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OH MY GOD!!! How can people drive in Amsterdam without accidentally killing a biker. It seemed like every time I tried to turn or back up, I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting numerous bikers. They are whipping around everywhere. I have never been soooo ready for a beer when I finally parked the car. If you are driving into the center, keep your head on a swivel.
If you live in a country where bikes aren’t used much as a transport you have to beware here. There are thousands and they don’t ride them slowly. When you least expect they appeare. It takes about one or two days to get used to it, then you see it normal (if you have survived)
80.000 bicycles per year!
No, this number is not the amount of bicycles that go by any choosen place in Amsterdam, it's the amount of bicycles that get stolen every year! So, when you rent a bike or drive your own through town, take care that you have an appropriate lock and lock the bike together with a lanternpost, trafficsignpool or a fence on one of the thousand bridges in town. There are enough students that have bikes that cost less then the lock they bought.
Beware of bikes!
Amsterdam is a very flat, compact city so cycling is a very popuular mode of transport, much more so than in most other cities.
The cyclists have right of way and, of course, their vehicles are silent - so they can come upon you without any warning.
Be aware at all times when walking that you must be alert for the cyclists. An accident will ruin your holiday.
Amsterdam is a pretty safe place - bicycle theft is the main crime (bad enough, but not a particular concern to most visitors). Take normal care with regard to your valuables, as you would in any major city in the world, and you'll be fine.
The Red Light District is certainly no less safe than other places in Amsterdam: it is in the sex industry's interest to make sure tourists don't go home with a nasty experience. Nevertheless, if you're a real prude or a very nervous type, why go there ? there is so much else to see and do.
Only soft drugs are legal. Usage of harder stuff in itself will not be prosecuted, but the trade around it (the supply side) is definitely illegal.
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Bikes and Trams
There are many cyclists in Amsterdam and most have a very special way of cicling. They only advice to pedestrian ringing the bell and expect everyone to deviate from its path, but rarely stop. Always try to walk on the sidewalk for pedestrians and pay attention when crossing the streets as the trams and cyclists seem to come from everywhere.
Hay muchos ciclistas en Ámsterdam y la mayoría tienen una forma muy especial de andar. Ellos únicamente se anuncian con sus campanas y esperan que todos se aparten de su camino, pero pocas veces se detienen. Procura siempre caminar en la acera para peatones y presta mucha atención al cruzar las calles pues los tranvías y ciclistas parecen venir de todos lados.
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If you hv rented a bicycle.. make sure you have a lock and key to go with it.. Last heard picking(a euphemism for stealing) of cycles is becoming more common these days. And if you are not able to return the cycle then needless to say you are in deep *** wth fines and penalty payments
If you are walking, dont stand on the bike paths or they will literally run into you, they will ring and ring the bell but they do never stop and..it is your fault.
If you are biking, beware of people (and do stop, as you are not dutch), beware of cars (they behave exactly as bikers with walkers) and take care of tram rails, it is easy to fall, particularly if if it is wet.
Carefull: try before you rent
The bikes are sometimes not in a good shape. This might not show if you are not carefull enough.
I was on a bike for one day and the other day, my right arm was aching a lot. I was told that obviously, the wheel was juuust not in place and I was struggling to keep it straight the whole day :((
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Just wanted to warn you guys to stay out of the bike lanes in Amsterdam. They're brutal. I saw a guy in a bike purposely run over a pedestrian for walking in the lane and then chewed him out for 10 minutes.
Look both ways once, twice and thrice!!
It is very easy to fall complacent strolling the wonderful canals and squares of Amsterdam. You MUST always be aware of bicyclists all around you at all times. There is often NO margin of error as they tear through the streets endangering pedestrians.
One must be constantly cautious with those crazy Dutch bike riders. I almost got hit by them several times in just a few hours, I wonder what the death rates are... they go *very fast* where people are walking, in narrow streets or sidewalks, seemingly not at all worried that they might easily hurt someone or fall in a channel or DIE!!
Cyclers rule the world
No this is true! If you are cycler in Amsterdam, you are on top of the foodchain, well.. except for Trams, those stand just a little bit above the cyclers.
This means for you pedestrian/car driver.. WATCH OUT for cyclers. They cycle everywhere and they can, because most people you see on a bike are genuine Dutch people with experience in cycling in these conditions.
If you take the challenge to bike around yourself, don't follow their example.. many tourists end-up getting clogged with their wheels in the tramrails, don't know there are special lanes for cyclers and hit the main road or pavement. If you cycle, make sure to look around, that's the secret on how you can beat red-lights, stop signs, crossing pedestrians and when you are a pro, even a Tram cannot stop you (just make sure trams don't need to stop either, they don't tend to do that, and once it becomes physical the tram always winns).
There are separate bicycle roads; these are NO WALKWAYS. On the other hand, Bikes will be everywhere on the walkways.
If you rent a bicycle be sure to include at least an additional heavy chain lock. And when you want to park at the Centraal Station, obey the parking rules!
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Beware the Cyclists
Beware the cyclists > who can be unforgiving when it comes to pedestrians standing in their way. When you hear a bicycle bell behind you, STEP ASIDE FAST! To be on the safe side, remember that most of the time trams and taxis are in a hurry as well.
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Amsterdam Travel Guide
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