12 Things you may not know about Amsterdam

There is so much useful information about traveling to Amsterdam around, however, when many tourists come to this city there are some things that they aren’t aware of.
Here are 12 that you many not know about this magical city.

Paid toilets – It shocks so many travelers, especially in the Amsterdam Central Station, but yes, a lot of places (anything from nightclubs to the McDonald’s) won’t allow you to use their toilets without paying. The cost can be anywhere from €0.50-€0.70 per use. Bringing coins or light cash with you is the safest bet since many don’t give you other payment options.

Free toilets – Lucky for men (and those who stand), there are free open toilets around the city (especially in Summer).

Not everything is legal (Don’t buy drugs on the street) – The city may have a more relaxed approach to drugs, but don’t be fooled.

Cafes and Coffee Shops are not the same Coffee shops sell weed (and possibly also coffee).

Bike Paths – Stay out of the bike paths! I have seem so many tourists get over and hurt by wandering into the bike paths. These paths are clearly marked so you won’t miss them. Bikes rule this city. They ride fast and follow their own rules. If you’re not on one then it’s you that needs to watch out!

Just because it says “museum” on the sign doesn’t mean it’s legit – Some “museums” are actually just nicely disguised souvenir shops. They will display a small amount of items such as cheese, vodka, tulips, etc. but have a significantly sized “store” section.

Pub-crawls can be ripoffs for female customers – Although pub-crawls can seem like a great idea for a huge group to have a cheap party. If you are a group of women, then often it’s cheaper to just skip it all together. There are plenty of bars/clubs that let women in for free and drinks at the places these pub-crawls go to are often cheap (sometimes watered down).

You can’t take pictures of the prostitutes in the Red Light District – Unless you want some nasty liquid thrown on you.

The Canals Stink – On a hot summers day, yes… the canals smell slightly like damp clothes, decay and mold. They are pretty clean, thanks to the government’s efforts.

Don’t give the Junkies money (or buy anything from them) – The Dutch government and other organizations offer many resources to people in need and they know where to go to get these services. Do not give money to the junkies.
Also, buying anything from them can land you with a hefty fine from the police. Buying a €10 bicycle from a junkie may seem like a good deal, but if you get caught by the police, you will be fined around €150.

People like to spike drinks in bars far too often – Watch your drinks and be careful on your nights out. No matter where you go, this can happen.
Some people do it for fun, and others do it in order to rob you later. This means that no matter what gender you are, it doesn’t matter.

Tipping goes a long way – Living in Amsterdam is very expensive, and many of the youth working in hospitality, tours, etc. don’t make very much money. So leaving even a little tip (to those deserving) is appreciated!

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Published by Saphie Renee

I’m Saphie Reneé, an American living in the Netherlands.

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