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7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and we will tell you the tourist traps to avoid in Amsterdam for your next trip.

Amsterdam is a vibrant city known for its rich history, artistic heritage, and beautiful canals. However, like many popular tourist destinations, it has its share of tourist traps.

Here are some common tourist traps to watch out for in Amsterdam, along with suggestions on how to avoid them and enjoy your visit more authentically.

By staying informed and cautious, you can avoid these common traps and enjoy a more authentic and enjoyable experience in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has much to offer beyond the main tourist thoroughfares, with charming streets, historic buildings, and a welcoming local culture just waiting to be explored.

What Is The Cheapest Way From Amsterdam Airport To City Center?

The cheapest way from Amsterdam Airport to city center is by public bus for €3 and Amsterdam Airport Bus for €6.50 you can book online.

Read here how to get from Amsterdam Airport to city center and best Netherlands sim card for tourist


You can access a dorm that can go up to €18-30. And while a hotel that is a double room in a budget can go up to €90.



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Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam

1. Overpriced Canal Cruises

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Trap: Many operators offer canal tours at inflated prices, especially those located near major tourist spots like Central Station or Dam Square.

Avoidance Tip: Look for smaller, less commercial operators, or consider renting a small boat to explore the canals at your own pace. Research online for reviews and competitive prices before your trip.

2. Bulb Souvenirs

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Trap: Shops in tourist-heavy areas sell tulip bulbs, often at high prices. These bulbs may not be suitable for taking abroad due to customs restrictions.

Avoidance Tip: If you’re interested in buying tulip bulbs, make sure they are certified for export, and purchase them from reputable garden stores or directly from the Keukenhof garden when in season.

3. The Red Light District

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Trap: The Red Light District is a famous part of Amsterdam, but it can attract pickpockets and has many bars and shows that are overpriced.

Avoidance Tip: Visit the area with caution, keep your belongings secure, and avoid engaging with street promoters. Consider taking a guided tour for a safer and more informative experience.

4. Eateries Near Major Tourist Attractions

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Trap: Restaurants and cafes located close to major attractions like the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, or along Damrak often have higher prices and lower quality.

Avoidance Tip: Walk a few blocks away from major tourist sites to find better and more authentic dining options. The Jordaan and De Pijp neighborhoods offer numerous delightful cafes and restaurants.

Read here the best Dutch Breakfast

5. Cheese Shops in Tourist Areas

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Trap: Numerous cheese shops in central areas target tourists with free samples and sell cheeses at premium prices.

Avoidance Tip: If you’re a cheese enthusiast, consider visiting local markets like the Albert Cuyp Market or specialty stores further from the city center for a more authentic and reasonably priced selection.

6. Cannabis Coffee Shops

Trap: Some coffee shops in central areas cater predominantly to tourists, with inflated prices and aggressive upselling.

Avoidance Tip: Do your research or ask locals for recommendations on more relaxed and genuine coffee shops that are favored by residents.

7. Bike Rental Shops

7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Amsterdam (Travel Guide)

Trap: Renting bikes from centrally located shops can be expensive, and tourists can sometimes be given poorly maintained bikes.

Avoidance Tip: Look for bike rental companies with good reviews for customer service and bike quality. Consider renting from a shop slightly outside the city center or through your accommodation if they offer this service.

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