Before touching down in Amsterdam and getting a taxi from the Amsterdam Airport to the city centre there are a few things you need to know about the city itself:
Koffie or coffee? – With the many liberties that can be enjoyed in Amsterdam travellers must be aware of when they decide to get their fix of coffee. In Amsterdam, coffeeshops are places where you can legally buy marijuana or hash, you can get a table and enjoy joints, space cakes as well as coffee, tea and other normal coffee menu items. According to Europe expert Rick Steeves, tourists can often get excited and be unaware of the strength of the local marijuana but good coffee shop owners can recommend something lighter. For travellers looking for a caffeine fix and not a THC fix, you need a coffee house spelt with a K (koffie huis).
Do not eat the famous space cakes – space cakes are said to be intense for even the most hard core stoners, so if you are new to smoking marijuana in Amsterdam do not eat the space cakes. One travel site states that “eating one of these will probably ruin your day and your night, and probably the day after too”. It is said the effects of a space cake can be felt after a few hours so do not eat too many.
Once in Amsterdam everyone wants a picture of the iconic Amsterdam sign however, Amsterdam in general is basically a jungle gym of tourists and it is almost impossible to take a good picture without about fifteen other people in the frame too, therefore, if you are determined to get a good shot wake up early and beat the crowds but if it is after 9 a.m. know that you will have a bunch of strangers in your pictures.
The alcohol content in the beer in Amsterdam is higher than the one in most parts of the world. The alcohol content in Amsterdam beers ranges from between 5% and 9% therefore while your personal limit at home is a six-pack in Holland your limit will probably be two beers.
Bikes have the right of way – with the way bikes manoeuvre in and out of traffic it is easy to conclude that these bikes have the right of way or at least they assume they do. Therefore, it would be wise not to rent a car when you are in Amsterdam and leave driving to the locals. Further, with all the bikes and foot traffic, getting around in a car is extremely inefficient. It is actually faster to get around on a bike in Amsterdam than in a car. Thus one’s best option is to rent a bike or walk in and around the city.
Do not drink in public – while Amsterdam may seem like an anything goes kind of city one thing that does not go is drinking in the street in fact it is illegal to drink in the street.
There are a number of helpful tips you can find on various websites as to what to know about Amsterdam.