Rows of TikTok tourists take over Amsterdam’s city centre

Fries, bubble tea, and cookies — a combination that not only makes for a perfect lunch break, but also appeals to millions of people on social media.

The power of TikTok is both a blessing and a curse — and the business owners on Amsterdam’s Negen Straatjes (Nine Little Streets) are proof of it.

While some stores serve thousands of customers daily, others are struggling with nuisances caused by them: blocked sidewalks, overflowing rubbish bins, and food in their stores.

The reason behind the huge lines of visitors? TikTok, where creators have been sharing Amsterdam’s food hotspots. And of course, everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Queuing for fries

The short videos get millions of views, and the demand for Fabel Friet which, according to TikTok creators, has “the best fries in Amsterdam”, is growing out of control.

The queue to the store, which opened in the Runstraat in 2020, can get so long that it crosses the Keizersgracht. While waiting in the queue, customers pass their orders to Fabel Friet using a QR code.

READ MORE | This expat’s TikToks about weird Dutch habits went viral (because they’re relatable AF!)

“We also permanently have two security guards, who ensure that the flow of the line is smooth and that people don’t eat on our neighbours’ doorsteps,” explains owner Floris Fleizer.

“We empty the municipal waste bins a few times a day”.

@alifewithsarah Theyre good tbf 🍟 #amsterdam #frites #food ♬ Hey, Mickey! – Baby Tate

While proud of the business’s success, he understands that his store’s popularity can burden fellow business owners and local residents.

“But what else can we do? I can’t really ask customers to stay away.”

A nuisance to other businesses

“Of course, I’m not happy about this,” the owner of a local clothing boutique tells Het Parool. She is frustrated about the daily lines that run hundreds of metres past her shop window.

These days, “I’m more concerned with keeping fries out of the store than selling clothes,” she says.

For many small business owners like herself, the so-called “TikTok line” cannot end soon enough.

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“We can talk and complain endlessly, and meanwhile, the city is deteriorating. Soon, all the small shops here will disappear, and the Negen Straatjes will become a kind of Red Light District.”

Cookies, bubble tea and a whole lot of rubbish

Also benefiting from the TikTok hype are Koekmakerij Van Stapele and Chun Café.

At Van Stapele, in the alley between Spui and Singel, people start lining up before the cookie store even opens. “It’s insane,” says the employee of a nearby coffeeshop.

Customers of Chun Café on the Berenstraat, which sells bubble tea and sandwiches, have to be handled by a crowd manager while they queue on two sides of the street.

@redchenko_marie 📍Chun Café Literally it’s worth every second of waiting, super good and tasty, 1000% recommend to visit if you are in Amsterdam #travel #thingstodo #bucketlist #mustvisit #bucketlisttravel #amsterdam #amsterdamcity #amsterdamguide #amsterdamfood #netherlands #netherlands🇳🇱 #amsterdamtips #amsterdamfoodguide #amsterdamfoodspot #chun #chuncafeamsterdam #chuncafe #sandwhich #ribeyesandwich #traveltiktok #travellife #visitamsterdam #visitnetherlands ♬ B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All) – Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal

So, what to do? The area manager of the Negen Straatjes, Lony Scharenborg, is not entirely sure.

“It is nice that people like to come here, but I also see the potential that the area could succumb to its success. These queues for eateries are not good for other entrepreneurs, and residents suffer from litter in the streets.”

What do you think about the TikTok crowds in Amsterdam? Tell us in the comments.

Feature Image:Pixabay
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.
      • Hear! Hear! @VTNC

        I live in the Spaarndammerbuurt – not a touristy area but close to the city centre.

        The amount of littering I see from Dutch people – they including Politie and Handhaving/BOAs outside the local kebab shop – is beyond the pale!!!

        There seems to be no education with regards to preventing littering, no penalties to punish it, no shame in the lack of consideration the Dutch have for their fellow residents.

        Even when the streets get “cleaned” they are still covered in a thick layer of dirt.

        The best thing is that is they really believe they are a “Gidsland” 😅😅😅

      • The problem is that on average Dutch people litter MUCH less than per say a person from the usa so once they come here the streets become very littered which is a shame

        • I don’t agree with that, Nick. I have lived here for three years and as much as I love it here, that’s one thing that disappoints me – how much trash Dutch people leave in parks, on the ground, etc. I would say the amount is more, not less, than the average American. It’s counterintuitive, I agree, but just check out the Vondelpark after a party, or NDSM after a weekend. Not good.

        • Based on what Nick? You’ve got evidence to support this? Because I’ve been queens/kings days and seen the litter, restaurants where the Dutch are supposed to put their litter away in the trash receptacle but leave it to be cleaned up for them or for it to be carried away on the wind. No, I’d like to see some hard evidence that shows that the US, which is a large melting pot of cultures (not just Trumpsters) litters more than the Dutch. Show some evidence before you start running your mouth.

  1. Create pop up food truck store locations where better traffic flow can happen during tourist season. Win win for all
    The same tiktockers will tell other where the new places are!

    Be happy visitors are coming — we had a big economic hit and many lost their businesses. This is just a flow problem….

  2. Implement an online queue system by time. People have to book their time slot in advance and join the queue when its their time🤣

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