Amsterdam Solves Overtourism with “Marriage”

Tourists getting "married" for a day in Amsterdam.
Photo credit: Untourist Group

If there is one thing the citizens of Amsterdam are tired of, it’s tourists.

Overtourism has created a mess of the city, resulting not only in the removal of one of its most famous photo ops but also the banning of tours of the famous Red Light District, closing the last of their iconic floating florists and even stopping tourism promotion all together.

With over 19 million tourists a year, it is no wonder the city has created a new way to combat the hoards of tourists. Their answer: marriage, at least for the day.

More: When Travel Goes Too Far

Untourist Guide, creator of the Untourist Movement, is the group behind the “Marry an Amsterdammer for a day” program. Their main mission: combat overcrowding by getting tourists to improve the city rather than wreck it.

“It’s a bit of a pity if everybody just remains in their own world and does the standard tourist thing when we could be meeting each other, connecting with people from other cultures and meeting the challenges of mankind together,” Elena Simons, a leader of the Untourist Movement, told Telegraph Travel.

For 100 euros or $113.26 you can participate in a fun “wedding ceremony” with a local and spend the day together exploring spots around the city that are unknown to mainstream tourism. The price also includes outfits: dresses, tail coats, veils, top hats and flowers, wedding set, speech, a photo and rings to keep as a memento of your “special day.”

After the ceremony, you and your “betrothed” will participate in activities around the city. These include plastic fishing in canals, “feed the Dutch” picnic and “laughing with locals,” which are meetups between visitors and “Amsterdammers.”

Related: 4 Extreme(ly) Luxurious Spa Tourism Options

“Plastic fishing is an alternative to your canal ride,” Simons told the Telegraph. “You get nets, go out on a boat and fish for plastic, which is recycled into furniture. It helps against the build-up of plastic in the oceans and makes our city prettier — at the same time tourists get their canal ride.”

“Marry an Amsterdammer for a day” officially launched on June 5 and has open “wedding dates” though Aug. 31.

advertisement