Amsterdam fines tourists for antisocial behaviour

Partying visitors might face consequences if they step over the line

Singing on the street can now be penalised in one of the world’s great party cities. Because drunk tourists keep on disrupting order in Amsterdam, the authorities have decided to introduce on-the-spot fines aimed at young party-goers targeting at what representatives call antisocial behaviour.

The new rule, created as a part of the Enjoy & Respect campaign, wants to motivate visitors to enjoy the city without unnecessary damage. The campaign targets mainly Dutch and British people aged 18-34 and aims to send them a message that “offensive behaviour will not be tolerated in Amsterdam”.

“The Enjoy & Respect campaign aims to inform the target group of the consequences of this kind of behaviour, and raise awareness of what is allowed and – more importantly – what is not allowed in Amsterdam,” Amsterdam’s official tourist website wrote in a statement.

“The campaign was initiated by Amsterdam Marketing, and developed in collaboration with Amsterdam city council and other stakeholders.”

With the new measures, public drunkenness can lead to a fine of $95, while urinating into one of the famous canals could cost up to $160. Even dropping litter into the streets or throwing away a cigarette butt can turn out to be rather expensive mischief with the penalty also reaching $160.

The Enjoy & Respect campaign aims to inform the target group of the consequences of offensive behaviour — iamsterdam
The Enjoy & Respect campaign aims to inform the target group of the consequences of offensive behaviour — iamsterdam

“It is a daring campaign because it’s about behaviour,” says Amsterdam Marketing’s CEO Frans van der Avert.

“A lot of other campaigns are about forbidding things and that doesn’t work. People are welcome here but have to treat the city and the citizens with respect.”

Hodes said: “It’s a city where freedom is important and you have to accept a degree of nuisance, but it’s now out of hand. The crux of the problem is that there are too many tourists. The only thing to do is to take radical measures, otherwise it’s a consumption ghetto, not a city where people live.”