Amsterdam has long been the go-to party place for tourists and too often drug and drink-fuelled evenings end up becoming rowdy thanks to the popularity of stag dos, pub crawls, cannabis cafes and visits to the red light district.
Now, the authorities are putting their foot down.
A new online campaign is being rolled out to British tourists looking for a “messy” weekend away in Amsterdam to stay away.
Research has suggested that Britons aged 18-35, and Dutch men of a similar age, tend to cause the most nuisance in the red light district making life unbearable for residents.
From this weekend (1st April) anyone typing into search engines the keywords “stag party Amsterdam”,”pub crawl Amsterdam” or “cheap hotel Amsterdam” will see warning videos pop up on their screen showing young men staggering in the street, being handcuffed and finger-printed, having their mugshots taken, and describing the risks and consequences of excessive drug and alcohol consumption.
There are hard hitting warnings of fines of €140, hospitalisation, a criminal record and permanent health damage.
The campaign will start with Britain, then it will be rolled out to the Netherlands and beyond. At the same time, brothels and bars will close earlier.
From mid-May, there will be a ban on smoking cannabis in the street and around the Red Light District and large billboards will be placed in strategic places showing pictures of local residents with the words “We Live Here”.
Deputy mayor Sofyan Mbarki:
“Visitors will remain welcome but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. Action is needed to prevent nuisance and overcrowding. Amsterdam is a world city and bustle and liveliness come along with this but to keep our city liveable we need to choose limits instead of irresponsible growth.”