Is Amsterdam a dangerous city?

safe visiting Amsterdam as a tourist
Amsterdam is the most populous city in the Netherlands as its culture, history and liberal nature attract tourists and locals alike in large numbers. One may worry that the combination of this tolerant culture and large numbers make Amsterdam a dangerous city. Well, how true is this?

Crime rates for Amsterdam

The first pointer on whether a city is safe is how regular violent crimes like murder and terrorism and non-violent ones like pickpocketing happen. According to Numbeo, Amsterdam has a crime index of 32.87, and this is relatively low. However, the city has the highest crime rates in the Netherlands.

You are unlikely to get robbed or mugged in Amsterdam as the city reports about 5 robberies per day. Teenagers are usually the victims of losing their phones and such muggings involve little-to-no violence. Assault and armed robberies are also rare, and when they occur, they are concentrated in the business areas of the city. Tourists are not susceptible to these crimes.

A city that attracts tourists is also a magnet for pickpockets. They are found in plenty in Amsterdam, especially in the summer where there is a boom in tourism. Locals and foreigners alike can reduce their likelihood of being pickpocketed by staying alert of their surroundings. Pickpockets usually come in pairs; one to act as a distraction by maybe asking for directions and the other who steals from you.

Organised crime

Amsterdam’s Red Light District is famous for being unsafe, but according to Expatica, this is not so for people who are walking around. Soft drugs and prostitution are legal in the Netherlands but with restrictions. In this district, these rules are trumped, and this is what can make it unsafe.

Hard drugs, organised crime groups, and prostitution where pimps are used (which is unlawful despite prostitution being legal) are common in the Red Light District. The nightlife here is crazy and mostly illegal, making nighttime less safe to walk around the area, however police is present.

Amsterdam Southeast is also unsafe as you can walk freely around it during the day, but should be wary of the place when it gets dark.

Road accidents

One of the indicators of a city’s safety is how the transport infrastructure is designed to protect those in vehicles, bikes and on foot. Amsterdam is a cycling city with more than 800,000 bikes. Dedicated bike lanes take the inhabitants throughout the city away from vehicle traffic. One can park their bike anywhere, as long as it is not restricted.

However, the accident rate for cyclists is relatively high at 28% of road injuries in the city. Pedestrian deaths are at 27% and if you don’t secure your bicycle well, you may be a victim of Amsterdam’s biggest crime- bike theft.

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