What you need to know before travelling to Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is like a tiny magic box filled with tall people, vibrant vibes, diverse cultures, and a pleasant ambiance. You will never know what you are going to bump into around the next corner in this open-minded metropolis, especially if you’re a first time visitor. Do you already have a flight ticket to Amsterdam or is this one of the destinations on your travel bucket list? Then you’re in luck as we have the perfect guide with these 10 handy travel tips when going to Amsterdam for the first time.
10 Ultimate tips for visiting Amsterdam
- Mind the bicycle
- Art pilgrimage but no photo
- Coffeeshop sells no coffee
- No food and drinks on public transport
- Alcohol free in public
- Keep an eye on your valuables
- Pay in different situations
- Be respectful in the Red Light District
- Choose the 'right' train class seating
- Check the weather
1. Mind the bicycle 🚲
As the kingdom of cycling, you can not separate the Dutch and their bikes. Amsterdam is considered the cycling capital of the world. Everywhere you go there are cycle paths and many related facilities, such as various parking areas for bicycles. Whether you would like to explore the city by bike or foot, you should always make sure you are on the correct path, cycle on the bike path (red lane clearly marked with a bike symbol), and walk on the pedestrian path. Don’t get yourself in danger and drive locals mad. Better safe than sorry, right?
2. Art pilgrimage but no photo 📸
Amsterdam is definitely one of the best cities for art pilgrimage. There are over 50 museums in the city, many of them are well-known globally, like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. If you are an art-lover, take advantage of the chance to explore as many of the museums as possible. One thing you need to keep in mind is that most museums in Amsterdam have certain restrictions when it comes to taking pictures, such as allowing photography only in the entrance hall or other designated areas, but not in the exhibition areas. Do not take photographs without permission. Nobody wants to cause unnecessary misunderstandings during their journey.
3. Coffeeshop sells no coffee ☕
Don’t be shocked if you can not find your cappuccino, latte, or americano there in the coffeshop. The coffeeshop is not actually what it means literally, and the fact is it sells something totally different. But whenever you would like to fetch a cup of coffee, Amsterdam won’t disappoint you. Dutch people are coffee maniacs of Europe, with an average of 4 cups per day. So don’t worry, you will always find it at a nearby café or ‘Koffie Huis’.
4. No food and drinks on public transport 🚋
I know how upsetting it is when you want to continue enjoying your fries or ice cream on the bus or tram, but the chauffeur/driver refuses you to get on public transportation. In Amsterdam, except for trains, eating and drinking are not permitted on the Metro, trams, and buses. Take your time to enjoy the delicacy before onboarding.
5. Alcohol free in public 🍻
Hanging out with friends is fun, especially if travelling in amazing Amsterdam. Walking around the streets surrounded by canals is so chill. I bet you might consider why not drink some alcohol when wandering around the city, however, drinking in public is not allowed in the Netherlands. Therefore, please don’t grab any bottles, cans, or glasses full of any alcoholic beverage if you don’t want to get in trouble. Otherwise, you will get a fine of 95 euros.
6. Keep an eye on your valuables 👜
The public security in Amsterdam is relatively good. However, you still need to be careful of pickpockets, especially in crowded places, and take good care of your documents, valuables, and belongings. After all, no one wants to spend their hard-earned vacation trying to lock their bank cards, replacing their passport, and finding alternative means to access money. Keep your guard up and carry on!
7. Pay in different situations 💳
Unlike other European countries, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are not widely accepted in the Netherlands. Dutch people like saving money and they hate debt. Thinking of the origin of ‘go Dutch’, it makes sense. Here, the Maestro card is the king, a debit card system mainly used locally. Big shopping malls usually accept Visa or Mastercard like De Bijenkorf, but you will not be able to use credit cards in most local shops, supermarkets, and restaurants. It’s always good to be prepared for different occasions and to avoid any disappointment or embarrassment, especially at the moment when you have to pay.
8. Be respectful in the Red Light District 🟥
The Red Light District is the most visited area in Amsterdam. No matter how eye-opening the place is for you, please do not take pictures of any red windows. Be respectful of the privacy of both workers and visitors. Better keep your camera in a safe place and take a stroll in the evening within this unique atmosphere.
9. Choose the 'right' train class seating 🚉
If you are going to take a train, keep in mind to choose the ‘right’ class of seating. Usually, there are two types of seating depending on the ticket you purchased: first class and second class. If you would like a quiet place on your train journey, you can take a ‘stilte’ (quiet) zone, which is marked with a 'S' or 'Silence'. If you are sitting in these special seats then you won't be disturbed by your fellow passengers, especially since loud (phone) discussions and/or music are discouraged. So enjoy the ride in silence and relaxed.
10. Check the weather ☔
Travelling in Amsterdam, one of the most important things for you is to check the weather in advance. Most of the time, it could be windy and rainy, except for when it's actual summer time. Amsterdam is one of the wettest cities in Europe in regards to the number of days with precipitation. According to the Weather Atlas statistics, the rain falls for 189.3 days during the entire year in Amsterdam. Every season has its beauty here while the weather in the Netherlands can be unpredictable over the course of a few days, so watching the weather forecast is certainly a great suggestion. Be prepared and enjoy your trip!
Hope this guide could smooth your journey in this amazing city. Find cheap flight deals to the Netherlands and book your tickets on CheapTickets.sg.
Discover and experience the wonderful Amsterdam! Heel veel succes (Good luck)!
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