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Amsterdam: Essential Tips Every Tourist Needs to Know

Amsterdam is a beautiful and historic city that makes the perfect destination for a short weekend break or longer getaway. Tourists are attracted in great numbers to enjoy its ancient canals, fascinating museums, beautiful architecture and chilled-out atmosphere. However, when you head to Amsterdam, there are a few cultural tips that you should be aware of to get the most out of your time in the city, so keep the following in mind when you arrive.


Steer Clear of Bike Lanes

Bikes in Amsterdam

Bikes are very popular in Amsterdam and you will constantly see them whizzing around. It adds to the quiet, laid-back atmosphere of the city, and is definitely the best way to get around. Having said that, be very careful about where you walk. If you get in the way of cyclists they are likely to get upset, and in the worst-case scenario you could find yourself getting knocked over. Treat bicycle lanes like roads and always be careful not to get in the way of cyclists.


Know What ‘Coffee Shops’ Are

coffeeshop amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops, which are legally permitted to sell marijuana in small quantities for personal use. If you want to avoid these places then look out for the name, because they are always called ‘coffee shops’. If you want to head to a standard café, the name to look out for is ‘Koffiehuis’, and if you want to go to a pub, these are called cafés. It’s all a bit confusing, but familiarise yourself with the names if you want to avoid heading to the wrong type of establishment.


Be Careful Where You Wander

red light district amsterdam

Another area of Amsterdam that is particularly famous is its red-light district. This has become a tourist attraction in itself, but if you want to avoid it, make sure you know where it is, so that you don’t inadvertently stroll into it. Despite being popular with tourists, it also has a reputation for being a bit of a dodgy area, so if you do wander into it just be careful and remember not to take any pictures.


Don’t Go Too Crazy


Some people travel to Amsterdam with the wrong impression and think that it is a city where anything goes. Although it does have more liberal laws in some respects, if you intend to go crazy then you could easily find yourself getting in trouble with the law. Getting drunk and rowdy will not be appreciated by the locals, so be respectful during your time here.


Other Top Tips when Visiting Amsterdam


If you are looking for a destination with plenty of world-class attractions as well as cheap hotels Amsterdam is a great option. Keeping the above cultural tips in mind, make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the highlights during your time here. These include going on a canal cruise, visiting the Rijksmuseum, taking a tour of Anne Frank House and trying the local speciality – fresh herring.


Discover the Beauty of Amsterdam

Amsterdam 1

Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has an international reputation for being laid back, and it is the perfect place to go and relax. Enjoy your time here, see the sights and keep the above cultural tips in mind to ensure you enjoy the perfect stay.


Alex Kennedy visits Amsterdam often as a flight attendant. While on a layover, she likes to relax by sharing her travel tips on various blogs.

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Bernadette Otieno

Bernadette Otieno is a writer and film practitioner based in Kenya. She produced her first short film called Gangari (Hustler). The film won the best student film award in the 2012 Kenyan Kalasha Television and Film Awards.

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