Are you looking for public toilets in Amsterdam city center? This Amsterdam comprehensive ‘free’ & almost-free WC guide shares all the free and paid bathrooms and my golden toilet rule while traveling in Amsterdam.
Must-Know Dutch Words when using the toilet
What’s the Dutch word for men’s and women’s restrooms? Some restaurants’ or bars’ toilets only show it in Dutch terms or abbreviations! Read below if you go to the wrong room; that would be super awkward!
Dames means ladies in Dutch, while Heren means Gentlemen. Some washrooms only show H to stand for Heren and D for Dames.
Be sure to get into the right place 😉
Are public toilets free in Amsterdam?
Unfortunately, there are no public toilets in Amsterdam. It’s not just in the Netherlands; it’s normal to pay for bathrooms all over Europe.
What’s the fee for using the restroom in the Netherlands?
It’s around 70 cents to 1 euro (2024), depending on the place.
Why is paid toilet better? My personal opinion
I know paying for the restroom is weird and annoying, but its cleanness is the best part of a paid toilet. I hate gross and smelly public toilets.
Amsterdam toilet survival rules: especially for ladies
Want to avoid paying for the restroom?
The golden rule #1
Take every opportunity to use the washroom for free, like at museums, cafes, hotels, etc.
The best tip I can give is to use the toilets whenever you stop somewhere to eat or drink. When there’s a toilet, use it first, so you don’t need to look for bathrooms later.
For example, I already planned to take a canal cruise near Rijksmuseum after leaving the Van Gogh Museum. I first used the bathroom before leaving the museum.
The golden rule #2
Try not to drink too much. Otherwise, you need to find a toilet, and finding one in Amsterdam City Center is pretty challenging. Even if you see one, you must wait in line, especially for the ladies.
Where can you find Women’s Public (Free & Paid) Toilets in Amsterdam? Public and Paid Toilets Amsterdam Map
There are no public toilets in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, but I’ve listed some places offering restrooms for free.
Gemeente Amsterdam (Stadsloket)/ municipality
There are toilets at all Amsterdam city halls and multiple ones with good locations across the city. You may need to ask where it is at the information desk. However, it’s only open during office hours.
Public Libraries of Amsterdam (Openbaar Bibliotheek Amsterdam; OBA)
Another place is the public library. Most public libraries have free toilets, but the ones in the city centers cost much less than usual.
Restroom on the train
There’s also an accessible toilet on the trains, except on the sprinter trains.
Although it could be cleaner, it’s a good idea to use it if you want to avoid paying for the toilet or looking for bathrooms later in the city.
Department Store/Big Shopping Mall
The department store is also an excellent place to use the toilets for free since they are open to visitors. There are quite a few departments stores in the city center you can visit:
Bijenkorf is close to Dam Square, a famous shopping mall in the Netherlands. Their toilet is usually on the top floor.
Primark on Damrak is also a good place. It’s on the 4th floor.
If you are close to the backside of Dam Square, it’s better to visit Magna Plaza. I prefer this one since there are fewer people here.
Important to know
Here are some other places where you can find free toilets, but they are for their guests, only do it if you are urgent and need help finding the bathrooms elsewhere.
When I need to use the toilet, I prefer to pay a small fee for paid bathroom or have a drink at the cafe to use the restroom.
It is essential to know that there’s nothing for free in the Netherlands; everything comes with a cost. If you want to use the toilet, pay for it; if you want to use the restroom, it’s normal to pay.
I don’t feel bad for using the toilet at the department store since it’s their strategy; you probably will buy something, although your first intention is to use the bathroom.
Please only visit restaurants, cafes, etc., for the toilets if you are a guest. If you cannot find a paid bathroom, it’s nice to ask first and give a small fee.
A small fee
Some places have paid toilets where a person ensures the bathroom is clean and properly maintained.
Fast Food Chain
Fast Food Chain restaurants in Amsterdam City Center are usually not for free, and they have a person responsible for all the work. It’s normal to pay.
If you are away from the big cities, it’s usually free.
HEMA toilet comes with a small fee in the Netherlands. Still, it’s a good place for a paid bathroom since you can find them everywhere in the city center across the Netherlands.
Some HEMA stores also have a canteen area; even if you pay for their food, you still need to pay for the toilet.
Amsterdam Central Train Station
Next to Platform 2 at Amsterdam Central Station, there’s a newly renovated paid toilet. Still, if you want to save money, using the bathroom on the train is better.
Another place is at the backside of Amsterdam Central Station; there’s also a paid toilet for travelers, and it’s 24 hours per day.
There are no free toilets in the train station, the ones in Amsterdam Central station are well maintained and always have people cleaning the bathrooms, so I am happy to pay. Some paid toilets at the train station are pretty dirty.
Go to the bars and cafe
Grab a small drink or food at the bar or cozy cafes in Amsterdam to use the toilet.
Helpful App to find public toilets for ladies in Amsterdam
Here is an app that helps you to find the toilets (free and paid ones)
HogeNood – vind Toiletten
It’s available on Google and App store. If you share your location, it lists out all the free and paid toilets around you. It’s nice that it shows you the price you must pay when using the bathroom.
With this App, you no longer need to worry about where to find the loos.
If you don’t want to download the App, you can try to Google “toilets near me” on your search bar and see what comes up; this is also a good tip.
I hope you find this post helpful; you are also welcome to share free and paid toilet tips in Amsterdam by leaving a comment on this post! I will update it!
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