Amsterdam’s Outdoor Urinals

Too many drinks can catch up with people everywhere, so Amsterdam came up with a wonderful solution to the great outdoor urine stream epidemic that challenges our cities. Guys still have it easier and the man below drunkenly approves with a resounding thumbs up. Amsterdam’s outdoor urinals…sponsored by…Estee Lauder?

outdoor urinals

Outdoor Urinals are a Solution for Big Parties

Queens Day (Koningsdag) in Amsterdam (soon to become King’s Day) celebrates the Dutch monarch’s birthday. 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 endeavour I was keen to partake in. But add some beers and desperation to the equation and I was happy to give it a go!

 

outdoor urinals
Yup. That’s me in the orange cowboy hat!

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
And that’s me again, utilizing an outdoor urinal at Scheveningen Beach.

Outdoor urinals are not just temporary fixtures in Dutch cities and beaches however, as Amsterdam also has permanent green coloured outdoor urinals that are enclosed. There are many of them along the beautiful canals in the city centre. Because they’re green, they’re actually not so obvious, unless you walk by and smell one. I always told Bell they should make the colour red, so they stand out a mile away- she always disagreed.

Outdoor Urinals in Other Cities

Our current home of Dublin has recently implemented a few sporadic outdoor urinals as 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?

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!

Luxury: 

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 according to colorful themes. Their on site restaurant serves international meals and an extensive breakfast buffet.

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.

Lloyd Hotel offers unique rooms in a transformed historic building. Within 10 minutes you can reach Amsterdam Central Station by tram. Rooms come in different shapes and sizes, so this is a good stay for travelers who get freaked out by cookie cutter hotels.

Budget:

You’ll generally find the best value booking short stay apartments in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam’s historic center during summer and popular holidays like New Year’s and King’s Day. If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up here for free and receive $40 credit off your first stay!

Backpackers should consider fun options like the popular Flying Pig Downtown and Flying Pig Uptown.

Want to Travel to Amsterdam for Free?

Play the credit card points game and use bonus point sign ups for free plane tickets! A popular card among travel hackers is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The card also includes complimentary priority pass lounge access with free food, drinks and wifi. The annual fee seems steep at $450, but it includes $300 in travel credits. The 50,000 bonus point sign up is good for $750 in travel credit, sometimes enough for a free plane ticket to Amsterdam from the United States! They’ll also compensate you $100 for free Global Entry and TSA pre-check to skip airport lines.

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! 

5 thoughts on “Amsterdam’s Outdoor Urinals

  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? http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/08/urinal-for-women-selling-out-on-groupon/

      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! 😉

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