Travel Tips

Anthony Bourdain's Amsterdam Travel Tips: 36 Hours in the City of Tolerance

A boat ride that Tony enjoys because you "can actually go somewhere" in a boat in Amsterdam.

Tony’s in Amsterdam for the first time in nearly 40 years. The last time he visited, he slept in a public park. Now that his priorities have changed, he’s eager to explore the city and take in as many sights as he can -- in only 36 hours. We’ve pulled together a selection of Tony’s best quotes and tips from the Amsterdam episode. Be sure to check them out before your next trip! 

Airport Transportation
"The best way into Amsterdam from Schiphol airport is the train to central station. It takes 20 minutes and costs only a few euros. Since forever, this is how most visitors arrive."

Local Languages
"Did I mention yet that people talk English here? Yup, unlike our country, the Dutch generally speak 2 or 3 or even 4 languages fluently … so it’s easy to communicate."

Marijuana and Prostitutes
"When you mention you’ll be making a stopover in Amsterdam, you get a reaction I can only describe as semi-collegiate. A knowing look … as if there can really only be 2 reasons you’d go to this lovely little city of canals."

Kings of the Road
"In Amsterdam, the bike … crappy old bikes actually … are the kings of the road. Even cars fear them. You better look both ways."

The Amsterdam Trolley
"It’s kind of cool, the way it snakes through the city. Especially if you just got off a good head of steam and it’s moving? I’d recommend it."

Dam Square
"The historical center of Amsterdam. Home to the royal palace, tourists and … very strange people."

The Visitors
"It’s like every variety of hipster doofus from the entire universe is allowed here. It’s like the European version of Bangkok. There’s a very high threshold for bad behavior."

Coffee Shops
"Amsterdam: city of tolerance … though, chances are your louder drinkers are from elsewhere and not all Amsterdammers, by any means, are smoking indo. Many, if not most, of the people taking a plastic, fantastic joyride to the center of your mind on the barstools of coffee shops are tourists. It’s a legal novelty, and one way to kick back on a layover… not that I would ever, ever do such a thing."

What to Eat
"If you can’t go to Indonesia for its food, go to Amsterdam."

Indonesian Influence
"Indonesia was under Dutch control until 1945, and returnees and immigrants … brought the delicious food of the area back to Holland."

For more on Tony’s trip to Amsterdam, check out our Episode & Travel Guide.

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