Tourists in Amsterdam next year will no longer be offered bus tours. Tourist buses will be expelled from the city center, so visitors to the city will have to walk more or rent bicycles.
City center tour bus ban to take effect in 2024
From January 2024, Amsterdam will impose a ban on tourist buses in the city center. The measure, which has been discussed for the last three years, was supposed to come into force this year. But at the request of the local tourist industry, its commissioning was postponed for another year.
The ban on tourist buses in the municipality of Amsterdam is explained by the desire to prevent the accumulation of people, which means garbage on the streets, as well as exhaust gases from vehicles. In addition, bridges and embankments in the city can no longer support heavy buses (weighing more than 7.5 tons), which can also create congestion in narrow streets and interfere with cyclists and pedestrians.
The new ban will affect not only classic sightseeing buses but also large buses that transfer tourists from the airport and seaport. They will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers only at special places on the inner ring road. Parking of tourist vehicles will be allowed only on the outskirts of the city.
In the center of Amsterdam – by bike or on foot
Tourists, as an alternative to tourist buses, will be offered to use taxis, public transport, canal boats, bicycles, or walk.
More than 300 buses pass through the center of Amsterdam every day, according to the municipality. “It’s too much, it’s a hindrance to the residents of the center, there’s not enough space,” complained Traffic Minister Melanie van der Horst.
The capital of the Netherlands is struggling with mass tourism. This year, the city is implementing a “Stay Away” campaign against anti-social tourist behavior and is also doubling its tourist tax.