Amsterdam, Amsterdam. Melting pot of anarchist underground groups and hyper-capitalist finance geniuses, loved by artists as much as by stoners. Most likely, you know Amsterdam’s city center with its coffee shops, cheese shops and souvenir shops. A real-life Disneyland. Here come some insights from people that know Amsterdam beyond its city center, so read carefully if you’re heading to the unofficial Dutch capital soon.

Best website/app/crystal ball to use when you are looking for a place to live?

Joana: Rich Dutch friends.

Louis & Allegra: Facebook groups, funda, kamernet, pararius, grind all of them at the same time, to ultimately get a flat recommended by a friend.

Stijn: Kamernet and Facebook housing groups.

Which tourist attraction is actually worth it?

Joana: The overarching gentrification of noord

Louis & Allegra: Boat tours are nice, but only if you have posh friends with private boats Stedelijk museum – if you want to impress your date and Bulldog coffee shop if you want to depress yourself.

Stijn: IJ Hallen Flea Market at NDSM.

Mykolas: Vondelpark, the 9 streets, boat tours.

Easiest way to save some money like a true Amsterdamer?

Joana: hopping tram line 5 and 19.

Louis & Allegra: Live in Utrecht.

Stijn: Don’t drink in the city center, Leidseplein or Rembrandtsplein. Never enter an Albert Heijn To Go.

Mykolas: Get a job and apply for Studiefinanciering (study grant) and huurtoeslag (rent allowance).

An Amsterdamer would never be seen… / How to spot the difference between tourists and locals? …

Joana: An Amsterdamer would never be seen without a general air of smugness.

Louis & Allegra: Difference between locals and tourists – height and biking speed.

Stijn: Amsterdamers would not be seen getting a prostitute, drinking at bars in the Red Light, going to the Heineken Experience, getting on a canal cruise.

Mykolas: An Amsterdamer would never be seen zigzagging on a red rental bike.

Best place to escape to if the city gets a bit much?

Joana: De Bijlmer.

Louis & Allegra: deSchool basement or alternatively Zandvord.

Stijn: In nice weather, go for a swim up at Bogortuin.

I wish people would have told me… about living in Amsterdam.

Joana: It‘s all fun and games until you get denied huurtoeslag (rent allowance).

Louis & Allegra: That the walls are thin as paper and there is construction going on 24/7.

Stijn: To get a museum card. That there is top-notch ramen to be found.

Mykolas: How difficult it is to find affordable accommodation and to stay away from Dutch food, except stroopwafels.

Amsterdam politics are…

Joana: snooty greens.

Louis & Allegra: Liberal, vegan, woke at, but not very present in daily conversations.

Stijn: Green and left.

How (and where) to flirt like an Amsterdamer?

Joana: bumble business while on your swapfiets.

Louis & Allegra: Borreltje with the boys/girls.

Stijn: Wear a white button down and go order G&T’s at De Tulp on Marie Heinekenplein.

Which stereotype about Amsterdamers is actually true?

Joana: Signet rings.

Louis & Allegra: Tall, blond, stingy.

Mykolas: Tall, blunt and speak English really well.

If Amsterdam were a person, who would it be?

Joana: David Garret.

Louis & Allegra: Boris Jonson if he were cool with weed and the European Union.

Stijn: Andre Hazes. Or a non-Dutch person, David Bowie. A little out there, forward thinking, strange at times, a cool aesthetic, beautiful in spirit, and loved by everyone.

Mykolas: Walter Faber.


Photo by Jack Winbow from Pexels

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