Amsterdam's International Students: a few tips

When in Amsterdam...every year in August international students come to live in our beautiful city. OMY Amsterdam Tours and other independent tour operators come together to introduce Amsterdam to our new international students.

Amsterdam has always recognized the importance of international relations. Visiting students become an important part of our community and ambassadors of the city for life.

Welcome new International Students of Amsterdam

However, arriving in Amsterdam to live or visit is daunting. The body's senses overload with new sounds, sights and smells. Bicycles wizz past with little respect for pedestrians and the streets are like a Daedalus Labyrinth.

For our new international students we have these tips:


Get a Museum Card.

For just under 50 euros this card is worth every cent. You will have access to most of the museums in the city and hundreds throughout the country. The card allows unlimited access from the time of purchase for 365 days. On the rainy days before class pop into a museum for 10 -15 minutes and learn the history of beautiful Amsterdam.

Put Museum Night in your diary NOW. You will have to buy a ticket but this will be the best night of your semester in Amsterdam. Amsterdam museums open until 2am for one night of the year. Our cultural guardian museums fill with bands, DJs, special exhibitions targeting people 18-35 years old. Most major cities have such a night. Every year this event is sold out. In Amsterdam in 2012 it is November 3. Tickets go on sale October 3. Put it on your calender NOW. You can thank us later.


Get a bike

You won't be able to beat the all mighty bicycle in Amsterdam over six months so you may as well join us. If you are uneasy on a bike go to one of our open, quiet, squares or parks and practice. Do what the young childeren do when they start, go around and around in circles at different speeds. The cheapest legal bike you can buy is with ASVA. They meet once a week at the Student Information Centrum to sell bikes for around 55 euros.

Invest in good locks

Thousands of bikes are stolen each year in Amsterdam. You don't want to loose bike if you can help it. A two lock system is mandatory.

Learn to lock you bike

Never step away from your bike unlocked. Amsterdammers will attest to this. Always lock to something sturdy so you bike cannot be carried away or tossed into the canals. Always lock the front wheel to the frame. There is nothing worse then wheeling you bike home with one wheel.

Your bicycle will become you best friend in Amsterdam. Many students have fallen in love with their two wheel steeds. At the end of their stay they often ship their old Dutch bike home despite the cost.

Public Transport

Instead of bike you may need to use the public transport network. Get a discount card. For around 50 euros a year you get a 40% discount on public transport. If the website is too much go to the Centraal Station to speak to the people at GVB for advice.


Learn your local street market. Every neighborhood has one. The produce, in many instances is cheaper than the supermarket. The marketers are true hardy Amsterdammers. They stand out no matter what the weather. They are small business owners. Entrepreneurial spirit is at the heart of Amsterdam. Support them and Amsterdam becomes stronger.

Buy Flowers at your local market. Amsterdam street markets have access to the largest flower in the market in the world down the road. You can pick up flowers all year around for the price of a pint of beer. You will live in no other place in the western world and buy flowers so affordable.

Albert Heijn

The major supermarket chain in the Netherlands. Not always the most affordable AH is normally the most accessible  Make sure you get a bonus card. What discounts are on offer can only be afforded with a Bonus Card.

Alternative Supermarkets 

Dirk van den Broek is cheaper from Albert Hein by around 30% but no fish or meat.

Lidl is another affordable option.

C1000 is positioned in outer Amsterdam

Cheap Eats

The old city center does not offer to many cheap student meals. A few good places are located around the University of Amsterdam buildings.

T'Pakhuis - simple sturdy pub meals at good prices. Perfect for that night when you want to eat out. Prepare for a wait as the place is always busy.

Broodje Bert - (Single 321) A sandwich that resembles a mountain. This sandwich can not be eaten with your hands it is so big.

Walking Tours:

OMY Amsterdam Tours encourages our international students to learn about Amsterdam. If you have friends or family members visiting bring them on our City Centre, Red Light or Neighborhood Tours.

A 2-4-1 offer on demonstration of your University of Amsterdam student card will be offered until June 1 2013. Mention your student card in booking and bring it to the tour. Maximum of two student cards per tour.

If you have a group of international students and want to take one of our tours we will provide you a competitive price. All OMY tour guides were students. Check out our reviews.

Add to the knowledge

If you have a tips or advice to add please share. This way next year we can pass on your tips to the next international students in Amsterdam.

Most importantly when in Amsterdam ....ENJOY!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

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