Practical Tips for Visiting Amsterdam

Visiting AmsterdamAmsterdam is truly an unusual city, impressive in terms of culture and history, restaurants, entertainment options, offers a good transportation system and at the same time it is relatively small in size, beautiful, quiet, with airy traffic. Last time we told you about the things you could do if you only had a day to spend in Amsterdam. Today, we are hoping you will have more time to dedicate to this city and if so, here are some practical tips for visiting Amsterdam.

Spending money in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a kind of night city, many of the shops do not open until after 10 am and the bars and cafes mostly stay open until 2 am.

The official currency is the Euro. If you have a different currency, you can exchange it for the local one. The text in the exchange offices is in Dutch: Verkoopt= sale, Koopt= buy. Credit cards are not so used in the Netherlands as one might think, so it is best to ask before, if you want to pay with a credit card.

In the Netherlands, by law, all taxes and tips are included in the price, the price that you see on the bill is all you need to pay. The general practice in restaurants in Amsterdam is to round the sum to a fixed number of euros so that tip is about 5 %. Do not feel obligated to leave a tip.

A safe city

Amsterdam is a safe city and you do not have to fear if you want to walk the streets at night in any part of town. Even the Red neighborhood is a safe place to be. There are many police patrols and in addition the sex industry employers in the area do not want to have bad experiences for tourists wanting to return. As in any big city, you should pay attention to pickpocketing. Do not take picture of the women at windows because you might see your camera in the river.

In Amsterdam, drinking from water fountains and is very safe. Amsterdam is one of the cities with one of the best water networks in Europe.

Another idea on our list of practical tips for visiting Amsterdam is to be prepared not to find Dutch restaurants. When the Dutch go out to eat, they do not eat Dutch food. This is why you will not you find any places with Dutch cuisine. Dutch pies are a specialty and are very tasty. If you have the opportunity, you should try them.

Transportation

Amsterdam has excellent transportation services. There are many trams and good facilities for cyclists including the special bicycle traffic lights. If you walk through Amsterdam, be careful with the bike lane. Locals get upset if you walk on a bike lane.

The best way to get around the city’s the tram. The travel often and are fast and reliable. You can buy tickets from the conductor or vending machines. But it is much cheaper to buy a strippenkaart at post offices from station or tobacco shop. For € 6.5 you can buy 15 trips. In most trams, when you get in, in the back of the train is a controller who stamps tickets. In other trams you have to stamp your own ticket in a special device.

Taxis only take clients through telephone orders. There is an environmental benefit of this policy because there aren’t taxis looking customers. They are quite expensive: € 1.50 / km. No need to leave a tip.

Visiting Amsterdam

What can you do for free in Amsterdam?

You can take the ferry behind the central station to the other side of the IJ river and you can walk along the North Holland Canal.

You can climb the roof of the New Metropolis to admire the view.

Go to Begijnhof (one of the oldest inner courts in Amsterdam) and visit the garden.

Visit the gallery of the Museum of History.

Go to the flower market (in the Singel).

Go to Waterlooplein Market.

Visit the Albert Cuyp market.

Have a free lunch and attend a concert in the Concertgebouw (Museumplein).

Go to the tower, at the café in Kalvertoren mall to admire the view.

Go to Cafe Metz and admire the view.

Visit the home of the West Indies – in 1609 an Englishman working for a Dutch company discovered the island of Manhattan. The Dutch decided to found the colony Nieuw Amsterdam, today’s New York. The company that led the colony was located in a building in Amsterdam which can be seen at the intersection of Brouwersgracht and Herengrach. Here is a statue of the first commander of the New Amsterdam colony, Pieter Stuyvesant.

We hope these practical tips for visiting Amsterdam come in handy and that you will have an awesome time.

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