March 30, 2023
When you think about traveling to the Netherlands, what comes to mind? Do you picture fields of tulips? What about wooden clogs, windmills, and cheese? The Netherlands is a wonderfully diverse country with a deep rich history. It has old fashion charm, exquisite design, and some of the most well-revered art galleries. All of these things combined make traveling to the Netherlands, the trip of a lifetime! In the guide below, I’ll go over some of the basic ins and outs to make your trip stress free and provide you with all the information needed for a successful trip abroad!
Passport Requirements for Traveling to the Netherlands
To travel to and gain entry to the Netherlands, you’ll need an original signed passport that is valid for a minimum of 90 days beyond your return date. In addition to this, you may also be required to provide proof of return or onward travel. The name listed on your passport must match all of your additional travel documents as well!
Visa Requirements for Traveling to the Netherlands
If you are an American or Canadian citizen, you will be happy to know that your trip does not require an entry visa to enter the Netherlands. Additionally, you can visit for up to 90 days! However, citizens of other countries may require a valid visa. It’s also important to know that travel requirements change frequently so it’ll be important to check for the most up-to-date information when planning your trip!
Payment Methods & Currency Accepted in the Netherlands
The local currency in the Netherlands is the euro (EUR). You can absolutely pay for goods and services using a major credit card or even a debit card as well. However, please be aware that small transactions made with these payment methods in the Netherlands can incur a transaction fee. Additionally, some shops and restaurants may not accept these payment methods. So it’s always a good idea to have a small amount of cash on hand, especially for those smaller transactions!
If you are worried about being able to access cash, there are ATMs located in major cities and other well-populated areas where you will be able to make a withdrawal. However, it wouldn’t hurt to make a trip to your local bank before departing in order to make a withdrawal! Lastly, please check with the carriers of your major credit cards before departing to see if they charge international fees for transactions made abroad.
Cell Phone Usage & WiFi in the Netherlands
Always check with your cell phone carrier to learn about roaming and international plans & coverage before traveling! One of my favorite tips for traveling outside the country when it comes to cell phone usage is to put your phone on airplane mode so that you can access the wifi available in public spaces like the airport, cafes, and restaurants. When your phone is in airplane mode and you are connected to free wifi, you will not be charged for international usage or any additional roaming fees! If you need to use your phone in a location that does not have free wifi, then turning off your airplane mode will activate the international plan coverage with your carrier.
Electricity & Voltage in the Netherlands
The Netherlands plugs are C and F, which have two small round pins, and L, which have three small round pins. In the Netherlands, the standard voltage is 220-230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. In order to use its like appliances, hair dryers, curling irons, hair straighteners, or even travel-size clothing steamers I always recommend traveling with an adaptor plug that has multiple configurations. If you are concerned about purchasing the correct adaptor, many hotels typically provide their guests with hair dryers, so may not even need to pack one!
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Checking in to Your Flight
To make traveling to the Netherlands as smooth as possible, I always tell my clients to check in online, with their airline 24 hours before departure. This will allow you to confirm the details of your flight as well as check for any delays. If your airline has its own app, downloading it will give you an even smoother traveling experience!
Useful Apps For Your Trip
- The Weather Channel app is a fantastic way to stay up to date with the forecast worldwide
- XE Currency Exchange for daily currency exchange rates
- Though many people in the Netherlands may speak English, Google Translate app can help with new words & proper pronunciation
- Your airline’s app to keep track of flight details & delays
The Netherlands has a moderate marine climate that does not see many large fluctuations in the weather & temperature. It’s never too cold in the winter, and it’s never too hot in the summer. While summers can be warm and full of sunshine, rainstorms can on out of nowhere. In the spring and fall, wind gusts are frequent, so windproof and waterproof outer layers are essential. Since many towns are coastal, the wind can be quite cold and humid throughout the year.
Tipping Guidelines During Your Stay in the Netherlands
You may already know that tipping in European countries is considered a courtesy. Unlike the tipping system we have in the US. In the Netherlands, a service charge of approximately 5% plus VAT will typically be included in the menu price at any cafés or restaurants you visit. For high-end or fine dining restaurants, it is customary in the Netherlands to leave a tip of up to 10% for excellent service; at cafés, you may wish to round up your bill.
Making Your Way Around the Netherlands
Amsterdam is easily reached by rail from nearby cities such as Brussels, Paris, London, and Frankfurt. Large cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam have extensive metro systems, including light rail trams. Tickets can be purchased from machines on the platform of most subway & tram stops. Or at the city’s central station. Taxis in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands are quite expensive! Though, you may still be able to take them occasionally. If you do plan on taking a taxi, it is best to order one in advance or head to a taxi stand. Many of the taxi stands are located downtown. Ridesharing services like Uber & Lyft are available in major Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven
Another fun way to get around the Netherlands is to rent a bike! It’s a great activity that will allow you to immerse yourself in the local surroundings and culture. If you do decide to cycle around, please be sure to follow the appropriate etiquette & any applicable laws. Helmets are optional! But it is required that you use clear hand signals, obey traffic lights, and use lights at night. In the Netherlands, other road users are required to respect bike lanes with pedestrians required to check carefully before crossing the road.
Shopping In the Netherlands
From high fashion brands to specialty boutiques, shopping in the Netherlands offers a little bit of something for everyone in the family! You will generally find smaller specialty shops in older parts of Dutch towns, with larger stores & shopping centers on the outskirts or in newer parts of the cities. In Amsterdam, one of the main shopping areas is called The Nine Streets.
Amsterdam also has several amazing marketplaces, such as the Albert Cuyp Market in the city center, which offers local food products & artisan goods. Additionally, you can shop at the IJ-Hallen market, which is one of the biggest flea markets in Europe. It is held in the Amsterdam Noord area on the first weekend of every month. If you are looking for something savory, you can visit the Alkmaar Cheese Market! The vibrant Alkmaar Cheese Market provides a glimpse into tradition with an unexpected and quirky history. Here, you’ll find different cheesemongers who distinguish themselves by wearing colored straw hats.. Price bargaining is still done by clapping hands and shouting prices – it is quite the scene!
While you are in the Netherlands, there are three things you have to shop for!
Clogs, delft blue pottery, and tulips! Wooden clogs have been the “shoe” of the Netherlands since medieval times. They are equally fun to wear or put on display in your home. Delft blue pottery was brought about in the Netherlands during the 16th century when artists began creating using vivid shades of blue that depict floral motifs. This type of pottery was produced around the city of Delft, giving the name, Delftware.
Lastly, the Netherlands has some of the most gorgeous Tulips! They are cultivated in large fields and bloom with beautiful striped colors. In fact, tulip festivals are some of the most popular events in the country. However, some of the rare tulips cannot be brought home to the US without a special permit. If you’d like to shop for and bring home some beautiful Netherlands tulips, be sure to ask the vendors Bloemenmarkt which tulips can be purchased and brought back to the US legally!