The Amsterdam forum has seen a few shots at compiling a list of things to avoid.  Try a search for "things to avoid" and you'll find the latest threads.  This is a compilation of some of the best and/or recurring pieces of advice.

 

 

  • AVOID being separated from your baggage on the train ride into town.  There isn’t much street crime in Amsterdam, but the Centraal Station and the train are where it will happen to you first.
  • AVOID the obvious tourist traps, such as Madame Tussauds and the Ice Bar (this advice applies in all European capitals, by the way), also AVOID everything sited on (the western side of) the Damrak.
  • AVOID combining soft drugs with hard drugs (such as alcohol), and don’t take anything you have no experience of without also taking advice.  There are fatal combinations which will result in you jumping out of a third-storey window believing you can fly.
  • AVOID walking in the cycle lanes.  Amsterdammers love riding down tourists in the cycle lanes.
  • AVOID renting a bike and getting its wheels stuck in the tram rails, it's a sure way to break a bone.  If you haven’t ridden a bike since you were a kid, AVOID renting a bike at all;  that’ll be much safer for everyone.
  • AVOID forming a large group on red rental bikes wearing knitted hats with AMSTERDAM across the front and pompoms dangling from them and ringing the bikes' bells like idiots, unless you are Italian (in which case this is the unmissable core of the Amsterdam experience).
  • AVOID trying to stay away from other tourists.  It's a fool’s errand (it just can't be done) and the tourists in any city are the people doing all the fun stuff.  Large groups of drunken British males celebrating someone’s stag night are the exception and should be avoided at all cost.
  • AVOID a pointless search for “typical Dutch cuisine”.  It either doesn’t exist or it's awful.
  • AVOID falling into a canal, especially in the winter.  Most deaths in the canals are men;   many of the bodies are recovered with the trouser flies open and it happens most often in the winter.
  • AVOID museums devoted to sxx or drugs, unless sxx and drugs are really your thing, in which case ... welcome to Amsterdam, have a great time.