Is Amsterdam Safe? Here’s What to Know

Is Amsterdam Safe? Here’s What to Know

In the previous few years, the Netherlands has been one of many most secure nations on this planet, with murder rates below 5.27 per 100,000 people. As an entire, the Netherlands has a comparatively low crime charge, rating within the 35th percentile of all countries for safety. Overall, Amsterdam is a protected metropolis to go to, however anybody touring in an unfamiliar space ought to maintain some precautions in thoughts.

Several crimes are usually not unusual within the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Specifically, petty thieves and pickpockets are widespread within the Netherlands, significantly in crowded areas, on trains and trams, and round vacationer websites.

Due to the prevalence of petty theft, you will need to be sensible when touring along with your belongings, particularly should you’re alone, in an unfamiliar space, or commuting through public transport.

If you might be planning to travel to Amsterdam and want steering on remaining vigilant throughout your keep, please maintain studying.

How Safe Is Amsterdam Compared To Other Cities?

Amsterdam Canal Houses

Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

Compared to different main European cities, Amsterdam could be very protected. In truth, the “Economist Intelligence Unit” has lately launched its Safe Cities Index which ranks 60 cities around the globe throughout 5 pillars: private, well being, infrastructure, digital, and environmental safety. 

According to the Safe Cities Index, Amsterdam positioned 2nd in comparison with different European cities and sixth globally when it comes to private security.

Although Amsterdam is usually thought to be a really protected metropolis, it’s not with out its fair proportion of hazards. As a vacationer, you have to be cautious when strolling or biking alone at evening, significantly in tourist-heavy areas. 

See Related: Best Cities in the Netherlands to Visit

Are There Unsafe Areas in Amsterdam That I Should Avoid?

Most of Amsterdam is taken into account protected to discover, however there are just a few neighborhoods the place you have to be additional cautious. Not to say that crime doesn’t move over the boundaries, however should you’re deciding on where to stay in Amsterdam otherwise you’re visiting alone, it’s essential to grasp the dangers.

Bos en Lommer and Nieuw-West

The much less developed areas of town and probably the most infamous neighborhoods (Bos en Lommer and Nieuw-West) are identified for his or her increased crime charges, drug use, and different dangerous actions.

The Red Light District

Red Light Windows in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

In addition to the Bos en Lommer and Nieuw-West neighborhoods, the Red Light District can appeal to shady characters and enterprise dealings that could be tied to organized crime and gangs trafficking unlawful medication. Despite the information e book cautions, my private expertise dwelling in Amsterdam and being on this space is that I’ve by no means felt unsafe right here in any respect.

All of the scandalous exercise makes the Red Light District somewhat extra harmful for vacationers, so watch out should you’re on this neighborhood after midnight. Unfortunately, vacationers are sometimes the targets of pickpockets and robberies, so it’s essential to pay attention to your environment. 

How Is Crime and Safety Handled in Amsterdam?

Politie (Police) Car in Amsterdam
NYCStock / Adobe Stock

The authorities in Amsterdam take a holistic approach to crime and safety. This signifies that they work onerous to verify individuals in Amsterdam are protected and really feel snug by means of a sequence of social initiatives.

For instance, along with the police and municipal providers, authorities within the Netherlands work with native companies and associations to encourage accountable conduct. This is very true in nightlife areas the place the goal is to stop underage consuming and extreme alcohol consumption whereas working collectively to make sure nightly occasions go easily.

Despite the synergy between the authorities and native companies, petty crimes equivalent to robbery and pickpocketing are nonetheless widespread in Amsterdam, in order a vacationer you must stay vigilant.

Thieves love to focus on vacationers as a result of they’re typically distracted and carry an honest amount of money with them. A hidden money belt can do wonders to foil the plans of any pickpocket and helps maintain your cash fairly protected. 

Are there any scams or widespread vacationer traps in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a popular destination for tourists, nevertheless it’s additionally essential to pay attention to crime dangers when visiting. There are some issues to remember, equivalent to staying protected at evening, being conscious of your environment, and avoiding areas with a excessive focus of drug sellers.

Scams in Amsterdam

One of the commonest vacationer scams in Amsterdam is the white van scam. This is when two males in a white van strategy you and provide discounted merchandise in change for money, however the packing containers are empty. Another widespread rip-off entails faux or used transportation tickets or attraction tickets, typically mentioned to be discounted. Be certain to purchase your tickets from official distributors. Other scams contain faux taxis, so solely settle for rides from respectable corporations, and ask your concierge or transportation hub officers for assist should you’re not sure.

Drinking at Night

No Alcohol in Public Sign in the Netherlands / Adobe Stock

It’s all the time a good suggestion to remain in populated areas when consuming at evening, particularly in case you are touring alone. Taking this straightforward step can prevent from getting mugged or falling sufferer to drink spiking by somebody with dangerous intentions. Never settle for drinks from strangers or depart drinks unattended.

See Related: Best Breweries in Amsterdam

Food Safety in Amsterdam

Of course, the meals that you just eat is a crucial a part of your trip, and it’s not all the time potential to eat at eating places—as such, consuming solely meals from avenue distributors that meet hygiene requirements is essential. It’s additionally a good suggestion to avoid distributors that serve uncooked or undercooked meals, as this will enhance your danger of contracting a foodborne sickness.

Cultural or Social Issues In Amsterdam

Amsterdam Tourism and the Local Economy

Unfortunately, over-tourism has had a negative impact on the standard of life in Amsterdam’s residential neighborhoods. Over-tourism has resulted in lots of Amsterdam residents’ displacement as flats have been become short-term rental areas for vacationers.

Short-term leases drive up housing costs and make reasonably priced housing more durable to search out for locals. Disruptive conduct by vacationers has additionally been a trigger for concern, significantly amongst stag and hen events. 

The Amsterdam “Enjoy & Respect” Campaign

According to Amsterdam’s “Enjoy & Respect” campaign, typical offenses dedicated by disruptive vacationers embrace public urination and vomiting, littering, drunkenness, and loud noise.

In latest years, Dutch politicians have taken a extra energetic strategy to sort out tourism and its influence on Amsterdam, adopting a number of ordinances that forestall memento outlets from displacing native companies, builders from turning residential house into vacation leases, and new lodges from being constructed. 

The measures goal to curb the worst byproducts of tourism by growing taxes paid by guests, punishing widespread dishonorable behaviors (i.e., littering and public urination), and re-examining some sights which have confirmed disruptive.

See Related: Spots for the Best Views of Amsterdam

Is It Safe To Use An ATM In Amsterdam?

Two ING Bank ATM Machines in the Netherlands
Mara Louvain / Adobe Stock

When touring to Amsterdam, you should have entry to an intensive community of ATMs. However, you will need to know how one can use them safely and successfully.

First, solely use ATMs linked to giant banks like HSBC, BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole. These banks are much less more likely to pull methods that would price you some huge cash.

Second, keep away from taking cash out of unbiased ATMs in quiet areas, as a result of these ATMs typically cost excessive charges and are simple targets for thieves.

Third, be certain that to ask your financial institution about ATM charges earlier than touring. European ATMs normally solely can help you withdraw money out of your checking account and never your financial savings accounts.

Lastly, you need to use your Maestro debit card in most Dutch ATMs and shops. If you’re unsure, give your card issuer a name to search out out whether or not your card works in a Dutch machine.

Is Amsterdam Safe for Solo Travelers?

While Amsterdam is probably one of many most secure cities in Europe, that doesn’t imply it is best to exit at evening by your self or wander round unfamiliar areas with out having your guard up. 

It’s essential to recollect that you’re abroad, so pay attention to your environment and take regular security precautions when touring at evening or by your self. In different phrases, it’s vital that you just use your widespread sense and maintain your belongings near you always.

The excellent news is that almost all of crimes in Amsterdam are minor and might be averted by following regular precautions day and evening. For instance, it is best to all the time watch out on trains and in public areas.

One option to train warning is by utilizing a front or crossbody sling as a substitute of a backpack whereas walking in Amsterdam. This easy step can maintain your bag near your physique and forestall petty crimes like bag snatching.

See Related: Best Places to Travel Alone in the World

Is Amsterdam Safe Enough For Me to Stay in a Hostel?

While Amsterdam is likely one of the most costly cities in Europe, hostels can give you some financial aid as they provide a protected place to remain for an affordable value. While you will discover hostels in quite a lot of places throughout Amsterdam, just remember to select one that’s situated in a protected space.

Try to decide on a hostel in Amsterdam that’s near the principle sights and public transport. This will make your life simpler and it’ll maintain you from spending a fortune on taxis and buses to get round.


ClinkNOORD is a contemporary, clear hostel in Amsterdam with loads of room choices to swimsuit solo vacationers or teams seeking to keep collectively. ClinkNOORD is situated simply minutes from the central station and options loads of facilities, together with a bar, breakfast buffet, visitor kitchen, and laundry amenities.


Another nice choice for solo vacationers in Amsterdam is Hostelle, which is particularly designed for girls touring alone or in small teams, making journey so much safer.

Hostelle gives ladies’s dorm rooms in several sizes and a social surroundings that permits you to meet different ladies vacationers from all around the world. There’s additionally a bar, self-service kitchen, library, and extra to make it the right place to remain for budget-minded vacationers.

Durty Nelly’s

Front of Durty Nelly's Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

Additionally, Durty Nelly’s is a enjoyable Irish pub and hostel with dorm rooms and personal rooms with nice workers, a handy location, and an superior vibe. Located proper in the midst of downtown Amsterdam, it’s excellent for individuals who wish to go sightseeing through the day and party at evening.

Here are just a few ideas when selecting a hostel in Amsterdam: 

  • Look for optimistic evaluations from earlier friends, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or get assist from the workers. 
  • The workers ought to be out there to reply any questions or considerations you’ve about your security and the hostel’s safety.
  • It’s additionally essential to test if the hostel has a 24-hour reception, as it will guarantee that you’ve somebody looking for you, thus deterring crime. 
  • You must also carry a duplicate of a legitimate passport with you in case something occurs and you have to search emergency help from the embassy or police. 

Finally, it’s a good suggestion to keep away from visiting Amsterdam through the peak vacationer season. The metropolis tends to be very crowded through the summer time months, and it may be troublesome to navigate or discover your method round. 

See Related: Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Amsterdam

Are There Any Safety Concerns For LGBTQ+ Travelers in Amsterdam?

Celebrating Amsterdam Pride in August
Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

Discrimination and violence in opposition to the lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) neighborhood are persistent issues worldwide. Fortunately, Amsterdam is likely one of the most progressive cities on this planet for LGBTQ+ rights legal guidelines and is a protected metropolis for the neighborhood. Amsterdam is a serious middle of homosexual tourism, with a big annual homosexual satisfaction competition and loads of choices for LGBTQ+ vacationers to probe for a protected journey.

However, if an individual experiences mistreatment, discrimination, or hate crimes, looking for emergency help is essential. A fantastic useful resource for LGBTQ+ vacationers is the International SOS Assistance App and member portal, which gives all kinds of LGBTQ nation guides to assist them navigate their method around the globe. These guides embrace data on LGBTQ legal guidelines, customs, and tradition, in addition to experiences of official mistreatment or discrimination by regulation enforcement or authorities officers.

If you’re planning to go to Amsterdam, take into account doing analysis forward of time to search out coffee outlets, lodges, eating places, and bars that particularly cater to the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. 

Safety Tips For Visiting Amsterdam

Aerial View of Amsterdam Centraal Station (Amsterdam Central Station)
Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

While Amsterdam is likely one of the most secure cities in the world to visit, it’s nonetheless essential to pay attention to issues of safety and take precautions whereas touring. Whether you might be touring alone, with pals, or in a big group, there are a lot of methods you possibly can keep protected whereas in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1. Avoid Late Nights

If you’ll be spending time in Amsterdam, keep away from excessive late nights areas close to giant prepare stations and different teams of those who sit round consuming alcohol. These areas might be harmful and may pose a danger of theft or one other crime, particularly after darkish.

2. Be Wary of Pickpockets

Even although Amsterdam is likely one of the most secure places to travel, it’s nonetheless essential to be vigilant when strolling in crowded areas. Once once more, bag snatching is a standard crime on the streets of Amsterdam.

Even should you plan to journey to the Schengen space border-free journey zone, it is best to nonetheless carry your passport. Having your money or passport safely tucked away in a cash belt will make you much less more likely to be a goal of theft.

3. Take Care of Your Health

While consuming avenue meals in Amsterdam, you will need to test that it’s hygienic. Be cautious of cross-contamination, particularly when you’ve got allergic reactions. Fortunately, do you have to encounter any well being considerations whereas in Amsterdam, you possibly can depend on world journey medical insurance coverage with a supplier like SafetyWing or VisitorsCoverage to cowl your medical bills.

4. Engage in Safe Tourist Activities

Go on a Canal Cruise

Dutch Flag off the Back of a Boat on a Canal Cruise
Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

One of the very best methods to get a really feel for the gorgeous capital is to take a canal cruise tour. This method, you possibly can view Amsterdam’s iconic structure from the water. Stroll by means of the picturesque waterside communities and see landmarks like dancing homes and bridges up shut.

Visit a Museum

When you’re in Amsterdam, don’t overlook to take a look at a few of its top museums. From quirky artwork exhibitions to eye-catching shows, you’re sure to search out one thing that fits your curiosity. I imply it, there are a ton of several types of museums right here — there’s even a museum devoted solely to cat artwork. See what I’m saying now?

Explore the Royal Artis Zoo

Giraffes at Royal Artis Zoo, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ThroughTravelers

Whether you’re touring with children on a household journey or out to party with the boys, Amsterdam’s Royal Artis Zoo is worth a visit. It’s considered one of Europe’s oldest and boasts a plethora of animals in a superbly landscaped setting.

Learn About the Dutch Resistance

For a have a look at how Amsterdam residents fought again in opposition to German occupation throughout World War II, head to the Verzetsmuseum (which suggests “Resistance Museum” in Dutch). Neatly designed with a lot of multimedia, this exhibition recounts the efforts made by the native individuals to withstand the Germans.

Safety Resources In Amsterdam

Emergency Numbers

112: For Life-Threatening conditions for ambulance, police, or fireplace division response. This quantity is a Europe-wide emergency line, just like the UK’s 999 or the USA’s 911. You can name 0800 8112 for the textual content equal for the deaf or onerous of listening to. Dutch operators additionally communicate English and might be able to reply in different European languages as properly, normally French or German.

For Non-Emergency Help, name 0900 8844. To anonymously report crimes, name 0800 7000.

Embassies or Consulates

There are over 100 embassies or consulates in the Netherlands. Before you journey, save the contact data to your embassy or consulate in order that it’s simple to entry do you have to want it.

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