Being a tourist is a fun experience. No one can deny how exciting it is to be in absolutely foreign and unfamiliar teritory. First, there’s the refreshing feeling of finally being new to everyone and everything. You know how you hated your hometown because you could practically predict what the neighbor was going to do next? Well, you definitely won’t have that when you’re a tourist.
There are several things that you think you’ll do, as a tourist. But of course, when you give it a few days of being in the city, you’re bound to feel a little ounce of laziness, and you’ll be tempted to slide back into ‘local’ mode, and not extend the effort to do anything at all. Instead, you might just prefer to stay inside your hotel and post pictures of your vacation online. Let’s get this out in the open: that would be the biggest mistake you’ll ever make.
Here are five other terrible decisions that tourists have made in Amsterdam (and why you should never make them, too).
First, assuming that the best beer is Heineken, and not trying out all the other locally made beers. Actually, there are a lot of beer bars in this town, and more and more of them forgo the Belgian stuff in favor of local brews. One of the more highly recommend beers is Oedipus, which you can now find in a bunch of bars and even most grocery stores.
Second, when you accept any drug that’s offered to you on the street. You see, in the Netherlands, none of the hard drugs are prohibited or regulated. So, you don’t really know what sort of drug it is that’s being offered to you, and you might regret it afterwards (especially when you’re feeling the weight of its adverse effects).
Third, deciding to sleep in on a sunny weekend. Ah, a sad, sad decision to make. Sunny Amsterdam is a wonderful sight to behold, especially since you’re in for a rainy morning the day after (or most likely, at least). When the sky is blue, whether you’re headed to a terrace or the park, you’d best carve out your territory early, because once everyone’s sitting, no one’s moving until the sun goes down.
Fourth, taking your car to get around the city instead of walking or biking around. Cars are a huge pain in Amsterdam – what with all the stopping, and all the waiting around. Using a car to get around sort of defeats your purpose, because you can’t get around. Using your own legs or your own bike will allow you to see more and experience more.
Fifth (and this might be one of the Absolute Worst), when you decide to not learn as much Dutch as you can. It is a mistake to believe that speaking English will serve all your problems. Sure, everyone can speak it and understand it, but if you’re looking for an authentic immersive experience, you might want to try harder and learn more Dutch. Honestly, don’t you want to be able to read the menus and the train announcements?
True, being a tourist is a fun and rewarding experience. But it will be fun and rewarding only if you make the right decisions, especially when you’re in Amsterdam.