AMSTERDAM > General information

General information

Climate
The average temperature in The Netherlands at this time of the year is usually about 18 degrees Celsius.

Currency
The Dutch currency is Euro (EUR). Just to give a rough idea of the exchange rate:
1 USD      =     0.94 EUR
1 EUR      =     1.06 USD

Traveller Checks and Credit Cards
Traveller Checks are accepted by leading banks, hotels and stores in major cities. 
International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard are also acceptable at these major establishments. However, credit card transactions are not always convenient outside big cities so obtaining cash beforehand is recommended when you travel.

Customs
If you have any questions concerning customs you can check the internet site: www.douane.nl.

Drinking Water
Tap water is good to drink anywhere in the Netherlands. Mineral water is available at hotels, department and convenience stores, supermarkets and high-class restaurants.

Electricity
Electrical current in The Netherlands is 220 Volts / 50 Hertz. Round, European-style two-pin plugs are used. Appliances designed to operate on 110/120 Volts need a voltage converter and a plug adapter.

Emergency
Dial 112 for the police, fire and ambulance. It is a free number.

General Opening Hours
Shops:
- Mondays from 13:00 to 18:00 (department stores often from 11:00)
- Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00
- Sunday opening hours: from noon to 17:00 in the city centre (not all shops are open)
- Late night shopping: every Thursday until 21:00 in the city centre

Cafés and Restaurants:

Most cafés and restaurants are open until 01:00. Many are open until 03:00 on the weekend.

Post offices:
- Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 17:00/18:00
- Saturday from 10:00 to 13:30. Some post offices are located in shops these are open from 9:00 to 17:00.

Banks:
- Mondays from 13:00 to 17:00
- Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 to 17:00
- Closed Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
- Border exchange offices (located on the main stations) are open on weekends

With passes with Cirrus and Maestro labels you are able to use the bank machines.

Public Transport
The easiest way of travelling through Amsterdam is by metro, tram or bus. Where to buy these tickets:

  • Driver or conductors
  • Ticket vending machines at Metro stations
  • VVV offices
  • Various hotels
  • GWK Offices in Amsterdam and at Schiphol

Smoking Manners
Public facilities and means of transportation are being designated as no-smoking areas. Smoking is forbidden in bars, restaurants etc.

Telephone
The country code for the Netherlands is 0031.

Time Difference
The time zone in The Netherlands is GMT + 1 hour.

Tipping policy
Individual tipping is common in the Netherlands at hotels, restaurants and bars etc. At other places no tip is necessary unless you request some extra special services.