Aaah, Amsterdam!


The city of freedom, stunning architecture, greenish cakes, lovely canals and many many tourists.

Whether you’re coming for business, pleasure or new experiences, there are several things that might surprise you. Here are some of them that surprised me:



Old houses have very steep and narrow staircases without a lift. Think about it when choosing accommodation (especially if you’re staying with locals).

Houses in Amsterdam

Photo credit: Gordon.



You can buy tickets for tram on board in the middle part of the carriage. Is it weird? Inefficient? In any case, it’s good to know.



If you’re a Starbucks fan, you NEED to visit their Amsterdam coffee shop located in a former bank vault.

Starbuck in a former bank vault, Amsterdam

Photo credit: Cermivelli.

Stylish Starbucks in Amsterdam

Photo credit: Jack Amick.



Trying to go to Anne Frank’s house without a ticket bought online in advance is a pure madness. You’ll wait for ages to get there.

Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam

Photo credit: Daryl Mitchell.



Red light district seems pretty normal in daylight. It’s the night when its ‘magic’ starts to unveil.

Red light district in Amsterdam


If you’re after some ‘unconventional’ fun you should know that smart shops are not allowed to sell weed. On the other hand coffee shops can’t sell you smart drugs or truffles. Also, don’t forget your ID before going there and be responsible whatever you’re intending to consume.



Albert Cuyp Markt might be the most famous market in Amsterdam but if you’d like something more original and local, go to Ten Kate Markt.



If you’re looking for wifi, Openbare Bibliotheek (the city library) could be a place to go. It’s also the largest library in Benelux and has daily delivery of all international newspapers and some of the magazines.

Openbaare Bibliotheek - City library in Amsterdam


Supermarkets may refuse to accept your debit card (we weren’t lucky with HSBC debit card) or to take cents because they don’t use them anymore. Be prepared!



These are things that I would appreciate knowing in advance. Have any of them surprised you in any way? Or did you experience anything strange in Amsterdam?