Amsterdam is a pretty safe city, but of course it is always a good idea to keep your eyes open when you are out on the streets at night. Pick pockets are always present, day or night, so make sure to put your wallet and phone somewhere safe. Especially when you are in a crowded place with lots of other tourists or when packed like sardines in one of the city’s tram lines. The subway is always safe to use, but when you get on or off at one of the stops outside the city centre at night, stay alert to your surroundings. The same goes for when you visit places like the Red Light District or other spots that are crowded and chaotic.
In case of an emergency, dial 112. You’ll be asked where you are (Amsterdam) and what you need (ambulance, police, fire brigade). If you need police, but there is no emergency, dial 0900-8844. If you need to report something to the police (theft, abuse), you can always go to the nearest police station. For medical care that is not an emergency, go to the Accident & Emergency department of the nearest hospital.
All public buildings are smoke free and also all restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes. Most places do have a special room where you can light up a cigarette. You can smoke outside, also on the terraces, but even then you can be asked to smoke your cigarette in a particular spot to not harass others with the smoke.
Drinking and drugs laws
It might seem that the Dutch laws must be pretty easy on drinking and drugs, but that is not really the case. Yes, you can go into a coffee shop and buy some weed, but this doesn’t mean you can smoke it anywhere you like. If you want to be safe, smoke your joint in the special room in the coffee shop. As long as you don’t attract too much attention to yourself, you are also safe to smoke a joint outside, for instance in the park.
Drinking alcohol on the streets is forbidden. Again, if you’re sitting in a park minding your own business while drinking a glass of wine or a beer, you’ll be fine. But the Amsterdam police isn’t too keen on people walking the streets while drinking, so better not do that. The legal drinking age in Holland is 18 for beer and wine, and you also have to be over 18 years old to drink stronger liquors and smoke weed.