Amsterdam practicalities

Currency & credit cards

The Netherlands uses the euro (€) as its currency. Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) are accepted at most large businesses incl. restaurants in Amsterdam. Electronic transactions and ATMs are common.

Language

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. English is widely spoken in Amsterdam. Many people also speak other foreign languages, such as German and French. Frisian is the second official language of the country – but only in the province of Friesland. Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) is not legally recognised as the language of the deaf community.

Safety & Crime

Amsterdam is considered as a relatively safe city. In general, violent crimes do not occur very often. However, be aware of pick-pocketing; Pickpockets are mainly active in the summer and in the trains travelling between Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport.

They can also find you in a tram or when you are watching one of the many street artists perform. Watch your belongings carefully.

National Emergency numbers

  • Police, fire brigade, ambulance: tel.: 112
  • National number police, no emergency: tel.: +31 900 8844

Shops’ opening hours

  • Monday: 11.00 – 18.00
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 09.00 – 18.00
  • Thursday evening: until 21.00
  • Sunday: 12.00 – 17.00

Electricity

Within The Netherlands 230 Volts/50 Hertz electrical supply is used and a two-pin plug is used. Visitors may need converters and adapters.

Dutch electricity plug

Public transportation

Consult the website of the GVB public transport company for local transport, or 9292ov.nl for regional and national transport.

Biking

With 600,000 bikes shared amongst the 750,000 residents, there are bikes everywhere in Amsterdam. Cycling is a way of life and bikes are used for everyday transport, whether commuting to work in a business suit, shopping for groceries or getting the kids to school. The 400 kilometers of bike lanes and paths in Amsterdam alone make it easy for visitors to experience the city by bike for themselves. There are bike-hire shops everywhere. Be careful as a pedestrian that you are aware of bike lanes and do not think they are for you to walk along.

Weather

To find out about local weather conditions, please visit the Weather Underground or KNMI websites.