amsterdam

Hello, amsterdam

With its characteristic canals (UNESCO World Heritage) surrounded by narrow, low, and crooked 17th-century houses, Amsterdam is, undoubtedly, one of the most charming capital cities in Europe. The rich cultural life and a wide range of entertainment make Amsterdam a full-scale city which has managed to retain its small-town feel. With over 50 museums, of which many are famous across the globe, this city is a real treat for art-lovers: highlights include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum.

City Information

Essential Information about the city

entrance to Schiphol airport

Airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is a modern, efficient and traveller-friendly airport. 90 airlines depart from Schiphol to over 250 destinations worldwide. The easiest and cheapest way to travel from the airport to Amsterdam is by train. This takes about 20 minutes to the Central Station and trains leave at least every 15 minutes during the daytime (less frequently at night). The train station at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is located directly below the airport. Tickets are for sale at the NS service desk or ticket machines.Taxis to the city centre cost significantly more and can take a while, depending on traffic conditions.

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open passport with entry stamps

Passport / Visa

The Netherlands can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are not sure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend you to contact the embassy or consulate in your country. In order to enter the Schengen zone, international (non-Schengen) travellers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip. Citizens from Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but they must bring with them a valid ID during their stay.

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ice skating on a frozen canal in Amsterdam

Best Time to Visit

Most tourists tend to plan their trip to Amsterdam for the summer, so if you want to avoid crowds — come in April–May or September.You'll get mild temperatures, blooming flowers in spring and golden trees in autumn. Be ready for rain regardless of the season. April and May are considered part of peak tourist season. Locals use websites like buie.nl to predict when the weather down to minutes.Summer is high tourist season in Amsterdam, so be prepared to wait in long lines when visiting popular attractions. The summer months are also the most expensive when it comes to accommodation.Hotel prices and tourist population drop in autumn and winter months, as does the temperature. This is the best time to visit Amsterdam's many indoor attractions, such as museums and cafes. The city covered with a white blanket of snow is a marvellous sight. If the winter happens to be particularly cold, you can ice-skate on the frozen canals. Some cafes set tables and chairs straight on the ice.

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tram in the Netherlands

Public Transport

Public transport is the perfect way to visit all attractions and to explore the city. Visitors arriving by car are advised to park the car at the P+R sites at the city limits and to use public transport. In Amsterdam, 15 tram lines, 41 bus lines, 7 ferry connections and 4 metro lines take you to a wide range of destinations throughout the city. The most convenient transport ticket is the GVB day or multi-day ticket. These tickets entitle holders to transport on all GVB lines, including the night buses, and are available at GVB Tickets & Info and tourist offices. Drivers and conductors also sell 1-hour and 24-hours disposable OV chip cards on trams and buses. No cash is accepted on busses or trams.

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taxi sign

Taxi

Taxis can be handy when travelling to and from the airport, late at night when the trams have stopped running or when you're running late. Depending on the traffic during peak times however, public transport may get you there even quicker. Just hail a taxi, or catch one at the designated cab-stands near tourist hotspots such as Dam square, Leidseplein and the Rembrandtplein.Uber operates in Amsterdam.

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mailboxes in the Netherlands

Post

At the main post office, you can phone, fax (retro!), buy maps and stamps, in addition to the usual services.Stamps can also be bought in most convenient stores. Post-office boxes are red.There is a convenient service point at the Amsterdam Central Station

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pharmacy in the Netherlands

Pharmacy

Pharmacies (Apotheek in Dutch) are usually open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm. At night and at weekends pharmacies are open in rotating shifts, so you'll have to look around a bit.Mediq Apotheek and Kring-apotheek are popular drug store chains. Dam Apotheek is centrally located on the Dam square and DA Apotheek on Leisestraat has one of the best opening hours.Call the central number for pharmacies to find out which ones are open in your area:

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pink old-fashioned phone

Telephone

Country code: +31Area code: (0)20

power adaptor

Electricity

The Netherlands uses the Type F electrical plug with two round pins, same as in many countries in Continental Europe. The standard voltage is 230 volts, but some hotels have special plugs for 110 or 120-volt shavers.

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