I have written a bunch of articles on things to do in a city I have traveled to, but today I am jotting down what not to do in Amsterdam. Some of these you might already know and some points might seem obvious but trust me I have first hand experience seeing my friends and acquaintances do these mistakes. Check out this post to know about the places to visit in the Netherlands, and this for some adventures.
8 Things NOT to do in Amsterdam:
- DON’T bring a car into Amsterdam. In a city built in the 12th century, it’s becomes a liability. Parking is sparse and expensive. Illegally parked vehicles are fined outrageously and towed within 24 hours.
DO commute by foot, bike, tram, bus and metro. Amsterdam’s manageable size and flat geography make it ideal for pedestrians, especially when the weather is nice. Public transport is affordable and efficient.
- DON’T hire a bike if you can’t ride one properly. Although riding a bike in Amsterdam might look like a tranquil, leisurely activity, cycling is the main mode of transport in the city and cyclists must obey certain safety laws whilst paying close attention to the road. Most of the rented bikes have brakes in peddle, which might be difficult to get used to for a few. For obvious reasons, bike traffic in the city often gets particularly hectic and locals are notoriously unforgiving to inexperienced bikers.
Do bike in the outskirts if you have some time for this activity, it is scenic as well as less crowded.
- DON’T take pictures of Red Light District windows. It’s invasive and can be rewarded with an unwanted urine on your face courtesy of a pimp or bouncer. Just don’t take out your phones, with the street being busy, it is easy for the thieves to snatch the phone and run away!
DO go to TonTon Club while you are in the red light district, it is a nice arcade to have a beer while playing games.
- DON’T think a coffee shop means they sell coffee. In Amsterdam a coffee shop is where you can buy the drugs and smoke them. You might find coffee here but you might also have to buy a bag of weed. Try not to get mixed up and bring your parents into the coffee shops by mistake.
DO search for a cafe if you want to have Coffee or beer. My favorite coffee places are Back to Black in Weteringstraat and Coffee&Coconuts in De Pijp.
- DON’T cycle at night without lights. It’s dangerous and punishable. Be prepared to pay a fine and buy a light from the police if you’re caught.
- DON’T walk on the bike paths. Or stand on them, studying a map. There are kamikazes on two wheels out there, with no mercy for clueless tourists. Step into a bike path without looking both ways and someone’s gonna get hurt
- DON’T pee in the canals. Or anywhere besides a toilet or street urinal. Besides being illegal and subject to a fine, more than a few stoned or drunk tourists have fallen into Amsterdam canals while attempting to pee near a canal.
- DON’T drink or smoke up in public area especially near bus stops, schools or kids play areas. You will be fined right away!
Hope these simple tips help you have a good stay in Amsterdam. Until next time!