You live in Amsterdam, but do you have the right stuff? Here is our list of the 10 things every Amsterdam resident should own.


1. Bicycle

This one is too obvious, but if you live in Amsterdam you need a bike! It’s the best way to get around the city.


If you don’t have a bicycle, where can you find one? We like to buy things second hand, it’s cheaper and more sustainable. Try marktplaats.nl or check out the used bicycles for sale at places like the Waterlooplein fleamarket.

Feeling fancy and want a stylish steed? Check out the bikes at Het Zwarte Fietsplan or other shops around town.

2. Strong Lock

Every Amsterdammer knows that if you have a bike you need a lock that is twice as expensive and twice as heavy as the actual bicycle it is protecting. But make sure to securely lock your bike to something, and for craps sake please don’t leave the key in the lock, you drunkard!

Just kidding, sort of. But we’ve seen it happen more than once. Not to us, of course… we never go drinking.


3. Picnic Blanket

The sun comes out and Amsterdammers quickly head to one of three places: the beach, a terrace, or the park. And if you go to the park you simply must have a picnic blanket to sit on!

Your blanket of choice can be an old bed covering or a dedicated waterproof blanket made for sitting on damp grass, it’s completely up to you. But we say, keep it in your bike basket or bag at all times during the summer. It comes in handy!

Check out HEMA or other stores for lovely blankets with plastic coating that will keep your rear end dry, or just grab a used blanket from the Kringloopwinkel.

4. Umbrella

Does it rain a lot in Amsterdam? Um, yes. The answer is hell yes. That is why you need an umbrella if you live in Amsterdam, or maybe two umbrellas. And you have to learn to bicycle while holding an umbrella. That’s another requirement.


You can buy any umbrella that strikes your fancy: rainbow stripes, polka dots, boring black, it doesn’t really matter. Just know that the cheapest one will possibly fall apart within a few hours due to Amsterdam’s gale force winds. The most expensive one probably will too. You might want to consider the aerodynamic umbrella from Senz.

5. Comfy Sneakers

Are you a lovely lady relocating to Amsterdam from abroad? Are you used to wearing stilettos every day? Forget about it! First of all, you will ruin your fancy heels on the uneven brick streets and on the sharp edges of your bicycle pedals. Second, the rain will do them in. So just abandon your idea of tottering along the Negen Straatjes in your tall heels and give in to the comfortable footwear trend.

Fancy heels certainly have their place but you need at least one pair of comfy shoes. Sneakers are the thing in Amsterdam. High top, low top, colorful or plain – all are good.


This goes for you menfolk as well. Check out the selection at SeventyFive or be a do-gooder and take a look at Tom’s.

6. Orange Clothing

Maybe you think orange is not a flattering color to wear. Well, who cares! Find yourself an orange t-shirt, feather boa or something ASAP or prepare to be evicted from the Netherlands.

You must have at least one orange item of clothing for Koningsdag, and don’t forget that the World Cup or Euro Cup is always right around the corner. Oranjekoorts, my friends, oranjekoorts!

7. Pink Clothing

While you are out browsing the shops for your orange garb, you might as well pick up something pink. When Gay Pride arrives in Amsterdam you will need to don your prettiest pink outfit and go watch the fantastic parade through the canals.10 THINGS EVERY AMSTERDAMMER NEEDS

Head to toe pink is completely acceptable as well as pink peppered with a few rainbows. Go all out!

8. Friend with a Boat

Boating in the canals is the quintessential Amsterdam summer activity. If you don’t have one yourself, you really need to find yourself a friend. A friend with a boat. Kiss their ass, take them to dinner, bring them flowers, do whatever you need to do so that they think of you when the sun shines and invite you to join them for a day on the water.

If you can’t find a friend with a boat, you can always rent one!


It really is the best way to see Amsterdam on a sunny day! (btw make sure to invite me along with you!)

9. Fun Sunglasses

We already discussed how rainy and crappy the weather in Amsterdam can be. So when the sun comes out it seems like a blinding ball of fire to our cloud-adapted sensitive eyeballs. Thus, every Amsterdammer needs a pair of cool sunglasses!

Combine several of our “must-haves” into one by getting orange, pink or multi-colored sunnies! We also love local sunglass startup Dick Moby. Their sunglasses are made from a sustainable bio plastic. Check them out!

10. Bicycle Accessories

Let’s go back to the beginning. Number one, you need a bicycle. And once you have that cool bike, you need to be able to find yours in a sea of bicycles that look exactly the same.

So pimp your bike with fake flowers, a basket, fun paint colors, a bell, little horns shaped like animals, colorful seats and much much more. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity and imagination. Look around Amsterdam for inspiration.


That concludes our list of the 10 must-haves for any Amsterdam resident. Is there something we forgot? Let us know! 

You might also like these posts: