Amsterdam has long been a city with freedom, positivity and tolerance at its heart. But with freedom comes responsibility, and tolerance goes hand in hand with respect. Find out how to get the best out of Amsterdam without getting on the nerves of the locals and other visitors, or landing yourself one of these hefty fines.
Amsterdam's historic centre is a place where families live and communities thrive. Residents live harmoniously alongside visitors; as long as the visitors are able to behave with respect and decorum. It’s a two-way thing. You respect our city, we’ll respect you. The more social responsibility you show, the better your experience will be. Respect our residents and keep your noise to a minimum. Put your litter in the bins and don’t soil people’s doorsteps. Act like a grown-up and let people go about their lives in peace.
Amsterdam is a famously easy-going city with room for everybody, regardless of your nationality, political beliefs or sexual preference. Visitors and residents are free to be who they want to be, and have their views and choices respected. Hate crimes against members of the LGBTI community, other minority communities or religions will never, ever be tolerated.
A few tips to take into account ahead of your visit to Amsterdam:
No matter how much you need to go, public urination is illegal in Amsterdam. If you are caught you will be fined €140. Public urinals are widely available in Amsterdam, and many bars and restaurants would be happy to let you use their facilities rather than urinating on the street outside or in somebody's doorway. Here's a handy map of public urinals in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam prides itself on being a safe city, but remember to take extra precautions when you’re out and about. Only carry small amounts of cash, don’t leave drinks unattended and remain alert to pickpockets. It's also good to understand the laws around alcohol, drugs and prostitution to ensure that your visit to the Netherlands is as fun, safe and worry-free as possible.
Nobody wants to spend their travelling budget on police fines. But of course it’s your choice. Here’s what you’ll have to cough up if you decide to break the code of conduct.
Definition: Urinating, defecating or vomiting in a public place
Definition: Being drunk in public spaces such as streets, parks and squares. Please note that it is forbidden to drink alcohol in public or carry open cans and bottles of alcoholic drinks in some parts of the city, including the Red Light District, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein.
Definition: Disturbing the peace of local residents
Definition: Dropping/leaving litter in public spaces such as streets, parks and squares