Things not to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has character, canals and bicycles all over due to this it has drawn in scores of tourists. An estimated 5.7 million tourists visited Amsterdam in 2014 (Hein,2016). Many residents have complained about the Disneyfication of Amsterdam. I love Disney in this case what residents are unhappy about is that the city centre is becoming more and more like a theme park attraction instead of a liveable city. More hotels are cropping up and residents have to pay astronomical amounts for rent. This has led to restrictions on the opening of more shops which cater to tourists. This includes waffle, doughnut and cheese shops. There are also new restrictions on Airbnb with an outright ban in busy centres of Amsterdam for short stays. Cruise ships can no longer dock in the centre of Amsterdam. Tourist tax has increased and drinking bike tours and cruises are being clamped down. Residents of Amsterdam are basically tired of unruly travellers who are not appreciating the culture of the city and of visitors who are breaking the rules. So if you want to contribute to creating a better perception of travellers read on and follow these tips.

Canal of Amsterdam
Beautiful flowers and canals of Amsterdam

Don’t walk on the tram lines without being careful you will be knocked over and die not the way I imagine you want your trip to go.

Don’t use magic mushrooms they have been banned after an underage French traveller jumped to her death as a result of taking too many. Again you don’t want to die because you acted foolishly.

Don’t smoke weed on the streets. You can be arrested and heavily fined for this so rather be safe than sorry. There are so many coffee shops around rather smoke there if you want to.

Don’t travel with the weed you bought in Amsterdam you will be arrested if you are caught and it’s a silly risk.

Don’t walk in the bicycle lane it is annoying and you will be yelled at

Don’t flash your valuables pickpocketing is rife so stay safe.

You can’t drink in public all over Amsterdam only in certain spaces obey the rules.

Don’t pee in the canals or along the streets yes this is a real thing and Amsterdam rolled out a whole marketing campaign to get people to stop doing it. You can be arrested and or heavily fined and there are many places to go urinate at.

Amsterdam at night what not to do
Amsterdam at night

Don’t take photos of the sex workers it is strictly forbidden and your camera or phone might end up being thrown in a canal. If you want rather take the image from a distance instead.

Redlight district Amsterdam brothel Netherlands
Redlight district Amsterdam brothel

Don’t gawk at the sex workers, they are there to be looked at yes but I found the long staring of some people rather odd.

Don’t buy drugs off the street you don’t know what you are buying and could die as a result. It’s happened before and again don’t die because of foolishness in Amsterdam.

Don’t take food from strangers even if the stranger offers you welcome to Amsterdam cookies and reminds you of your grandmother. You will pass out and wake up without your valuables.

Don’t scream unless you are in trouble I heard many people screaming at night whilst walking around Amsterdam at night time. If you used weed stay in the coffee shop to work off your high people live and sleep in Amsterdam and they don’t need to listen to screaming or loudness.

Don’t dress inappropriately yes legalized prostitution is part of Amsterdam and legalized drug usage, however, residents are annoyed by hen/stag party revellers walking around with penis-shaped hats on their heads. You will make yourself look stupid and irritate the locals. Wear your hat inside the strip club/ brothel/ bar if you must wear it.


Hein, A.(2016). Amsterdam Europe’s Eight Most Popular City Destination, from:

Boztas, S.(2017). Amsterdam bans new tourist shops to combat “Disneyfication” of the city, from:

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. What are your thoughts on this post? Do you agree with the bans and with clamping down on certain tourist aimed shops, accommodation etc? I really would love to hear your thoughts and feel free to comment.
Wishing you happy travels through the journey of life!

xxx Nikki xxx


  1. Luke Smith says:

    Fantastic article. I love a lot of things about Amsterdam and one of them is that you can write a sentence like, ‘Don’t buy drugs…off the street.’ As in, buy drugs, sure, if you want, but be careful, and avoid the dudes that elbow you in the back alleys and cough, ‘Cocaine…? Cocaine…?’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha yes that’s what’s special about Amsterdam and the rest of Netherlands 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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