Amsterdam FAQs

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Area geography

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, Europe. Covering an area of 219.4 square kilometres, it occupies the largest urban area of any city in the country.

Notes currencies cards

The currency used in Amsterdam is Euro (EUR or €). For the latest currency exchange rates, log on to www.xe.com.

Make sure you carry some cash with you at all times since most restaurants and cafes generally accept cash or Dutch debit cards.

Cellular service for tourists

A good mobile network operates in Amsterdam with several international players operating their networks. The main GSM mobile service providers here are KPN, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telfort and Orange. Tourists can easily purchase pre-paid SIM cards on any of these networks to call both locally and internationally.

Wifi internet

Amsterdam enjoys seamless internet connectivity. Most hotels, restaurants and malls offer free Wi-Fi services. Internet is also available on mobile devices by the service providers.

Drinking laws

• In Amsterdam, you can consume beer, wine and other spirits with less than 15% alcohol at 16 years of age. The minimum age for the consumption of hard liquor is 18 years.
• Amsterdam is also one of the few places where smoking marijuana in special dedicated cafés is allowed.
• It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol in Amsterdam.

Tipping

Tipping is not mandatory in Amsterdam and while in the city, you should be easy on tipping. 10% of the total bill amount can be given as tip in restaurants and eateries.

Custom visa

You need a tourist visa or a Schengen visa to visit Amsterdam. Make sure you have the following before arrival in Amsterdam:

• The traveller’s valid passport with a validity of at six months
• An invitation letter from someone in Amsterdam (required for visa)
• All travel documents including flight tickets and hotel bookings
• A valid visa
• Travel insurance for all medical emergencies

For the complete list of documents and detailed procedure, check http://www.government.nl/ministries/bz and http://www.holland.com/

In addition to this, the most reliable source from where you can get all visa related information is the Netherlands Embassy in your country.

Safety

Amsterdam is considered as one of the safest cities in the world. Most neighbourhoods and streets in the Dutch capital are safe for walking, even for lone travellers. However, like many other cities, beware of pick pocketing and other petty crimes while you are here. Be cautious of your surrounds and avoid places which may seem unsafe or suspicious.

General information

Languages spoken

Dutch, English

Time zones

Central European Time Zone (UTC +1)

Major religions

Christianity is the major religion followed here. While Roman Catholics comprise a majority of the population in Amsterdam, there are quite a few Protestants too. Islam is the second most popular religion in the city.

Domestic international calling codes

Domestic calling code: 20; International calling code: +31

Electricity standards

220 V; Plugs C or Europlug

Common greetings

Hello – Hallo

Good Morning – Goedemorgen

Goodbye – Dag or doei (pronounced: doowee)

Thank you – Dank u

Sorry – Sorry (pronounced with a long ‘o’ and a rolled ‘r’)

Do you speak English? – Spreekt u Engels?

I don't understand –Ik begrijp het niet

No – Nee (pronounced: nay)

Yes- Ja (pronounced: yah)

I don’t know – Ik weet niet

How are you? – Hoe gaat het?

What is your name? – Hoe heet u?

My name is – Mijn naam is ______. (meyn NAHM is _____ .)

Where is the washroom? – Waar is het toilet?

Is this vegetarian? (point to a dish in a menu card) – Is dit vegetarische?

Where is this? (point to a monument, amenity on a paper/map) – Waar is deze

How much does this cost? – Hoeveel kost dit? (HOO-vale kost dit)

Too expensive! – Dat is te duur. (dit is tuh duhr)

A little cheaper – Een beetje goedkoper

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Emergency numbers

General Emergency: 0900 222 2377

Police, Fire, Ambulance: 112

Anonymous tip-line (to report a crime): 0800 7000

Red Cross: 070 445 5888

Emergency Doctor: 020 592 3434 / 070 346 9669

Hospitals:
Slotervaartziekenhuis
Louwesweg 6, Amsterdam
+31 20 512 9333

BovenIJ Hospital
Statenjachtstraat 1, Amsterdam
+31 20 634 6346

Medisch Centrum Jan van Goyen
Jan van Goyenkade 1, Amsterdam
+31 20 305 5800

Zaans Medisch Centrum
Koningin Julianaplein 58, Zaandam
+31 75 650 2911

Lost Credit Cards: 1800 245 399