Amsterdam Is Telling Rowdy Male British Tourists to Please Stay Away

The Dutch city has had enough of wild partiers acting foolish

Drunk Men Lying On Road At Night
This scene is all too common
Getty Images/EyeEm

During a boat tour of Amsterdam in October 2022, my guide — an Englishman who’s been living in the Netherlands for two decades — told our group that the majority of people they pull out of the canal are male English tourists. The dudes get wasted, walk too close to the water, fall in and drown. It happens year after year without fail. And Amsterdam has had enough.

The Dutch city launched its “Stay Away” campaign this week, which discourages rowdy tourists between the ages of 18 and 35 from visiting if they plan on partying too hard and causing a disturbance. According to CNN, if British travelers use online search terms like “stag party Amsterdam,” “cheap hotel Amsterdam” or “pub crawl Amsterdam,” they’ll be served a video advertisement that cautions them of the consequences of bad behavior. 

The videos show young men being arrested and carted off to the hospital in ambulances and warn them of the fines, shame and physical repercussions of their actions. According to the local authorities, the campaign could expand later this year to include tourists from the EU and other parts of the Netherlands if they’re deemed a threat to the peace of the city.

But the practical Dutch aren’t just simply telling people to stay away — they’re telling tourists the right way to experience the city with their “How to Amsterdam” campaign, launching later this month. This will target tourists that have already landed in the city through social media and street signs, urging them not to urinate in public, buy drugs on the street, display public drunkenness and make too much noise. Seems like common sense, but that doesn’t stop tourists from losing their fucking minds when they set foot in the city.

Amsterdam has already banned cannabis use on the streets of its De Wallen neighborhood — aka the red light district — as well as tours of the area. As 10% to 15% of the city’s tourism is based in De Wallen, authorities are doing everything they can to preserve the peace of the historic neighborhood, where people actually live.

Maybe Amsterdam visitors should, oh I don’t know, visit one of the city’s absolutely incredible museums or indulge in its burgeoning restaurant and wine scene. But for drunken tourists irresponsible enough to drown in one of the canals, that point is probably moot.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.