bulb flowers

Herengracht – The Lords’ – Canal in Amsterdam © Guidor

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation to The Netherlands?

  • Be sure you plan enough time to for your visit: our country might be small in area, but offers plenty of breath-taking sites within easy reach: from 0,5 hour to two-hour car drive or by efficient and reliable public transport
  • Hiring one of our certified Guidor guides will help make your memories unforgettable

Modern Architecture © Guidor

10. Where can potential visitors to The Netherlands find out more information about GUIDOR and also find a qualified tourist guide?

Write an e-mail to The office will match you with a guide, or
Go to the Guidor website and select a guide directly from their webpage: