Pinay Mom's Blogs
Motherhood between windmills and tulips

Things to know about Amsterdam

When you think about Amsterdam what’s the first thing you have in mind? Windmills? Tulips? Clogs? For an Amsterdammer like me (I think I’ve lived long enough to consider myself one, hehe) there’s all of those things and more! Let me share with you some of the things that make Amsterdam unique and why I think you should definitely come over here for a visit, at the least! 


The city is surrounded by canals and some were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010. The canals of Amsterdam date all the way back to the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age. Thankfully, we can still explore and enjoy the beauty of these canals surrounded by beautiful old houses and some interesting buildings especially near the Dam Square.


In Amsterdam, bicycles rule the streets! So you better avoid walking along the bike lanes and cycle paths especially in the city center. It’s not only in Amsterdam that you see these cycling paths, of course. But if you mess around with an Amsterdam local and block his way, be ready for a series of ringing bells and a potential yell from the cyclist himself. By law, cyclists have the right of way both over pedestrians and cars. And these locals make sure that you know that!


Contrary to popular beliefs, smoking marijuana and public drunkenness is prohibited by law. Amsterdam has expanded its ban against drinking alcohol on the streets of the city center and although smoking weed is not legal, if you do it in designated coffeeshops, then the authorities will turn a blind eye. So just be respectful of the laws and avoid the disapproving looks (as if you’ve done something offensive eh?) by following certain etiquette when you’re in town.


If you come to Amsterdam and look around you, you’ll know why Reebok ranked this buzzling city as the 6th greenest city in the world for work-out. Everywhere you go, you will encounter somebody cycling, jogging, walking or doing some form of exercise. The presence of multiple parks around the city also allowed Amsterdammers to continue their work-out regimen during the pandemic despite closure of indoor gyms and sporting centers.


Diversity is the key to choosing which city to go to for studies abroad. And as home to the highest-ranked Dutch University in the QS World University Ranking™ together with the city’s rich culture, presence of international companies and its people speaking English (well, majority of them), Amsterdam is by far one of the best destination city for studies abroad for students aspiring to study in Europe.

And last but not the least...


I’ve always said it and I’ll say it again, a lot of Dutch people can speak English. But what’s more interesting is that a lot of people in Amsterdam not only speak English but one or two more languages on top of that. So if you’re a newbie in the country or just doing a stop over, rest assured, you can easily ask someone for directions or any information without the need to use a translator. The Dutch people are friendly and welcoming and they will adjust to you to accommodate you! (But they'll surely appreciate you learning a bit dutch... wink! wink!)

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