Amsterdam is a city of international fame. This is good and bad. Good because the fame is deserved. The city is full of attractions and exudes a unique culture and lifestyle that can only be found there. Bad because fame means crowds. It may not be Paris, Rome or London, but Amsterdam has its fair share of tourist traps. Because we don’t want you to be just another tourist caught in the crowd, we’ve put together a few tips on how to experience Amsterdam like a local. So take notes and shed the fanny pack.
It starts at home (base)
You might be more comfortable with the hotel option, but if you want to get the local perspective you’re much better off landing an Amsterdam Airbnb or Couchsurfing spot. Odds are your host or your neighbors are used to foreigners passing through and will have plenty of local tips to help you make your plans.
Locals love shopping in the street markets over the larger shopping centers. Whether it’s food, clothes, or other goods, check the street first. And don’t be afraid to start up conversations with other shoppers (almost everyone speaks English). You never know who you might meet and what suggestions they might have.
Locals like taking day trips to the country or to the beach. If you feel like you want a break from the city during your stay, take a quick vacation within a vacation. Both the countryside and the beaches are beautiful and you will likely find locals eager to show you that their country is more than just Amsterdam.
Know the (biking) rules of the road
Absent-minded tourist bikers quickly find that the bike paths of Amsterdam can be treacherous. Knowing some of the basic rules like biking fast and using a bell like a horn can go a long way.