Among the 19 million visitors to Amsterdam each year, 100 percent make some sort of unintentional cultural or social faux pas while there, whether it be on the tram, in the coffee shop, or in the red light district. Although these small misunderstandings are frequently unavoidable, follow these procedures to ensure a secure journey.
Don’t Expect Parties On Weekdays
Even though Amsterdam boasts plenty of great places to hang out, parties, and festivals, the city’s nightlife mostly takes place on the weekends, with most venues keeping things rather low-key during the week. Disco Dolly and Belushi’s are two late-night establishments in Amsterdam that remain open well into the early hours of the morning every day of the week.
Don’t Get On Public Transport Without An OV-Chip Card
Due to the recent elimination of paper tickets on public transportation in the Netherlands, tourists must now acquire and top-up contactless OV-Chip cards before taking an Amsterdam bus, tram, or train. These cards let users choose from a variety of tariff options, including one-hour unlimited passes, day-long prices, or personal, reusable cards. They are sold at ticket machines all across Amsterdam.
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Don’t Take Cash Or Credit Cards For Granted
In the Netherlands, cash transactions are shockingly infrequent, and many establishments in Amsterdam no longer accept actual money at all. It’s also important to note that small shops and supermarkets frequently take Maestro debit cards instead of popular credit cards like American Express or Visa.
Don’t Hire A Bike If You Don’t Know How To Ride
Cycling is the primary means of transportation in the city, and although while it may seem like a calm, leisurely activity in Amsterdam, cyclists are required to follow safety regulations and pay strict attention to the road. The city’s bike traffic is highly congested for obvious reasons, and inhabitants are notoriously impolite to beginner riders.
Don’t Walk In Cycle Paths – Never Do In Amsterdam
The entire city of Amsterdam is connected by a vast network of cycling paths, and it has been completely designed around two-wheeled transportation. Even though the boundaries of these bike lanes are typically well defined, clueless foreigners frequently stray into them. While more considerate riders will slow down for errant pedestrians, many bikers in Amsterdam will pass through tourist throngs unafraid.
Don’t Purchase A Bicycle From An Unreliable Dealer – Never Do In Amsterdam
It is fairly safe to assume that practically everyone in Amsterdam selling a suspiciously inexpensive bike on the street either stole it or purchased it from an untrustworthy vendor. Purchasing a stolen bicycle is not only illegal but also dangerous because these street bicycles frequently have defects or are missing essential components.
Don’t Buy Drugs From Street Sources – Never Do In Amsterdam
It is unlawful and very risky to purchase drugs like cocaine or ecstasy from street vendors in Amsterdam. In reality, there have been a number of incidences in the city over the previous few years of tourists in Amsterdam being intentionally drugged.
Don’t Smoke Cannabis Outside Of Coffee Shops
Despite the persistent misconceptions about cannabis in Amsterdam, the majority of residents don’t particularly like its presence there, and consumption is only permitted in authorized coffee shops. Smoking marijuana in unlicensed locations like beer gardens or terraces is really against the law, and most Amsterdammers find it extremely disrespectful to light up in public.
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Don’t Leave Belongings Unattended – Never Do In Amsterdam
Amsterdam is reportedly one of the safest cities in the world, so tourists shouldn’t worry too much about crime when visiting. However, there are pickpockets and thieves in the city, particularly in busier areas like Dam Square or the Red Light District, so it is wise to keep valuables under careful surveillance at all times.
Don’t Order Beer Steins At Dutch Bars
Beer is typically served in the Netherlands in little glasses called vases or fluutjes, which only hold 25ml and 33ml of beer, respectively. As a result, pint glasses and German-style beer steins are practically nonexistent in Amsterdam.