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Crossing the Street - Trams Tips (42)

Trams - Live Voltage

The Amsterdam trams are a great way of transport, but they share pedestrian areas in the old city, where first time visitors are unaware of the danger to be hit by this means of transportation that on many points has the right of way.

On top of that (literally) is the power supply to the trams. These power line carry 600 Volts, a voltage that's absolute killing with direct contact to the wires. Luckily these wires are high over the streets at 3.6 meters, but be careful when carrying long rods or travel on the top deck of an open sightseeing bus.

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
Sep 12, 2015

Watch out for cyclists

It is perfectly understandable to be distracted by the splendour of Amsterdams architecture, but please do not get overrun by cyclists.The claim right of way everywhere, there are plenty of them, and stepping onto the road to get a better picture without looking might easily result in a collision.

MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
Dec 22, 2013

Reading a map!

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?

The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies tend to be more aggressive and females more passive. As adults, in spatial operations, men have the edge in such skills as negotiating a maze, reading a map, and quickly discriminating between right and left. Men also perform better than women when asked to visualize an object and imagine rotating it. On the other hand, women tend to perform better than men when asked to look at objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and then to group them in some order.

This still doesn't explain why Paulien turns the map all around when I'm asking for the road to travel, while I like the map at one point so I can better visualize our position. Help!

Jerelis's Profile Photo
Nov 15, 2012


How bad does it hurt WHEN A TRAM HITS YOU? I hope you never find out. I had an interesting conversation with a Tram Driver. When I asked her (a V.T. Member!) if she had ever hit anything, the answer was yes. 12 car in 12 years. When I asked about people the answer was only 2. Why does it happen? Because people don’t look both ways or cars turn into the paths of the trams. Trains are way too heavy to stop quickly and so are trams. The roads are very confusing because of multiple trams lines on the same busy streets in some areas. I even saw locals get confused about where to look for the trams. When in doubt – go to marked crossings and watch the lights!

DAO's Profile Photo
Jul 26, 2011
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Mind The Trams (& their tracks)

As mentioned in previous comments, watch your step when crossing tram tracks, either on foot or on 2-wheels. If you hear the bell of a tram, you have a split second to BE out of the way. The last-second warning is a courtesy that tram drivers afford someone they are about to run down (probably so they don't have to stop and fill out a time-consuming incident report).

As far as crossing tram tracks on a bicycle, be sure to watch how you cross. The tracks are in the ground, and are just wide enough to grab a bicycle tire and send the rider flying if they're not paying attention.

woodz60's Profile Photo
Jun 26, 2010

Not telling the truth!!

I feel silly writing this tip, because I got caught, but perhaps it will help somebody else.

On getting onto a Tram late one night, where I usually get the Conductor to stamp my Strippenkart was vacant, and I hadn't done it myself before. A Dutch man was at the machine doing his, I went forward, and he said to me that the machine wasn't working.
I asked "what do I do" he said he didn't know, he couldn't fix the machine, so I sat down.

The next stop, on got a heap of Inspectors, so I was in BIG TROUBLE, even though I had a valid ticket, it hadn't been stamped.
I told them what had happened, they tried the machine (I hadn't done, had taken the man's word for it) and lo and behold, it worked. I didn't know what to say. I felt so silly for not trying it myself, but I didn't expect to be lied to either!!!
Luckily, they let me off with a warning.

This was the ONE & ONLY TIME, that I ever saw Inspectors.

WAS I SET UP? I wonder.............

balhannah's Profile Photo
Sep 12, 2009

Make sure you get on the right tram

Amsterdam has a very comprehensive system of streetcars and trams; however, it's not always easy to make sure that you are getting on the right one. This was particularly true when boarding at Centraal Station. It seems that every streetcar line in Amsterdam passes in front, making it a convenient hub for getting around, but also a very confusing place to figure out. I studied the signs as diligently as I could, and I still made a couple of mistakes, one boarding a streetcar that set out in exact opposite direction that I wanted to go. And I don't think I ever really figured out the system of knowing which doors of the streetcar you were supposed to enter!

yooperprof's Profile Photo
Aug 18, 2008

Watch out for cyclists and trams!

I know it's a bit of a cliche but do watch out for cyclists and trams! They're both very fast and come from unexpected directions. Some cyclists are good enough to ring a bell to warn you so you have a bit of time to step aside.

Don't walk on the cycle paths which are clearly marked.

I just spent the weekend in Amsterdam and managed not to get run over but only because I knew to look out for them!

WardrobeMK's Profile Photo
Sep 24, 2007

Top 5 Amsterdam Writers

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo


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"God made the Dutch, but the Dutch made Holland"
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"Amsterdam - I love it!"
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"Amsterdam, is it real?"
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"Amsterdam, where the Dutch money is spend"
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Trams and Bikes

We had just arrived in Amsterdam. We were walking along a sidewalk, dragging our suitcases. About 3 meters from a crossing we were about to use (no traffic lights there) I was well aware of a tram approaching from one side. So we stopped waiting for it to pass. But to our extreme surprise, the tram stopped too, and the smiling driver gestured for us to cross. We did, waving and smiling back.
That same day, I was walking along one of the canals, admiring the architecture, when suddenly a few bikes swooshed past me at such speed and such close distance that it gave me a fright and I almost lost my balance. I soon realised that I had unconsciously entered the bike line which was running along the pavement. True, my fault, but why hadn't they warned me with a bell or a shout?
Strange ways. A tram will stop to let you pass and a biker will run you over without a second thought.

betako3's Profile Photo
Aug 16, 2007

Amsterdam! Trams and bicyclists

Attention! Be carefull! Trams and mad bicyclists on all city ....Bicyclists go on special wide paths, wich pass on all city. There are many bicyclists in the town, they go quickly and often do not submit a signal - it is possible to be brought down!!!

Kreolka's Profile Photo
Apr 28, 2007

Beware Crossing the Roads!!

Crossing the road in Amsterdam is a risky business. Not only do you have the road to contend with, you also have to cross tramlines and cycles lanes so be extra vigilant and keep your eyes and ears fully opened. Also, there is often no 'islands' between the roads, cycle lanes and tramlines offering a safe haven, so it's best to cross as swiftly as possible.

And be warned - the multitudes of cyclists in Amsterdam stop for absolutely nobody, and it is often impossible to determine the cycle lane from the footpath.

siinq8's Profile Photo
Feb 28, 2007

You can trip and have a bad fall!

As a very senior citizen I am aware of the many warnings about trams (in the middle of the street) traffic direction (luckily we are not from England and look the right way-that is left), and bikes (I try to keep quiet when walking and continually mumble "bike" while approaching intersections). Along many of the newer paved walkways there is a bike lane near the street curb that is colored a dull brick-red. It is separated from the walking area which is raised, by another curb. This is the NEW DANGER for walkers. A shuffling elder or inattentive junior can easily trip over this curb which blends with the walking zone and is unmarked (they should be bright yellow!). This happened to my baby-sitter who badly sprained her knee in a fall. We had to take care of her instead of vice-versa. So if you are coming from a vehicle parked at the curb you must watch both ways for the bikes (they all go fast on the new lane) and then think "second curb" as you rush across the bike lane. These pictures in front of our hotel (the scene of the accident) illustrate the danger.

hquittner's Profile Photo
Sep 16, 2006

Things To Do Near Amsterdam

Things to Do

De Krijtberg

Officially dedicated to St Francis Xavier, De Krijtberg is another Catholic church in Amsterdam. The actual elegant Neogothic edifice was constructed in 1883 by the architect Alfred Tepe. The church's...
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Flower Market - Bloemenmarkt

New Year's is certainly not the season to visit a flower market, so Bloemenmarkt was not super exciting when I was there in late December 2014. There were definitely flowers being sold along with...
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Begijnhof - The Wooden House

The Begijnhof - Beguinage in Amsterdam is certainly a pleasant and quiet part of the old city but as a beguinage I felt surprised by the architectural heterogeneity of this ensemble! Maybe I am too...
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Allard Pierson Museum

Allard Pierson Museum is the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam. The museum is housed in a nice classical building formerly from the Nederlandsche Bank. Allard Pierson was a...
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Bijbels Museum

Biblical Museum. Located on Herengracht in a group of stately mansions called the Cromhouthuizen. I was impressed by their collection of Bibles, and the model of the Temple Mount. "Archaeological...
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If you're into shopping, you might want to check out this street. There are plenty of shops here selling so many things for men and women. The only traffic here are tourists! Lots of them. In fact,...
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Getting to Amsterdam




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