Areas to Avoid in Amsterdam: A Guide for First-Time Visitors
The Red Light District (De Wallen)
The Red Light District is one of Amsterdam’s most famous neighborhoods, known for its notorious nightlife and legalized prostitution. While it may be a popular tourist attraction, it’s important to exercise caution when exploring this area. The streets can become crowded and chaotic, especially during evenings and weekends. Petty theft and pickpocketing are more common here, so always keep an eye on your belongings. Additionally, be respectful of the workers and their privacy, as taking pictures or causing disturbances is not tolerated.
Bijlmer is a southeastern neighborhood of Amsterdam that has a higher crime rate compared to other areas in the city. Although efforts have been made to improve safety and security, it’s still advisable for tourists to avoid this neighborhood, especially at night. The Bijlmer Arena metro station is a major transportation hub, but it can be a bit sketchy after dark. If you’re attending an event at the Johan Cruijff ArenA or Ziggo Dome, it’s best to leave immediately after the event ends or arrange for a cab.
Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde is another area that tourists should be cautious about. This neighborhood encompasses part of the Red Light District, but it stretches beyond that. While it’s not as seedy as the Red Light District itself, it can still be a magnet for rowdy behavior and petty crimes. The crowded streets and numerous bars make it a popular place to party, attracting both tourists and locals. Stay vigilant, especially during late nights, and avoid confrontations.
Bos en Lommer
Bos en Lommer is a residential area situated in the western part of Amsterdam. While it may not have the same level of criminal activity as the previous neighborhoods mentioned, it’s important to exercise caution here, particularly at night. Being a less touristy area, it might not offer many attractions for visitors and can be relatively quiet. It’s always best to stick to well-lit and populated areas when exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods. If you have no specific reason to visit Bos en Lommer, it’s advisable to focus on other parts of Amsterdam.
Oosterparkbuurt is a neighborhood located in the eastern part of Amsterdam. While it’s generally safe during the day, it’s advisable to be cautious in this area after dark. Like any city, certain areas can feel less secure at night, and Oosterparkbuurt is one of them. If you plan on visiting Oosterpark or the nearby Tropenmuseum, it’s recommended to do so during daylight hours and stick to well-populated areas. As always, trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings.
While Amsterdam is a relatively safe city, it’s always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. By avoiding certain neighborhoods known for higher crime rates or tourist traps, you can minimize the risk of encountering any issues during your visit. Remember to keep your belongings secure, be mindful of local laws and customs, and stay alert. With these tips in mind, you can have a memorable and safe experience exploring everything else that Amsterdam has to offer!
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