Canals and houses of Amsterdam
Amsterdam - The Tourist Of Life

The Netherlands

Like a local


Isn’t traveling like a local way more fun than traveling like a tourist? I mean, sure, we all want to see the highlights, take a tour and photograph like a mad man. But every inner-hipster in us likes to be ‘authentic’ and discover a local dish or hotspot, a store or a place where all the locals go and hang out. Other than that: acting as a local will definitely give you an unique experience to treasure.


Now I am not a local from Amsterdam, but as The Netherlands is pretty small and as I am in Amsterdam quite a lot I thought it would be fun to write a local guide to Amsterdam today! So in this article you’ll find how to act and how to do like a local!

Rent a bike – Obviously. While in Holland act like Dutchies do. I know very few people in The Netherlands who don’t own a bike, and who don’t use it. In fact: Amsterdam has more bikes than people. So want to act like a local? Rent a bike and cruise through the streets of Amsterdam and outside of Amsterdam. Learn how to use your bell though, you’re gonna need it.


Get your food out of the wall – Yes, in The Netherlands you have vending machines for fast food. Pay a euro or two and choose your snack! While getting your food out of the wall is described as a pretty touristy thing to do I promise you: every Dutchie gets their food out of the wall once in a while. Maybe even more than once in a while (I’m guilty). My recommendation? The Febo! If you want to act completely Dutch you should buy a ‘Kroket’ or a ‘Frikandel’!


Chill at Vondelpark – Vondelpark is one of the biggest and definitely most beautiful parks of Amsterdam. When the weather is nice locals turn to parks like these to study for their exams, to chill, talk and tan. So if you were wondering where you should eat up your vending machine-fast food you just bought? Go to Vondelpark!


Celebrate Kingsday – Kingsday is probably one of The Netherlands most fun national holidays. On the 27th of April we all come together to celebrate the birthday of our king. Kingsday is super fun and the whole city changes into one big festival! So if you have planned your stay in Amsterdam around this date, don’t be surprised to find everyone around you wearing bright orange.

Rent an Airbnb – Amsterdam has beautiful houses and apartments. As well as houseboats by the way. If Amsterdam wasn’t so freaking expensive I would have already lived there by now. If you want to feel like a local you definitely want to wake up in one of these beautiful apartments. If you’re really lucky you find a great rental looking out over the canals!


Watch a soccermatch in a bar – Soccer definitely is the most popular sport of The Netherlands, but if you want to support Amsterdam you should watch a soccermatch of Ajax, which is the soccer club of Amsterdam. Of course you can go to a live match but you can always watch them in the smaller bars in Amsterdam – cheaper and a good way to connect with the locals. It definitely isn’t hard to find a bar in Amsterdam that airs a soccer match of Ajax – just follow the fans and you’ve found a spot in no time!


Try one of the many Dutch beers – If there is one thing Dutch people love it’s a good beer. While thinking about Dutch beers I realize The Netherlands has quite a lot of own beer brands. But here are the ones you should definitely order and try: Heineken (you probably drank this before), Bavaria, Amstel, Hertog Jan and Wieckse.


Eat one of the many Dutch snacks – If you are in a bar late at night you should definitely order bitterballen, which is probably the most famous Dutch snack there is. Further than that you should buy a stroopwafel (from a store or from a stand somewhere on the streets), Dutch pancakes and Dutch applepie.

Follow a local around – If you want to feel like a local, ask questions about the locals and learn about Amsterdam you should definitely book a tour WITH a local! Eat a home cooked meal, get off the beaten track or take a boattour through the canals of Ansterdam. How fun is that?!


Go out at Leidseplein – Leidseplein is one of the most popular places to go out in Amsterdam. This square is filled with bars, clubs and small pubs. You’ll find both locals as tourists at Leidseplein, but one thing is for sure: it is really fun!


Get your groceries at the Albert Heijn (AH) – While staying in an Airbnb you probably bring a snack home once or twice, or even buy your breakfast or dinner at a grocery store. So which grocery store should you go to? Definitely the Albert Heijn – The Netherlands’ most beloved supermarket – and my personal favorite;-)!


Drink your coffee at one of these hotspots – Don’t confuse a café with a coffeeshop by the way. A coffeeshop in Amsterdam is basically a weedstore. But anyway, here are some cafés to check out: Koffiespot, Bocca, Coffee Bru, Hutspot, Scandinavian Embassy, Anne & Max, Zuivere Koffie, De Laatste Kruimel and Betty Blue.


Shop here – So want to shop like a Dutch person? That’s easy, we have an H&M too, you know;-). But just too name some Dutch stores to check out: De Bijenkorf, Action, Blokker, Xenos, Bagels and Beans, HEMA, Hope, Mint, Muze the Store, LouLou, We Are Labels.

Traveling Like a Local in Amsterdam - Local traveling tips

Useful Books

This blogpost is written in collaboration with With Locals. Opinions however, are as always, my own.