SELIDBA U NIZOZEMSKU I ŽIVOT U AMSTERDAMU (CROATIAN VERSION-HRVATSKA VERZIJA)

SAZNAJTE ŠTO VAM JE SVE POTREBNO ZA PRESELJENJE U NIZOZEMSKU!

Ulice Amsterdamskog kvarta zapad za vrijeme izlaska sunca u Nizozemskoj
Ulice Amsterdamskog kvarta Zapad, vrijeme izlaska sunca

Mnogi su me pitali o mom životu u Amsterdamu. Zbog toga ću u ovom članku podijeliti svoje iskustvo življenja u glavnom gradu Nizozemske. Također, mnogi su me ljudi na socijalnim mrežama pitali imam li prijevod ovog istog članka koji sam prvotno napisala na engleskom jeziku. Iako na dnu mog bloga možete pronaći Google Prevoditelj s kojim možete cijeli blog prevesti na svoj materinji jezik, ipak sam odlučila da izdvojim vrijeme i prevedem ovaj post kako bi olakšala svima.

U ovom članku ću uključiti sva znanja i savjete o papirologiji i svim ostalim aspektima koje je važno znati prije odlaska u inozemstvo u Nizozemsku.

Ja sam bila stanovnik Amsterdama skoro četiri godine i otvoreno ću govoriti o prednostima i nedostacima života glavnog grada Nizozemske. Nadam se da će moji savjeti biti korisni vama ili vašim prijateljima radi lakšeg odlučivanja o budućem životu.

PLANIRATE PRESELITI U INOZEMSTVO?

Niste zadovoljni trenutnom lokacijom? Potpuno u redu!

Još uvijek niste sigurni kamo se želite preseliti? To je također sasvim u redu!

PRVO, Postavite sami sebi pitanja!

1.Gdje želim živjeti? (toplije zemlje / hladniji krajevi)

2. Gdje želim raditi? (vaša profesija, vaše znanje u odnosu na vaše želje i mogućnosti + dostupni poslovi u željenoj zemlji)

DRUGO, ISTRAŽITE!

Ako već imate neke zemlje na umu, istražite koji su svi dokumenti potrebni za preseljenje tamo, njihov zdravstveni sustav, cijene života / javnog prijevoza, porez, mogućnosti zaposlenja itd.

Važno je da detaljnije pogledate kakav je svakodnevni život u zemlji.

ZAŠTO NIZOZEMSKA?

Nizozemska je popularna zemlja za iseljenike, posebno studente.

Nizozemsko je društvo poznato po svojoj toleranciji i zemlja ima visoki životni standard. Amsterdam je šarmantan kanalski grad koji privlači mnoge međunarodne radnike. Tehnička i financijska industrija u gradu brzo rastu. Ostali gradovi također su dom velikim iseljeničkim zajednicama, poput Haaga, Utrechta i Rotterdama. Čitava je zemlja dobro povezana, tako da ne morate brinuti o prijevozu.

Ako ste se odlučili za preseljenje u Nizozemsku (Amsterdam), morate biti svjesni nekih stvari prije nego što krenete:


PREDNOSTI ŽIVOTA U AMSTERDAMU:

  • Više od 180 nacionalnosti
  • Visoke plaće
  • Mogućnost otvaranja vlastite tvrtke za samo 50 eura
  • Potpuna sloboda & tolerancija
  • Odlična infrastruktura (lako se putuje)
  • Zabava 24/7
  • Mnogo životnih prilika

NEDOSTACI ŽIVOTA U AMSTERDAMU:

  • Kiša, kiša, kiša i još kiše
  • Sivi, oblačni i magloviti dani
  • Nedostatak sunca
  • Hidroponska hrana (uzgoj na vodi plus nedostatka sunca – hrana ima drugačiji okus)
  • Visoke cijene
  • Nizozemski jezik

5 BITNIH STVARI PRIJE SELIDBE

1. Imajte mjesto / opciju gdje se uvijek možete vratiti

2. Ponesite što višse novca možete

3. Imajte neku vrstu osiguranja

4. Ponesite sve svoje osobne dokumente

5. Obavijestite nekoga gdje ćete boraviti

Nastavljamo na popis što sve trebate učiniti čim se preselite u Amsterdam:

1. LEGALNI STATUS

Nizozemska je jedna od 26 zemalja koje čine “Schengen”. Država je članica EU, što znači da stanovnici EU / EFTA mogu ući i ostati u zemlji bez zahtjeva za vizu. Svi stanovnici EU / EFTA-e koji ostanu dulje od četiri mjeseca morat će se registrirati kod vlade. Obavezno sa sobom uvijek imajte osobnu iskaznicu ili putovnicu.

Stanovnicima koji nisu iz EU-a i EFTA-e trebaju vize za dozvole ulaska i boravka. Za više informacija o tome, pročitajte cijeli vodič – Nizozemske vize & dozvole. (na engleskom je)

2. SLUŽBENI BROJ GRAĐANA (BSN)

Da biste radili u Nizozemskoj, morate imati BSN broj. To je isto kao OIB u Hrvatskoj ili N.I.E u Španjolskoj.

KAKO DOĆI BSN? Prvo se morate registrirati u Gradskoj vijećnici (Gemeente). Kao rezultat prijave u općini dobit ćete; burgerservicenummer (BSN).

ZAŠTO trebam BSN? Svatko tko dolazi iz inozemstva na posao ili na studij i dalje zahtijeva BSN broj, čak i za kraći boravak. BSN je potreban kako bi mu bilo dopušteno raditi, otvoriti bankovni račun, koristiti zdravstveno osiguranje, glasati, pokrenuti posao, studirati, podnijeti zahtjev za beneficije ili dodatke itd.

KOJE DOKUMENTE TREBAM DONIJETI? građani EU morat će dostaviti valjan dokaz o identitetu (poput putovnice ili osobne iskaznice, a ne vozačke dozvole) i njihovu adresa za registraciju, dok za državljane koji nisu članovi EU-a moraju biti predočeni i drugi dokumenti (poput boravišta & ugovora o radu i sl.). Ako ste državljanin koji nije član EU, vašem poslodavcu će trebati radna dozvola (tewerkstellingsvergunning & ili TWV), a također morate imati i dozvolu boravka.

VAŽNO JE ZNATI: Ako trenutno nemate adresu u Nizozemskoj, dobit ćete privremeni BSN (RNI), a u naredna 4 mjeseca morat ćete donijeti neku adresu na koju ste se registrirali (ako želite imati stalni BSN.)

OPREZ Nisu svi dokumenti automatski valjani u Nizozemskoj. Državni registar prihvaća samo službene dokumente na nizozemskom, engleskom, francuskom ili njemačkom jeziku. Za druge jezike bit će potreban službeni prijevod. Obavezno pitajte sve unaprijed.

ALI PRVO … NAZOVITE! Morate nazvati da biste zakazali sastanak kako biste dobili BSN. (obično se čeka oko 3 tjedna do termina)

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3. KUPITE LOKALNU SIM KARTICU

Ovaj je korak presudan prije nego što tražite posao ili nešto slično. Ja sam primijetila da me nitko nije zvao dok nisam kupila Lebara sim karticu. Valjda je vrlo jasno. Kad ljudi vide vaš inozemni telefonski broj, prvo misle da niste dovoljno ozbiljni, niste još uvijek rezident i prije svega, nisu sigurni koliko će novca trošiti na pozic sa vama. Lokalne sim kartice možete dobiti bilo gdje, a obično su besplatne (morate nadopuniti kredit). Savjetujem vam da odaberete Lebara jer je za mene savršeno funkcionirala čitave 4 godine.

4. SMJEŠTAJ

Najvažnije što trebate učiniti kada dođete u Nizozemsku je pronaći mjesto za registraciju. Čim prije! Dok ne pronađete mjesto za registraciju, zaista ne možete nastaviti sa bilo čim drugim.

KAKO NAĆI SMJEŠTAJ Najbolji način za pronalazak smještaja je putem prijatelja ili ljudi koje poznajete.

  • NA INTERNETU: Osim toga, prijavite se za sve što se pojavi na web stranici zvanoj Kamernet ( iznajmljivanje: Te huur). Košta oko 25 eura mjesečno, ali barem znate da svi ljudi koji postavljaju oglase stvarno postoje, i nisu prevara. Zapravo, i na Kamernetu postoje prevare i trebate biti oprezni, ali postoji najmanja šansa da ćete naići na prevarante putem ove web stranice. Savjetujem vam da budete oprezni kada tražite smještaj na društvenim mrežama poput Facebooka. Na Facebook grupama postoji puno prevara. Nikada, ponavljam, ali baš nikada ne dajite ili šaljite nekome novac prije nego što vidite mjesto i imate ključeve. Funda
  • PITAJTE sve ljude koje sretnete u vezi smještaja ili posla koji tražite. Čak i ako mogu dati samo savjet ili informacije, to je i dalje nevjerojatno vrijedno.
  • AGENCIJE ZA NEKTRETNINE I AGENTI ZA NEKRETNINE Osobno, znam gomilu ljudi koji su našli svoje mjesto za život preko agenta za nekretnine. Za njihovu uslugu morate platiti nekoliko stotina eura, ali općenito, to se potpuno isplati jer se oni bore da nađu smještaj, a ne vi. Sve što trebate učiniti je reći im koje su vaše želje i financijske mogućnosti. Savjetujem vam da potražite prave agente za nekretine koji imaju NVM znak koji upućuje na registraciju u Nizozemskoj zadružnoj udruzi agenta i procjenitelja nekretnina. (znači da su zakoniti!)

Pitate se gdje živjeti u Amsterdamu? Što dalje od centra grada idete, manje plaćate. Amsterdam Nord (sjever) je sjajno područje i vrlo dobro povezano. Amsterdam West i Oud West moji su omiljeni dijelovi grada. Ovo, još uvijek govorim o sobama ili studijima, jer su stanovi u ovim područjima i dalje skupi. Ali, nikad se ne zna. Tko neprestano traži nešto, na kraju i nađe.

Pripremite se za početak, živjeti u sobi u nekom zajedničkom stanu. Selidba s partnerom / prijateljem / obitelji uvijek je lakša opcija jer možete podijeliti troškove i barem se dobro poznajete.

CIJENE SMJEŠTAJA: Pokušajte pronaći nešto za 500 eura ili manje. To je najjeftinije što ćete najvjerovatnije moći pronaći, a biti će vjerojatno soba. Čitav, mali stan, nećete naći ispod 1000 eura plus depozit, agencijsku naknadu i vjerojatno dokaz od posljednjih 6 do 12 mjeseci da primate plaću. Amsterdam ima jedan od najskupljih smještaja u cijeloj Europi, zato budite spremni. Mogu vam reći iz mog iskustva, stvarno mi je nedostajao “dom” kada sam živjela u Amsterdamu. Znate, svoj vlastiti madrac na kojem ste spavali samo, svoje WC sjedalo itd. 🙂 Ali, kao što sam već napomenula, ako nešto dugo potražite, naposlijetku ćete ga naći ili će vas pronaći.

5. POČNITE TRAŽITI POSAO

Mnogi ljudi koji se sele u Nizozemsku već će imati ponudu za posao, ali mnogi neće. Na svu sreću, Nizozemska ima puno mogućnosti zaposlenja za migrante, pogotovo u tehnološkom i financijskom sektoru. Zapravo, u cijeloj zemlji ima puno mogućnosti za zapošljavanje.

JE LI MORAM ZNATI NIZOZEMSKI JEZIK DA BI NAŠAO/LA POSAO? Za rad u Nizozemskoj ne morate govoriti nizozemski – u stvari, engleski je glavni poslovni jezik u mnogim tvrtkama. Iako morate zapamtiti da su vaše šanse za zaposlenje ograničene ako ne govorite nizozemski. Vjerojatno ćete krenuti raditi za neku veliku međunarodnu kompaniju ako ne govorite nizozemskim jezikom. Na primjer, pronalazak posla sa punim radnim vremenom gotovo je nemoguć, jer za mnoge od njih je potreban tečni nizozemski ili tečni jezik na bilo kojem drugom jeziku osim engleskog. Nizozemci obično rade skraćeno radno vrijeme, a najmanje 3 dana u tjednu odmaraju. Mnogi od njih su i sa vlastitim kompanijama tzv. freelanceri. (možete otvoriti svoju tvrtku za samo 50 eura u KVK .

Redovni nizozemski radni tjedan iznosi 38 sati. Većina (voltijd) poslova je između 36-40 sati. Ako radite manje od 36 sati tjedno, ali više od 12, smatra se da radite sa skraćenim radnim vremenom (deeltijd). Visok udio žena u Nizozemskoj, otprilike 74 posto, radi na pola radnog vremena. Za razliku od mnogih drugih zemalja, redoviti prekovremeni rad nije tako čest u Nizozemskoj. (osim u ugostiteljstvu, pa čak ni u ugostiteljstvu kao u nekim drugim zemljama)

U Nizozemskoj se toliko traže visoko kvalificirani radnici tako da postoji brz proces imigracije da bi ih Nizozemska mogla primiti. Drugim riječima, ako ste visoko kvalificirani za nešto čak i kao mesar, lako možete dobiti visoko plaćeni posao. Postoje i porezne olakšice ( 30% porezno rješenje) za neke međunarodne zaposlenike.

Ova grupa uključuje inženjere, one s tehničkim vještinama, IT stručnjake, one koji se bave financijama, kao i ljude s visokim iskustvom u radu na prodaji i marketingu.

KAKO DOĆI DO POSLA U AMSTERDAMU? Ja vam mogu reći kako sam ja to radila. Prvi put kad sam došla u Amsterdam, isprintala sam oko 30 životopisa (životopis bi trebao biti preveden na engleski i uvijek biste trebali priložiti fotografiju na prvoj stranici) i obišla sam grad birajući mjesta u kojima bih voljela raditi. Vidjela sam, a vidjet ćete i vi, mnoga mjesta s natpisom: “Tražimo radnike” i vidjet ćete ih i vi. U Amsterdamu se uvijek nešto može raditi, negdje se zaposliti. Uđite unutra i pristojno zatražite menadžera ili šefa. Nikada ne ostavljajte svoj životopis zaposleniku jer ga može baciti (često se događa). Ako nema upravitelja ili vlasnika mjesta, dođite drugi dan. U Amsterdamu je uvijek sezona, ali recimo mjeseci: studeni, siječanj, veljača su najtiši, a ožujak do rujan najprometniji. (u ugostiteljstvu ili ‘horeca’ na nizozemskom).


Svoj sam prvi posao našla na taj način: “od vrata do vrata”. Sljedeći put kad sam tražila posao, pomalo sam postala lijena hodati. Željela sam raditi u lijepom hotelu pa sam internetski pregledala sve postojeće hotele u Amsterdamu plus bliže područje i svima sam poslala e-poštu s uključenim životopisom i motivacijskim pismom. Dan poslije, već sam primila dva telefonska poziva. Čak i ako još nemate posao, savjetujem vam da se preselite i krenete tražiti posao u svojoj novoj državi, a ne iz svoje rodne zemlje ili zemlje u kojoj niste zadovoljni životom. Glavni razlog? Uspjeh pronalaska posla mnogo je veći.

ONLINE MJESTA GDJE MOŽETE PRONAĆI POSAO:

6. PRIJAVITE SE NA BESPLATNI TEČAJ NIZOZEMSKOG JEZIKA

Čim riješite registraciju (adresu), možete se prijaviti sa svojim dokumentima i svojim ugovorom (stan, kuća, studio) u Gementee za pohađanje besplatne nizozemske škole. Obično se održava u ROC van Amsterdam i pohađat ćete školu koja je najbliža adresi koju ste naveli.

Učenje jezika u ovoj zemlji otvorit će vam mnoga vrata. Uz to, sastojke hrane ćete moći čitati na proizvodima lol. (sve je na nizozemskom ili francuskom). Ovaj tečaj mi je puno pomogao. Biti ćete smješteni u grupi od 20 do 30 ljudi, a nastava će obično biti 2 puta tjedno u trajanju od 3 sata (ujutro ili navečer). Međutim, uvijek je bolje pohađati tečaj nizozemskog s manjom skupinom. Učit ćete više i brže. U ovom se besplatnom tečaju glavni fokus stavlja na grupni rad i škola je vrlo je ležerna. Pazite, jer vam je potrebno 80% dolazaka ako želite besplatni tečaj. Ako ne prisustvujete barem osamdeset posto, morat ćete platiti školarinu. (da, to je prava škola, samo u ovoj morate platiti ako ste odsutni, barem nam je tako rečeno)

KORISNE WEB STRANICE:

Vlada Nizozemske: government.nl

Informacije / savjeti lokalne uprave za migrante: iamsterdam.com

ŽIVOT U AMSTERDAMU

Moje osobno iskustvo?

Bila sam vrlo zadovoljna svojim životom u nizozemskom glavnom gradu. Iako sam došla u Nizozemsku kad Hrvati još uvijek nisu mogli legalno raditi, i iako je bilo teško u tim vremenima, stekla sam ogromno životno iskustvo koje nisam mogao dobiti nigdje drugdje. Uspjela sam putovati puno više nego što bih ikada mogla putovati da sam ostala u Hrvatskoj.

Amsterdam je vrlo jedinstven europski grad. Ako dolazite sa područja Balkana ili bilo koje druge zemlje, primijetit ćete veliku razliku u načinu života stanovnika Amsterdama. Za razliku od bilo kojeg drugog grada s više od 180 nacionalnosti, što ga čini savršenim mjestom za pronalaženje poslovnog partnera, prijatelja ili ljubavnika. Ili upoznavanje neke zanimljive osobe koju ste samo mogli zamisliti ili vidjeti na TV ekranima.

ZAPAD VS. ISTOK:

Nizozemska je vrlo moderna zemlja, bogato kraljevstvo u kojem svak živo biće ima svoja snažna prava. Mislim da je to najveća razlika od Istoče Europe. Iznenadit će vas mnoge stvari i kako zapravo glatko funkcioniraju, koliko brzo Nizozemci izrađuju i popravljaju stvari, kako se hitro neredi suzbijaju i smeće čisti itd.

VRIJEME:

Jedno je sigurno: morat ćete se naviknuti na kišno vrijeme i jake vjetrove, kao i na vožnju bicikla u tim uvjetima. Da budem iskrena, plakala sam svakodnevno kad sam prvi put došla u Amsterdam. Kiša nije prestajala cijeli mjesec. Zapravo, shvatila sam da je kiša u Nizozemskoj poput sunca u Španjolskoj – česta i jaka. Najgora vrsta kiše koju možete doživjeti je “kiša u spreju”. Ne vidite je, ali nakon kraćeg vremena sasvim ste mokri. Nakon nekog vremena naviknete se i zapravo počnete voljeti kišu.

KULTURA BICIKLIRANJA Vjerovali ili ne, jedino što mi nedostaje u Amsterdamu je vožnja biciklom. Možda izgleda hektično na prvu, ali najsigurnije je na svijetu. (Samo izbjegavajte turističke grupe, najopasnije su na biciklističkim stazama). Ako se odlučite preseliti u Amsterdam, nakon nekog vremena uklopiti ćete se bolje u biciklističku kulturu. Ali obećavam, i zaljubit ćete se. Bicikl u Amsterdamu nije samo bicikl. To je poput automobila, kampera i kuće. AKO ŽELITE PROČITATI VIŠE O BICIKLISTIČKOJ KULTURI U AMSTERDAMU, MOŽETE TO UČINITI U JEDNOM OD MOJIH PRETHODNIH ČLANAKA: OVDJE (ovi članci nisu prevedni na Hrvatski, ali na dnu bloga imate Google Prevoditelj s kojim možete uključiti prijevod)

Toplo preporučujem preseljenje u Amsterdam barem 6 mjeseci. To je čarobni grad i potpuno vrijedi vašeg vremena!

Ako želite pročitati još jedan moj članak o Amsterdamu (opći podaci), to možete učiniti : OVDJE

i OVDJE (ako želite pročitati 15 stvari koje vjerojatno niste znali u vezi Amsterdama.)

Nadam se da će vam moj članak pomoći u odluci. Ako su vam potrebne dodatne informacije ili imate još nekih pitanja / nedoumica, ne oklijevajte pitati me u komentarima ispod, na bilo kojoj od društvenih mreža ili putem e-maila: kookylovestotravel@gmail.com

Rado ću vam pomoći! 🙂

A ukoliko želite saznati kako je živjet i raditi u nekoj drugoj zemlji svijeta, škicnite na moj novi projekat HRVATI U SVIJETU i pročitajte brojne intervju-e sa raznim Hrvatima koji žive (ili su živjeli) u inozemstvu.

PRIDRUŽI SE MOJOJ ZAJEDNICI I ZAPRATI ME NA NEKOJ OD DRUŠTVENIH MREŽA 🙂 ↴🙂

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5 IMPORTANT THINGS WHEN MOVING TO NETHERLANDS & LIFE IN AMSTERDAM

Streets of Amsterdam West neighborhood, sunrise time
Streets of Amsterdam West neighborhood, sunrise time

Have you ever wondered how it looks like to live in Europe, The Netherlands or to be more precise, in Amsterdam?

What else that magical city hides besides dozens of bicycles, canals, tulips and cheese?

To be frank, many people asked me about those two questions above and about my life in Amsterdam.

That’s why I decided to share in this article my experience of living in Dutch capital.

I will include all the knowledge and tips about paperwork and all the other aspects that are important to know before moving abroad to The Netherlands in 5 crucial steps.

I was a resident of Amsterdam for almost 4 years and I will speak openly about pros and cons of living there.
I hope my tips will be useful to you or to your friends for easier deciding on future life.

PLANNING TO MOVE ABROAD?

You are not satisfied with you current location for whatever reason? Totally fine!

You are still not sure where you want to move? That’s also totally fine!

FIRST, ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS!

1.Where do I want to live? (warmer countries/colder contries)

2. Where do I want to work? (your profession, your knowledge vs. your wishes and possibilities + available jobs in desired country)

SECOND, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

If you already have some countries in your mind, research about all the necessary documents for moving there, their health system, prices of living/public transport, tax, job opportunities etc.

It’s essential that you take a closer look at what everyday life is like in the country.

WHY THE NETHERLANDS?

The Netherlands is a popular country for expats especially students.

Dutch society is known for its tolerant vibe and the country has a high standard of living. Amsterdam is a charming canal city that keeps attracting many international workers.

Tech and finance industries are growing there rapidly.

Other cities are also home to large expat communities such as The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam.

The whole country is well connected so you don’t have to worry about transport.

If you’ve decided on moving to the Netherlands (Amsterdam) there are certain things to be aware of before you make that move:

ADVANTAGES OF LIVING IN AMSTERDAM:

  • More than 180 nationalities
  • High paychecks
  • Ability of opening your own company for only €50
  • Full freedom & tolerance
  • Great infrastructure (easy travelling)
  • Entertainment 24/7
  • Plenty of life opportunities

DISADVANTAGES OF LIVING IN AMSTERDAM:

  • Rain, rain, rain and some more rain
  • Grey, cloudy and foggy days
  • Strong winds
  • Lack of sun
  • Hydroponic food (growing on water plus lack of sun – food has different taste)
  • High prices
  • Dutch language

5 IMPORTANT THINGS BEFORE MOVING

  1. Have a place/option where you can always return

2. Bring as much money as you can

3. Have some kind of insurance

4. Bring all your personal documents

5. Notify somebody where you will be staying

Let’s move on to checklist of all you need to do as soon as you move to Amsterdam:

1. LEGAL STATUS

The Netherlands is one of 26 countries making up the ‘Schengen’. It’s an EU member state, meaning EU/EFTA residents can enter and remain in the country without requiring a visa.

Any EU/EFTA residents staying longer than four months will need to register with the government. Make sure to have always your ID or passport with you.

Non EU/EFTA residents need visas for entry and residence permits. For more information on this, read the complete guide —> Dutch visas & permits.

2. CITIZEN SERVICE NUMBER (BSN)

To work in the Netherlands, you need to have a BSN number. It’s the same as OIB in Croatia or N.I.E in Spain.

HOW TO GET BSN? You need to first register with the Town Hall (Gemeente). As a result of registering with the municipality you will be assigned a burgerservicenummer (BSN).

WHY DO I NEED A BSN? Anyone coming from abroad to work or study still requires a BSN number, even for short stays. BSN is required in order to be permitted to work, open a bank account, make use of a health care institution, voting, starting a business, studying, apply for benefits or an allowance etc.

WHICH DOCUMENTS I NEED TO BRING? EU citizens will need to provide a valid proof of identity (such as a passport or ID, not a driving licence) and their address to be registered, while for non-EU citizens other documents (such as your residence permit and employment contract etc.) have to be presented too.

If you’re non-EU citizen, your employer will typically need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV) for you, and you must also have a residence permit.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: If you currently don’t have an address in The Netherlands, you will receive a temporary BSN (RNI) and in the next 4 months, you will have to bring some address registration (if you want to have a permanent BSN.)

BEWARE Not all documents are automatically valid in the Netherlands. The civil registry will only accept official documents in Dutch, English, French or German. An official translation will be required for other languages. Make sure to ask all in advance.

BUT FIRST…MAKE A CALL! You have to call to make an appointment in order to get your BSN. (usually it takes up to 3 weeks)


3. BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD

This step is crucial before looking for a job or anything like that. I noticed that no one was calling me until I bought a Lebara sim card. I guess is very clear.

When people see your foreign telephone number, first what they think is that you are not serious enough, you are not a resident yet and above all, they are not sure about how much money they will spend calling you. Local sim cards you can get anywhere and usually they are free (you have to top up the credit).

I advise you to choose Lebara as it worked out perfectly for me for the whole 4 years.

4. ACCOMODATION

The most important thing to do when arriving to The Netherlands is to find a place to register. As soon as possible! Until you don’t find a place to register, you can’t really continue with anything else.

WAYS OF FINDING AN ACCOMODATION: The best way to find an accommodation is via friends or people you know.

1.) ON INTERNET: In addition, apply for everything that comes up on website called Kamernet. (to rent: Te huur). It costs around €25 a month, but at least you know all the people who are putting adverts there are real, not scams.

Actually, in Kamernet there are scams too and you need to be careful, but there’s the smallest chance you will run into one via this website.

I advise you to be careful when looking for an accommodation on social medias like Facebook groups because there are plenty of scams. Never, I repeat, never give or send someone money before you see the place and have the keys. Funda

2.) ASK anyone you meet about an accommodation or a job you are looking for. Even if they can only give advice or information, it is still incredibly valuable.

3.) REAL ESTATE AGENCIES AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS personally, I know bunch of people that found their place to live via real estate agent. You have to pay few hundred of euros for their service, but in general, it’s totally worth it because they are struggling to find accommodation, not you.

All you have to do is tell them what are your wishes and financial possibilities. I advise you to look for real estate agents that are having NVM sign which indicates registration in Dutch Cooperative Association of Real Estate Agents and Appraisers. (means they are legit!)

Wondering where to live in Amsterdam? As further from city center you go, less you pay. Amsterdam North is a great area and very well connected.

Amsterdam West and Oud West are my favourite parts of the city. Here, I’m still speaking about rooms or studios because flats are expensive in these area. But, you never know. Who looks for something all the time, he/she eventually finds.

Prepare to live in a room in a sharing flat for beginning. Moving with your partner/friend/family is always easier because you can share the costs and at least you know each other well.

ACCOMODATION PRICES: Try finding something for 500 euros or less. That is the cheapest you will most likely be able to find and it will be a room. An entire, small flat, you won’t find under 1000 euros plus deposit, agency fee and probably 6 to 12 months proof of your salaries.

Amsterdam has one of the most expensive accommodation in the whole Europe so be prepared. I can tell you from my experience, I was really missing a “home” when I was living in Amsterdam. You know, your own mattress where only you were sleeping, your own toilet seat etc. 🙂

But, as I already mentioned, if you look for something long enough, you will find it or it will find you.

5. START LOOKING FOR A JOB

Many people moving to the Netherlands will already have a job offer, but many won’t. Luckily, the Netherlands has plenty of job opportunities for expats, especially in the tech and finance sectors. Actually, there are loads of job opportunities in the whole country.

DO I HAVE TO SPEAK DUTCH IN ORDER TO FIND A JOB? You don’t have to speak Dutch to work in the Netherlands – in fact, English is the main business language in many companies. Although, remember that your employment chances will be limited if you don’t speak Dutch.

You will probably end up working for a large international company if you don’t speak it. For example, finding a full time job is almost impossible because many of them require either fluent Dutch or fluency in any language other than English. 

Dutch people are usually working part time, leaving at least 3 days a week to rest. Many of them are freelancers too. (you are able to open your own company for only 50 euros in KVK). A regular Dutch working week is 38 hours.

The majority of full time (voltijd) jobs are between 36-40 hours. If you work less than 36 hours a week, but more than 12, then you are considered as working part time (deeltijd). A high proportion of women in the Netherlands, approximately 74 percent, work part time.

Unlike many other countries, regularly working long hours overtime is not so common in the Netherlands.

Highly-skilled workers are wanted in Netherlands so much so that there’s a fast-track immigration process to get them in. If you are highly skilled in something even as a butcher, you can easily get a high paid job. There are also tax benefits (the 30% tax ruling) for some international employees.

This group includes engineers, those with technical skills, IT specialists, those working in finance, as well as people with a great experience of working in sales and marketing.

HOW TO GET A JOB IN AMSTERDAM? I can tell you how I did it. First time when I came to Amsterdam, I printed around 30 CV’s (CV should be translated to English and you should always attach a photo on the first page) and I went around the city choosing the places I would love to work in.

I was seeing many places with a sign: “Employees needed” and you will see them too. There’s always something to do in Amsterdam. Come inside and politely ask for a manager or a boss. Never leave your CV to an employee because he/she might throw it away (happens often). If there’s no manager or an owner of the place, come another day.

It’s always a season in Amsterdam but let’s say months: November, January, February are the quiets and March to September are the busiest. (in hospitality or ‘horeca’ in Dutch).

I found my first job on that way: ‘from door to door’.
Next time when I was looking for a job, I got a bit lazy to walk around. I wanted to work in a nice hotel so I googled all the existing hotels in Amsterdam plus the closer area, and I’ve send to all of them an email with my CV and motivation letter included.

Day after, I already received two phone calls. Even if you don’t have a job yet, I advise you to move and look for the job in your new country, not from your birth country or country where you are not satisfied living in. Main reason? Success of finding a job is much higher.

ONLINE SITES WHERE YOU CAN LOOK FOR A JOB:

6. APPLY FOR A FREE DUTCH COURSE

As soon as you solve your registration (address), you can apply with your documents and your contract (flat, house, studio) to Gementee for a free Dutch school. It is usually held in ROC van Amsterdam and you will be attending the school that is the closest to address you provided.

Learning a language in this country will open many doors for you. Plus, you will be able to read the ingredients on products lol. (everything is on Dutch or French). This course helped me a lot. You will be set in a group of 20 to 30 people and your classes will usually be 2 times a week lasting 3h (morning or evening).

However, it’s always better to take a paid Dutch course with a smaller group. You will learn more and faster. In this free course, the main focus is on group work and it’s very laid back. Beware that you need to have 80% of attendance if you want to have a free course.

If you are not attending, you will have to pay. (yes, it’s a real school, only in this one you have to pay if you are absent).

USEFUL SITES:

Government of the Netherlands: government.nl

Local government informations/tips for expats: iamsterdam.com

LIVING IN AMSTERDAM

My personal experience? I was very satisfied with my life in Dutch capital. Although I came to the Netherlands when Croatian people still didn’t have a right to work legally and although it was very hard in those times, I gained an enormous life experience I couldn’t gain nowhere else.

I was able to travel much more than I could ever travel If I have stayed in Croatia.

Amsterdam is very unique European city. If you are coming from Balkan area, or any other further country, you will notice a great difference in the way of living as a resident of Amsterdam.

It’s unlike any other city with more than 180 nationalities which makes it a perfect place for finding a business partner, a friend or a lover. Or meeting such an interesting person that you only could imagine or see on TV screens.

WEST VS. EAST: The Netherlands is a very modern country, rich kingdom where every person has its strong rights. I think that makes the biggest difference with Eastern Europe. You will be amazed by many things how smooth they function, how fast Dutch people are making and repairing things etc.

THE WEATHER: One thing is for sure: you will have to get used to rainy weather and strong winds as well cycling in these conditions. To be frank, I cried everyday when I first came to Amsterdam. Rain didn’t stop for the whole month.

Actually, I realized rain in the Netherlands is like sun in Spain – often and strong. The worse kind of rain you can experience is a “spray rain”. You don’t even see it, but after a short time, you are completely wet. After a while, you get used to it and you actually start loving the rain.


CYCLING CULTURE Believe it or not, the only thing I miss about Amsterdam is cycling. It may look hectic, but it’s the safest in the world.(just avoid tourist groups, they are the most dangerous on the cycling paths). If you decide to move to Amsterdam, you will dig deeper into a cycling culture after a while.

But I promise, you will fall in love with it. Bike in Amsterdam is not just a bike. It’s like a car, camper and a house. IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT CYCLING CULTURE IN AMSTERDAM YOU CAN DO IT IN ONE OF MY PREVIOUS POSTS.

I highly recommend moving to Amsterdam at least for 6 months. It’s a magical city and totally worth your time.

If you want to read another post related to Amsterdam: general info about Amsterdam or 15 things you probably didn’t know about Amsterdam and the ultimate list of 26 things to do in Amsterdam.

I hope my article will help you with your decision. If you need more informations or you’re having some more questions/doubts, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below, on any of the social media or via email: kookylovestotravel@gmail.com

I will be more than happy to help! 🙂

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WHERE TO EAT AND HAVE FUN IN AMSTERDAM

I got to be honest. The food is not a highlight in Amsterdam nor in the whole Netherlands.

I don’t like comparing much because each destination is unique, but seriously, there’s not much to say about Dutch kitchen.
To be frank, I cannot compare it to some other national kitchen even if I want to.

Well, I could say it’s land of snacks. And sweets. (Probably because tourists are smoking much cannabis – it’s a joke 🙂 but not far from the truth!)

At the same time, you can always enjoy in diverse food aromas around the streets of Amsterdam. The city is a home to loads of international restaurants.

Also, you can have plenty of fun in the Dutch capital.
You may not have full stomach with €10, but for sure you will have enough fun with the same amount!


In this article I will mention some typical Dutch dishes and more importantly, the best places where you can eat properly & have a good time after it or perhaps 2 in 1.


Beware that even though I was living 4 years in Amsterdam, I don’t have many excellent photos of food. That’s because I’m a huge foodie and I like to eat food, not take photos of it.
So, I promise I will be a bit more patient in the future with my appetite, so I can decently present you how good my chosen dishes are. 🙂

I’ll try to steer you in the right direction and I hope my picks will help you to have the best time and a full stomach when in Amsterdam! 

 

TRADITIONAL FOOD

Although The Netherlands is not known for its cuisine, you should try at least some of the traditional snacks and dishes in the list below.

1. CHEESE

Hemp cheese in Dutch cheese store
Hemp cheese in Walskaas shop, a real family business in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has a strong cheese culture, with recipes dating back generations. Most Dutch cheeses are hard or semi-hard and classified by age. ‘Jong’ or young is the creamiest and softest flavor. ‘Belegen’ is slightly harder and nuttier tasting, but still quite smooth. ‘Oud’ or old is the hardest from all.


There are many souvenir packages with traditional Dutch “cheese shaver” to perfectly cut any cheese into slices.
I got seriously hooked up on cheese called ‘Old Amsterdam’ (award winning matured Gouda taste).



WHERE TO FIND DUTCH CHEESE?



When it comes to Old Amsterdam, I would definitely suggest Old Amsterdam Cheese Store in the city center that even offers tastings.

Cheese shops are perfect places to get a true sense of the variety of Dutch cheese and they are basically everywhere around the city. Above, I’ve mentioned two. Street markets are full of traditional food culture, and cheese is definitely no exception to this: go early, when the market isn’t so busy. (Noordermarkt is a must!). To dig deeper into a cheese culture, visit Amsterdam Cheese Museum.

2. STROOPWAFEL

Stroopwafel dipped in a coffee on a rooftop in the Amsterdam city
Eating a waffle on the rooftop of the Volkshotel

It is undoubtedly the most famous pastry from The Netherlands. It’s a unique kind of cookie/waffle filled with special sweet and sticky syrup (the ‘stroop’) in between. You can buy them in every supermarket.

However, for the best ‘stroopwafels’ in Amsterdam, you should go to ‘Landskroon’ bakery or to the Albert Cuyp Market. Many places in Amsterdam are offering a free cookie together with a coffee and almost every better bar/restaurant offers one ‘stroopwafel’ instead of a regular cookie.

Two cappuccino coffees on a DIY table
Stroopwafel with the coffee in Canvas, Volkshotel

3. BITTERBALLEN

They are simply little deep-fried mini croquettes that are usually served with mustard and made from beef ragout. Beer is a perfect drink that pairs with bitterballen.

OTHER TRADITIONAL DISHES INCLUDE:

– KROKETS– deep-fried roll with meat ragout inside, covered in breadcrumbs. The meat is usually veal or beef.

– OLIEBOLLEN– again deep-fried and topped with powdered sugar being the traditional year-end treats, while in Croatia people eat these when they have nothing else to eat at home lol. They come plain or filled with raisins and the best is to eat them from roadside stands, fresh and warm.


– SNERT (PEA SOUP)- it’s usually chock full of smoked sausage and served alongside a slice of rye bread. There are many veggie versions around the city too. Amsterdam is very vegetarian and vegan friendly city.

-STAMPPOT- a dish with a base of potatoes, into which you mash any vegetable you want: carrots and onion (hutspot), kale…

-DROP-  Dutch version of licorice with impressively wide variety of flavor and texture combinations. Dutch drops are often laced with a rather puzzling ingredient called salmiak with almost umami flavour. 

-HARRING- maybe the most famous Dutch food, raw fish-herring that is served together with chopped raw onions and gherkins. The way of eating is a real Dutch tradition too. In the Netherlands, new herring is eaten by lifting up the herring by its tail into the air and then taking a bite upwards. If you have a sensitive stomach like I do, rather try harring sandwich called ‘broodje haring’.

-PATAT- Dutch version of french fries that are much thicker than the normal French Fries and are actually invented in Belgium. 
BEST PLACE TO EAT THEM: Vlaams Friteshuis Vlemminckx

-POFFERTJES- I would describe them as much fluffier and thicker baby pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour, typically served with a powdered sugar. Fresh ‘poffertjes’ are often made at an roadside stand during winter same as oliebollen.

-JENEVER- Not a food, but a spirit precursor to gin. The spirit is distilled from juniper berries and has a malty flavour similar to whisky. It was traditionally used for medicinal purposes and it became country’s signature drinks. And guess what? It is served in a tulip-shaped glass.

-APPLE PIE-  The Dutch version is infused with cinnamon, dotted with raisins and served with a whipped cream. Winkel 43 serves t he best homemade one!

 

PLACES TO EAT IN AMSTERDAM

1. BIERFABRIEK

This is a very unique place where you can feel like at your own home. It’s a brewery, cafe and restaurant in one. Bierfabriek literally means ‘beer fabric’ and it brews their own beer and serve rustic, tapas like dishes. 

You can draft your beer by yourself at self service tap tables, eat your chicken with your hands and throw the peanut shells on the floor. The place is full of peanuts and they are displayed in bags and on each table so you can feel free to take as many as you want. While entering and walking towards the toilet, you will hear cracking sounds of stepping onto peanut shells.

PRICES: The prices are kind of cheaper comparing to other places in Amsterdam that are serving their own beer.

WHAT TO TRY: I advise you to try ‘Rosso’ beer as it has a very distinctive taste.

Tapas and tortillas in Bierfabriek
Peanut shells on our table plus cheese croquettes and tortilla sandwiches

2. NOOCH

Nooch is an Asian cuisine restaurant that delicately fuses modern Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Thai kitchens.

Dadar gulung traditional dish in Nooch Asian restaurant in Amsterdam
Kue or dadar gulung (Indonesian traditional and coconut pancake)

Nooch is a small and charming, Asian cuisine restaurant near the city center. Modern Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Thai dishes are served in this place. I fell in love with Asian cuisine due to this place and I can’t wait to travel across the Asian continent!

PS: They working times are limited so check the website before visiting. Reserving the table is a must because the restaurant is not very big.

PRICES: More or less is expensive. As closer you are to the city center, the more you pay.

WHAT TO TRY: Dim Sum Platter, Dadar Gulung, Lapis Legit

 

3. THE SEA FOOD BAR

It’s not so easy to find a restaurant with a fresh fish in Amsterdam. However, Sea Food Bar is a perfect place to taste some. An award winning, modern seafood restaurant where most of the fish comes from the North sea – coldest in the world.  

It is founded by the De Visscher family who are fishmongers since 1984.

PRICES: Quite expensive, but totally worth it. They have excellent wines too!

WHAT TO TRY: Catch of the day or King Prawns were my usual choice. On the other hand, once I ordered oysters, and I ended up with 8 long hours of stomach spams. I never went there after that. Probably oysters weren’t so fresh that day. Despite that, I still recommend this restaurant because I had plenty more great dinners there and always a decent service. But, never eat oysters if they are not caught in front of your own eyes! 🙂

Oysters and me in the Sea Food Bar in Amsterdam
Oysters eating in The Sea Food Bar

4. ZA

ZA is a Mediterranean and modern designed restaurant near Central Station in Amsterdam. This place has a great choice of quality wines, sometimes live music, tapas and delicious, perfectly served food. They even serve Croatian/Istrian wine – Roxanich Milva.

This place has a concept of “shared dining” and “tapas” style cuisine with Italian influence.

PRICES: Quite expensive, but prices are following the quality. My boyfriend ate in ZA the best piece of meat ever in the whole Netherlands. Menu is changing from time to time.

WHAT TO TRY: Home made Focaccia

Nicely cooked meat in ZA restaurant in Amsterdam
The best place to eat meat – ZA
We were too hungry to make nice photos lol

5. NOVOTEL AMSTERDAM CITY

Novotel Amsterdam City is actually a 4-star hotel in the Amsterdam’s business district ‘de Zuidas’. You can reach the hotel via A10 highway and within walking distance from RAI station.

I recommend this place as I was working there and I saw how much effort chefs are putting into dishes. If you are in Amsterdam due to business and staying near RAI, it’s a nice place to relax. Avoid Mondays tho, as they are super busy.

PRICES: Expensive (4-star hotel prices)

WHAT TO TRY: Their local beer made with honey from the roof of the hotel (if they still have it). They have a great burgers too but try to order something traditional! Their menu is sometimes changing.

 

Decorated fish and salad on the plate
The restaurant has Dutch chefs and they always try to properly decorate food for a 4-star hotel
Fish cake decorated on a plate
Fish cake as a starter

6. SUMO SUSHI EXPRESS AND MOJO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

Any sushi lovers here? Well, I am!
These are my top 2 sushi places in Amsterdam.
MOJO JAPANESE RESTAURANT – for eating in
SUMO SUSHI EXPRESS – for take away or order online

PRICES: Restaurant is a bit pricey, Sumo is less expensive

WHAT TO TRY: All? 🙂

 

Colorful Sushi in Amsterdam
Sushi is my huge addiction 🙂
Sushi from close up
Anyone for sushi!?

8. WATERKANT

Waterkant is a trendy and cosy bar/restaurant place with a terrace (self service if you sit outside).

In this place you have many healthy food and beverage choices; vegan, vegetarian, meat, large number of beers…


If you want to be around local people, this is a perfect place for you as Dutch people love Waterkant and its vibe next to the canal.

The place has a home delivery too and great events every or every second weekend. It’s very magical in the night time!

PRICES: Expensive

WHAT TO TRY: Home made ginger beer, banana burger

Waterkant and its lights during the night in Amsterdam
Waterkant at night
Waterkant during the night in Amstedam city
Waterkant literally means ‘waterside’

9. BEACH CLUB 5

Beach Club 5 is open 365 days a year. It’s actually not in Amsterdam but the closest beach to the city – Zandvoort. They have a terrace with spectacular view and great steaks.

PRICES: Expensive

WHAT TO TRY: Steaks, mushrooms and bread

 

Chicken mushroom and bread in Beachclub No5
My dish at Beachclub 5

Lunch at Beachclub No5
Beachclub 5

10. FLOOR 17

85 meters up in the sky, on the roof of Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark, you will find the spectacular Floor17 Rooftop Terrace. Fancy an amazing view over Amsterdam?

Don’t miss this place even if it’s grey and cloudy!

The view from lounge of Floor 17
Beautiful view from the restaurant and lounge of Floor 17, Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam

BONUS TIP:

Perhaps you are from Ex Yugoslavia and you can’t survive without Balkan products such as cevapcici, Yugoslavian beers, Prijatelji shop are definitely for you!

The shop is located near the Anne Frank House and the owner is my Serbian friend so you can even have a nice chat with a proper person to find out more about the shop and all the goods inside.

Of course, you don’t have to be Ex Yugoslavian to go there.

You just have to be curious enough! 🙂

 

Serving cevapcici dish from Balkan in Amsterdam
I was serving cevapcici to Dutch people in the time of neighborhood festival
Ajvar is the famous Balkan product
Prijatelji.nl main product: Ajvar !

BONUS TIP 2

Amsterdam can be a tricky place to find food and drinks in the late hours. Especially bread, cosmetics and other necessary stuff.

Sterk shop is a late night shop again near Anne Frank House that has everything you need with extensive and exclusive range of champagnes, wines and beers from all over the world.

I would definitely say that is a must visit shop. (They have a beer with 32% of alcohol!)

 

Mr. Basil drink from Sterk shop in Amsterdam

 

Agroposta drinks from Sterk shop in Amsterdam
Croatian products in Sterk shop: Agroposta

Gonzo Imperial Porter drink from Sterk shop
Gonzo beer in Sterk shop

BONUS TIP 3

If you need some vitamins, the best place to get them are definitely markets!


I advise you to visit Nieuwmarkt market square where each day except Sunday, you can find fresh veggies, fruits, squeezed juices etc.

If you eat exclusively healthy, Eko Plaza shop is a perfect place for you and you can find it in almost each neighborhood. However, Eko Plaza is a bit pricey but each day after 6PM you can find many discounts!

 

Fresh green salad and tomatoes on the shelves of Ekoplaza
Fresh veggies in Eko Plaza

PLACES TO HAVE FUN IN AMSTERDAM

1. BOURBON STREET MUSIC CLUB

Bourbon Street music club – tiny and charming club with live music (entrance of minimum €5)

Bourbon Street Music Club in Amsterdam
Live blues music with Afro-Croatian brothers

2. TON TON

TonTon Club is a super fun gaming place right next to Red Light District. Here you can find many video, arcade and multiplayer games with a large range of beers.

Ton Ton gaming machine in Amsterdam
Two player table game in TonTon

3. GASHOUDER

Gashouder is the perfect location for extraordinary fairs, big presentations, parties and live shows.

The ceiling is out of this world and inside you feel like you are thrown in Universe. With a surface area of 2500 m2 and a height of 14,5 meters it’s one of the most monumental locations of Amsterdam.

Both Westergasfabriek and Gashouder were a former gasworks in Amsterdam.

Events that took place there include:

Gashouder arena in Amsterdam during Awakenings festival
My first time in Gashouder with an apple juice 🙂
photo by: @mario_keglevic

4. LAB 111

First time when my friend invited me here, I though something bad is happening because she had invited me to a hospital, laboratory.

But Lab 111 is something totally opposite: a cosy bar and a cinema.
Yet, it would be great to have a room where you can immediately detoxify after a heavy night out. 🙂

Great food and drinks are in the bar with a name: Strange Love Bar.

LAB 111 in Amsterdam
Entrance of Lab111

As has been noted, Amsterdam is a really fun and internationally diverse place where you can find all you ever desired from food to entertainment.

I hope my article was helpful and if you want to read more about Amsterdam, check out some of my previous Amsterdam’s articles! 🙂

Rating: 1 out of 5.

 

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TOP 5 REASONS WHY the PEDAL BOAT IS BEST WAY TO EXPLORE AMSTERDAM CITY CANALS!

Dutch people are truly geniuses when it comes to building and making.

Amsterdam is a proper example of a a city built on water in every sense of the word.

In this article, I will explain you all the good sides of pedal boats and all the bad sides in comparison to Amsterdam Canal Cruise.

In the end of this post, I hope you will have a clear imagine of what’s best for you!

ABOUT AMSTERDAM CANALS

There are 165 canals in the city and 10 of them from 17th century are placed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. On each canal there are interesting and historic sights, most of them you can only see and experience fully from the boat’s point of view. (For example Reguliersgracht-7 bridges)

The city is just something else; much more special from canal point of view. That’s why taking a canal cruise is really a must when in Amsterdam.

However, keep in mind that Amsterdam Canal Cruise is the most popular tourist attraction in the country with over 200 tour boats and 3 million passengers a year. You can find all kinds and varieties of canal cruises of almost every form of entertainment that this city offers. But, you will find much crowd too.

Regardless to a huge choice of canal tours, I would always choose a pedal boat.

WHY?

You are about to find out!

Sooo, let’s get cruisin’! 🙂

Canal view under one of many bridges in Amsterdam
Canal view under one of many bridges in Amsterdam

1. THE MOST AFFORDABLE WAY

Amsterdam is the no. 1 cycling city in the world and you can even cycle through the canals. Since 1984 you can explore canals with mentioned pedal boats also known as pedalos, water bikes or even canal bikes. There are 100 of pedal boats around the city.

The cost of renting a pedalo for 1 hour is only €10 or €9 if you book it online. If you want to have it longer, you have to pay a bit more. Beware that upon arrival, a €20 deposit is required. You can even return your pedal boat to another location but in that case, but €10 will be deducted from your deposit or even €20 depending on the company.

When you compare the price to any other way of exploring canals, pedalo is the leading for being the cheapest.

Stromma pedal boat cruise around Amsterdam canals
Stromma boat renting company (photo by @dzo.da)


TRAVEL TIP: Last departure is at 16:00 hrs but depending on the weather operating times may vary so make sure to be there as early as possible. (opening at 09:00). Please check the official website for possible changes of working hours etc.

Canal cruising nexto to house boats in Amsterdam
There are around 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam
(photo by @dzo.da)

2. YOUR OWN PEACE

There’s nothing better than freedom, right? You can go exploring canals by pedalo with your friend, partner or even group of friends and family. Most pedalos are equipped to catty up to four passengers. That means, no unwanted passengers, noise or anything like that. Plus, you can choose your own tour and paths where you want to go.

Canal cruise in peace

TRAVEL TIP: As part of the rental you’ll be given advice on how to ride safely among canal traffic, a free guidebook including a map of the best routes through the city and the major attractions. I’ve read on the official website that stuff is giving you a rain hood if the weather turn unpleasant while you’re out on the water. We didn’t get it (it was a clear, summer sky), so make sure you ask for it if necessary because you’ve read it on their site.

You don't need a map, you have it on your pedal boat
You don’t need a city map, you have it on your pedal boat

3. IT’S HEALTHY FOR YOU

Okay, I know that many of you forget about healthy diets and way of living when you’re on vacation. But why not merging good with the useful?
Pedal boat is like free gym but also you don’t have to go fast. Pay a bit more, and cycle slower while enjoying the views.



TRAVEL TIP: It is true that pedal boat will be harder for people who are not in such a good shape, but if you go in group of three or four persons, you can always switch while others are resting.

I am resting here, while guys are cycling. :)
I am resting here, while guys are cycling. 🙂

4. YOU CAN TAKE NICE PHOTOS

Don’t get me wrong. You can take nice photos from any city, canal cruise but you will probably be bothered by the windows. I took once canal cruise with that long, red city boat for €14 accompanied with plenty of people. I got a seat next to a window but it was a window. A dirty window. The boat did had open roof but I couldn’t do much with it.


However, later I’ve seen other canal cruise options like semi-open boat cruise, dinner cruise, hop on-hop off bus + boat tour that are having less windows or none like private boat tour or electric, open boat tour, but they are all more expensive than pedal boat.

The views from boat in Amsterdam canals are amazing
The views from boat in Amsterdam canals are amazing

TRAVEL TIP: Get Amsterdam Pass if you want to see more attractions around the city because it will save you plenty of money!

Clog boat spotted in the canals of Amsterdam
It’s all about the clogs: clog boat


5. SUSTAINABLE AMSTERDAM CANAL TOUR

Personally, I think it’s very important to preserve the splendor of each city whether you are local or just visiting. That’s why almost all boats that are offering canal cruises are equipped with electric engines or are solar powered.

However, pedal boat doesn’t have an electric engine but it does have your legs that are ready to do some action! 🙂
Zero-emission!

TRAVEL TIP: Don’t get discouraged, you can do it! 🙂

The view from the boat on tram crossing over the bridge

The view from the boat on tram crossing over the bridge

BAD SIDES OF PEDAL BOAT

  • NO COVER: In case of rain, you are most likely to get wet if you don’t have a rain hood, rain suit or at least an umbrella
  • NO AUDIO GUIDE: While other city canal cruises are offering audio guides and headphones with up to 19 languages, in pedal boat you are your own guide. Unless you know a local person that will come with you or you can always rely on Google.
  • FREE DRINKS: Some city canal cruises are offering free drinks, but usually those are much more expensive. On the other hand, if you choose pedal boat and departure between 9-12 am at Stromma Leidseplein (Leidsebosje 2) it does include a free coffee or tea! Other Stromma pedal bike locations:  Stromma Shop Rijksmuseum, Stadhouderskade 520 & Stromma Shop Westerkerk, Prinsengracht 279.

Mokum is another name for Amsterdam (Mokumboot-Amsterdam boat)
Mokum is another name for Amsterdam (Mokumboot-Amsterdam boat)

Another impressive view from boat while cruising via canals
Another impressive view from boat while cruising via canals

In summer time, canals can get bit busy so make sure to start your cruise early
In summer time, canals can get bit busy so make sure to start your cruise early
Kayak people and bird on canals of Amsterdam
Or…maybe a kayak in Amsterdam? 🙂



To conclude, I was cruising Amsterdam canals with city-cruise boats, private boats and pedal boats so I wrote this article based on my impressions and a bit of exploring.
I hope this article was helpful for you to decide with what to cruise along canals of Amsterdam.

ARTICLES ABOUT AMSTERDAM THAT YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:


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PHOTO WALK: A DAY IN AMSTERDAM 2019

Hello world, it’s me again! 🙂

The spring is getting closer!

Flowers are starting to smell as well as the scent of new adventures.
Besides, spring is perhaps the best time to visit Amsterdam, until the King’s day (King’s night) when the streets are becoming way more packed with people.

That’s why I will write next few posts about Amsterdam to complete a full guide around the city so you can be sure that you’ll explore Dutch capital properly – as a local. Even better than local!

Actually, in today’s post I’m not going to write anything else. I will just share some awesome photos that will make you book your trip to Amsterdam right away! Or, at least to start following my blog right away! 🙂

So just sit back, relax and enjoy a digital walk around Amsterdam.

Best Amsterdam view on IJ river and EYE film museum
Hotel in Amsterdam: Movenpick during the sunset time
Window reflections during the sunset time in Amsterdam with the view on Amsterdam LOOKOUT
Amazing sunset view over the IJ river in Amsterdam and Amsterdam LOOKOUT
Pink and red colors of sunset in Dutch capital Amsterdam
An amazing red sunset in Amsterdam looking over Central Station and IJ river
Sunset view and a boat on IJ river looking on Amsterdam North
Urban art graffiti and NEMO museum in Amsterdam during the sunset
One of the canals of Amsterdam and houseboats in it
Sunset view on Dutch windmill and a bird
Stay tuned out of focus sign and a sunset colors in the background

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15 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT AMSTERDAM

The cosy and unusual vibe of Amsterdam is one of the reasons people from all around the world have fallen in love with this city – including me. In fact, I decided to spend even four years of my life in it – pretty long for a wild soul like me! 🙂

But somehow, Amsterdam was always enough interesting and wild.

With this post, I would really like you to feel the magic and peculiarity of this city. I will show you some details that are not in plain sight especially during a short visit.

If you want to read more about Amsterdam and my life in it in one of my previous posts you can read it here.

Read on to learn the weird and interesting things about this city!

An amazing sunset colours in Amsterdam
An amazing sunset in Amsterdam West

1. CATSLAND

Cats are holding a special place in the heart of the Dutch people. You probably didn’t know that almost all major cities have one cat cafe (the Kattencafe in Amsterdam).

 

A cat sleeping on a huge teddy bear seen from a window of a optical store in Haarlemmerstraat
Optical shop in Haarlemmerstraat
Beautiful cat called Mini who is 15 years old

A lovely cat called Mini-15 years old!

2. STREETS ARE FULL OF UNUSUAL VEHICLES

To be frank, traffic in Amsterdam is my favorite part of the city. It’s super lively but also fun and exciting. Each day you can spot many insane vehicles and when I say that I mean literally: from improvised futuristic ones, old timers to Lamborghini.

 

A red old timer cabriolet captured on the streets of Amsterdam West
Old timer
An interesting three-wheeled motor vehicle spotted in the streets of Amsterdam
Three-wheeled motor vehicle
Unknown and interesting vehicle that reminds me of a Mad Max movie
This reminds me of a Mad Max movie vehicle
An interesting three-wheel vehicle from Byondo delivery company
Byondo delivery service vehicle
Yellow retro van/camper captured on the streets of Dutch capital-Amsterdam
Retro van/camper
Graffiti painted car with a sign: ''Bring it on'' captured on the streets of Dutch capital-Amsterdam
600Graffiti painted car

 

3. MOVABLE BRIDGES

Amsterdam not only has more than 1200 bridges but 61 of them are movable! The process of opening and closing one bridge takes from 2 to 8 minutes, and this can cause some congestion problems in the traffic. However, it always goes more or less smooth and it’s really fun to watch – only first time, later you get bothered because of waiting. 🙂

Also, many of the bridges hide amazing art underneath so don’t miss to watch it; if you are lucky enough to actually encounter this happening!

Beltbrug - movable bridge Westerpar Westerpark Jan van Galenstraat x Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat
Beltbrug – movable bridge Westerpar Westerpark Jan van Galenstraat x Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat
The view from the Beltbrug on Mollen de Otter (The Otter Windmill)
The view from the Beltbrug on Mollen de Otter (The Otter Windmill)

Movable bridge in Amsterdam with art underneath
Movable bridge with art underneath

4. ART IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE

No matter where you wander around the city, you’ll always see something artistic: graffiti, posters, outdoor house decorations, statues, sculptures, stickers…even people! The city is full of artists and no wonder there are dozens of museums and galleries around!

A former shipyard NDSM with graffiti: Make art not Euros
A former shipyard NDSM is always full of graffiti
Cute and romantic graffiti art in NDSM are in Amsterdam
Cute urban art in NDSM

 

Graffiti art of Tiktoy
Graffiti art of Tiktoy
Tyler Street Art of a soldier holdin a heart baloon in Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam Dutch capital
Tyler Street Art in Prins Hendrikkade

5. THE SUNSETS ARE SPECTACULAR

Amsterdam has moderate sunshine of 1662 hours annually-around 69 days a year. That’s not much, of course, but when those days appear, hurry up outside to get some rays and to witness some pure magic! When it’s sunny, the city starts to shine in very vivid colors together with smiley faces of people. 🙂

Beautiful colours of the sunset in Nassaukade street, Amsterdam West
The sunset in Nassaukade street, Amsterdam West
Colorful clouds during the sunset time captured from the Buiksloterweg ferry in Amsterdam city
Sunset from the Buiksloterweg ferry
One more sunset from my previous apartment in Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
One more sunset from my previous apartment in Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
Woman sitting next to a Amsterdam canal and enjoying the sunny day
When it’s sunny, everybody is outside and enjoying the sun literally wherever they can

6. ROOFTOPS & TERRACES AS A WAY OF LIVING

Once you’ve seen all the street-level sights, it’s time for rooftops as they offer unique experience unlike any other in Amsterdam. And if you are lucky knowing a local person, you can enjoy some panorama views of the sprawling streets and canals below from house terraces. (Dutch people love terraces!)


Some of the best rooftop places are: SkyLounge Amsterdam, Twenty Third Bar, Canvas, Floor 17.

The view on the roofs of Amsterdam houses
The view on the roofs of Amsterdam houses
Rooftop view on Flower market in Dutch capital Amsterdam
Rooftop view on Flower market
Rooftop view while eating Dutch stroopwaffel
Rooftop view while eating Dutch stroopwaffel

7. 300 FESTIVALS A YEAR

Amsterdam’s festival agenda covers all tastes and genres. Indisputably, there’s something for everyone here. The range of festivals is broad and diverse no matter which time of the year. If you want to check the festival agenda for 2020, you can do it here.

Indoor festival in Amsterdam and lightshow
600Festivals in Amsterdam are really impressive; both indoor & outdoor
Girl dancer in one of 300 festivals in Amsterdam
Girl dancer in one of 300 festivals in Amsterdam

8. PEOPLE ARE PLANT FRIENDLY

In the whole country, outdoor spaces are carefully and nicely decorated. Dutch gardens have traditionally been an orderly affair and their gardens today are at the forefront of modern landscape design. You will probably notice how each house has many plants outside and inside all well taken care of.

Beautiful flowery houses of Amsterdam
Beautiful flowery houses of Amsterdam

9. MARIJUANA IS EVERYWHERE

Cannabis in the Netherlands is not legal, but decriminalised for personal use. Recreational consumption of the drug is tolerated, and it’s available in coffee shops.

However, locals don’t partake much in that activities relate to marijuana as much as the non Dutch residents and tourists do. On the other hand, the city is full of cannabis vehicles, posters, stickers, clothing, signs…you will be amazed where all you can see it!

You probably did know that people here are very open to soft and even hard drugs. On the other hand, you probably didn’t know that Dutch people often advertise on street posters and boards every time a fake or even more dangerous drug arrives on the streets!

A perfect example of a tourist fraud: Grow your own weed
A perfect example of a tourist fraud. This is not weed and you can’t grow anything from this
Street sign in Leidseplein: White heroin sold as cocaine in Amsterdam Dutch capital
Street sign in Leidseplein, Amsterdam

10. ARCHITECTURAL PARADISE

The whole city is a real eye-catching pleasure for anyone, especially architects. Fascinating architecture mixture of innovative and futuristic projects, luxurious canal houses from 17th century and charming gabled facades. Add to all that numerous Dutch geniuses built a city out of nothing and-voila, the paradise is born!

 

Frog's perspective from a pedal boat in canals of Amsterdam
Frog’s perspective from a pedal boat in canals of Amsterdam
Another example of a fascinating Dutch, modern architecture
Another example of a fascinating Dutch, modern architecture

An impressive and modern building of Amsterdam Dutch capital
An impressive building of Amsterdam
Extraordinary and Dutch modern building as an example of brilliant architecture
Extraordinary and innovative Dutch architecture

Modern part of Dutch capital Amsterdam
Modern part of Amsterdam

Very impressive Dutch architecture and its modern buildings
Dutch architecture never stops to impress me…

11. NEW YEAR’S EVE IN AMSTERDAM LASTS THE LONGEST

Each year, the celebration of the New Year lasts longer and longer. In fact, fireworks on New Year’s Eve in 2018 were lasting periodically until 3 in the morning! The biggest firework goes from midnight to one in the morning. I can remember that my boyfriend was picking me up from work soon after midnight and our trip back home was nothing but a pure luck. Seriously, it seemed like a war.

If it was your first celebration of this kind in the Netherlands, you might have been a little shocked by the chaos and commotion on New Year’s Eve. Hopefully-you survived. According to interest association Pyrotechnics Netherlands, people in the country collectively shelled out 77 million euros worth of fireworks in 2019!  

 

Fireworks on New Year's Eve 2018 from Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
Fireworks on New Year’s Eve 2018 from Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
Amsterdam's Canals decorated with lights in December
Amsterdam’s Canals in December

12. CAR SHARING

Forget about public transport and taxis-they are expensive. Bikes are handy, but it’s not handy at all cycling in winter time especially during rain and snow.

CAR2GO is the world’s first free-floating car sharing service. All you need is a payment method and your driver’s license. Just install the app and use it to find the nearest Car2Go. It’s electric and you don’t even pay a parking spot-which is bloody expensive in Amsterdam!

Besides, you have an option for scooter sharing with Felyx company and bike sharing with Hello-Bike.

Car2go smart electric car while charging
Car2go while charging

 

13. QUITE COLD WINTERS

In winter time, there are plenty of days when you will wake up and see ice on the streets, plants, your bike…everywhere! And if the wind blows, it gets even colder. Try to book your trip during the warmer months and if you can’t, at least make sure you have enough clothes.

Frozen morning in Amsterdam captured ice on grass
Frozen morning in Amsterdam
Snowy day in Amsterdam streets and roofs full of snow
Snowy day in Amsterdam
Frozen canal of Amsterdam
Frozen canal of Amsterdam

 

14. SEX AND SUGAR

Sex work of many kinds is legal in The Netherlands. Mainly in the Red Light District (The Wallen) you will see window businesses, brothels, clubs, escort agencies and even a theater! There are many sex shops that work 24/7 and they are nothing stranger here than a regular grocery store.

Window of a sex shop in Amsterdam Dutch capital of the Netherlands
Window of a sex shop in Amsterdam

On the other hand, if you are sugar addict (which we all are a bit) you will certainly enjoy in Dam. The city provides wide range for all the folks that are attacked of the munchies, whether stoned or not. However, I advise you to seriously be careful what you eat, where and how fresh it is.

My advice is to avoid city center as places there work much on quantity not quality.

Window of a candy store in Amsterdam, Dutch capital
Cakes and biscuits are all around Amsterdam
Window of a candy store in Amsterdam, Dutch capital
Candy store in Amsterdam

15. BIKE FISHING

Amsterdam is the bicycle-friendly place with 40% to 60% of all trips within the city made on bikes. It has 165 canals and unfortunately some of the bicycles from time to time end up getting wet. Some…the number reaches from 12 000 to 15 000 bikes a year ending up in the canals!!

It is generally assumed that vandalism is behind these numbers and bicycle thieves that want to quickly dispose of evidence. Besides, strong winds can be the reason too because people often forget to tie their bicycles to something. Amsterdam’s local government has to regularly dredge up these discarded bikes in order to keep the city’s canals clean, safe and accessible. I hope you will be lucky to see this way of ‘fishing’ because it’s truly interesting experience!

If you are still curious how Dutch people are pulling bikes from the canals of Amsterdam, make sure to check MY INSTAGRAM PROFILE and look for AMSTERDAM in HIGHLIGHTS SECTION!

Dutch way of fishing for bikes in canals of Amsterdam
Dutch fishing for bikes

Given these points, I think Amsterdam already became one of the most interesting and entertaining cities in the whole world! Well, at least it is for me!

However, I still haven’t been everywhere, but is on my list. 🙂

If you liked this post, maybe you would like to read some more tips about Amsterdam!? Below you can explore some of my previous posts↴

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the best things about AMSTERDAM 2020

The view from Amsterdam bridge over the canals

Amsterdam lives and breathes creativity. One moment you walk into a building from the 17th century, and the next you find yourself in a hub of creative start-up companies.

— Marcel Wanders
The view from the fence over canals of Amsterdam and a boat with a Dutch flag

HOW DID IT ALL STARTED?

I was dreaming of Amsterdam already as a little girl.

About 4 years ago, my wish came true. Staying in Croatia didn’t give me a bright perspective, so I simply packed my suitcase and went away. Moreover, finally I realized I’m not a tree.


I remember the first thing I thought when I came to downtown Amsterdam was: Wow! This city is so symmetrical! Every building and house looked the same to me. It took me even three months to actually stop looking for hours every night my apartment where I was staying.

In this article, I will share with you some interesting & general information about Amsterdam from a local point of view. I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Amsterdam houses and roofs from the terrace
Rooftop view over Amsterdam city
Typical Amsterdam canal houses

 

You see, it makes a big difference to visit Amsterdam and to actually live in it. First and foremost, if you live in Amsterdam, you will not find yourself crushing into bikes all the time while walking and you will less likely be a part of traffic accidents – several times a day. 🙂 These unfortunate situations are happening to tourists and visitors very often. The reason is that after a certain period of living here, you acquire a culture of cycling.

The once long and somber strapping of a bicycle with heavy and thick iron chains, you replace with the ease of same strapping, feeling like Lara Croft. Lara Croft sumo – dressed in layers! 🙂

A guys with a bicycle sign on his backpack
Street photography in Amsterdam on a traffic light while watching the rainbow

 

Yep, Amsterdam is a really cold city. For one person from Croatia, especially Dalmatia, getting used to the weather really took a while. In fact, I never even got used to it.In brief, always wear extra clothes, because at some point you will definitely need it. Raincoat or umbrella too. It rains very often.

The climate is sub-oceanic, humid and rainy, influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, so the winters are cold but also quite cold summers. The wind blows frequently and is extremely intense, especially from November to March. Nonetheless, it’s not perfect anywhere, is it !?

There are good and bad sides everywhere.

Amsterdam Damrak at night

 

I fell in love with Amsterdam primarily because it is very vibrant, alive and extremely liberal. It has almost perfect urbanization too and 180 imperfect and different nations of the world. How cool is that!?


Amsterdam is not as big or bustling as London or New York (unless you are slow-cycling, scared tourist that has just arrived), but it has a great and infectiously good vibe. Whether you are riding a bike and singing out loud or dressed in a Yoda costume, absolutely no one will mind you.

Typical Amsterdam canal houses

 

The special charm of Amsterdam is the freedom to interact people. There are not many places in the world where you will sit by one of the 1281 bridges, and at least three people will ask you how you are because they really care, wish you a good time, ask if you need help, just give you a compliment or try to make you laugh.

I don’t allude to the fact that such situations are present only in Amsterdam, but my experience has shown that they are most common here. That’s why I love Amsterdam the most.

Hotel De L'Europe in Amsterdam in the time of Gay Pride

 

This exceptional city has more bridges than Paris, the most famous bridge being the Magere Brug or the Skinny Bridge.The “Venice of the North” as people call it, consists of 165 channels, even more than Venice! Seventeenth-century Amsterdam canals, located in the heart of the city, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in August 2010. They consist of the eponymous areas: Singelgracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, which I highly recommend for visit.

Many of the homes in these canals date from the golden age – 17th century – and are one of the most beautiful and oldest – although many of them have been upgraded and restored.

Canal in Amsterdam with a windmill and a boat

There’s a good reason why Amsterdam’s houses are so tight – money. You see, back in the 17th century, locals were taxed by the breadth of their estates, which aroused great interest in narrow houses.Many of these houses are cleverly designed to be narrow and not so wide at the front but wider and longer at the back, giving the false impression of being small.

 

A typical Amsterdam house

 

 

A typical Amsterdam narrow street
Frogs perspective on Amsterdam while driving the bike

 

The history of Amsterdam dates back to around 1250, when Amsterdam was a fishing village. Today it bears the title of the world’s most important center for finance and trade, called a global or alpha city.The name Amsterdam comes from Amstelredamma, which indicates the origin of the city around the dam in the Amstel River. Since 1983 it has officially been the capital of the Netherlands, nicknamed Mokum, which is derived from the Hebrew word ‘makan’, meaning the city.

The history of the first canals in Amsterdam were excavated for water management and defense. The store exploded – guess when – in the 17th century, in the aforementioned golden age, and was completed around 1660.By then it had grown up to 4 times larger, and today it is considered to be the most agile and efficient waterway system in the world, built on as many as eleven million columns.

Rooftop view on Amsterdam houses
Rooftop view on Amsterdam and its surroundings
Amsterdam by the canal at the night time

It’s the most watery city in the world and it’s located about 2 meters below sea level, just like one third of the Netherlands. The lowest point is 6.7 meters below sea level while the highest point is about one thousand meters above sea level.Perhaps this can give you a better idea of ​​what the landscape in the Netherlands looks like – totally flat!

Aerial view on Amsterdam urbanism
Amsterdam urbanism from above

There’s one more thing that’s very much Amsterdam like – bikes! There are more than 881,000 bikes in this city that rarely sleeps. Believe it or not, that’s four times the number of cars in it. According to 2015 statistics, there are more bikes than people, which are making the number of only 821,752.

However, Amsterdam has more inhabitants at the end of this year than ever before! It is estimated that there are now 873, 200 inhabitants – still less than number of bikes!The reason of so many bikes is probably the brutally expensive public transport, which is 32% more expensive here than the average cost of public transport across the whole Europe.

It is also interesting to say that the city draws between 12,000 and 15,000 bikes each year from the canals.

Fishing for bikes in Amsterdam canals

 

Fortunately, today the water in the canal has been cleansed more than ever before. Twenty-four of the city’s 16 existing watercourses are closed three times a week, so that clean water can flow from the great lakes of IJsselmeer. Specialized cleaning boats with large shovels and nets often patrol to clear the surface dirt from the canals.

Since 2005, all houseboats in the city have been connected to the sewer system. Pure water has also attracted many wildlife and birds such as ducks, herons, seagulls…Even 20 different species of fish and crustaceans live a healthy life under the water surfaces of the city!

Red Light District in Amsterdam
Heron bird in Amsterdam
A colorful duck in Amsterdam

 

Certainly it’s interesting to experience Amsterdam cruising across the canals or over night in one of the boats for rent. Funny fact is that back in the old days, when canals were still used to transport dresses, living on a boat in Amsterdam was a sign of poverty, while today living on boat is a sign of wealth. All of today’s ships you can see are pretty old. The oldest was built in 1840 as a fresh drinking water boat and is located at the Prinsengracht-Amstelveld site.

The view under the bridge in Amsterdam canals
A boat in Amsterdam canals
Canal view in Amsterdam

 

If you are an art seeker, Amsterdam is the right city for you! It’s a home to over 70 museums, many of which are well known around the world. The city has more than 7000 monumental buildings too, 40 parks, 38 markets and 55 theaters and concert halls, so there’s a plenty of activities and places to enjoy!

Amsterdam house with many details
Amsterdam museum
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Architecture of Amsterdam in Holland

 

And although I call Amsterdam my home, I will always follow the motto: HOME IS A FEELING, NOT A PLACE.

 

A sunset from the window in Amsterdam Nassaukade


Let me know in the comments what would you like to know more about Amsterdam, as well as any suggestions if you have one.
I may include some of your questions in my next post.
Any feedback from you means a lot to me. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

Tot volgende ker!
(On Dutch which means, “until the next time”)
🙂

READ MORE ABOUT AMSTERDAM IN ONE OF MY PREVIOUS POSTS ⤵

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🇬🇧 WHY AMSTERDAM?⠀ _⠀⠀ ⠀ Did you know that Amsterdam is a home to more than 180 nations, being the most diverse city in the world? ⠀ ⠀ Besides, it's declared as the most cultural city in the world too offering the biggest number of cultural attractions per capita.⠀ ⠀ I was lucky to have a job in the city centre near Central Station in Amsterdam for almost 2 years where I was meeting a minimum of 300 people a day. Yep, I even counted few times.😁⠀ ⠀ Working near Central Station surrounded by coffee shops, Red Light Windows and smart shops meant one thing: being able to meet lot of wild and interesting folks; many sex workers, their boyfriends and loud English people who were majority of Amsterdam tourists.⠀ ⠀ But also, I've met some influential and incredibly rich people, businessmen and on the contrary, a poor guy from Switzerland who won the jackpot two days before, a 11 year old with tattoos and a piercing who was a cocaine addict and many more people especially from the African countries I didn't even know they exist. ⠀ ⠀ I was speaking at least 3 languages each day and I was trying to learn 7 more. Or, at least a greeting from each.⠀ ⠀ Working in hospitality for years, got me realized my brain is expanding and my perspective is multiplying with each new soul I meet.⠀ ⠀ There was no money that can make me rich like a new friendship from other part of this planet.⠀ ⠀ I got hooked up to people.⠀ ⠀ I was an addict of meeting new, different and foreign. I still am and I will always be.⠀ ⠀ "My name is Valentina. Pleasure to meet you."⠀ ⠀ 😊❤⠀ ⠀ ____________________________________________________⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #theviewfromhere #peopleareawesome #people_and_world #people_infinity #ig_respect #loves_people #travelblogging #travelstories #travelgirls #travellog #travelstory #iamatraveller #splendid_people #faces_of_our_world #humanity_shots_ #worldtravelers #snap_people #ok_people #water_perfection #waterreflection #visitamsterdam #amsterdamworld #amsterdamlife #gramthedam #ig_energy_people #ig_muse #featurecollective #great_captures_people #great_captures

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13 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO AMSTERDAM

Windmills, tulips, clogs, canals, bicycles, narrow houses, Van Gogh…

All that is Amsterdam.

One of the reasons you can expect to encounter yourself with some problems getting around the city are large number of canals. Prepare to get lost because most of the canals will look similar to you and you will probably find yourself walking in circles. Besides, the city is very international too.

Even in the off-season you can see many of the tourists wandering the streets.

However, if you read this simple guide with tips and tricks that I created as a local to make your time in Amsterdam as quality and easier as possible, you will be starting & ending your visit much more satisfied!

Feeling ready for Amsterdam?
Soo, let’s get started! 🙂

 

1. THE LANGUAGE

Ever heard how Dutch language sounds? Hard! But don’t worry because Dutch people are very helpful, and the vast majority speaks English more or less fluently. Sure it’s always nice to know some basic words like: ‘Dankjewel’ or ‘Dankje’‘Thank you’ and ‘Dooi’‘Goodbye’

But if you really end up asking someone for a direction, make sure it’s a person who drives taxi. Otherwise, you won’t be having much of a help. Amsterdam has many streets and even locals are not very oriented. Use GPS, that’s the safest and fastest way!

Download offline Google Map of the city.

 

 

2. LEGAL (TRAVEL DOCUMENTS)

If you citizens of the EU, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you don’t need a visa to enter the Netherlands. However, if you are staying more than three months, you might need one so check out the informations depending on your origin. If you are coming from South Africa, you’ll need both passport and a tourist visa.

Good thing: like almost all the things in the Netherlands, you can sort your visa online. Croatian people – you are good to go!

 

 

3. WHEN TO VISIT

Astronomical figures show that around 14 million tourists visit Amsterdam every year, of which 4.5 million are Dutch tourists and more than 9.5 million are foreign visitors. How impressive is that?

Months from June to August are the best – but this is the time when the city is especially crowded with tourists. (ups!)

The best time to visit I reckon is spring – May especially and autumn, about mid-September, when the crowd is diminished, the days are actually having some light and accommodation prices are bit cheaper! Winter and autumn in Amsterdam it’s very magical too with all those foggy, mystical clouds and atmosphere above the canals, but be prepared for very cold weather and lots of ‘brrr’ kind of winds!

Winter in Amsterdam


 

4. THE WEATHER & HOW TO DRESS

You know that feeling when it starts to rain while you’re on vacation – it’s really a bad thing, isn’t it?

Well, the rain really, really loves Amsterdam! I believe this is the main thing to keep in mind when coming here. It really rains often so make sure you have suitable and comfortable clothes.

Be aware of the strong winds too especially from November to March. Dress in layers. Don’t dress to impress, it’s definitely not needed here. And ladies, forget about high heels. Amsterdam streets are made of those square bricks and sidewalks so you’ll most likely be struggling a lot to walk around plus they totally don’t match the spirit of the city.

An umbrella is always a good idea. Or a rain suit. And definitely a waterproof backpack. I advise you to check the weather before coming here on of the weather applications.

  Warm and useful winter Amsterdam hats

 

 

5. THE CURRENCY

Currency in the Netherlands is the euro (€). The most useful notes are the €10 and €20, less often €50 euro notes. I advise you to brake as much possible all the notes you have before coming to Amsterdam because it can be hard to change them in the city and lot of places won’t except notes above €50.

The country accepts both cash and card transactions and a wide range of international major debit and credit cards. However, many places won’t accept credit card. Beware of pickpockets, there are many thieves especially in the city center.

 

 

6. GETTING AROUND

Amsterdam is not such a huge city. Many of attractions are squeezed into the city center and it will take about 20 minutes to walk across all of them. It has a great public transport system with which you can reach into every corner of the city.

However, I highly recommended to rent a bike in any of the bike shops. The Netherlands has the most expensive public transport in the whole Europe, so renting a bike will cut lot of your costs. Plus, with the bike you can properly explore the city – as a local! It will cost you about €14 a day for the most basic type of bicycle.

There is also a metro running from north to south. A single fare on any part costs €3.20. Besides, there’s unlimited travel ticket of €8 per day, €13.50 for two days, €19 for three days and €24.50 for four days or better get a OV chipcard via internet to get discounts up to 40% and free rides each weekend.

However, this doesn’t include the price of the rail ticket between Amsterdam Schiphol airport and Centraal Station (around €5.00 each way) for a 20-minute journey. Don’t get stuck at the city centre. There are many places to explore in Amsterdam and the city is a lot more than just red light district and coffee shops.

 

 

7. DICOUNT CARD

There are GVB Card (only public transport) and OV chipcard (only public transport) or I Amsterdam Card (Amsterdam public transport + museums)
The most popular city pass is: I amsterdam City Card, which provides numerous savings, including a free canal cruise, a city map, free access to most of the city’s museums and unlimited use of the public transport system. It costs €60 for 24 hours, €80 for 48 hours, €95 for 72 hours, €105 for 96 hours and €115 for 120 hours.

Regional, public transport ticket without discount cards are quite expensive.
    However, you have an usb charger! lol

 

 

8. WHERE TO STAY

Try to avoid staying in or near the red-light district and centre overall if you want to avoid the noise and high prices. Check the surrounding neighborhoods and Amsterdam North too over the IJ river. Advance reservations are strongly advised for any kind of accommodation.

 

 

9. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Like any other country, the Netherlands has some public holidays when many businesses close and even public transport operates less often. Those are: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, Liberation Day (5 May), Ascension Day (mid-May to early June), White Monday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

On King’s Day, however, which is on 27th of April, or 26th of April if 27th of April is a Sunday and Gay Pride day (25 July till 2 August) don’t expect to get any sightseeing done or to have a ‘normal’ day. It gets crazy, even more crazy than on New Year’s. Perhaps you like crowded, then this is a place for you.

Despite the fact that it’s overly crowded, King’s Day is a must to experience at least once.


                                                                                                    The streets during King’s Day

 

 

10. INTERNET CONNECTION

There is excellent coverage for mobile phones across the whole city, on the European GSM network. Some non-European phones may not be able to access the network, so make sure to check that before coming. On the other hand, phone cards are widely available, starting at around €5 and you can get them in shops or tobacco corners in the whole Amsterdam. My recommendation for a phone card is definitely Lebara.


    “Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” ― John Green


11. CANNABIS AND COFFEE SHOPS

In order to avoid misunderstandings, you need to know at least something about cannabis. Cannabis is technically not legal in Amsterdam, but it’s tolerated as long as you buy very small amounts for personal use: coffee shops are allowed to sell each person up to five grams per day.

You can smoke in the coffee shops, your place or outside in the streets but be careful not to do it near restaurants or cafes etc. because some places are strictly forbidding smoking weed in their area. You always have to have an ID when coming to the coffee shop. Behave. If you start to feel sick, drink some soda, juice or anything sugar like!


TIPS FOR STONERS – Don’t buy drugs on the road, actually don’t buy drugs in the shops too, not even herbal ones.
It doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause any damage to your body just because it’s herbal plus you can entirely ruin your visit by taking some. Please, but please research well in advance before you decide to experiment with anything here.

Get smart before you get high!


Dutch are more strict about alcohol than cannabis




12. DRINKABLE WATER

The Netherlands is one of the countries where the quality of tap water is one of the safest in the Europe for drinking.

However, the bottle of water can cost you around 2 to 3.5 euros! Make sure you bring your own bottle (insulated steel for example) so you can save some money by filling it with tap water – plus it’s environmental friendly. Why waste so much money on bottled water when you can safely drink tap water?

13. CYCLING IN AMSTERDAM

The main rules are:

– Always stay on the bicycle tracks.

Always stick on the right side unless you are fast and in hurry to be on the left – Never forget to use your hands to gesture before you turn.

Be careful of the tram tracks because bicycle tire can get easily stuck in one especially when raining – make sure you always cross over them on 90 degrees angle.

Bike paths are marked red/orange and there’s always white bicycle picture printed on it. If the picture of the bicycle is upside down, then you are on the wrong side of the road.

Always lock your bicycle because there are many thefts and try to lock it always in busy and moving areas. (Bikes with two locks are much safer).

Bikes in Amsterdam are usually on pedal breaks so in case you’re not used to pedal breaks, ask for a bicycle with normal breaks. You can rent one in any bike shop across the city or via apps. The traffic might seem confusing to you because there are cars, trams, buses, pedestrians and all kinds of two or three wheels vehicles. once again, I strongly advise you to download an offline version of Amsterdam’s Google maps so you can get around much easier.


However, don’t panic if you get lost. Trust me, it’s not such a bad thing to get lost in Amsterdam!


You can see plenty of unique and interesting vehicles in the traffic
of Amsterdam


Someone got really mad!
Be careful not to lock your bike with someone’s else bike!


 Another Flowerbikeman in Jordaan area


 

I hope this was or it will be helpful! 🙂

Do you have any questions!?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.