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The romantic Amsterdam canals
 

Practical info Amsterdam, Netherlands

Getting around the city

The central area of Amsterdam is fairly compact and easy to get around on foot. The GVB public transport office at Central 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 Central 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. The ideal way to get around is by bicycle; there are several rental agencies around town (about €7 daily).

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Electricity

Electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin round European-style plugs are used.

Currency

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.

Communication

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.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 112

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

Climate

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

www.schiphol.nl

Getting to the city

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 regularly, except from 12.30am to 5am when the service only runs every hour. The short 20-minute journey costs around €4.20. Most buses into Amsterdam run every 15-30 minutes from 6am until midnight on weekdays and slightly less frequently on weekends. Many hotels offer free shuttle services to guests.

Car rental

Car rental desks can be found inside the arrivals hall, and include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and National.

Airport taxi's

A taxi to the city centre takes around 30 minutes. Visitors can go to Schiphol Plaza where they will find the metered Schiphol Travel Taxis, which offer fixed rates for everyone who travels to and from the airport.

Facilities

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 and casino. There are also numerous shops and restaurants, a food court, and duty-free shopping.

Parking

Short-stop parking facilities are located close to the terminal with the first 15 minutes free and then from €1 per subsequent 12 minutes. Daily parking in the Schiphol Smart Parking area should be booked in advance on the Schiphol website and costs about €50 for eight days and is connected to the terminal via a frequent shuttle bus service. Valet parking is also available.

Internet

There is free wifi throughout the terminal.