Amsterdam is safe for female travelers
Amsterdam is a safe city for women of all ages traveling alone or together.
Female travelers experience very little to no harassment in the streets or elsewhere. Incidents do occur, though. As everywhere, it is best to observe normal safety precautions. Avoid walking alone in poorly lit or unpopulated areas.
Hostelle – Female-Only Hostel
Amsterdam has a highly-acclaimed females-only boutique hostel: Hostelle.
Hostelle offers shared dormitories with 4-, 8-, and 10- beds. Guests enthusiastically rate this hostel as ‘Fabulous.’ [See the guest ratings for other Amsterdam hostels as well]
Amsterdam’s Public Transport is Safe
Public transport is busy at all times of the day and night.
In buses you may prefer to sit toward the front, largely because at times rowdy kids prefer sitting in the back. The same is true for trams. Some trams do have on-board conductors in a booth toward the rear of the tram.
Many women ride their bikes in Amsterdam, even at night. Nevertheless, at night it is always a better idea to travel with a friend.
Speaking of which: You’re in Amsterdam! Of course you’ll want to rent a bicycle!
‘Scooter thugs’ sometimes drive past women who stand or walk too close to the bike (and scooter) lane, with the passenger grabbing a handbag. You can get seriously injured that way, especially if you do not let go. At times scooter thugs even drive onto the sidewalk.
Handbags are also prime targets for pickpockets, particularly in trams. At times when there is standing-room only, and there are people all around you, it is quite easy for a pickpocket to open your bag and steal your phone or purse.
a) carry only a small handbag, and keep it out of harm’s way, and
b) use a money belt or bra stash pocket (or women’s underwear with a secret stash pocket) to carry your cash and passport.
Red Light District
Women can and do safely visit the Red Light District, but most prefer to do so with one or more friends. Note that the Red Light District in recent years has become more compact and a lot more crowded.
Women walking by themselves, particularly at night time, may be mistaken as ‘working girls’, even though working the streets is illegal.
That said, the Red Light District actually is a residential area that is home to — and is visited by — women of all ages.
Still, it is best to avoid eye-contact with obvious boors and bores, as well as with junks.
Hotels and Hostels catering (or not) to Female Travelers
Do not find accommodation via the so-called ‘hotel runners’ at Central Station. Hotel running (people trying to talk you into ‘cheap’ accommodation for the night) is illegal.
You never know where you end up staying, what you end up paying, and who you will be sharing your room or bed with.
Most youth hostels have coed dorms and shared showers — and some hostels, such as the Flying Pig even have double beds (yes, two people to a bed).
Some hostels offer female-only dorms during the summer months. Christian Youth Hostel The Shelter has female-only dorms year round. Others have private rooms available.
There even is a female-only hostel: Hostelle, which receives high ratings from female travelers.
In all hostels and hotels observe normal safety precautions. You’d be surprised how many travelers staying in shared rooms or dorms have lost valuables even though — as they will later say — they left these items on their own beds.
Clothes and Nudity
In Amsterdam you wear what you like. There is no dress code, though of course certain hotels, restaurants and shops do expect you to uphold a certain level of decorum.
But overall it’s OK to wear shorts, short skirts, revealing tops, et cetera.
In the parks, at swimming pools, and in semi-public areas such as gardens, balconies and rooftop decks, women do sometimes go topless — though nowadays this occurs less often than it used to.
At places like Vondelpark it is not unusual to see young women sunbathe in just their bra and panties during their lunch break.
Harassment of female travelers is rare, and there are enough people around to deal with anyone who causes a nuisance.
Recommende books for female travelers
- The Solo Female Travel Book. This fun-to-read book is half guide, half memoir, all heart and a must-read for aspiring female adventurers.
- Gutsy Women: More Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road. This travel guide for women travelers covers important issues of health, safety, and comfort while traveling on a budget.
- Girl about the Globe: Making Solo Travel Easier. Author Lisa Imogen Eldridge — who keeps this Kindle book up-to-date — has been traveling, living and working abroad for the past 22 years. During that time she has traveled to 120 countries — 87 of these solo. Whether it is your first time or you have travelled solo before, this Female Guide To Solo Travel will inspire, empower and prepare you for your solo trip.
- Travel Junkie: A Badass Guide to Solo Female Travel. Julia Dimon has traveled to 80 countries on all seven continents. You may have seen her 40-episode television series for National Geographic Adventure and Travel Channel International. Her hilarious, wildly entertaining book contains (awe-)inspiring personal stories, along with a suitcase full of practical advice, such as
– How to stretch your money and not skimp on your travel experience
– How to get the best fares online
– How to maximize your miles
– How to pack and navigate an airport like a pro
– How to leverage social media and the shared economy
– How to get off the beaten track and connect with locals
– How to volunteer abroad
– How to stay safe on the road
– How to get malaria (not)
– How to tame fear and live your travel dreams
- GO: Solo Travel for Women. Not so much practical, but inspirational: Learn how you too can journey into wild places, be nurtured by nature, taught its secret laws and language, and became brave enough to experience the hope and healing available when we venture out beyond our back doors
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