Amsterdam is a city which receives a large number of tourists every year. The city is so alluring and tourist-friendly that many people come back for a second trip to the city. However, there are certain things you must know, which can be helpful to you while you are on your journey to Amsterdam. Here are some of the general facts you must know about the city and the culture you are going to be part of.
It is a common misconception that Holland and the Netherlands are the same. Holland is only a region of Netherlands. It covers around one-third of the country. The Holland area is divided into two provinces namely- Noord Holland and Zuid Holland. Amsterdam belongs to Noord-Holland and is the biggest city there.
The languages Dutch and English share some common roots and hence it is not so difficult for the locals of Amsterdam to understand or speak English. But they would be delighted to hear you speak their language and so it is better to learn at least some important Dutch words.
Amsterdam has drug laws that allow Cannabis to be sold in the licensed coffee shops. According to the law, you are allowed to buy and use cannabis within the shop. It is very particular that it can be smoked only inside the licensed venues. The green and white sign displayed at their entrances marks the certified coffee shops.
Amsterdam is the city of which the roads are ruled by cycles. Most of the people use cycles to travel in the city. If you are walking on the road, it will be good for you to respect the cyclists. If not careful, this can also cause accidents. The cyclists usually lack patience and do not hesitate to scold the pedestrians for trifle things.
Many stores in Amsterdam have stopped accepting physical money and accept only Maestro cards. It is not so common for the stores to accept the Visa or MasterCard. Be careful to notice the method of payment in the store you visit, beforehand or else you may be in trouble later.
It is common for you to see the people of Amsterdam wearing orange clothes and caps on national holidays and the days on which international football matches take place. The orange color is symbolic of the Dutch Royal Family, which are the descendants of William of Orange.
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