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In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Diplomatic Representations
Dutch Embassies and Consulates.
 
IATA Travel Center
 

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Taxis are relatively expensive. They know all the destinations within the city (and outside) especially the very touristic ones. In general taxi drivers have a decent command of the English language. Other ways of getting around in the city are by tram (in cities such as The Hague and Utrecht) and metro (only in Rotterdam and Amsterdam). Traveling by bike is also possible, there are special bicycle paths in most cities.
Maps of Urban Networks
Metro and Bus Transportation Maps - Amsterdam

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Amsterdam - Schiphol (AMS) 15 km / 9 miles EUR 35-45 / 15-25 min Available EUR 3.80 / 15-25 min Available
Rotterdam (RTM) 5 km / 3 miles EUR 20-25 / 10-15 min EUR 2.40 / 25 min - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
There are excellent international links to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Rental cars are available at numerous locations; the downside of using a car is that there are a lot of traffic jams in the Randstad (en anglais) area, especially in the morning and evening when people go to and return from work. Parking a car in the city center is hard especially when you are not willing to pay for a parking spot. Even though all the road signs are in Dutch it is not very difficult to find your way around.
The train can be used to get from city to city. The train network is quite extensive and the trains run frequently. This frequency compensates for the number of stops.
Rail Companies
Dutch Railway

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
KLM Major Yes Yes
Transavia Major Yes Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

Recommendation
The highway network is dense, free and well-maintained but it is often jammed (truck traffic). Secondary roads can be taken... unless you are in a hurry. Exceeding the speed limit is severely punished (fine, disqualification from driving, seizure of vehicle). Because of the high risk of accidents due to numerous cyclists in the cities, drivers who are not used to such situations are advised to be even more careful when turning right. Tramways have right of way, it is therefore necessary to look right and left before moving in any direction on the roads, either when walking, driving or cycling.
Road Maps
Google Maps
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin
ANWB
Route Net

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
There are a lot of historic sites to see, mainly in the big cities but also in the country side. Think of the Waterlinie and the Canals of Amsterdam.
Cultural
The Netherlands is renowned for its museums. Some Dutch sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website to see which they are.
Nature
There are a number of parks, such as de Keukenhof and other nature parks such as de Veluwe. Some Dutch sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website to see which they are.
Religious
All religious sites in the Netherlands.
Thermal
None.
Beach
All costal activities.
Winter Sports
None outdoor, apart from when there is a rigorous winter, then ice skating outside is popular (Elfstedentocht); indoors there is skiing and ice skating.
Outdoor Activities
Cycling, walking, swimming, golf.
Shopping
Special purchases include Delft (between The Hague and Rotterdam) blue pottery and pottery from Makkum and Workum, costume dolls, silverware from Schoonhoven, glass and crystal from Leerdam and diamonds from Amsterdam. Shopping hours: Mon 1100-1800; Tues-Fri 0900-1800; Sat 0900-1700. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam and other big cities, supermarkets are open from 0800-2000/2100. In large city centres, shops are open Sun 1200-1700. Shopping malls are also open on Sunday. Some cities also have late-night shopping on Thursdays or Fridays.
Tourism Organizations
Netherlands Tourism Board

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
There are no obligatory vaccinations or any recommendations.
International Hospitals
There are no international hospitals in the Netherlands.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
The World Health Organization webpages devoted to the Netherlands
Dutch Ministry of Health, Sports and Welfare
The American government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
US Travelling information about the Netherlands
Canadian Travel Report of the Netherlands
Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions
 

Emergency Numbers

Emergency services number 112
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Amsterdam, Rotterdam (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to October
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Mild, maritime climate. Summers are generally warm with changeable periods, but excessively hot weather is rare. Winters can be fairly cold with the possibility of some snow. Rainfall is prevalent all year.
For Further Information
National Agency of Meteorology
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Among others, the Dutch specialties are:
Boerenkool: curled cabbage with smoked sausage
Hutspot: Dutch stew
Haagse Bluf: whipped eggs
Speculoos: traditional Saint Nicolas cake
Borstplaat or the fondant: titbit, mainly eaten between Saint Nicolas and New Year's day.
Anijsmelk: aniseed milk: one of the favorite drinks of the Dutch just as hot chocolate is.
Bisschopswijn: heated wine
Boerenmeisjes: apricot brandy.
Drinks
Beer, wine and sodas.
Dietary Restrictions
None

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Euro
ISO Code
EUR
To Obtain Domestic Currency
Since 1 January 2002, the currency in circulation has been the euro. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. The nominal values of the coins are the following : 1 cent (or 1/100 of euro), 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 euro and 2 euros.
Possible Means of Payment
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, as well as Eurocheque cards. ATMs are widely available.

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Speaking

Official Language
Official languages: Dutch and Frisian.
Other Languages Spoken
Commercial languages: English, German and Spanish. In the Netherlands, the official language is Dutch. However, it is important to note the growing use of English, German and Spanish in business.
Business Language
The majority of the population speaks English, which is the most used language in trade.
Getting Some Knowledge
Some basic Dutch can be found here.
Free Translation Tools
Babel Fish : Basic word / sentence translator
Free Translations : Basic word / sentence translator

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
The Netherlands Reservation Center (NRC)
Bed & Breakfast Service Nederland
The Netherlands Reservation Center (NRC)
Stichting Vrije Recreatie
Stayokay
Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions
To Find an Apartment
Portal with all the Rental Agencies

Perfect Housing
Housing in Holland
Woonkrant (in Dutch)
To Find a Job
The public employment office of the Dutch government
Digital recruitment ground for both employers and employees
A private recruitment agency
Sam Headhunting
Labor dispatch company
Labor dispatch company

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Last Updates: October 2014