By SmartWalk
By SmartWalk

5 practical tips for your trip to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a perfect destination if you are looking for a cultural trip with plenty of interesting things to do as a traveler. With nice restaurants and cosy public spaces and, of course, beautiful sights. Amsterdam is truly one of my favorite places and as a Dutchman, I love being there. Still, we often hear that when travelers go to Amsterdam, there are some things they would have liked to know beforehand. That's why we take you through and give you the 5 practical tips for your trip to Amsterdam.

Table of contents

How do you travel to Amsterdam?

Because the Netherlands is such a small country, there are not many airports you can fly to. The largest airport is Schiphol Airport, which is virtually one of the largest airports in Europe. So this is where almost all flights fly to and is also the airport to choose when staying in Amsterdam.

From Schiphol train station to Amsterdam Central Station

Use the app 9292 or the NS app, this app shows all the times of all public transport in the Netherlands. Public transport in the Netherlands is very well organised and you can travel anywhere with it. Set your starting point and set the end point at Amsterdam Centraal train station. From Amsterdam Centraal, trams, metros and buses run throughout Amsterdam and neighbouring towns. From the station, it’s a short 10-minute walk to the centre of Amsterdam. If you bought a day ticket, make sure you scan your ticket before boarding the train and after leaving the train station.

By taxi

You can also take a taxi from Schiphol Airport to your destination in Amsterdam. The taxis are outside and make sure you get in at the right taxi point to avoid being ripped off. The Netherlands is a very safe country, however, you can easily pay the top price with a taxi driver who is not from the taxi office. Also keep in mind that the Netherlands is not a cheap country, which is why we recommend going by train. This is faster and cheaper. Here are the 5 practical tips for your trip to Amsterdam!

coffeeshop amsterdam

1. The coffee shop story

You will probably have heard it before, but in the Netherlands you can legally sell and buy weed. This has been the case since 1976 and is also very much normalised in Dutch culture. This does not mean that everyone is a stoner right away, but this often causes many tourists to go to Amsterdam in particular to smoke weed. They then do this in Coffeeshops, not to be confused with a Café, where you can have a cup of coffee.

This is and often remains an instink for tourists who are not yet aware of this small difference. Coffeeshops are also often lit up in green neon which already gives it away a bit. So if you want to try a joint once, that’s the place to be, but if you want to get a nice cup of coffee with an apple pie, I would definitely look for a café.

biking amsterdam

2. Watch out for cyclists! 

Another practical tip is: One of the first things you see when walking through Amsterdam is the abundance of cyclists. Amsterdam also has more bikes than inhabitants. In the Netherlands, the rules for bikes are very well regulated, they have their own bike lane (this one is red in colour) and also have their own traffic rules. However, due to the huge influx of tourists, most cyclists in Amsterdam are a bit rougher than in the rest of the Netherlands. This means that they might call or shout at you. Keep paying attention when crossing somewhere, don’t stand still on the cycle path, because you’ll be knocked over, and go for a nice bike ride yourself!

rain in The Netherlands

3. It’s raining cats and dogs

With an average of 200 days a year that it rains per year, and an unpredictable weather forecast, it is always handy to have an umbrella handy in the Netherlands. Of course, this does depend on the season. In summer, the chance of rain is much lower than in winter, but it can always splash, so be prepared. Luckily, Amsterdam is prepared for this and there are plenty of fun activities that are indoors. 

tap water in The Netherlands

4. Tap water is drinkable everywhere

Tap water in the Netherlands is completely safe to drink. The quality of the water is very well safeguarded. This ensures that you can drink a glass of water from the tap without any problems. It is also better for the environment to use reusable bottles to refill at the tap as much as possible. Besides, it is also better for your wallet because in tourist areas prices can shoot up.

order tickets in advance

5. Buy tickets in advance

The museums in Amsterdam like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, the Moco museum, are all busy attractions, not only by tourists, but also by Dutch people themselves. So make sure you buy tickets in advance. That way, you won’t have to queue to buy tickets. Or consider visiting a lesser-known museum, such as the Rembrandthuis, Ons Lieve Heer op Solder or the H’Art museum. These were our 5 practical tips for Amsterdam.

Want to discover more stories about interesting locations, Amsterdam’s history and impressive buildings? Then take a look at the SmartWalk Amsterdam or the SmartWalk Rembrandts Amsterdam, which shows the life in Amsterdam of world-famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn. This walking tour with your smartphone leads you past all these fun locations and more, giving you interesting information, questions and best of all, you can discover it at your own pace! These were some practical tips for your next trip to Amsterdam!

Have fun hiking!