Practical tips and guidelines for enjoying Amsterdam to the fullest and avoiding those typical problems on any trip. Take advantage of our tips to save a lot during your visit to the city.

How to get from Amsterdam airport to the city center

To reach the center of Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport, the easiest and most practical way is to take a train. Just follow the signs for NS Dutch Railways. Trains to the city center leave every ten minutes. The trip takes approximately 20 minutes and costs less than 5 euros. You can buy your ticket at one of the several machines around the place. Ticket vending machines have several language options. If you prefer to take a taxi, prepare your pocket and stay tuned. Just take the official taxi line outside the airport, “Taxicentrale Amsterdam”. Taxis from Schiphol to the center of Amsterdam cost on average between 45 to 55 euros. & Nbsp;

Is it worth purchasing the I Amsterdam Card?

If you plan to visit museums and other attractions, in addition to using public transport, it is definitely worth it. Museums and attractions are very expensive in the Netherlands. Prices vary around 20 euros each. Some cheaper, others more expensive. & Nbsp; Not to mention that, during your trip, you will also have expenses with food, shopping and hotel. This card is a good option to have a more economical trip and visit many other attractions while spending much less.

The I Amsterdam card includes free transport by metro, bus and tram (tram). You can choose the card according to the period of your stay in the city: there are & nbsp; 24 hours, 48 ​​hours, 72 hours, 96 hours and 120 hours. In addition to public transport, the card entitles you to free admission to 44 museums, cruise on the canals and discounts at restaurants and cafes. Try to buy it in advance. Purchase your I Amsterdam Card only through the authorized website. To buy, click here .

In the Netherlands, Coffee shop is not a place to have coffee

As you may know, some drugs are released in the Netherlands. The so-called Coffe shops is where you can legally buy and consume marijuana, hashish and other derivative products, for personal use only. You can buy by the gram or in cigarettes. Only coffee shops are allowed to sell this type of product in the Netherlands. Try not to photograph the interior or enter with children. In the center of Amsterdam, you can find these establishments on any corner. TIP: In souvenir shops, you will find many products like muffins, chocolate and cannabis-based lollipops. Know that the taste is not always pleasant and you will never be sure what they are actually made of.

Avoid visiting the main attractions on the weekends

Amsterdam receives more than 7 million visitors each year. Tourists from European countries close to the Netherlands usually visit the city on weekends, especially in the summer, making the city almost impassable, with long lines for attractions, restaurants and hotel crowds. Hotel prices can even triple on Saturdays and Sundays. So plan your days in the city well and try to book hotels and attractions in advance to avoid queues and headaches.
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Don’t take pictures in the red light district

The Red Light District is the famous prostitution area in Amsterdam. It is a maze of narrow streets coffe shops , sex shops, where women present themselves in shop windows. It can be visited quickly during the day, without fear of being very uncomfortable. For an experience, say, more naked and raw, pay a visit at night. TIP: Don’t photograph women in shop windows. It is considered very offensive. Prostitution is legalized in the Netherlands, so it is only women doing their jobs. Also, keep a close eye on your belongings. The Red Light District is a very crowded place and there may be pickpockets.

Respect cyclists

Amsterdam, and the entire Netherlands, is dominated by cyclists. In cities, the bicycle is undoubtedly the main means of transport. There are bike lanes on every street, and it is often difficult to tell where the bike path is and where the sidewalk is. So be very careful not to walk on the bike paths. It can be dangerous, not to mention that an accident while traveling can completely ruin your experience in the city. Know that in the Netherlands the preference is always for cyclists, so they do not expect to meet pedestrians along the way. Pay close attention before crossing the streets, and only cross when the light is green for you, even if you don’t have a car in sight. CURIOSITY: There are more bicycles in Amsterdam than permanent residents, according to the city’s tourist office.

Rent a bike

This is a great way to explore the city. It is very easy to get around Amsterdam, and as we said just above, the city is for cyclists. The experience will make you feel like a local. Get around the city’s canals, narrow streets and parks much faster and get to know Amsterdam from a different perspective.

There are many bike rental shops around the city. You can also buy a guided bike tour through Amsterdam. It is much more fun to discover the city with a group of travelers from all over. You can book a tour through the authorized site by clicking here .

Drink tap water

The quality of tap water in the Netherlands is highly regulated. It is very pure, you can drink without fear. A 500 ml bottle in the Netherlands can cost up to 3 euros, depending on the region. So fill your bottles with tap water and save.

TIP: In restaurants, if you simply order still or sparkling water, you will receive a bottle that will be charged to your account. But if you say “tap water”, it will come out for free. This option is not described on the menu, but is guaranteed by law. And now you must be asking yourself: How do I speak “tap water” in English ??? It’s very simple: TAP WATER.

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Tip: to give or not to give?

Normally no tips are given in most European countries. In the Netherlands, especially, waiters have good salaries and don’t expect you to leave extra money when paying your bill. You can, if you wish, round the account amount to facilitate change. But if you think the food and service were exceptional and you really want to leave a tip, customers usually give you 1 or 2 euros only.
This system is very different from what happens in the United States, where waiters expect you to leave at least 10% of the bill. In europe, tipping is seen as a sign of gratitude, not a right or obligation.

Park your car away from the center of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is not a car-friendly city. The city does everything it can to discourage the circulation of vehicles in the city. For this reason, parking lots are expensive and the offer of parking spaces is limited. Parking in Amsterdam can cost up to 10 euros an hour! So, how to save if you are arriving in the city by car? Simple: park outside the center and reserve your spot at least one day in advance. otherwise, the price will be much higher. From the parking lot, you can go to the center on foot or with public transport. This is the website of one of the city’s parking companies. We have already tested it and our experience was very good:

Download an offline version of Google Maps

You don’t need to buy internet data to move around the streets of Amsterdam. Despite finding free Wi-Fi anywhere in Amsterdam, including bars, restaurants and museums, a very useful tip is to download an offline version of Google Maps and pin the places you want to visit. Amsterdam is relatively small, you will be able to do almost anything on foot, without using public transport.

Make a reservation to visit the Anne Frank House.

You need to make a reservation in advance for the Anne Frank Museum, otherwise you will hardly be able to make your visit. According to a new policy implemented in 2016, the Anne Frank museum is only open to visitors who book in advance, opening hours are from 9am to 3:30 pm

Speak English

Although the official language of Holland is Dutch, in Amsterdam basically only English is spoken. But even outside the city, the Dutch, in general, have a good level of English. This is not the case in other European countries, such as France and Italy, for example.

Most common scams – stay tuned!

* If you buy tulip seeds, check the packaging to make sure they are certified, otherwise you will have problems at the airport.
* There are no free cruises.
* Never buy drugs from street vendors. You can have problems, and they are not real.
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Tips for saving on food in Amsterdam

Buy your food at the market. We recommend Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the country. You will find it everywhere, including at Schiphol airport. There you can choose salads, Japanese food, sandwiches, natural juices, fruits and many other options, for a very good price. The food is fresh and tasty. Another cheap but not very healthy option is street food. You will find small food trucks in the center of Amsterdam, where you basically sell chips, bitterballen (meat croquette), Haring (a type of fish that many people eat raw or in a sandwich) and Pannenkoek (Dutch pancake).

Have a picnic

After passing by Albert Heijn and saving on food, go to Vondelpark, the largest park in the city, and have a picnic. It is very beautiful, and a great option to escape the crowds and have a nice meal in the middle of nature.

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Argentine steakhouses – stay away from them!

You will notice many Argentine steakhouses in Amsterdam, especially in the tourist center. Keep in mind that they are all tourist traps and have nothing to do with the city’s culture. The food is expensive and bad. Stay away!

Keep an eye on your belongings

Like any other capital in Europe (and the rest of the world), Amsterdam also has its pickpockets. Especially in crowded places, keep an eye on your belongings, try not to keep all your money in your wallet. Also use a dolly next to your body and always make sure your bag is closed. But you don’t have to be scared. The chances of someone pointing a gun at you are almost zero. What exists there are small thefts, which occur when the tourist really exposes his belongings too much in very busy places. Be careful, but without neurosis, and avoid inconvenience during your trip.