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Good to know: interesting information about Amsterdam

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If you like to travel to Amsterdam is it always nice to know more about this beautiful city wich is the capital of the Netherlands. These days the city has a population of just over 790.000 inhabitants and is the largest city in the country. Amsterdam is located in the province ‘Noord-Holland’, situated in the west. It is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, receiving more than 4.5 million tourists annually.

Amsterdam has a great history. It is very unique for its large and untouched historic center. It has a rich architectural history, dominated by water. It is a meeting point for all different cultures around the world and has a welcoming attitude towards visitors. Well known for its museums, red light district, coffee shops but also the great variety of eating & drinking places and night life. It even claims to be the ‘Gay capital of Europe’. Therefore a lot of hotels and hostels can be found on different locations, value for money and ambience.

It is a beautiful and romantic city with its antique houses, lovely bridges, famous canals and of course the list of world class attractions!

 Time zone

Amsterdam is on Central European Time (CET), which is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), plus 1 hour. Check out the actual time in Amsterdam.

 Climate in Amsterdam

The warmest months are from June to August, with temperatures between 20 – 27 degrees Celsius. There are rarely extreme temperatures in Amsterdam. The air is relatively humid and fog is common in autumn and spring. The weather in Amsterdam is fairly mild during wintertime. However temperatures can drop below freezing. The chance of extreme cold is sporadic. On some days there may be snow fall.
More information about the Climate in Amsterdam and weather forecast.

 Telephone

Telephone Country code: +31
Telephone Area code: 020
Emergency number: 112 (for first aid, police, fire department)

 Electricity & Power Outlets

As in most of Europe, the Netherlands uses 230 (220-240) volts AC (50 cycles), compared to 110-120 volts AC (60 cycles) in the United States and Canada. Upward converters that change 110-120 volts to 220-240 volts are difficult to find in Holland, so bring one with you.

 Tap water in Amsterdam

Tap water is safe to drink. The Netherlands (and especially Amsterdam which has the best water in the country) has the safest en cleanest tap water in Europe.

 Currency

The European euro (€) is the currency in Amsterdam and in the rest of the Netherlands. There are 100 euro cents to each euro. The euro coins are: 1, 2 and 5 cent, 10, 20 and 50 cent, 1 and 2 Euro coins. The euro notes are 5€, 10€, 20€, 50€, 100€, 200€, and 500€.
The Netherlands does not produce its own 1 and 2 euro cent coins anymore and prices in the country are rounded to the nearest 5 cents. The 200€ and 500€ notes are pretty much unusable because few businesses accept them. Generally, 50 Euro bills remain the most convenient denominations.

 ATM

There are plenty of ATM’s throughout Amsterdam where you can get the Euro. It distributes 50 and 20 euro notes. To get money from an ATM it is mostly best practice to use your debit card for it. Most banks charge less for foreign money transfers from a debit card then a credit card, but if you have to pay (like in a restaurant) you are mostly much better of when you pay with your credit card.

 VAT

There’s a Value-Added Tax (BTW) in The Netherlands of 6% on hotel and restaurant bills (21% on beer, wine, and liquor), and 6% or 21% (depending on the product) on purchases. This tax is always included in the price.

 Tipping

The Dutch law requires that all taxes and service charges be included in the published prices of hotels, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, salons, and sightseeing companies. The VVV tourist office’s advice on tipping is: “Tips for extra service are always appreciated but not necessary.”

 Shopping Hours

Regular shopping hours in Amsterdam are:
Monday from 10 or 11am till 6pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am till 6pm
Thursday from 9am till 9pm
Saturday from 9am till 5pm
Sunday stores are open from noon till 5pm

Source: amsterdamtourist

Photo credit: Amsterdam Today

 

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