How To Spot Tourists in Amsterdam

Tourists in Amsterdam

Every year thousands of tourists descend upon Amsterdam to explore the city and take in its many sights. They are usually easy to spot but it is not always their maps and suitcases that give them away. Sometimes there are more subtle signs that can be used to tell the tourists in Amsterdam apart from the locals.

11 ways to spot tourists in Amsterdam:

1) Tourists will be the only ones wearing any item of clothing with the name ‘Amsterdam’ printed on it.

2) Despite the many photo opportunities offered by Amsterdam’s beautiful canals, stylish architecture and impressive museums tourists will be the ones excitedly taking photos of Fabo.

3) Tourists will be the ones talking the loudest about visiting the Red Light District (and lying the most about what they are going to do there).

4) They will also be the loudest ones on the train from Schipol to Amsterdam and the quietest ones on the way back (usually due to hangovers).

5) They will be the ones who are most fascinated by wooden shoes and will be unable to resist the temptation of sitting in a giant novelty clog.

6) They will be the ones standing in front of a train ticket machine, holding a 50 euro note, trying to figure out where the paper money slot is (and inevitably try putting it in the debit card slot).

7) They will also be the ones trying to scan their home printed train ticket on the OV readers.

8) They will be the ones who are most surprised to discover that ‘vla’ does not mean ‘milk’.

9) A family of tourists will be the one cycling in a group down a pedestrian street and along the tram tracks oblivious to the danger.

10) Ironically, they will also be the ones who mistake a cycle path for a foot path despite the large amount of bicycles swerving around them.

11) English tourists are the ones who will look the most confused about Dutch waiters always ‘forgetting’ to put milk in the tea.

Are there any more signs that I have missed? How do you recognise tourists in Amsterdam?

17 responses to “How To Spot Tourists in Amsterdam”

  1. Matej says:

    Standing on the left side of escalators, standing in narrow passageways, talking in the quiet sections of trains.

    • Invader_Stu says:

      Or standing still at the top of the escalator. It drives me nuts.

    • Christian says:

      The Dutch are perfectly capable obstructing the way, not only on escalators. In fact I think they are world champions at it. They seem to be taught in school or even kindergarten how to identify the most impractical place for just standing around.

  2. dragonlady says:

    funny,its usually tourists in England that stand on the left hand side of the escalator as well. Which is a very dangerous thing to do in the rush hour.

  3. Ace CB says:

    The Americans always have the white crew socks… and are usually speaking the loudest.

  4. MBijl says:

    Cycling with helmets on.

  5. Sharon says:

    They will be climbing all over the Iamsterdam fixture instead of going inside the Rijksmuseum. They will queue up politely at the front for trams and wonder why everyone else is having a free-for-all in the middle. They will only discover what a whitey is when one of their party is in the middle of having one.

  6. #5 is a literal tourist trap. (I suddenly got the image of the “if I fits, I sits” cat meme.)

    #6 was frustrating when the machine I dealt with accepted either coins or European chip bank cards, and, for some reason, wouldn’t take my French debit card (carte bleue). And I still have nightmares of the AH chocolade vla glooping into my mug…

    Conversely, I started playing “Spot the Dutchman” in France.

    Step 1 (a): see if the person towers well above everyone else. Step 1 (b): verify the NL license plate on the caravan parked in the campsite.
    Step 2: check out to see if they are wearing Birkenstocks in the Parisian Métro
    Step 3: listen to them speak Dutch

  7. dragonlady says:

    Sorry for appearing ignorant, but what is a “whitey” in The Netherlands. I know what it is in England but it seems it must mean something else in the Netherlands.

  8. jpluimers says:

    Febo which comes from Ferdinand Bol, the street where it originally started.

  9. (Bo)Jan says:

    Entering the tram trough the wrong door and screaming when they realize they don’t know how to get out of it (because the green button next to the door is not suggestive enough).

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