Despite being tagged as one of the most exciting places to visit; anybody who has any sense knows that there are a few areas to avoid in Amsterdam. It is very rare for a country to carry all its citizens along, and as such there will be those who are left behind. With few opportunities coming their way, they then turn to crime, which becomes a problem for the whole country.
In Amsterdam the cheap areas, despite being equally beautiful are known to be hot spots of petty crime such as pick-pocketing and purse jacking. The red light districts are best avoided at night unless one is the company of a person who knows the turf, and then there are places where it is best to let one’s guard down.
This does not take away from Amsterdam as a place of stunning beauty which one must visit; it just means that one needs to know where to go, and where to avoid.
Areas To Avoid In Amsterdam 2023
1. Kolenkit District
The Kolenkit District is a neighborhood in Amsterdam, Netherlands that has for a long time been recognized as a crime hot spot. Most of the buildings in this neighborhood are small, ugly apartments; which makes this probably the cheapest neighborhood in the city.
This neighborhood, due to its cheap housing options has naturally attracted some of the most unsavory types of people; which has naturally made this a crime hot spot.
Currently though, there are some on-going projects to improve the neighborhood; the government is making efforts to beautify the area and make it attractive to business.
The Bijlmermeer or locally Bijlmer, is a neighborhood in the Netherlands. This place is designed as a single large housing project, and has plenty of open spaces that serve recreational purposes. Perhaps it is too large; this neighborhood has been difficult to administer, and has fallen into disrepair.
There are over 150,000 people in Bijlmer, and a large number of the population is young. This has caused a bit of a problem because many of them are unproductive, and thus turn to all manner of bad behavior.
Hopi Boys and the Kloekhorststraat Gang are two of the biggest gangs in the area, and they are often at each other’s throats. They often clash, leaving mayhem in their wake. Even though organized crime does take place in this neighborhood, it is still common place to hear of petty theft, purse snatchings and so on. Bijlmermeer is certainly one of the places to avoid in Amsterdam.
Bijlmermeer has a population of about 150,000 people, and the neighborhood is very diverse culturally.
Geuzenveld-Slotermeer is a neighborhood located south west of the city of Amsterdam. This is an area based on a housing development that was intended to solve a housing problem. In this neighborhood many of the residents are young; and unfortunately, many have not received proper direction to make them worthy citizens.
Slotermeer is characterized by poverty; it is not advised to go there after dark. However, during the day, it a place to check out if one is serious about touring the ugly parts of Amsterdam.
The Prinsengracht is a canal in the center of Amsterdam. The name means the “Prince of Orange.” The entire area around the canal (which stretches on for about 3.2-kilometers) is also called Prinsengracht.
Princengracht has been described as beautiful and romantic; visitors love to take pictures on the banks, or take boat rides on the canal. This can be a great place to spend quality time with loved ones.
Any tour guide would advice visitors to enjoy Prinsengracht during the day, and to leave the area before it gets dark; many low cost houses exist in the vicinity, and tourists have reported running in with unsavory characters in the neighborhood.
5. Oude Zijde
Oude Zijde means Old Side in the Dutch language. It is the easternmost district in Amsterdam. This neighborhood was established as a small town and quickly attracted many Jewish immigrants who came as refugees from Portugal.
Oude Zijde is a district with many Museums, churches, and synagogues. These many attractions draw in visitors to the area in large numbers. However, this is an area where it is better to be on your guard, especially at night. There are all sorts of criminal activities there, and one of the crimes that is becoming more of a concern in the area is sexual abuse.
This is not to say that one will be a victim of a violent sexual crime, but the statistics suggest that one has to be careful in this neighborhood.
6. Zeedgik Street
Zeedgik is a street in the old center of Amsterdam, which has some history about it. A dike was built to keep the water from the Ij away; but that dike soon became a street, and then many inns and bars sprang up in the area, which became popular with sailors, leading to it being known as Nautisch Kwartier, which means Nautical Quarter.
In those days the area was riddled with crime, drug addiction, and all sorts of vices. These days it is the heart of Amsterdam’s China Town; there are many Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai restaurants.
However, it is right on the edge of the Red Light District; and so there is plenty of drugs and such vices; it is better to be on your guard when visiting this neighborhood.
7. Amstel III
Amstel III is a part of the Bijlmer district. This is more of a commercial area than a residential place, which makes it interesting that it should be getting such a bad reputation. Some of buildings in this area include The ArenAPoort Entertainment Complex, the AFAS Live and Ziggo Dome concert venues, and perhaps the most famous among them being the Johan Cruijff Arena.
The problem is that these arenas attract an unusual amount of young people; some of who are gangsters, petty thieves, and hooligans. These are the sort of people who cause crowd trouble at major events.
It may not be a good idea to visit this area alone at night, especially when there is no event going on.
8. De Wallen
De Wallen is located in the northern side of Amsterdam. De Wallen is the main Red Light District of Amsterdam; the earliest place to be accorded such status. This is basically a network of one-room cabins rented by prostitutes. This is a place where drugs and alcohol are abundant.
De Wallen is effectively controlled by criminal gangs, and some of the girls in these areas have been groomed sex slavery by these gangs. There is no telling what can happen there at night, so it is not a good idea to go there alone.
Osdorp is a neighborhood, located in the South West of Amsterdam, and has around 45,627 residents. This is a group of apartment blocks making up a larger residential area, with plenty of parks and green areas. The neighborhood also has a popular shopping center.
Osdorp has been the center of a raging gang war; even though a visitor would not likely be a target of these acts of violence; it may not be very wise going there with all the violence going on.
Meeuwenlaan is an area in the north of Amsterdam. It has plenty of row houses, as well as green area. This neighborhood is a mix use neighborhood; there are plenty of commercial establishments in the area.
This neighborhood has become famous for the criminal activities; including day light dare devil robberies involving shootouts with police. There is evidence of organized crime in the neighborhood; it may not be a good place to visit.
The areas to avoid in Amsterdam are mostly areas with public housing developments that are mostly poor neighborhoods. However, evidence suggests that organized crime is spreading in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands, and it does not look like the authorities are equipped to find a solution.