ACCESSIBLE AMSTERDAM

Accessibility, Travel

TRANSPORT;

– Schiphol Airport:

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the heart of travel in Amsterdam, hire bikes, get the train, tram, fly whatever & wherever.

I’ve read many a positive post about trams in Amsterdam & how great they are. I was told they would always let you on with your mobility scooter… I experienced differently. Twice. Apparently battery powered mobility aids don’t count as mobility aids according to some drivers. Be prepared for a little ignorance. I wanted to check on this as perhaps information online was misleading. After going to the ticket office, it was confirmed it was in fact against the law to refuse a disabled person access to public transport due to their disability. Always check things & know your rights.

– Blue Boat Company: This is a company which runs canal cruises which enable you to take your wheelchair or rolator. You can be put on the boat via a lowering lift & I think this is absolutely fab! We didn’t do this & simply did a regular tour but I heard about it & it sounds amazing for those with less mobility. The steps down to the boats were a little slippy & steep especially for a clumsy person like me! We simply used a bike lock to tie up my scooter on the little pontoon & popped it on charge in their ticket office, (with a little bit of persuasion from a tourettesy smiley girl 😉 ).

– Star Bikes Rental.

WOW! The loveliest man ever! He offered advice on where to go as a Brit living in Amsterdam help to use the mobility aids, the best range of mobility aids ever!!! You can get normal push bikes there too!

Access: One thing I would mention is that ALOT of the touristy type shops have a big step up into the shop & inside too. There was no room for my scooter in some ‘tat shops’ which sucks because I absolutely love to waste hard earned money on a pile of crap that sits in the drawer for the rest of my life.

Cobbled streets: There most definitely were some back streets that perhaps were not the best for a girl on wheels. Cobbled streets = Very bumpy ride. As fortunately I am able to walk short distances, I saved my spoons and locked up my scooter to be able to do these streets.

Cyclists own the roads: In Amsterdam cyclists are the ‘lorries of the motorway’ don’t get in their way or risk losing a limb.

Hotel shuttle bus/ coach can be an accessible cheaper save you getting tired.

– Bridges are everywhere- good flat!

– Arrange bigger taxis in advance.

– Do not walk or stand in bike lanes you’ll get knocked over

– Stay on same side of the road as cars when cycling, on the right follow blue bike signs

Watch out for people like me in cycle lanes!!!

DAYS OUT:

Smallest/ Narrowest house in Amsterdam

Museums: To be really honest. I’ve never really liked museums & I’ve done a lot in my time- which is fab & very important/ educational for kids (thanks mum for the endless amounts of castles, mountains & museums as a child 😉 however I definitely have over done it. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve always struggled with anxiety & found them to be overcrowded & trigger claustrophobia, because I’m the clumsiest person ever & worry I’m going to ram into a 5000 year old artefact and smash it into millions of pieces. Or frankly because they are so tiring. Either way too hot or way too cold. Quiet. Strangely quiet. Lack of seats. When in a museum I find myself looking around waiting for the next bench. I need to sit. It’s exhausting. Anyway! When we were in dam we decided not to do hundreds of museums. We did really want to do a few- Anne Frank being the main one!

– Van Gogh museum is wheelchair accessible.

– I’ve heard good things about the Heineken experience & it is very accessible fun place- although I would recommend you don’t drink if on prescription meds.

Rijksmuseum- Accessible, check their website for more info.

ANNE FRANK: I really really wanted to do this but I messed up trying to book tickets (you have to book months and months in advance) I’ll definitely be going back to Amsterdam to try and do this! So Anne frank tickets! You need to book online on their website. Further tickets get released on the day (9am I believe) I’ve heard you can queue outside but you will be there for hours- queues with Tourettes & fatigue don’t seem to go hand in hand. Unfortunately, it is not all accessible. The Shop, restaurant and main exhibit are. If you have seen the cringiest yet all time teen favourite film ‘ The fault in our stars’ you’ll know this already. Amazingly Amsterdam have an ‘Anne Frank virtual reality tour’ Guide Dogs for those who are hard of sight are not allowed inside the Anne Frank Museum although if you are hard of hearing they do have scripts of written text as oppose to audio.

FOOD:

STROOP Wafel

– STROOP WAFFLES ARE SO GOOD OMG OMG OMG HAVE THEM ! You can get these caramel waffles everywhere and anywhere! They are definitely overpriced in the airport/ train station & in tourist shops- get them from little grocery store type places! We got loads and ate them for breakfast. Also a really good idea for someone who is very fainty as they’re a good little sugar rush to carry around when you are out and about!

– Loads of good vegan & gluten free options!

– Tonnes of amazing coffee shops, restaurants & bakeries.

XXXX Know the difference between a coffee shop and a coffeeshop! XXXX

– Coffee shop / Café = A shop that sells coffee. People don’t generally call these coffee shops, rather cafes. There are a lot of fantastic cafes in Amsterdam from new and modern to old and atmospheric. THIS IS A CAFE!!

– Coffeeshop (no space!): A shop that sells marijuana. Some of these shops are really only counters where you can purchase marijuana for consumption later. (Some have a small room in the back for smoking purposes.) Don’t be that person asking for green stuff in a shop that sells coffee. Or going in for a coffee & cake on your mobility scooter & coming away feeling a little groovy.

GOOD TO KNOW

– People: People are so lovely! So chilled. Chatty. Always happy to help.

– There are so many hotels in Amsterdam & lots are run in chains.

Apps: Able Amsterdam & Accessaloo.

– Pretty picture spots, any canal anywhere! Near the Floating catboat. Amsterdam Centraal Station. Vondelpark. Red light district- avoid taking any photos of the women!

– Excursions: Outside of Amsterdam you can see some pretty cool things!

BUY SOME Sketchers D’lites! I PROMISE YOU THESE ARE THE COMFIEST SHOES YOU WILL HAVE EVER TRIED. You won’t regret it. Yet again, I’m writing about Sketchers- specifically ‘Sketchers D’lites’ these shoes are the best for walking- I have very flat feet & they are perfect. Memory foam base. Breathable. Wow. People laugh at me because sketchers are typically a 80 year old lady shoe, however once you’ve converted to sketchers it’s unlikely you’ll look back! I am in fact looking to get memory foam insoles when I see my podiatrist in order to feel as comfy as I do in Sketchers in every shoe! As a bonus they’ve started to sell more attractive & a wider variety of D’lites.

I didn’t know this till now BUT- It’s the law to carry a form of ID everywhere you go- driving license, passport or identity card.

– Avoid Big Bike tours, unless you really want to annoy local residents.

– Dam square your wheels might get stuck maybe a good idea walk round here a little if u can or avoid & go elsewhere as there is tonnes to see! Or just brave it, if you’re feeling a little risky just prepare for thinner wheels or walking sticks getting stuck.

112 – this is the emergency services number.

– Get a hotel near to things if you are planning on lots of day trips.

Enjoy x

– Stay safe & be careful with any of the funny green stuff they sell in Amsterdam.