This European City Is the Next Hot Spot to Clamp Down on Tourists

There are dozens of tourist stores on Damrak in Amsterdam
There are dozens of tourist stores on Damrak in Amsterdam | © djedj / Pixabay
Tom Coggins

Amsterdam’s local government will limit the number of tourist-orientated stores in the city in order to give space to other businesses and crack down on mass tourism.
The ban is directed towards businesses that cater almost exclusively to tourists, such as bike hire points, souvenir stores and budget takeout joints. The government believes that their overwhelming presence in places such as De Wallen drives out any business other than tourism and, as a result, people living in these neighbourhoods are forced to travel elsewhere to buy groceries or socialise. According to current estimates there are around 280 of these types of businesses in Amsterdam’s city centre, and from now on the municipality will refuse to grant licenses to stores or restaurants that fit into this category.

The ban will limit the number of bike hire stores in the city centre

Although the ban won’t immediately change things in Amsterdam, the government expects that it will encourage other businesses to move into these areas and eventually create an environment that’s more welcoming to locals.
This isn’t the first time that the municipality has targeted tourism and the ban is part of ongoing efforts to make Amsterdam more liveable for its residents. Earlier this year the city’s council unveiled plans to raise taxes on accommodation, making low-cost hotel or hostels less attractive to visitors, and in 2016 AirBnb agreed to limit the number of days users could rent out their apartments in Amsterdam.

Tourism is becoming a hot issue in Amsterdam

Like many other residents of European hot spots such as Venice or Barcelona, Amsterdammers are becoming increasingly more vocal about the effects of tourism on their daily lives. As such, the municipality is currently looking for new ways to address issues associated with the massive influx of people visiting the city everyday and will likely continue to implement this kind of legalisation.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article