Things You Can Do In Amsterdam, But Not In The US

By Deepak Kannan on Aug 29, 2016
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As soon as you hear the name, Amsterdam, there is an unexplainable happiness that spreads on your face. This is how well the Dutch capital has established itself in the hearts of the people around the world. Being one of the most liberal places on Earth, Amsterdam is freedom to many.


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'Nothing beats the freedom you get in Amsterdam', you hear people vouch for Amsterdam all the time. So what exactly does this multi-cultured city offer that anybody else could not? Here are 10 top things you can do in Amsterdam but not in the US. I am sure you will be amazed.

1. Hit the Bar when you hit 18  

When the young lads are busy pleading to the almighty to make them age faster to reach 21, which is actually the legal drinking age in America, the party has already begun in Amsterdam. With the legal drinking age in Amsterdam at just 18, Teens in here are racing ahead of those in the US. Interesting fact: The legal drinking age in Amsterdam was originally 16 but got bumped up to 18 in 2014. Feeling guilty of not being born in Amsterdam? Yes, I feel the same way! Why God, why?!

2. A Car-free and a carefree life

When you're in Amsterdam, you'll find something strange. There aren't many cars. Even the local government has discouraged the idea of using cars. How to travel inside Amsterdam then, you might ask. The best way to explore Amsterdam is how the locals do it. Throughout Amsterdam, you'll find nearly 1,000,000 bicycles and a separate lane for them to be ridden on in every street. That is how bicycle-friendly Amsterdam is. If you want to skip bicycles then you have ferry rides. Popularly called as the 'Venice of the North', Amsterdam has more canals than Venice  and is a romantic experience to ride on one. Fewer cars, more cycles and increased public transportation usage means less polluted, breathable, clean air. Haaaa, what a relief.

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3. Slip a fresh, raw herring in your mouth


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Now, this may sound a little weird but the Dutch have this traditional practice of eating the small fish of herring, raw. People in Netherland's  have been following this tradition for more than 600 years now and you could find soused herring at every food truck in Amsterdam. The herring is generally marinated in salt and ice to extend its life. Served with bread, onions and pickle, a bite at the raw herring is must try experience when you're in Amsterdam. 

4. More Family-time

According to recent studies and statistics, Dutch’s have flexible timings and work less than 40-hours a week. While in the US, it is a common thing to work beyond 40-hours a week and put in extra hours, slogging, in case there is an emergency - which happens almost thrice in a week. But the story is totally different in Amsterdam, you work lesser hours than most of the countries in the world and still get to enjoy the benefits. What's more rewarding is that you can spend more time with your family, which will actually mean something. 

5. Express yourselves completely


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The idea of same-sex marriage and the need for equal rights for the LGBT community are some serious issues that raise the eyebrows of many. Though a recent law passed in the US during 2015, makes same-sex marriage legal, the atmosphere and the kind of acceptance that you'll have in Amsterdam is unbelievable. From the world famous Gay Pride festival to exclusives - bars, restaurants and nightclubs dedicated entirely to the LGBT community, Amsterdam will bring out the real you and it's time to attain Nirvana through self-discovery.

List of Festivals in Amsterdam

6. Window shopping is the way to go

With prostitution being illegal in a vast area of the US, Amsterdam wins it hands down in this category. I personally feel that by legalizing prostitution, Amsterdam has significantly brought down the amount of crimes related to Women. Being more explicit on sexuality might be the best thing to be learnt from Amsterdam. Please take notes, Countries! And the way prostitution is being played in Amsterdam, you'll feel more like shopping than anything else. On your visit to the Red Light District , you'll find scantily clad women standing up close to the windows mixing up their moves for you and it's your time to pick. Now, that is one good way to window shop. 

Here are some Ten Things To Avoid In Amsterdam 

7. Beer o'clock at Windmill brewery


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A beer out of an antique windmill brewery! Sounds crazy right. Built on an ancient bath house right next to the De Gooyer windmill, Brouwerij 't IJ is known for its amazing beers that come at a comparatively cheaper price. From Organic beers to unpasteurized beer on taps, Brouwerij 't IJ is an amazing brewery, offering well-crafted beers and by far one of the best places to visit in Amsterdam.

8. Live life free of cost

Spending very less money and getting the best of the city is every traveler's dream. Guess what, the dream is real. Packed with so many tourist attractions, most of which are totally free, Amsterdam is your only chance to enjoy your bankrupt holiday. From free museum visits to ferry rides to cycle tours, there are plenty of free things to do in Amsterdam. There are also free live music concerts happening regularly in the Concertgebouw. Check out for more free expeditions in Amsterdam and live cashless! 

9. Travel faster anywhere, everywhere


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Closely connected with nearby attractions and countries, Amsterdam is the ideal place to plan your next trip from. With an excellent rail system and cheaper flights, you could easily visit places like Belgium, Germany, France and London in real quick time and come back again to Amsterdam for more fun.

10. Amsterdam and Drugs - A better Love story

Amsterdam is synonym with drugs but not in the wrong way. While the US is still struggling with the law on soft drugs, Amsterdam has a better reputation when it comes to dealing with drugs. With establishments like Cannabis College, you get to know about the real deal about drugs and the idea of using it correctly without harming yourself. Thanks to setup like these and the right attitude, the locals know how to use the freedom in the appropriate way. This makes Amsterdam one of the stand-out places in the world. You could buy quality stuff from legal coffee shops which are the perfect spots for getting you high on drugs and not on caffeine. I know, you'll definitely miss Starbucks but come on guys, these coffee shops are way better.

Now that you have enjoyed reading every bit about Amsterdam, Why not plan a trip to Amsterdam and experience these things in real-time? Here is a list of Amsterdam travel itineraries  that would help you plan your trip.

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