The 12 most important tips for a tourist in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a small city, but it has its own peculiarities. We’ll tell you exactly what a tourist needs to know before a trip.
Use the city map
Amsterdam, while compact, is quite confusing. The first time in the city, you can easily lose your way. The streets are difficult to memorize as well: they all have complicated and unfamiliar names and change every quarter.
That’s why we recommend that you download our guide app. It’s got an offline map of the city that’s very detailed and packed with helpful tips. We will tell you where to eat (with descriptions of the establishment and opening hours), where to walk, what to see and how to get there comfortably. We will pass all the knowledge and experience of many professional guides to Amsterdam and its residents, who know every bridge in the city, to you. To make your trip comfortable and without nerves. Download our guide at this link!
Don’t get too relaxed!
On vacation, travelers often relax, and this is taken advantage of thieves and crooks, of which there are many in tourist destinations. Bank cards and money do not put in back pockets of pants or backpacks with easy-to-open zippers. Remember to keep your documents deep in your clothes or bags, or better yet, leave them in your room safe. Make copies of your documents, including your visa page, before you leave on your trip and take them with you. That way if they are stolen you will make it easier to recover them and return home. If trouble does occur, report it to the police immediately.
Getting to Amsterdam by own transport
Most tourists arrive in Amsterdam by plane. However, there are also those who make the trip in their private car. Autobahns and almost all tunnels in the Netherlands are free, the use of ferries paid (fares vary from province to province).
The most important: Keep in mind that in the city center there is a big problem with parking. And even hotels usually do not have their own parking. Think about it before you go, find a hotel with parking or book a place at a paid parking online (here).
Save money on public transport
Unfortunately, public transportation in the Netherlands is not cheap in practice. Trains, buses and streetcars can cost a pretty penny.
To save money, do not be lazy to walk around the center of Amsterdam, because it is small and picturesque. If you still plan to actively use public transport, it is more economical to use a travel card for different number of days.
Dutch railroads offer many attractive passes for residents, but unfortunately do not take into account the interests of tourists.
Prostitutes at every turn?
To the disappointment of some, this stereotype is far from the truth. The red light district, and that is where the prostitutes are located, is just a few neighborhood small streets. Along them, you will indeed see girls and women in red lights. You can look at them for free and chat if you want to. But any form of aggression and attempts to take pictures of them will be immediately stopped and your camera will fly off into the canal.
Save money on city tours
Amsterdam is undoubtedly a beautiful city and fascinating with its architecture! You want to walk around it for days on end, occasionally taking a bicycle or a cruise ship. But it’s no fun if you don’t learn at least a little about its rich history. How can you get into the spirit of the Netherlands without the legends of the tulips? You definitely need at least one sightseeing tour!
The prices for individual sightseeing tours start from 98 €, for group tours from 20-25 €. And what if we offer you a tour for only 5 €? Economical? We have designed two tours of Amsterdam – a daytime sightseeing tour of 15 sights and a nighttime tour of the red light district. Download our audio guide and enjoy the city!
As beautiful as Amsterdam is, many tourists come for the coffee shops. The municipality of the city has repeatedly made a proposal to ban the sale of marijuana to foreigners (incidentally, in all the rest of the Netherlands it is prohibited), but this would reduce revenue by 80%. Therefore, the opportunity to try cannabis and cannabis products is still there. When buying, you will definitely be asked to show your ID.
In the coffeeshop you can not only buy, but also immediately consume what you want. Since smoking on the street and in hotels is prohibited, it is better to take advantage of this opportunity in a comfortable, safe environment, on a sofa and with refreshments.
In the evenings near the train station and in the crowded streets there are individuals offering to buy all kinds of substances. Remember that this is illegal trade, and the consumption of unknown products from the hands of strangers can cause unexpected and uncontrollable consequences. If your health is important, go to a coffee shop instead.
In good summer weather, residents and tourists of the city go to the beach, to sunbathe under the warm sun. Every year, there are about ten public areas in different parts of the city. One of the most unusual is the beach on the roof of the museum NEMO (at Oosterdok 2).
You can also go to “Blijburg aan Zee” (Pampuslaan 501), you get to the IJburg stop by streetcar number 26. The travel time from Central Station is 20 minutes.
Pllek beach (T.T. Neveritaweg 59) on the other side of the river Ae (IJ) is popular among Amsterdamers. It is easy to get there: take ferry 906 to NDSM. The travel time is 18 minutes.
Cycle around Amsterdam
Renting a bicycle is not too difficult and on average costs from ten euros per day. However, the heavy traffic of cyclists will be a problem if you have no riding experience. In order to enjoy cycling, we recommend choosing parks and streets away from tourist areas. And in good weather, you can ride the iron horse to neighboring towns and villages, for example in Haarlem, Zaandam or Saanse Schans.
Hot in summer and cold in winter
With the Dutch climate, this steady belief is not always the same as reality. There is a regular, dramatic change in the weather at any time of year. The warmth in summer is not long, only 3-4 weeks. However, winter in Amsterdam is quite warm, with an average temperature of +5 ° C, with green grass, blooming trees and shrubs. Going on a trip, put a raincoat or waterproof clothes in your suitcase.
The Netherlands – a country of cheese, tulips and herring
These stereotypes are absolutely true! Fortunately for tourists, the Netherlands really has a great variety of cheeses. You can buy them anywhere, from regular supermarkets and markets to specialty cheese stores on the shopping streets.
The Netherlands is not only a country of tulips, but also of many other indoor and outdoor plants. Head to the floating Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt), where the assortment will delight any florist.
Herring is another of the country’s trademarks, along with plenty of other fish and seafood. Almost everything on the shelves in Amsterdam is caught in the North Sea and comes as fresh as possible.
I don’t know the Dutch language!
The level of education in the Netherlands is now very high and almost everyone in the country speaks at least English. A lot of people also speak German, and somewhere around 40% can speak French. All of these languages the Dutch learn at school and speak them at a decent level. Therefore, if you know any foreign language, you can safely use it in Amsterdam. In most cases you will be understood.
Do not forget about our walk in Amsterdam. Cheap, interesting and most importantly – in Russian! You can download it at this link.
General information for a trip to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and capital of the Netherlands, located in the north of the country. It perfectly combines medieval and modern architecture. In the 17th century it was one of the most important ports in the world, as well as a center of trade.
General information for a trip to Amsterdam
At the moment is a popular tourist city in Europe, every year it is visited by about 4.63 million tourists.
Climate and weather
The city is located in a temperate climate zone with high humidity. There are frequent storms and strong gusts of wind.
The temperature doesn’t usually drop below 0°C in the wintertime, although there are sometimes frosty days when cold air flows in from the north. In summer, the weather can be hot, with temperatures reaching about 32 ° C.
Amsterdam is accessible not only by plane, but also by train. The railroads connect Amsterdam with Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne and several other cities.
The city has a well-developed transport system: subway, buses, high-speed streetcars and even ferries.
From the airport you can take a bus, streetcar or metro directly to the city center. The airport itself is located near the central station. Also by bus you can get to the outskirts of the city. There is a single ticket for all modes of transport, which is a convenient and economical solution.
Since Amsterdam has many canals, there are unforgettable boat cruises to the sights of the city.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
The city provides a fine selection of hotels, motels, hostels, and gesthouses. Here are some of them with good ratings:
– Motel One Amsterdam – Waterlooplein – A great motel located in the center of the city, famous for the most comfortable beds. Rating: 9.0. – Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandpark – The hotel is located next to Rembrandt Park and is a 15-minute drive from the airport. What is interesting, the hotel serves breakfast at any time of the day or night. Four stars, rating: 8.1. – Generator Amsterdam is a designer hostel located in the east of Amsterdam. It has unique architecture and style and friendly staff. Rating: 8.0. – Sunflower Inn Amsterdam is a good guesthouse, located in the most shopping area of Amsterdam, also nearby is the Rembrandt House. Rating: 8.9.
Amsterdam abounds with historical and cultural monuments: museums, churches, ancient streets, canals, castles and much more. The city also has many cozy cafes, restaurants, trendy stores.
The most popular places in the city:
Dam Square, a square where people of all nationalities and all ages like to gather. In the center is a white obelisk commemorating the victims of World War II.
Van Gogh Museum – it has the largest collection of 200 works of the famous artist. At the entrance to the museum you can take an audio guide and learn more about Van Gogh’s life and his unique works.
Heineken Brewery – the brewery museum offers to learn about the history of the brewery, see the process of making beer and for visitors to taste it themselves.
Flower Market – the market sells seeds and beautiful flowers – tulips – the most popular flower in Holland. There you can also buy bulbs of this flower.
Royal Palace – The palace belongs to the Royal Family and is located on Dam Square. Inside you can see the magnificent interiors and galleries.
Red Light Quarter – one of the most famous places in the city where brothels stand. The quarter itself is located near the port. In the old days, weary sailors after long voyages came to this quarter to have fun and rest. You can also see the medieval architecture of the area.
Other interesting places in the city:
– Canals of Amsterdam – Meiderslot Castle – Madame Tussauds Museum – Rembrandt House Museum – Shipping Museum – NEMO Museum.