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5 Things To Know Before Visiting Amsterdam

By Parker Diakite

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If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam,  be sure to check our following guide of things you should know before your trip.

Be Mindful Of Bike Lanes and Cyclists

One of the first things you will notice in Amsterdam is that major roads are divided into two parts that are separated by a white line. The inner sections of the areas are usually designated for cyclists and not pedestrians.

With that being said, cycling is one of the most popular means of transportation in the city and locals get annoyed when visitors are not paying attention and walk in the cycling lanes.

Related Post: How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Amsterdam

Remember to walk on the sidewalks and don’t be surprised if you hear some nasty profanity from cyclists if you do walk in the bike lanes.

Be Respectful And Don’t Take Pictures In The Red Light District

The Red Light District is a popular area for tourists in Amsterdam but keep in mind that sex workers in the windows are vulnerable and do not like to be photographed.


Also, taking explicit photos of people in the windows while in the Red Light District is prohibited to protect the identities of the sex workers. Security will take your camera if you are caught taking pictures. 

Coffeeshops And Cafes Are Two Different Things

A coffee shop in Amsterdam is a place where people enjoy coffee and tea.  Locals often refer to them as cafes.

Coffeeshops, however, is a shop that sells marijuana.  They are often identifiable in Amsterdam by the green and white signs. 

Get an OV-chip card

Getting around on public transport in the Netherlands is easiest by the OV-Chipkaart, which can be purchased at most train stations throughout the city.

Similar to the Oyster Card in London, the OV-Chipkaart can be used on buses, trains, and trams.

Related Post: What It Means To Be Black In Amsterdam

Have Your Identification Card On You

The law in Amsterdam, even for non-residents, is to carry some form of identification.  It’s not only needed at coffeeshops but just in case police stop you.  You risk paying a fine if you fail to have identification.

If you feel weary about carrying your passport, then take your state identification card and leave your passport locked up in your accommodations. 

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