We love Amsterdam, and we know you will too. Unfortunately though, in recent years some people have loved Amsterdam a little TOO much, and in some areas of the city, the impacts of tourism have started to negatively affect the lives of local residents.
To ensure you have an enjoyable trip to Amsterdam, and to help us promote responsible and sustainable travel to this incredible city, we have listed below some tips for your visit to the Dutch capital. You’ll also see some images put together from Amsterdam Marketing, with some of the fines that are now being given out for disruptive behavior in the city.
Please know that you are still very welcome in Amsterdam – the Dutch are a warm and friendly bunch, and are proud to show their city to you. However, to show your love for the city and your respect for the locals, we ask you to keep the below points in mind during your visit.
Look out for bikes
For the Amsterdammers who cycle as their daily mode of transportation, pedestrians walking in the bike lanes or standing to take pictures can be not only frustrating, but hazardous. Be sure to use the bike lane for biking, and the footpaths for walking.
Keep smoking to the coffeeshops
Although marijuana is decriminalized in the Netherlands, it’s not legal, and buying from unauthorised sellers or smoking in public places can be detrimental to Amsterdam and Amsterdammers. You’ll have a better – and safer – time if you keep the smoking to the coffeeshops.
Respect those living and working in the Red Light District
The world-famous Red Light District is often seen as a tourism hot-spot, but many people are living and working in this historic neighbourhood. Blocking streets and store fronts, making too much noise and photographing or otherwise harassing people working in the windows disrupts people’s way of life. Our Red Light District Tour will help you to move through this heavily-visited area as quickly as possible, and will give you all the guidelines you need on how to act in Amsterdam’s most famous neighborhood.
Explore other areas of Amsterdam
While the city center and Red Light District are must-see sties, overcrowding in these areas is putting pressure on infrastructure and locals. We recommend you visit these areas, but that you also dedicate part of your trip to exploring some of the other amazing sites Amsterdam has to see. Our Countryside Bike Tour was specifically designed to help visitors to Amsterdam explore outside of the city center
Respect the canals
Each year, bikes, rubbish and yes, even people end up in the Amsterdam waterways, creating environmental damage, disruption to those living and working on the canals, and endangering people’s safety. Please be respectful of, and safe around, Amsterdam’s canals.
Spread out your tourism revenue
Where possible, please spend your Euros at local Amsterdam businesses, rather than large international stores. One of the frustrations of the Amsterdam locals is that they don’t see enough of the revenue that Amsterdam’s huge tourism numbers bring in, so please do what you can to spread your spending out.
Keep quiet in the streets after 10pm
A lot of people come to Amsterdam to party, and there are some amazing bars and clubs in the city to help you do so. Yet while Amsterdam is a great party town, it can be easy to forget that it’s a living, breathing city, and that there are locals whose kids are sleeping and people who need to get up for work in the morning. While you should definitely enjoy Amsterdam’s nightlife, please be mindful of being quiet in the streets at night