Amsterdam is visited by approximately 14 million travelers every year. Amsterdammers, as they are called, are quite chilled, relaxed, tolerant and liberal in their approach when it comes to things like sex and drugs but that doesn’t mean that the ‘anything goes’ attitude works for everything in this city. Like any other city, there are some things that you should avoid doing while you visit the Dutch capital if you want to stay out of trouble. So here goes;

1. Avoid walking around the city in large groups. 

Amsterdam’s city centre becomes quite crowded and congested due to heavy inrush by tourists. There are thousands of people who actually reside in Amsterdam’s city centre and they don’t like being sidelined by large groups who walk around slowly while sight seeing. So please be kind and do some fast-paced walking in areas like Damstraat, Leidsestraat and Damrak. If you are in a large group then break yourselves into smaller groups before heading out to explore the city.

2. Don’t light up a joint outside coffee shops. 

Yes, cannabis is legal in Amsterdam but most of the locals aren’t thrilled with its presence and consumption in the city. However, there are some registered coffee shops that you can sit in and enjoy smoking up. But hey, that doesn’t mean smoking cannabis anywhere in Amsterdam is legal. In fact, smoking cannabis in beer gardens, terraces or in public places is termed illegal. Be mindful of where you are before lighting up a joint.

3. Please don’t buy drugs from local street dealers. 

This is a very important tip that you must not forget at any cost. If you really want to smoke up and try out a few other drugs like cocaine and ecstasy then the first rule to remember is to avoid buying any kind of drugs from street dealers unless you want to die. In case you didn’t know, there have been several cases in the past where tourists have been targeted with intentional drug poisoning in the city. Also, avoid doing so because buying hard drugs from street dealers is illegal. So be smart about it.

4. Avoid walking on cycle paths.

This is quite a simple and straight forward rule. Just stick to your lane and avoid walking, running, jogging in the bi-cycle lane if you don’t want to get hit by a cyclist, duh. Be a well-informed traveler, okay?

5. Don’t click pictures of women at the Red Light District 

The infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam is situated in the De Wallen area which is quite a famous tourist attraction. This area is also the oldest part of the city which is full of historic architecture and scenic canals but tourists don’t seem too interested in them. What draws tourists to this area are the 300-odd window parlors where prostitutes are kept on display like any other item that you see in a flea market. It’s sad but it’s true. Not everyone comes to this area for ‘business.’ Some just visit this area to purely gawk at the spectacle. No one is going to stop you from looking at the working girls but that doesn’t mean you can click their pictures. Clicking pictures of working girls is strictly prohibited around this area. So AVOID doing so if you don’t want matters to get confrontational and embarrassing.

Live it up in Amsterdam.