It was a teenager dream come true. Amsterdam, land of the free, a place where you could light a spliff in front of a cop and ride past lightly-clothed lady on a beautiful bike, but there's a few things i wish i knew before heading there...
1 - The Weather Is Your Enemy.
We were told that the weather would be around 0°C, which is acceptable for us french people, but what our friends forgot to tell us is that the wind will often "collaborate" with his friend "Freezin' Cold Water" to make your trip there a reboot of the "2012" movie.
I'm not kidding, the wind does not like you. The wind will try to end you.
2 - The Dutch Have A Thing For Weirdness.
Between the Torture Museum, the Weed & Hash Museum, the Sex Museum, the Tattoo Museum and the Vrolik Museum, you will absolutely find something to entertain, scare, amuse, or creep you the hell out, and by the end of the day, it will all be worthy. And if it's not hardcore enough for all of you Alpha Male out there, you can still try the Amsterdam Dungeon, but you should be careful, The Venise of the north sea hide many secrets..
3 - But They Love Art Though
Sooooo you don't like weird things and it's too cold to stay outside ? Well why don't you try the Museumplein, full of really old paintings, amazing sculpture and way too many things for me to describe, but you're not actually here for the artsy part of Amsterdam, are you ?
4 - Dutch people don't love green stuff that much.
Do you remember the last time you went for a walk on a beautiful beach and a friendly local told you to not throw away your plastic bottle anywhere near that beautiful and that there were container dedicated for this ? You listened to this friendly old men, didn't you ? Well in Amsterdam it's exactly the same. Don't "roll it up, light it up, smoke it up" in the middle of the street, for most dutch people, it's incredibly rude, and i'm pretty sure you don't want to be a lousy tourist. There's coffee shop for that, with amazing staff people, friendly tourist here to enjoy the same thing as you, and perhaps, if you're lucky, you'll even find a really nice coffeeshop, like Katsu, full of locals willing to help you enjoy your trip.
5 - The Red Light District can creep you out.
Don't get me wrong, i love boobies as much as the next men, but the fact that women there are exposed like meat on a stall kind of.. disturbed me. Even though i support women that are willing to work in this industry, i cannot get over the fact that most of them are not there on their free will, human trafficking and drugs trafficking are still a big issue in Amsterdam, and even though the Government is trying to regulate them, while keeping an open mind, which is actually a good things, it can creep the hell out of some tourist.