Amsterdam’s Outdoor Urinals

Too many drinks can catch up with all of us. So Amsterdam came up with a wonderful solution to the great outdoor urine stream epidemic that challenges party cities throughout the world. Guys still have it easier and the man below drunkenly approves with a resounding thumbs up. Amsterdam’s outdoor urinals…sponsored by…Estee Lauder?

several guys peeing at a 4 person Amsterdam outdoor urinal as one guy gives a thumbs up
Thumbs up for Amsterdam outdoor urinals!

Outdoor Urinals are a Solution for Big Parties

King’s Day celebrates the Dutch monarch, King Willem Alexander’s birthday. It is the biggest celebration of the year across the Netherlands with festivities throughout the entire day. People dress up in orange and drink heavily, resulting in many males urinating outdoors. To alleviate this problem, the Dutch set up additional four man outdoor urinals to reduce urine streams in alleys and around people’s doorsteps. While sober, this was not an endeavor I was keen to partake in. But add some beers and desperation to the equation and I was willing to give it a go!

outdoor urinals
That’s me peeing in the orange cowboy hat. Hello Amsterdam!

There are a lot of great day trips from Amsterdam you can take. During summer the Netherlands is an underrated country to enjoy some great beach destinations like Texel island, Zandvoort Van Zee near Amsterdam and Scheveningen beach near The Hague. There are loads of great bars and restaurants, that come complete with proper toilet facilities, but if you’re not a customer the Dutch generally frown upon using their establishment as a public toilet. Solution? Set up picturesque 4 man outdoor urinals on the beach boardwalk, in plain sight of men, women and children.

Beautiful sunset to utilize the outdoor urinal at Scheveningen beach, Netherlands
Myself again, utilizing an outdoor urinal along Scheveningen Beach at sunset. So picturesque!

Outdoor urinals are not just temporary fixtures in Dutch cities and beaches. Amsterdam also has permanent green colored outdoor urinals that are enclosed. There are many of them along the beautiful canals in the city centre. And of course, they’re frequently used in Amsterdam’s Red Light District! Because they’re green and enclosed, they are not as obvious, unless you walk by and smell one. I always told Bell they should make the color red, so they stand out a mile away. She vehemently disagrees.

Outdoor Urinals Around the World

Dublin, Ireland has recently implemented a few sporadic outdoor urinals. Peak drinking times tend to see many streams of urine permeate the city streets. But Amsterdam is still far ahead of the curve here, as many alley corner and doorways actually have urine splash back guards- so if you think you can just pee on someone’s door, your pants might serve as a reminder that this is a bad idea. Dubliners who wake up to Sunday morning pee (or vomit) near their door, could really make use of this simple deterrence.

What are your thoughts on potentially putting outdoor urinals in your city? Perhaps outdoor urinals in parks, beaches and high traffic areas in cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles could be a great way to get rid of those pesky urine streams.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam?

A small red boat about to pass under an arched bridge on the canal in Amsterdam
A boat about to pass under an arched bridge on the canal in Amsterdam.

Hotel prices in Amsterdam vary depending on time of year and availability. Try and book something with free cancellation well in advance when you can, especially for summer and the holidays!


It doesn’t get more luxurious than the 5 star Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. Set along the UNESCO World Heritage listed Herengracht canal, the hotel is made up of six monumental 17th century canal palaces. The 2-Michelin star restaurant Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam is perfect for an on site gastronomic experience.

Pulitzer Amsterdam is a great luxury choice located within 25 interlinked 17th and 18th century canal houses, between the famous Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals. Combining traditional and modern Dutch design, the hotel has 225 unique guest rooms and suites. It’s walking distance from major attractions, but on a quieter end of the picturesque western canal belt.

Radisson Blu is the one of the best value luxury stays in the center of Amsterdam. Spacious rooms are decorated in colorful themes like Golden Age and Naturally Cool. Their on site restaurant serves international meals and an extensive breakfast buffet.

Amsterdam cannel with bikes on a bridge and a blue sky

Mid Range

Citizen M is a comfortable and ultra modern hotel in Amsterdam. Every room at citizenM Amsterdam has wall to wall windows and large beds with luxurious linens. Guests can modify room color, temperature, control the smart TV and also adapt the black out curtains all from an Ipad mini.

We also recommend Motel One Amsterdam and Motel One Waterlooplein as they’re good bang for buck, with a great breakfast buffet featuring delicious higher end bakery quality breads, pastries and croissants. All rooms have a private bathroom, air conditioning and flat screen TV.

Apartment Rentals

Families and groups of friends will find the best value booking short stay apartments in the Netherlands. Booking has apartment listings and we often find the experience to me more professional compared to booking through other sites. Amsterdam’s historic center is especially busy on summer weekends and popular holidays like New Year’s and King’s Day.


Backpackers should consider fun options like the popular Flying Pig Downtown and Flying Pig Uptown. Both centrally located hostels are 420 friendly.

Red windows along the Amsterdam Red Light District
The Red Light District in Amsterdam.

Disclosure: This article contains some affiliate links. We receive a small commission when you book or sign up through these links and it costs you nothing extra. When it suits you, please use them. Thanks! 


  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

    View all posts

10 thoughts on “Amsterdam’s Outdoor Urinals

    1. Yes 4-in-1 urinals are very efficient. Every city and town on the globe should have one in their main square!

  1. As a woman, I hate it that there is this type of solution only for men! It’s still very hard for women to find a toilet on days like Queensday…. Although there are some public toilets suitable for women now that are a bit like the bathrooms in Formula 1 hotels: you use them for like 50 cents and then when you close the door, the whole thing gets cleaned automatically with soap, anti bacterial stuff and water, I suppose. But even the ones that are only suitable for men I prefer over having none because it avoids the urine on the streets.

    1. Hey there, thanks for the comment! Yeah women are almost always at a disadvantage on this front. But have you seen this?

      It’s certainly not ideal, but if you’re a Dutch woman who’s had too many drinks on Queen’s Day, or another major event, and you’re desperate, you can still take advantage of the outdoor urinals 😉

      I also forgot to mention the new models of permanent outdoor urinals in Amsterdam. There was that futuristic silver cylindrical 1 man unit right in the middle of Rembrantplein that would only come up from the ground on busy nights. During the day you might think it was a man hole cover. I would imagine these are the future of outdoor urinals! 😉

  2. Europe, I mean Liberals, are really getting disgusting. Just what every woman and child need to see – a man with his dick hanging out in public. If a man isn’t mature enough to find a toilet to piss in then maybe Europe needs to raise the drinking age to 50. Where does the stupidity end? Please don’t infect the West with your immorality. We have enough problems.

    1. Thank you internet police, who probably has never traveled outside the USA. Do you see any penises in this photo? You don’t because they’re blocked by dividers and barriers. Yeah, the United States, which is all about body shaming yet there’s no problem with ridiculous violence on TV, mass shootings, UFC fighting, misinformation, etc. has all the answers. God forbid someone sees a penis or breast, right? Oh the horror!

    2. Why the fuck do you think peeing is disgusting? Everybody does it several times a day so it is completely natural. If used correctly, nobody apart from yourself will see your penis when you pee at one of these urinals. And even if you use it incorrectly and someone can take a peek, it’s just a penis. Half of the world has one and the majority of the other half knows how they look like. We should not oversexualize a nude male body.
      Instead of raising European drinking age, we should consider working on America’s (aka Republicans’) prudery. #NormalizePenises

      1. If a urinating penis is no big deal, then why isn’t a urinating vulva ALSO no big deal? But apparently it is since only men are encouraged to urinate out in public in front of EVERYONE! So yeah, guess it’s ok to overly sexualize a nude FEMALE body…

        1. Female urination devices (FUDs) that allow women to pee outside standing up have been available to purchase for years There is no law prohibiting women from using these urinals. Also, because of the barriers, people are really not able to see anyone’s penis publicly while using Amsterdam’s outdoor urinals.

          There are some places that do a better job of having better public toilets for everyone- permanent and/or temporary. Perhaps Amsterdam’s City Council has rectified this during celebrations in recent years. These images are over a decade old now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.