LivingTravelHow not to get lost in Amsterdam

How not to get lost in Amsterdam

With its ring of canals that all look the same, a flat horizon that makes it difficult to see landmarks, and small alleys whose names are longer than they are, it’s no wonder the visitor site you look at white backwards maps are a common one on the street corners of Amsterdam. Follow these quick and easy tips to avoid getting lost in Amsterdam. Of course, if your travel plans include “getting lost” on purpose and going where your journey takes you, have an adventure!

Use a map

Don’t assume that because Amsterdam is relatively compact, you can fly it around and find what you’re looking for. A good map is essential for getting around and helps visitors make the most of their exploration time.

We find that the maps in most printed guides are limited; Pick up a map of the city at a tourist office, your hotel, or a souvenir shop. Please note the following about the orientation of the city:

  • Think of Central Station as the northern landmark of the city;
  • Remember that the three main canals that make up a complete horseshoe are in alphabetical order (inside out): Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht;
  • Identify major squares such as Dam, Nieuwmarkt, Leidseplein, and Rembrandtplein;
  • Be aware that street names often change when the route crosses water.

Make your mark

Once you’re armed with the map (s) of your choice, start circling, jotting down, and marking things like the location of your hotel, places you’d like to see, that funky store you stumbled upon in the neighborhood of Jordaan, the hole -The coffee on the wall you found you loved.

This will help you understand where things are in the city, relative to each other, what areas you have seen, and what areas you would still like to explore. And you will have a record of your discoveries for your travel journal as a bonus.

Know the law of numbers

Heeding this advice will separate you from tourists who spend an hour searching for the Anne Frank House by making a simple wrong turn on a canal. On any of the canals that surround the city (the main three are Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht), the house numbers get larger as you move east along the horseshoe. This is because the city first built the western sections of the canal belt, then gradually expanded as it grew.

So if you find yourself on one of the channels and you have no idea which direction you are going, start looking at the numbers. If they are slowing down, head west, with Central Station on your right. If they are increasing, head east, with Central Station on your left.

Ask the locals

Eliminate the fear of looking stupid or encountering a language barrier by asking for help. Almost all Amsterdammers speak excellent English and are happy to assist a (polite) visitor. They understand that the city can be confusing and take pride in being able to communicate with English-speaking travelers.

Use online resources

If you’re a big fan of knowing where you’re going, use the following online resources religiously:

  • Interactive Amsterdam city map: enter a street name and address, or just the zip code, and this map pinpoints the location.
  • Amsterdam public transport maps: find out which tram, bus or metro will get you where you want to go.

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