The central area of Amsterdam is fairly compact and easy to get around on foot. The GVB public transport office at Centraal Station has route maps and a guide to the ticketing system, which is based on zones with the same ticket valid on buses, metros and trams. After midnight there are night buses that run from Centraal Station to most parts of the city. Taxis are among the most expensive in Europe and renting a car or driving one's own to Amsterdam is not recommended. An ideal way to get around is by bicycle; there are several rental agencies around town (about €7 daily or €30 weekly).
GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin round European-style plugs are used.
The official currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Foreign currency can be changed at banks, post offices or bureaux de change (usually indicated by the letters GWK). Banks are closed on weekends but bureaux de change are open. ATMs are widely distributed and most are open 24 hours a day.
The international access code for the Netherlands is +31. Local mobile phone operators have the Netherlands extremely well covered with GSM 900 and 1800 networks, which have roaming agreements with most international operators. Internet cafes are widely available.
|New Year’s Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Easter Sunday||20 Apr||5 Apr|
|Easter Monday||1 Apr||21 Apr|
|Good Friday||18 Apr||3 Apr|
|King’s Birthday||26 Apr||27 Apr|
|Ascension Day||29 May||14 May|
|Whit Monday||9 Jun||25 May|
|Pentecost||8 Jun||24 May|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|Boxing Day||26 Dec||26 Dec|
The climate of Amsterdam is temperate, generally mild and damp. Winters (December to February), are fairly mild, though frost can occur; while summers (June to August), are warm but seldom hot. Cloudy, rainy days can be expected at any time of year, and light rainfall is common. On the whole the weather in Amsterdam is very changeable, and even in mid-summer visitors should be prepared for sudden drops in temperature. Spring and autumn in particular are unpredictable. The best time to visit Amsterdam is spring (March to May), although summer is the peak tourist season and can be crowded. Amsterdam is considered a year-round destination and some travellers prefer to visit in autumn or winter, when the city is at its cheapest and least crowded.
The airport railway station is located beneath Schiphol Plaza and trains depart for central Amsterdam and other destinations around the Netherlands. Trains leave the airport station every 15 minutes, except 12:30am- 5am when the service only runs every hour. The short 15-20 minute journey costs €3.80. Most buses into Amsterdam run every 15-30 minutes from 6am until midnight on weekdays and slightly less frequently on weekends. Bus fares start at €1.60 and the journey to central Amsterdam takes up to 30 minutes. Many hotels offer free shuttle services to guests.
Car rental desks can be found inside the arrivals hall, and include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo, Sixt and National.
A taxi to the city centre takes around 20 minutes and costs around €35. Visitors can go to Schiphol Plaza where they will find the metered Schiphol Travel Taxis. The national taxi service, it offers fixed rates for everyone who travels to and from the airport.
Schiphol Airport is made up of a single terminal building with three concourse or departure halls connected to the central building. It is easy to walk from one concourse to another; however, once you've entered Pier Ml you can't turn back and re-enter the rest of the airport.
Facilities at Schiphol include ATMs and currency exchange facilities, a lost and found, information desks, luggage lockers and wrapping services, state-of-the-art conference facilities, a medical clinic, pharmacy, library, casino and art gallery. There are also numerous shops and restaurants, a food court, and duty-free shopping.
Short-term parking facilities are located close to the terminal and cost €2 per half hour. Daily parking in the Schiphol Smart Parking area should be booked in advance on the Schiphol website and costs €5 per day and is connected to the terminal via a frequent shuttle bus service. Long-term parking is available in P3 for €6.50 per day and is a short shuttle bus ride from the terminal. Valet parking is also available.
There is free wifi throughout the terminal.