Amsterdam’s Funniest

Online Reviews

By SEBASTIAN HEGMAR | May 13, 2020

Cover photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

I recently stumbled across a very entertaining YouTube series where Gus Johnson highlights some of the most terrible online reviews from his small town. It reminded me that there’s a huge gold mine of content out there just waiting for me, so I decided to do a little digging. My plan was simple: scour the internet by looking up reviews for any of the places in Amsterdam that I could think of. We’re talking restaurants, museums, housing agencies, buildings, parks and much more. What I was left with was a handful of reviews which I just had to share. 



Those who attend the University of Amsterdam already know what a dark and depressing place IWO is. This is the building where students come to have their examinations and is therefore by default not a fun location to be at. It’s a bit unfortunate that the building itself doesn’t do much to mitigate our dreadful pre-exam feeling of anxiety and stress. These reviews sums up the general consensus about IWO better than I ever could:

Background photo by Jeroen Oerlemans


What is there not to like about Vondelpark? It’s arguably the perfect  place to hangout with your friends during the summer. I’ve had countless amazing picnics and frisbee throwing sessions there and can honestly not think of many negative things to say about it. I guess the lonely and long bike ride through the park at night is a bit spooky? But apparently some people have different opinions, as shown in this short and not-so-sweet review:

Background photo by Remko de Waal

Red Light District

I remember my first visit to the Red Light District and the strange feeling that came with it. There’s a lot to be said about what goes on there, but its uniqueness in Amsterdam (and the world) cannot be denied. People who haven’t already visited will always build up a certain expectation in their mind before experiencing it for themselves. While some might walk away with either happiness or anger, some are apparently left with utter disappointment:

Background photo by Red Light Secrets: Museum of Prostitution Amsterdam


For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Alvast is a company responsible for organizing student housing for hundreds of first-year students in 2018. It just so happens that the rooms (or should I say cells) were part of a former prison complex and the overall living conditions were, let’s say, less than subpar. Many people would argue that Alvast is a highly unprofessional company with shady ways of dealing with just about anything. I even got the pleasure of staying five whole months there along with my fellow inmates. Luckily for me, some of them decided to make their voices heard in the best possible way:

Background photo by Beeld Ton Damen

PC Hoofthuis

As most students from UvA know, trashing PC Hoofthuis is just low-hanging fruit at this point. The architecture is depressing, it feels like you’re breathing in 100-year-old oxygen while inside, and its sole purpose is to cram together as many students as possible into one building. You could call it UvA’s red-headed stepchild because they never seem to mention it in the same breath as Roeterseiland or Science Park. That being said, I did find this particular review to be a nice dash of positivity among all the harsh criticism:

Background photo by Beeld Rink Hof

I have to say – my hat goes off to all the average Joes who take time out of their busy schedules to leave reviews about any experience they’ve ever had. While they may not always be trustworthy or professional, some are actually surprisingly insightful and helpful. I’m lowkey inspired to join in on the fun and start sharing my experiences with the world right now. From now on I will go by the title: Sebastian Hegmar, (un)professional Yelp reviewer. That has a nice ring to it. 

If you happen to discover any other funny or head scratching Amsterdam-related reviews, feel free to send them in to our Instagram page (@the.magazine.ams). If they fit the bill, you could get a special shout-out in part two of this series!

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