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Tips for visitors

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Whether you’re staying for a day, two, three or more days, Amsterdam is a vibrant city and you’ll find plenty of things to do to keep yourself busy. We’d like to share our recommendations with you to give you an overview of what this city has to offer.

I Amsterdam Card & Museum card

The ‘I Amsterdam Card’, formerly known as the Amsterdam pass, is an official product of the Amsterdam Tourist Information Office. It will serve as your entry ticket for a large number of museums, attractions, but can also be used in all buses, trolleys and subways in Amsterdam. This card can be purchased from Tourist Information Offices in the airport or across from the Central Station. It can also be bought at many other outlets in the city.

The Museum Card will give access to over 400 museums in Holland.

Tipping

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Tipping money is always included in the price of your meal. However, tipping is common in restaurants and cabs. Generally speaking, tips are 5-10%.

Money and exchange rates

In Amsterdam, Holland and most other European countries that are members of the EU, the currency used is the Euro (€). Paying with other currencies is not possible. You’ll have to exchange your dollars, sterlings, yens and other currencies for euros. Credit cards are often accepted, but keep in mind that smaller shops and hotels may charge you extra for the use of one (2-6%). Sometimes you’ll be asked to show your passport to complete the transaction. Generally speaking, cash is preferred. Paper money comes in notes of 5 to 500 euros.

Safety

Coffeeshop Smoky Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a safe city and you have nothing to be afraid of while exploring it. Do remember not to leave your personal possessions unattended. Keep your bags with you in coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, for example beneath the table near your legs. Just like in every other major city in the world, therealways the risk of pickpockets. The chances of this happening depend on the area of the city that you are in, so please be careful.

Avoid car in city center

Betaald parkeren

Parking in the city is frustrating and expensive. The parking policy in Amsterdam is enforced quite strictly. Traffic wardens keep a close eye day and night and pay extra attention to foreign cars.

Don't use the tram, bus or train without a ticket

Tram

You can purchase ticket strips, which you’ll have to stamp yourself, from kiosks, train stations and other outlets. Some tickets can be purchased from bus or trolley drivers. Purchasing a ticket on the bus or trolley is slightly more expensive than buying a ticket strip beforehand. Riding public transport without a ticket is punishable with a fine that must be paid on the spot.

Avoid walking along bike lanes

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We’d like to point out that you should be very careful when using the roads in Amsterdam. Please pay attention to bike traffic crossing the lanes and also mind the public transport and safety of other visitors.

These lanes are clearly marked with the symbol of a bike. These are special parts of the city where many people bike. Please avoid walking on them or stopping while exploring the city, as this may irritate the biking crowd. If you hear a bike bell ring, make sure you’re not in the way.

Don't use cannabis in public areas

Coffeeshop Smoky Amsterdam

It is unsafe and illegal to use narcotics, like cannabis, in public areas. Smoking is not allowed in the first place, and you can be fined for this. Please remember this. Italso unwise to go outside and visit shops and/or restaurants while under the influence. You’ll risk being hit by a trolley or other vehicle. Be mindful of your own safety and the safety of others. If you’d like to use cannabis, do so in a private residence or in a coffee shop. Never take narcotics with you as you leave the country.

No pictures in the Red Light District

Rotlichtviertel Amsterdam

It is illegal to take pictures of the people behind the windows in the Red Light District. Please respect the privacy of visitors and people working here. Keep your camera safe and don’t give pickpockets and thieves a chance.

Do not engage street vendors

Don’t try to have conversations with street vendors who try to sell you something. They are often trying to sell drugs or stolen bikes. Buying drugs on the street and buying stolen goods are punishable offenses. You’ll also run the risk of buying something that is faulty. Please don’t contribute to criminality by buying stolen bikes. This is punishable if you get caught by the police.

Dutch language

Dutch is the language of Holland. Many people in Amsterdam also speak English well, and most Dutch people have a fair grasp of German and French. Nowadays, Dutch is the native tongue of over 21 million Dutch and Flemish people. The Flemish population speaks Dutch but lives in Belgium. Here are some commonly used Dutch sentences and phrases.

Amsterdam tours

MikeBike Tours are organized year-round and offer the possibility to combine your tour with a visit to the country side during the high season. The daily tour will take you through city and country side where you can visit windmills, a cheese factory and a wooden shoe workshop.