5 Things You Need To Know About Amsterdam

Soooo, it was a culture shock visiting Amsterdam, and that’s from someone very open minded about the weed and sex trades of the city, it wasn’t those things that shocked me I visited for two nights recently, and honestly it was not what I expected

Heres what is good to know, before you go:

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

The View

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

Amsterdam is so beautiful in places, but really the middle of the city centre, in parts (much more than I expected!) is a bit well, scruffy. There is a lot of graffiti, parked cars and vans and so many random shops that just look a bit chaotic. To me, a Brit, it’s comparable to Manchester or London, very very urban. For somewhere so urban and busy with people, there is very little litter on the streets and canals, everyone is really respectful of the environment. Theres a smattering of beauty hidden down every little alley and street, you’re never far from a pretty aesthetic, from museums to churches to canals and cafes, boats and bikes and flowers, it really is a photographers delight. A photographers delight that is, if you can take a snap without being interrupted by…

The Traffic

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

Bikes, so many bikes, imagine a Halfords warehouse on every little street and that’s Amsterdam. Also, people traffic, there is a lot of people everywhere, even on the road. The public transport service is phenomenal, it’s nothing like Merseyrail or Arriva, the trams ran like clockwork, and they’re so easy to navigate between destinations using en.gvb.nl, tickets are electronic, everyone swipes on and off the tram service. A couple of journeys we went on, the service to pay for travel on the tram was broken – on a bus or train here, they just wouldn’t run, or they’d be late or out of service, it was amazing that the tram arrived on time and allowed us to travel to our destination for free. Even though there’s people, cars, trams, bikes and taxi bikes on the road, the traffic just flows so well, everyone seems to easily know the rules of the roads, its great and really easy to get the hang of. Just always stop and look both ways, because if a bike isn’t hurtling towards you, a horse and carriage may be, or a horse and copper…

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

The Police

Unlike Liverpool city centre of a day, a place where you seldom see police unless there’s been an incident, police in Amsterdam are everywhere. No matter the time of day, it is not unusual to see heavily armed police patrolling the streets, particularly in the red light district. The red light district is of course, the main base for the sex trade, and also is heavily populated by the cannabis cafes, so there’s two things you should know about the police in these areas. One of them, is that if you’re planning on drinking or taking drugs while you’re visiting, you should always carry I.D with you, as the police will do random stops/searches on anyone looking a little worse for wear. The police are also heavily protective of…

The Girls

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

The sex industry in Amsterdam, is really liberal, yet super strict. The sex workers in the city, are all respected by the locals, so it’s expected that they’re treated the same by tourists. For that reason, using your camera in the red light district should be done with caution. The beautiful girls in the windows, do not want to be photographed, so there’s lots of graffiti warning people what not to do, if you do take pictures in the red light district of the girls, they can get super angry, and so can the police if they see you. If you’re cautious in the day, you’ll be able to snap some city pics, but don’t ever approach a woman in a window with your phone in your hand ready to snap, because her and her friends in nearby windows will be ready to snap another way. You can enjoy the beautiful women without engaging with them physically, they’re usually happy to wave and flirt through the window – just don’t stop and stare, visiting the red light district is all about respect for the girls at work – they’ll happily talk to you about….

The Cost

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

The girls will happily come to the door to entice you in, by telling you their price, but  spending on girls isn’t the only expense. Be prepared to spend a lot of money if you’re doing the touristy thing. All the museums we visited charged an entry fee, as does the church, centred in the red light district. Travel one way on the tram, was around €3, unless you’re staying really central, you’ll likely need to use the tram. It is easy to do 4-6 tram journeys a day to make the most of visiting the different museums and landmarks, so a travel pass would be well worth the price, A cheap meal cost us €15 per person, for falafel and fries, a trip to a fruit shop for two apples and two pears set us back €7, so maybe don’t give in to the munchies off your 3 for €15 joints, or you’ll be quickly short of cash. So get stoned and take pictures like this…

alchemy by amy uk 5 things you need to know about amsterdam before you visit

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