If you have never been to Amsterdam, be prepared to be shocked.

I was not prepared for it. When I think of Amsterdam, I think of Anne Frank, Van Gogh, and colorful houses. Tickets for Anne Frank’s house needs to be purchased about 6 months prior.

Amsterdam is the city of the night.  It is known for being very liberal when it comes to drugs and sex. Nothing really opens until about 10 or 11 am and the streets in the daytime is full of trash.  It looks and smells like the day after Mardi Gras even though I have never been.

It was not as picturesque as I thought and even just walking along the streets, you will smell like smoke.  I was imagining tulips everywhere.

Things about Amsterdam

  • The canal tour is the best way to see the city. The pictures from the water is beautiful.
  • The food is fairly average and good service is not in their vocabulary.  We went to a bar to ask to buy water bottles and one of the group members wanted sprite.  They refused to sell it because it was last call, but we saw they were still serving their regular customers at the bar.
  • Marijuana is only legal for citizens and not for tourists. This was implemented about 2 years ago, but they will still sell it to the tourists if you ask. Apparently, you can buy them at coffee shops.  My group kept talking about coffee shops and I was expecting REAL coffee, I was upset to find out there wasn’t any.
  • They love to bike. They have more bikes than cars and large bike parking garages.  Most people own a low-cost bike to ride in the city and an expensive one because there is so much theft.
  • Famous for their waffles.
  • The infamous red light district really does exist.  I have never been to another city where prostitution is so openly legal. There are ladies selling themselves in the window and live sex shows publicized everywhere.

There are 4 things to know before going into the red light district.

  1. Never look into the eyes of the ladies.
  2. Apparently that is the signal for I am looking for services?!?  Just walk looking down at the floor.
  3. Do not take your phone out. Pictures are not allowed and there are pimps on the watch everywhere who will just take your phone and throw it in the canal.
  4. They all pay taxes and some take home as much as $2000 a night

It is just a dirty place. It looks, smells, and feels dirty.

I know some people love Amsterdam, but one day was enough for me. The only reason I would go back would be to see the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh.


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