How to Be Like an Authentic Local in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Monday, March 17, 2014 0 Comments

How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels

How to Be Like an Authentic Local in Amsterdam, Netherlands


Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in Netherlands, and even in Europe for that matter, where old traditions and new trends live side by side, thus adds a quaint and quirky touch to the whole city. Amsterdam is definitely one of the must see cities when travelling to Europe for the very first time.

It is very easy to generalize that all of Amsterdam is beautiful - very clean, multicultural, and pleasant. Spent a couple of days in an budget hotel that actually looks more like a horror backpacker hostel, which gave us a glimpse of the real life and stories of Amsterdam. Thanks to the 21-year-old Pakistani receptionist who became our friend. He’s been living in Amsterdam for nearly two decades, we found out what it would take to seem like a local.

To blend in with the locals in Amsterdam, the fastest, easiest, and simplest way, without looking like you're trying too hard, is to simply do what they do, which is:

How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels

1. Ride a Bike


If in the rest of Asia, it's all about motorcycles and tuktuk rides, in Amsterdam, it's all about bicycles. Everyone, adults and children alike, gets around the city on bicycles - like the normal ones, fancy ones, sleek ones. Not the mountain bikes that's not fit for city roaming. It's amazing to see how they even have bicycle lanes and parking lots here. You would rarely see a local hail a cab or drive a car on an everyday basis. 

How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels

2. Coffee Shops versus Cafes


I know, sounds one and the same right? Kinda funny trying to make some sense out of this because it really is the same in most countries. Lol. But yes, in Amsterdam, you can order coffee in both places too. But, for the locals, they get their caffeine fix in cafes, while they get their medicinal fix in coffee shops (read: marijuana). That's just the way things are here, and it's interesting to see the difference in crowds and cultures in both places. Both are a must try when in Amsterdam. It's a distinctive kind of cultural high.

How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels
How-to-be-an-Authentic-Local-in-Amsterdam,-Netherlands-|-The-Expat-Life-Of-Budget-Travels

3. Amsterdam canals – Thou shall not ogle too much


This is probably the hardest to do, given how much perfection these canals really exude in real life, but the common custom of people in Amsterdam when it comes to this historical heritage, is more on the quiet kind of appreciation. It's part of their everyday life, and they are not too fanatical about it. So, when you chance upon their canals, which you will for sure, don't act like you've seen the face of paradise (even if it’s probably true). That will be a dead give away that you're not a local. Just walk around, appreciate, maybe even park your bikes near it.

Once you zoom off in your bicycles for a quick coffee in a nearby cafe, before heading for work, and maybe passing by or parking along the canals of Amsterdam, you know you've experiences being a local in Amsterdam.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What do you think about this city? 

Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 52 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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