Health & safety

Health and safety
Compared to other large cities, Amsterdam is a very safe place for both tourists and residents - but it never hurts to take sensible precautions.

Compared to other large cities, Amsterdam is relatively safe. Violent crimes do not occur very often, and overall, residents and visitors enjoy a safe experience without incident. Do be cautious of petty crimes however, such as theft.


Pickpockets are typically active in crowded places, during the summer season and on the train travelling between Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport. This can also occur in a tram or while watching a street artist. Mind your belongings carefully, and leave your valuables in a safety deposit box or safe at the hotel.


It is permitted to smoke cannabis or hashish in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam (however, smoking regular tobacco is not allowed). Other bars and establishments do not allow this, and the smell of a joint is not appreciated. Coffeeshops are permitted to sell a customer a maximum of five grams and the possession of this, although technically against the law, is tolerated by the authorities. You must be 18 years of age to enter a coffeeshop. You may be offered hard drugs while in Amsterdam. However, all hard drugs and the sale of soft drugs on the street are strictly illegal and therefore punishable by law. Purchasing hard drugs in Amsterdam is not only against the law, but also opens you up to violence and danger as these drugs are often fake.


If you are a victim of crime go to one of the police stations. They will take a statement, cancel your credit cards in case of theft and provide you with useful telephone numbers and addresses (like consulates, etc). Please try to avoid problems by not carrying valuable items with you on the streets. Leave them in the safe or deposit box at your hotel instead.

Generals rules of conduct

Although Amsterdam is a liberal and tolerant city, there are reasonable limits nonetheless. As a courtesy to your host residents, behave in such a way that does not cause any annoyance to others and take note of the most important rules of conduct that improve the quality of living and make your visit a pleasant one.

Medical assistance

For emergency visits to your hotel room, telephone consultation and consultations on location you ask your receptionist for help or call the tourist doctor. Fees are determined by the national GP association and are covered by most travel and medical insurances.

Useful phone numbers

Emergency (police, ambulance, fire): 112
Police (theft and other queries): 0900-8844
Tourist doctor: (0031)-(0)-20-4275011