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10 Things Tourists Shouldn’t Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a lovely city and is known as one of the safest in the world. There are so many things to see and do, and while it is a tolerant and liberal city, there are some things that you should be cautious of and not do, in Amsterdam.

10 Things Tourists Shouldn’t Do When Visiting Amsterdam

  1. Don’t get on public transport without an OV-Chip card
  2. Don’t forget your ID
  3. Don’t take the Dutch attitude personally
  4. Don’t expect good customer service
  5. Don’t smoke cannabis publicly
  6. Don’t take photos of the windows in the Red Light District
  7. Don’t wander in the bike lanes
  8. Don’t cycle in pedestrian paths
  9. Don’ forget to watch out for tram tracks
  10. Don’t buy from street dealers

Don’t Travel On Public Transport Without An OV-Chip Card

You can’t travel on trains, trams, buses and metros without an OV-chip card. These chip cards work as a contactless ticket system and are available to purchase from ticket machines throughout Amsterdam. As a visitor, you can choose from several passes including, a day fare or a disposable one-time-only pass.

Don’t Forget Your ID

By law, whether you’re an EU citizen or not, it’s essential to carry around ID with you at all times. If you fail to show identification if asked by police, you can get a fine, but generally, you won’t need to pull your ID out much unless it’s at a bar or coffeeshop.

Don’t Take The Dutch Attitude Personally

The Dutch are direct when it comes to communicating, which can offend some tourists who are not familiar with that type of attitude. Even customer service is inattentive and can take some time for you to get some actual ‘service’ as you need to be the one to approach them first.

Don’t Expect Good Customer Service

As mentioned already, customer service employees are inattentive, and you will usually have to be the one to approach them first. Waiters at cheaper local restaurants and cafes leave people for long periods of time without checking up on them. You will generally need to call the waiter over or go up to the desk.

Don’t Smoke Cannabis Publicly

Although cannabis can be found everywhere in Amsterdam, consumption can only be at licensed ‘coffeeshops’ and not publicly anywhere else as this is illegal. Locales aren’t too fond or proud of the use of cannabis in Amsterdam either; these coffeeshops are more for tourists instead of the Dutch.

Don’t Take Photos Of The Windows In The Red Light District

If you plan on visiting the Red Light District, you mustn’t ever take photos of the women in the windows. You will suffer some terrible consequences like getting thrown into the canal by security and have your phone or camera smashed. To be safe, make sure to check your surroundings if you do want to take a photo in that area, like of the architecture, for example.

Don’t Wander In The Bike Lanes

While the Dutch are cool people, they do get frustrated when someone blocks there path as they’re cycling. They will ride straight through crowds without hesitation and will not give way to tourists. As a result, you may get injured, and the blame will be on yourself. Be careful and look out for paths with a bike icon and painted a faded red colour.

Don’t Cycle In Pedestrian Paths

Just as you shouldn’t wander in cycle lanes, you shouldn’t cycle in pedestrian paths either. If you plan on hiring a bike and taking a tour without a guide, be sure to cycle only in bike lanes and avoid pedestrian-only areas if you don’t want to get fined. Also, it’s important to note that if you don’t know how to ride a bike well, don’t hire one, as this can annoy locals.

Don’t Forget To Watch Out For Tram Tracks

When cycling around, be cautious of tram tracks as they are thin and deep enough to trap your bicycle wheel, resulting in you falling and injuring yourself. Similarly, be careful when crossing the street as there could unexpectedly be a tram travelling in the opposite direction. You can also find taxis, buses and other vehicles using the tram lanes.

Stay Away From Street Dealers

If it’s cannabis you’re after, don’t ever buy them from street dealers as it is both illegal and extremely dangerous. There have previously been some severe cases of intentional drug poisoning over the past few years that have targeted tourists. Instead, go to a licensed coffeeshop.

 

Follow these tips and stay safe while you enjoy your trip to Amsterdam. Don’t forget that if you require a laundry service on your trip, Laundryheap will be happy to help with your laundry troubles.