This article was published on March 27, 2012

How to survive Amsterdam when you visit for The Next Web Conference 2012

How to survive Amsterdam when you visit for The Next Web Conference 2012
Wytze De Haan
Story by

Wytze De Haan

Founder, The Hatchet

Wytze writes weekly career advice for employees of fast-growing startups and scale-ups on topics like how to negotiate a better salary, conv Wytze writes weekly career advice for employees of fast-growing startups and scale-ups on topics like how to negotiate a better salary, convincing clients to work with you, or how to be a great manager for your team. Prior to founding the Hatchet, he spent 9 years working as Director of Events for TNW.

Amsterdam – a city inherently connected to the thought of beautiful canals, the red light district and its leniency towards lighting up. Those of you that have been here before will undoubtedly agree though, that there is more to this city than the Hollywood portrayal of the Dutch way of life.

More than half of the attendees of The Next Web Conference aren’t from the Netherlands. They fly into Amsterdam early in the week and often stay for the weekend afterwards. Needless to say, we love it and we’re extremely proud to see our event gain so much international appeal each year.

For our international visitors we have some useful tips when it comes to, not only surviving the city, but also getting the most out of your visit.


Undisputedly the best way to get around Amsterdam is by bike. The city is too big to cross it walking and the streets are too narrow to park your car – not to mention the lack of available parking spaces. Cyclists have a tendency to disobey all traffic laws and disregard those of us walking, especially tourists. Our advice: rent a bike and blend in ;-).

Arriving at Schiphol Airport? Trains leave for Amsterdam every 10 minutes and a ticket is only €3.80. Once in Amsterdam just take one of the many trams to your hotel – the entire trip will probably cost you less than 40 minutes. Use this website as your public transport planner during your visit. A taxi into Amsterdam shouldn’t cost you more than €45 depending on destination and the most recent developments of the credit crisis.

Keep in mind that taxis in Amsterdam are the most expensive in the world, second only to Singapore. You pay €7,50 for the first 2 kilometers no matter how short the ride, and €2,20 for every kilometer after that. Don’t be surprised if a taxi driver refuses to drive you somewhere all together, if the ride is too short they’ll tell you to go walk instead.


On the 30th of April, all of Holland will be covered by an orange veil as everybody moves to the streets to celebrate Queensday. Nowadays hardly anything to do with the royal family, Queensday is best associated with drinking, dancing, laughing and partying. We guarantee you will witness the best party you have ever experienced. One tip: if you did decide to rent a bike, this would be a good time not to bring it.

Of course TNW wouldn’t be TNW if we didn’t organize a good party here and there. First one to add to your agenda is our Pre-Conference Party at Hotel V on Wednesday 25th of April. Score a cocktail with your fellow attendees and grab your badge for the conference and the skip the line on Thursday.

For Thursday evening we persuaded our city councilmen to block the entire Wolvenstraat. From 7.30pm onwards TNW attendees can raise mayhem at either Brix, Bar22 or Wolvenstraat 23.

Drugs & Red Light District

Amsterdam is known for being the drug capital of the world. Always be cautious if you decide to take your chances with the Green Goddess. Our soft drugs are very potent and can easily make you sick. Locals usually aren’t too interested in drugs either, so be discrete. If you can, ask a local to escort you so you won’t get ripped off or take something you shouldn’t take. Apart from that, enjoy!

The Red Light District is also a big sightseeing attraction. Be careful not to get on the wrong side of our windowed ladies – they don’t like being photographed or harassed. Don’t get too distracted either, pickpockets are eager to use your credit card on your behalf.


The Next Web Conference will take place in different spots in Amsterdam. We’ve made a useful map that pinpoints all the important locations you need to know.

We’ve also added some useful locations such as hotels, public transport stops and party locations.
The best way to get to either of these locations is by tram or bike.

Add Patrick’s new Foursquare Amsterdam Tech Hangouts list for the ultimate Amsterdam experience.

Last but not least – if you read this but haven’t bought a ticket yet you can still get our discounted early bird tickets. Also check out our speakers, we’re still adding more each day!

Follow all of our coverage of The Next Web Conference 2012 here.

View The Next Web Conference on a larger map

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