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Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and its largest city. There are few places in the world where prostitutes openly sell themselves, and it is quite legal to taste soft drugs in coffee shops.
The country's culture itself is very interesting, but representatives of more than 170 peoples live in the city. This ancient city is over 700 years old.
Even for Europeans, this place seems unusual and mysterious. Let's find out what he really is.
Myths about Amsterdam
Amsterdam is shrouded in marijuana smoke. Coffee shops are really everywhere here, but you can smoke in them. The use of marijuana in a public place is prohibited, but in special places, or in your private home, it is not prohibited. Most bars, hotels or restaurants will look askance at openly drug-using tourists. Doing it in front of others can attract the attention of the police. She will quickly write out a fine for the corresponding violation. Amsterdam is both liberal and free. Where the place for pleasure ends, moral norms must be observed.
In Amsterdam, you can have a party in bars almost around the clock. Not everyone shares the passion of tourists for night walks. In bars, usually by one in the morning, they begin to show off visitors, however, on weekends this time is extended to three in the morning.
In Amsterdam, the police have no authority to search people. This myth appeared thanks to the movie "Pulp Fiction". It stated that in this city, a police officer has no right to search a suspect without special reason. So a government official cannot inspect bags, a car or a house without the permission of the owner or judge. But since 2011, the city hall of Amsterdam has introduced a kind of "security zone", which included the city center. Here the police are already allowed to inspect things and conduct a search without the permission of the private person himself. This is how the representatives of the law fight against illegal possession of weapons. And in 2013, a new law was introduced that allows the mayor to designate certain areas as temporary “safety zones”.
Amsterdam is the capital of debauchery. This is the main misconception about the Dutch capital. The rather liberal attitude towards prostitution and the use of marijuana really attracts numerous tourists here. But the sex industry thrives only in a few specially designated areas of the city, the most famous of which is the Red Light District. But in the daytime this is the most common place that does not stand out from the others. There are even historical sights - churches and museums. Coffee shops are much more visible. Their ubiquity in the city center gives the impression that drugs are very common in Amsterdam. In fact, in the Netherlands they are used less than in many European countries and the same America. There are many coffee shops in the historical center, but in other remote areas you can hardly find them.
The Queen resides in the Koninkljjk Paleis Royal Palace. In fact, this palace is just one of three dedicated to the royal family of the Netherlands. And Queen Beatrix doesn't live here all the time. Her residence is considered Huis ten Bosch (literally "House in the Woods") in The Hague. William I in 1815 appointed this very palace as the royal residence. Another palace, Noordeinde, in the same The Hague is considered the queen's workplace. And the Royal Palace in Dam Square is used for official receptions. Here in 2002 the heir to the Dutch throne married. The Royal Palace hosts the annual New Year's Royal Reception, as well as various awards ceremonies.
The train from the airport to the city station takes half an hour. There is a high-speed railway from the airport of the city to its center. The whole journey takes only about 10 minutes.
Amsterdam is full of drug addicts. If a tourist returns to his hotel before 23 o'clock, then he risks not seeing stoned people on the streets at all. Marijuana fans show up late in the evening, and even then they go straight to coffee shops. I must say that 90% of the public there are foreigners. In public places, it is generally prohibited to use drugs. Amsterdam looks like a calm city, there is no need to be afraid that a drug addict will grab a bag in search of funds for the next "dose". And the police work well. Even at night, you can walk in the area of coffee shops with a camera, camera and money without the risk of being robbed.
Amsterdam is a small city where the tourist has nothing to do. Of course, in its size and population, the capital of Holland is inferior to such giants as Paris and London. In fact, you can stay in Amsterdam for a few days and constantly discover something new for yourself. There are many museums and interesting places, the tourist will have where to find himself.
The Red Light District is constantly robbed or attacked. In fact, this is one of the safest places in the city. The police constantly patrol the area. Most sex workers have private bodyguards to ensure the safety of both the performer and the client. In the 1970s and 1980s, this place was really unsafe. At the corners, drug addicts were selling hard drugs to each other. Anarchy reigned in the quarter itself. But the authorities supplanted the negativity, deciding to lead what cannot be defeated. The number of prostitutes selling their bodies outside the window has also decreased. The police also set up security cameras everywhere.
Only prostitutes and erotic shows are gathered in the Red Light District. This statement is partly true, but the life here is much more diverse. The quarter is home to hundreds of different establishments - mostly restaurants and shops. Many people go here, to the historical center of the city, even just for the sake of architecture. It is better to do this before dark, until the streets are filled with tourists.
There are no restrictions in coffee shops. There are some laws that stores strictly follow. So, visitors must be at least 18 years old and you can buy in any store no more than 5 grams of "weed" per day. I must say that this is quite a lot.
All drugs in Amsterdam are sold to coffee shops. First of all, it should be noted that in addition to marijuana and mushrooms, other drugs are illegal. Ecstasy and acid can be bought secretly at open airs, and in the evenings in the center of Amsterdam, black dealers offer ecstasy and cocaine, but this is a highly questionable option. At a certain point, smart shops were opened to sell mushrooms in the city. However, these drugs with narcotic effects are much more unsafe than marijuana. The effects of fungi are strong and unpredictable. In addition, dietary supplements can be purchased in smart shops, but their effect is already based on self-hypnosis. And in growshops you can buy special kits for growing drugs and detailed instructions for this.
There are no restrictions on behavior in the Red Light District. As already mentioned, it is unlikely that it will be possible to walk with a "joint" here. The inhabitants of this haunted place do not like very much when they are photographed. Prostitutes are unlikely to get out of their windows, but here a tourist with a camera may well be doused with water from the upper floors. Most often, privacy will be protected by a muscular bodyguard, who will demand that pictures of the sex industry be removed.