To most people Amsterdam is one big “do”… they think there aren’t any rules and basically Amsterdam is just a free for all. This blog is going to do its best to try set people straight about things just not to do in the city as protocols and than also the do’s and ways to spend your time better while you’re here. In the end the beauty of the city will assure you have fun, but still heeding these kernels of advice will help you have an even better time.
Okay, this is a CHILL city, perhaps the most so in the world, but even still there are social norms for where and when to smoke. “Officially” they say you are only to smoke inside your residence or in a coffee shop… but you can get away with a lot more than that “unofficially”. If you want to knick around a corner have a puff – cool, if you want to sit on a bench near a canal and have a puff – cool, if you want to sit in one of the cities many parks and have a puff- cool, if you want to light up right in the middle of the main shopping street the culverstraat with hundreds of people right around you – not cool! Dutch people are liberal, but don’t flaunt their liberal ways like there are NO rules here…
Don’t not hand signal if you ride a bike
Dutch people generally do not like seeing tourists on bikes. The reason for that is they usually aren’t that good of riders and they don’t follow any of the rules for the bike lanes. Some people might scoff on that – rules for the bike lanes – but come 5pm literally hundreds of bikes are clogging them during the after work commute. There has to be rules. It’s simple point the direction you are going to go if you are going to quit going straight and go either left or right on to another street – so the person behind you will know what you are doing, and similarly, If you intend to stop put your hand up to indicate this. Finally, if someone is riding their bike slow and you want to pass ring your bell so they know you are passing. Do these three things and you won’t be seen as a menace on a bike… oh and don’t blast along the sidewalks that’s not going to be appreciated. If you come to a side walk you need to travel along stop riding and walk your bike.