The best time to visit Amsterdam is during the months of July and August, when the weather is the most pleasant. Getting around in Amsterdam is not difficult; you may want to commute by ferry or take a train – or how about riding a bicycle! Mosquitoes can be a problem, especially in the summer, so make sure you pack a repellent. Amsterdam is one of the safest cities you can visit, but do be vigilant in some areas of the city and the Centraal Station.
Useful tips for tourists flying to Amsterdam
Where to shop
Amsterdam is a shoppers’ dream! It is home to all the big brands, fashion chains and even budding fashion talents. There are many shopping areas, right from Nine Streets to luxury boutiques in Oud Zuid. In addition to clothes and accessories, the city is a paradise when it comes to home décor as well, so don’t forget to browse the designs and interiors shops. And of course, local craft items and souvenirs should also be on your must-buy list. Check out the exquisite Delftware pottery and Golden Age painting; you will find yourself the proud owner of some real treasures!
What to eat
When in Amsterdam, give traditional Dutch dishes such as kroketten, frites (with a dollop of mayonnaise), pannekoek (Dutch pancakes) and stroopwafels a try. If you are a cheese lover, you will find an enormous variety to choose from. Broodje haring (raw herring) is a specialty, best had in a sandwich at any fishmonger or street vendor. While there are numerous cafés and restaurants to choose from and have a relaxed meal, do try local delicacies from small street vendors.
The local language
Most Dutch people speak English, especially in Amsterdam. So getting yourself understood will not be difficult. However, a handful of Dutch words and phrases may come in handy, especially when you are at a restaurant or café.
Here are some phrases that should help you understand the local lingo in Amsterdam:
– Good morning
– Good night
• Daag/ hoi
– Hi/ bye
• Dank je wel
– Thank you (formally)
• Tot ziens/ zo
– See you soon
Dos and Don’ts
• Do not smoke in public, unless there is a designated smoking area.
• While it is okay to take pictures of the canals and buildings, when in the Red Light District, do not take photographs of the ladies in occupied windows.
• Do walk around the city; Amsterdam is best explored on foot.
• It is illegal to drink on the streets of Amsterdam.
Emergency contact numbers
• Information Assistance: 100
• 24-hour Chemist: Sint Lucas Andreas Apotheek
• Fire: 112
• Police: 112
• Ambulance: 112
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