Amsterdam travel tips
Amsterdam is one of the major tourist destinations worldwide and hosts over 18 million visitors annually. The city has a fabulous infrastructure and is so tourist-friendly they are now suffering an influx of tourists. The country overflows with beauty. It has attractive bridges, beautiful canals, lots of bicycles, flowers all over, peculiar architecture and tremendously liberal culture. Amsterdam is the picture-perfect weekend escape destination; you can stay longer too.
Let’s look at some travel hacks that will make your travel expeditions to Amsterdam more affordable and allow you to enjoy this timeless destination fully.
Mind the Cyclists
Cycling is a massive thing for the locals in this city, and also the easiest way to travel. There is a surplus of cyclists and well-marked designated bike lanes. If you want to explore the city thoroughly, rent a bicycle and participate in a cycle tour. Always be on the lookout for cyclists before crossing the road. In fact, triple check. Locals speed through the city and you’ll either be yelled at or hit if you’re not extra careful. In Amsterdam, bikers don’t stop and wait for you to cross the road.
It’s Okay to Drink Tap Water
The tap water in Amsterdam is free, clean, and tastes good. If in a restaurant, you will likely be offered sparkling or still water without being offered the free option, tap water. But you can ask for it. Most restaurants will oblige. However, there are those sneaky ones who act like they have no tap in their kitchen and refuse to serve it.
Make an Umbrella Part of You
Any time you leave your place of residence, be sure to carry an umbrella with you. The weather in this lovely city is rampant and terribly unpredictable. In any given year, it rains around 150 days. It’s okay to ignore your weather application. Better be safe than sorry. Have an umbrella and raincoat with you at all times of outside existence.
Observe the Red-Light District Protocols
Amsterdam’s red-light district has brothels that allow sex workers to conduct their business safely. Mass tourism, however, has converted the red-light section into a prurient tourist lure. If you’ve been touring the city with the help of a tour guide, be sure to ditch them before visiting the red-light district. They are banned from it. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to take photos of the women engaging in the trade. Walk around like everything is normal and avoid street vendors.
Learn a Little Dutch
Most locals communicate in English, and you will likely not suffer a communication breakdown even while in the market. However, no matter how little you know, using a few Dutch words in your dialogue will show locals you’re making an effort to blend in. Learn a few common phrases like good morning – goedmorgen, goodbye – tot ziens, thank you – dank je well, yes and no – ja and nee, and how much is this? – hoeveel kost dit?
It’s Okay to Treat Yourself
It’s legal to partake in marijuana in Amsterdam. However, you will rarely see people openly smoking the herb, except perhaps tourists. You will smell it everywhere within the city, though. Coffee shops even sell pre-rolled ones so you can walk in, buy one, and treat yourself. Don’t exaggerate, especially when you are not used to smoke it.
Best Time to Visit Amsterdam
The best time to visit Amsterdam is totally dependant on what tickles your fancy. If you’re a fun lover then the summer festivals and music concerts of June to August, Summer, will suit you. If you’re a nature lover, then the Tulip season of April to May, Spring, is definitely the best time for you. Plus, the weather is just perfect at this time of year.
Then there’s the countryside enthusiasts and fewer tourists to deal with between September to November. With idyllic weather, this is the best time of year to explore the countryside and the Amsterdam canals. If you are budget constrained but would like to visit this lovely country and experience Dutch culture, you can visit in Winter. While the city becomes cold and dull during Winter, airfares are at their most affordable and tourists are few. This avails you sufficient time to discover indoor attractions like the city’s museums.