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Amsterdam Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2024?

Amsterdam, known for its canals and culture, attracts global travelers. Planning your trip, you might ask, "Is Amsterdam safe?" A valid question.

Tobi Miles
March 31, 2024
Amsterdam Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2024?

The city is known for its open-mindedness and welcoming atmosphere, but like any major city, it has its share of safety concerns. However, don't let that deter you. Amsterdam is generally considered safe for tourists, with a strong emphasis on personal safety and a low crime rate compared to other global cities.

Understanding the local laws and being aware of your surroundings can go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. So, let's dive deeper into what makes Amsterdam a must-visit destination and how you can navigate its charming streets with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Amsterdam is generally safe for tourists, boasting low crime rates, especially compared to other global cities, but staying vigilant, particularly against petty theft, enhances personal safety.
  • Understanding and respecting local laws, such as those regarding cannabis and the Red Light District, is crucial for a trouble-free visit. Tourists should only purchase cannabis from licensed coffee shops and avoid photographing workers in the Red Light District.
  • When using public transport, which is known for its safety and reliability, passengers should be aware of safety measures like CCTV and the presence of security personnel. Familiarizing oneself with routes and using official apps for navigation can improve the experience.
  • Certain neighborhoods, including Bijlmermeer and parts of Amsterdam-Noord, should be approached with caution, especially at night, despite the city's general safety and significant improvements in these areas.
  • Emergency services in Amsterdam are easily accessible, with the general emergency number 112 providing a direct line to police, fire, and ambulance services. Additional services catered to tourists, such as the Tourist Medical Service, ensure visitors' safety and health.

Crime Rates in Amsterdam

While exploring the enchanting city of Amsterdam, you'll be relieved to know that its crime rates are impressively low compared to other major cities worldwide. This reassuring fact significantly contributes to the city's reputation as a safe destination for tourists.

Amsterdam's approach to policing and community safety emphasizes prevention and community engagement, which has shown effective results over the years. However, like any urban area, there are pockets of higher crime, but these are generally outside the tourist routes and can be avoided with simple precautions.

To put it into perspective, let's delve into some numbers.

Type of Crime


Comparison with NYC

Petty Theft


Higher in NYC

Violent Crime

Very Low

Higher in NYC

Drug Offenses


Lower in NYC

It's important to note that while petty theft, such as pickpocketing, is the most reported type of crime, incidents of violent crime are exceedingly rare. Still, staying vigilant in crowded areas and at night is advisable.

Moreover, the city’s Red Light District, despite its controversial reputation, is heavily patrolled and monitored, making it safer than one might expect. The Amsterdam police also maintain a visible presence in the city center, further enhancing safety for both locals and visitors.

As you navigate through Amsterdam's cobbled streets and famous canals, knowing these facts can help you maintain a sense of security. Always be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings close, and avoid engaging in illegal activities to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this vibrant city.

Safety Tips for Tourists

When visiting Amsterdam, it's crucial to prioritize your safety as in any major city around the world. Given Amsterdam's reputation for being a relatively safe city, there are still essential tips you should follow to ensure a worry-free visit.

Stay Aware of Bike Lanes and Cyclists: Amsterdam is famous for its bike-friendly culture. However, it's easy for tourists to inadvertently wander into bike lanes, posing risks to both themselves and cyclists. Always check for approaching bikes before stepping onto the road.

Use Authorized Taxi Services: To avoid scams, always use official taxi services. These can be hailed from designated taxi stands or booked via reputable apps. Unauthorized taxi services, often found soliciting rides at airports and train stations, can overcharge unknowing tourists significantly.

Avoid Flashing Valuables: Petty theft, though less common than in other big cities, can occur in crowded places. Keep your valuables secured and out of sight. Consider using anti-theft backpacks or bags, which provide an additional layer of security.

Be Cautious with Cannabis: While Amsterdam is known for its liberal stance on cannabis, purchasing from unauthorized vendors can lead to legal issues or health risks. Only buy from licensed coffee shops to ensure you're complying with local laws.

Respect Local Laws and Customs: Understanding and respecting the local laws and customs can go a long way in avoiding unnecessary problems. For instance, photographing workers in the Red Light District is strictly prohibited and can lead to the confiscation of your camera or a fine.

Emergency Numbers: Keep a note of emergency numbers. The general emergency number is 112, and it's wise to have the number for your country's embassy or consulate.

By following these simple yet effective tips, you're setting yourself up for a safe and enjoyable visit to Amsterdam. Remember, staying informed and cautious is key to avoiding common pitfalls that tourists might face.

Emergency Services in Amsterdam

When planning your visit to Amsterdam, knowing how to access emergency services is crucial. The city is well-equipped to handle various emergencies efficiently, ensuring your safety at all times.

Immediate help is just a call away in Amsterdam. For any emergency—whether it's a health issue, a crime, or a fire—you need to dial 112. This number connects you directly to the central dispatch for all emergency services, including ambulance, police, and fire department. Operators are trained to assist you in English, so language barriers won't slow down the response to your situation.

In addition to the universal emergency number, Amsterdam offers other hotlines and services catered to specific needs:

  • Police non-emergency assistance: For situations that require police attention but are not immediate life-threatening emergencies, dial 0900-8844. This line is ideal for reporting thefts or vandalism after the fact.
  • Tourist Medical Service: If you're a tourist in need of medical care, the tourist medical service provides access to healthcare professionals who can help. They're accustomed to assisting visitors and can provide care that aligns with your needs without the usual complexities of navigating a foreign healthcare system.


Contact Number

Emergency (Police, Fire, Ambulance)


Police Non-emergency


Tourist Medical Service

Varies by location

While Amsterdam is a safe city, it's always best to be prepared and informed about how to reach out for help if needed. Knowing these numbers and services can offer you peace of mind, allowing you to explore the city's beauty and culture with ease.

Beyond these emergency services, Amsterdam has a robust public safety infrastructure. Well-lit streets, public surveillance systems, and a visible police presence contribute to the overall safety of both residents and tourists alike. Additionally, many neighborhoods host community safety initiatives, providing an extra layer of security.

Equip yourself with this knowledge and carry it with you as you discover Amsterdam. You're not just protecting yourself; you're ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience in one of Europe's most vibrant destinations.

Neighborhoods to Avoid

When exploring the beautiful city of Amsterdam, most areas are welcoming and safe, attracting visitors from all around the globe. However, like any major city, there are certain neighborhoods that you may want to be more cautious about or even avoid, especially late at night. It's important to stay informed to ensure your trip is both enjoyable and safe.

Amsterdam’s Red Light District, known as De Wallen, is famous worldwide and a major tourist attraction. While it's generally safe during the day due to the high police presence and crowd of tourists, it can become less secure at night. Pickpocketing is the most common crime here, so keep an eye on your belongings.

Bijlmermeer, situated in the southeast, has seen vast improvements over the last couple of years but still maintains a reputation for being less safe than other parts of the city. It's advisable to be cautious, especially after dark, due to a higher incidence of petty crimes compared to the city center.

In recent years, Amsterdam-Noord has transformed significantly with trendy bars, restaurants, and cultural spaces. However, some areas within Noord still experience occasional reports of crime, suggesting visitors stay vigilant, particularly in isolated spots after sundown.

To help you stay safe, here are a few tips:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid isolated areas at night.
  • Keep your belongings secure and out of sight.

While Amsterdam boasts a robust public safety system with well-lit streets and visible police presence, staying informed about which areas to be cautious in can significantly enhance your experience. Remember, the city is best enjoyed with a bit of caution and a lot of excitement.

Safety Measures in Public Transport

When exploring Amsterdam, you'll likely make use of its extensive public transport network. It's crucial to be aware of the safety measures in place to ensure your trips are not just convenient but secure as well.

First off, Amsterdam's public transport system is known for its reliability and safety. The city invests heavily in making sure that buses, trams, metro, and ferries are safe for everyone. This includes the installation of CCTV cameras across stations and on many of the vehicles themselves. These measures deter potential offenders and ensure that any incidents are swiftly dealt with.

Moreover, the presence of security personnel and conductors, especially in the evenings and at night, provides an added layer of security. These individuals are not just there to check tickets but also to assist passengers in feeling safe and secure during their journeys.

Type of Transport

Number of CCTV Cameras

Security Personnel Presence

Buses and Trams

Over 400



Over 300

Medium to High


Over 50


Transport staff are trained to handle a range of safety issues, from medical emergencies to de-escalating potential conflicts. They're your go-to for assistance if you're feeling uneasy or if you notice anything suspicious.

Another key safety feature is the well-lit and clearly marked stations and stops. Good lighting not only reduces the risk of accidents but also acts as a deterrent to criminal activity. The clear signage helps in avoiding confusion and ensures you can find your way easily, reducing the time spent in potentially vulnerable situations.

For an optimal experience, familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules in advance. The GVB, Amsterdam's public transport company, offers a user-friendly app that provides real-time updates on schedules, any service disruptions, and security announcements. Utilizing such tools enhances your ability to navigate the city safely and efficiently.

Embracing these safety measures and tips can significantly contribute to a positive and secure experience when using Amsterdam's public transport. Remember, awareness is key—keeping an eye on your belongings and being mindful of your surroundings goes a long way.


Amsterdam's commitment to safety, especially within its public transport system, is evident. With state-of-the-art security measures like CCTV cameras, the presence of security personnel, and well-lit stations, you're in good hands. Remember, leveraging the GVB app for real-time updates and staying vigilant are key to navigating the city with ease. Rest assured, your travels through Amsterdam's bustling streets and serene canals can be both enjoyable and secure. So pack your bags with confidence, knowing you're headed to a city that places your safety at the forefront.

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety measures are in place in Amsterdam's public transport system?

Amsterdam's public transport system employs several safety measures, including CCTV cameras, security personnel, and well-lit stations. This ensures the safety and security of passengers at all times.

Are transport staff in Amsterdam trained to handle safety issues?

Yes, transport staff in Amsterdam are well-trained to manage various safety issues. Their training allows them to effectively ensure passenger security and deal with emergencies.

How can passengers stay informed about safety in Amsterdam's public transport?

Passengers can stay informed about safety in Amsterdam's public transport by using the GVB app. The app provides real-time updates and clear signage, helping users navigate the city safely.

What can passengers do to ensure their safety while using Amsterdam's public transport?

Passengers can ensure their safety by staying vigilant, making use of the public transport system's safety features such as CCTV and security personnel, and following safety tips like staying informed through the GVB app.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 31, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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