Invader Stu: How to spot tourists in Amsterdam

Every year thousands of tourists descend upon Amsterdam to explore the city and take in its many sights. They are usually easy to spot but it's not always their maps and suitcases that give them away.

11 ways to spot tourists in Amsterdam

Sometimes there are more subtle signs that can be used to tell the tourists apart from the locals:

They're the only ones wearing any item of clothing with the name "Amsterdam" printed on it.

Despite the many photo opportunities offered by Amsterdam’s beautiful canals, stylish architecture and impressive museums, tourists are the ones excitedly taking photos of Febo.

You overhear them talking loudly about visiting the Red Light District (and lying about what they are going to do there).

They're the loudest passengers on the train from Schipol to Amsterdam and the quietest on the way back (usually due to hangovers).

They are fascinated by wooden shoes and are unable to resist the temptation of sitting in a giant novelty clog.

They stand in front of the train ticket machine for at least 10 minutes, trying to figure out where to insert a 50 euro note (and inevitably trying to put it in the debit card slot).

 They try to scan their home-printed train ticket on the OV readers.

 They're the ones who are most surprised to discover that vla does not mean "milk".

They cycle in a group down a pedestrian street or along tram tracks, oblivious to the danger.

Ironically, they also mistake bike paths for footpaths - despite the large number of bicycles swerving around them.

They look confused when Dutch waiters always "forget" to put milk in the tea (English tourists, that is).

Are there any more signs? How do you recognise tourists in Amsterdam?

Invader Stu is an accident prone Englishman who has been suffering from Dutch culture shock for the last ten years. Enjoy his stories, more of which can be found on Invading Holland.

Stuart B


Stuart B

An accident prone Englishman living in Holland since 2001. Still not great with the language but finds stampot lekker.

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