The Netherlands is one of the safest countries in Europe and apart from some petty crimes, you can generally enjoy being out on the streets at any time of day. The Safe City Index 2015 Amsterdam granted it the 5th position in the list of safest cities in the world. Though you can buy marijuana and truffles (underground mushrooms) freely in coffeeshops and smartshops and prostitution is legal, Amsterdam and our other cities are in no way dangerous. The city is managed especially well in regards to traffic. Most get around by bike, there are not many traffic accidents and pollution is fairly well contained throughout the country.
Here are some tips to make sure you can get around safely:
- Don’t buy drugs off the streets. Marijuana is widely available at the designated ‘coffeeshops’, magic truffles can be bought at the ‘smart shops’. These places employ knowledgeable people that give you well-tested substance and guidance with use.
- Pickpockets are present on busy squares, public transport stations and in shops. Carry your bag in front of you in these places, don’t leave wallets and cash in back pockets and don’t leave your bag or coat unattended.
- Traffic in the city is busy, but manageable. The biggest surprise to many visitors is how prominent the bicycle lanes are, even though their red paint clearly distinguishing them from the pedestrian & car lanes. Use your common sense, follow the general traffic rules and remember to look left-right-left before crossing.
- Although the roads are in great condition, the Dutch strong winds and rain can make road travel tricky. Check the weather before you venture out onto the Dutch highway.
- Avoid areas outside of the tourist district, unless invited or brought along by a knowledgeable guide. There isn’t any serious danger to encounter in most Dutch neighborhoods, but getting lost in the labyrinth of our cities isn’t how you want to spend your holiday!
- The alarm number in the Netherlands is 112.