Things to do and not to do when visiting Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a very tolerant city when it comes to most things but still has some basic rules, don't be stupid and you'll be alright.
Do be alert for pickpockets.
A favorite of pickpockets in Amsterdam is the train from Schiphol International Airport to the city, full of tired tourists with lots of bags. ATM's are also a preferred location to spot victims since they are sure to have cash on them but it's a problem all over Amsterdam but it's about the worst that will happen to you as besides pick pockets Amsterdam is really a very safe city indeed.
Don't worry so much about violent crime which is less of a problem than in other cities. Pick pockets are about the worst thing which could happen to you
Do ask any police men that may stop you for their identity
There are gangs that go about acting and even dressing as police men in order to rob tourists by faking that they are regular police officers. Beware always ask to see the officers ID, they mostly operate in two's and three's. One will keep you talking and asking you questions while the others
will try to steal from you or pickpocket you. They sometimes even fake your arrest to be able to search your belongings while stealing items while your not looking. Be warned.
Don't buy drugs on the streets as you will be most likely be sold total shit or maybe even robbed
Do greet assistants on entering and leaving shops; the Dutch consider it rude to just wander in and out.
Don't urinate on the streets. Find an urinal which are all over the place. At weekends large plastic ones are placed all over the main tourist areas. Sorry ladies for men only. If you are caught by the police you will receive a Euro 38 fine.
Do enjoy the good looking Dutch men, women, or both.
Grab a spot outside one of the many terrace cafes and go people watching.
The Dutch people are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Don't drink alcohol on the streets, this is also against the law. You will be made empty your can onto the ground and may receive a fine also.
Do Walk through "the 9 streets": which are located in the Jordan area, not far from Dam Square. Berestraat, Runstraat, etc. The 9 streets are connect the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, and Herengracht. You;you'll find some great shops which you will not find elsewhere. Everything from the tooth brush shop (Nothing but items to make your teeth bright and clean) to the candle store, amazing candles all of shapes and sizes.
Don't walk in the bike lanes, if you hear a "cling, cling" or hear someone shouting "LET OP" (Dutch for Watch Out) from behind you jump real quick or you may get mowed down by a cyclist. They do not stop for no one.
Do rent a bike, ride around the city. Seeing Amsterdam by bike is really a great way to see and get around the city. Watch out for the dreaded tram tracks.
Don't get drunk and act like a total prat. Many guys and gals on stag weekends get drunk and start messing like throwing their friends into the canal. Funny ha, ha.
Do marvel at 95% of Dutch people speak not only their own language (Dutch) but most speak really good English and German and some speak French and Spanish as well.
Don't let your parking meter expire; If driving in Amsterdam always pay the parking as if you are caught it's a costly mistake. Clamp Euro 140 / Towaway Euro 500
Do take a boat tour while your in Amsterdam as seeing the buildings from the water is totally different from dry land. From the water you have a much better view.
A night time cruise is also very special as most Amsterdammers do not use curtains so you can see into their houses, some of which are truly amazing.
Don't take pictures of prostitutes in the redlight district as if they catch you they start shouting at you and you may end up in a little trouble. You can get day time shots without flash also night time video should work with extra lighting. Just don't get caught.
Do enjoy yourself. Amsterdam is a very special city and is a magnet for xpats. Most tourists once they discover Amsterdam come back yearly if not more often. Amsterdam is truly a city of freedom.
Don't cycle at night without lights on your bike. The police are really cracking down on lightless bikes and if caught you will be given a fine of Euro 38 and the chance to buy a light for an additional Euro 9.
Do walk along the canals at Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht at night and admire the insides of the amazing house