11 things I learned in Amsterdam:
1. You will hear mostly Dutch and English spoken in the streets. It was very easy to find an English speaker in the streets of Amsterdam to help with directions.
2. The underground subways are all wheelchair accessible! There is a separate wheelchair entrance that leads to the elevators.
3. In the city center, people mostly use the tram and it is also wheelchair accessible. However, the staff will often be unwilling to come out of their warm booths to take the large and heavy ramp out.
4. Buses going outside the city are also wheelchair accessible and the drivers are quite nice.
5. You literally cannot go a second without seeing a bicycle. Bikes are ubiquitous here! One can assume it to be their favorite means of transportation.
6. Many sidewalks are bumpy, narrow, uneven or non-existent. I usually wheeled on the bike lane or road. I frequently had to pull over for cars because of the narrow roads.
7. Weed is pretty much legal here; 182 (?) cafes here sell them.
8. Prostitution is legal here. Therefore, they have the same rights as any other freelance worker.
9. Overall, Amsterdam has the most wheelchair accessible transportation I've ever seen in Europe. So far, I have traveled to London, Paris, Brussels and of course, Amsterdam in Europe. However, this does come with a price tag. Public transportation is a bit expensive. I recommend purchasing the 7.95 Euro 24 hour pass. With our dignity and freedom salvaged, I think this extra cost is totally worth it.
10. The trains going out of the city are not wheelchair accessible. A staff member told me that I needed to have given them a notice three days ahead time in order to use the portable ramp. There are 2-3 steps leading into the train. I find this to be ludicrous because the portable ramp is already on the train platform, all they need is a key. Apparently it takes 72 hours to obtain this key! Bureaucracy at its finest, for sure...
11. I stayed at a hostel called "Stay Okay Hostel". I highly recommend it because it is the most wheelchair friendly hostel I have ever seen. The wheelchair accessible bathroom is even better than many hotels. The sink, the shower head, the shower chair, and the soap and shampoo shelf is at just the right height. And did I mention the people are nice and sweet, too?