What not to pack for a trip to Amsterdam

What Not to Pack for Your Amsterdam Adventure

It is always easy to find packing checklists online. No matter your purpose of travel, duration, destination, or any other differentiating factor, there will likely be a packing list for you to find on the internet. However, wouldn’t it be nice to have a local friend give you some tips on what not to bring?

In this blog, we’ll guide you through a list of things you should avoid packing when travelling to the Netherlands. From understanding the country’s drug policies to preparing for its unique climate, being informed about what to leave out of your luggage can make all the difference in your journey. So, before you zip up that suitcase, let’s take a closer look at what not to bring on your memorable trip to the Netherlands!

Blowdryer (if you have a different plug type than the EU):

These little machines will often burn out if you try to use them with a classic travel adaptor. To use it safely, you will need a proper voltage converter. Most accommodations will be able to provide you with a European blowdryer (“fohn” in Dutch.) It is safer this way, and you can save room in your suitcase! 

Stiletto heel:

Not all high heels are the same. Overall, you can get away with wearing heels in Amsterdam, however spiked heels or “stiletto” style might cause you a bit more of an issue. The cobblestone streets make it difficult to walk without a solid shoe base. A chunkier heel will make it more manageable if you really want to wear heels for a night out. But we always recommend comfortable shoes for Amsterdam due to the long walking distances, the old street infrastructure, and the fact that it is a casual city. 

Over-the-counter medicine:

The Netherlands has many shops where you can buy simple medicines. Look for shops like Etos or Kruidvat. Here you can purchase things like band-aids, fever reducers, allergy alleviators, etc. You’re better off buying these items on an as-needed basis rather than bringing them with you and not using them. 


If you are coming from a country that does not use euros, don’t bother converting your cash when you get here. Wait until you can get into the city and withdraw cash from an ATM rather than going to a money changer. You will save money on fees, you won’t be vulnerable with holding loads of cash, you will save time, and you can likely get by without using it anyway! Almost all places in Amsterdam accept card payments. However, having some cash to give tips in the case of wonderful service is nice. 

Pocket knives:

As of July 2023, nearly all knives have been banned from being carried in Amsterdam. This new rule does not apply to things that are packed up in a way that makes it impossible to be used swiftly for violence, however it is mostly aimed at pocket knives or kitchen knives that can be deemed dangerous in the public space. Amsterdam is known to be a safe city, so you are best off leaving these at home.

By packing thoughtfully and consciously, you’ll have more space to collect precious memories and cherished souvenirs and the freedom to immerse yourself fully in Amsterdam’s captivating charm. Embrace the adventure that awaits, and embark on an unforgettable trip that captures the true essence of this vibrant city.

With a well-prepared suitcase and an open heart, your Amsterdam adventure is sure to be an enriching and unforgettable experience that you’ll be talking about for a lifetime. Happy travels!

Written by Mother Bird Sara Michal


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