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The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.
The Netherlands has numerous attractions to make your stay one of the most fun and unforgettable trips of your life. From Musea, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank Museum, to fun-parks like Madurodam, Neeltje Jans and the world-famous Flowerfields. And then there are also countless water sports facilities, historical squares, lively markets and, of course, the notorious Red Light District and coffeeshops.
The predominant wind direction in the Netherlands is southwest, which causes a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. This is especially the case with places within direct proximity of the Dutch coastline, which sometimes are over 10 °C (18 °F) warmer (in winter) or cooler (in summer) than places in the (south)east of the country.
Bringing Money into Holland
You may bring unlimited amounts of money into Holland. Travelers’ cheques are accepted throughout the country. We do advise you to bring travelers’ cheques in euros, as otherwise you will incur exchange costs.
If you have a foreign bank card with a Cirrus logo you can get money from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). Some ABN AMRO bank ATMs also accept cards with the PLUS logo. Also check your card and the ATM for EDC, EC and Maestro logos. Of course, you can also use most credit cards to obtain money from an ATM. Even the smallest villages offer many ATMs, which usually operate 24 hours per day.
Most banks and post offices are open from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Only major banks and post offices are open on Saturday. GWK Travelex is open every day of the week. Most GWK Travelex offices are located nearby train and bus stations.
You can exchange money at banks, post offices and exchange offices in Holland. Many hotels also offer this facility. And, of course, you can easily get money with your debit card from one of the many ATMs located throughout Holland.
All major credit cards are accepted widely, but not everywhere. If in doubt, ask in advance. Cash-on-card services are available from selected American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and VisaCard addresses. These cards are also accepted by all GWK currency exchange outlets and Change Express Offices.
In The Netherlands, Value Added Tax and service charges are included in your check in hotels, restaurants, shops and taxis. Tips for extra service are always appreciated but not required. It is customary to give taxi drivers and waiters a tip of about 10 percent. Many public restrooms have an attendant who is usually tipped EUR 0,50.
We can offer the best hotels at the most competitive rates in all major cities of the Netherlands.
From the world famous 5* Intercontinental Amstel Hotel to the very comfortable Stayokay hostels. We always have the right accommodation that will suit your needs.
We can offer all sorts of transportation. From the Private Transfer from Airport to hotel to luxurious VIP busses for your incentive trip.
From intimate boardrooms to elegant ballrooms, spacious conference rooms to private dining rooms, we have the ideal space for your gathering, whether it numbers 2 or 200. We will attend to every detail, including food and audiovisual equipment, whatever the occasion.
There are many areas for fashion shopping in Amsterdam:
City Center Shopping
The ‘Kalverstraat’ and ‘Leidsestraat’ are the mainstream shopping streets of Amsterdam. Some high fashion brands are situated in these streets, but most of the outlets represent the more common brands you can find in any major city. A good place to find all major brands is shopping center ‘Kalvertoren’.
Nine Streets Area
The Nine Streets area is a melting pot for all sorts of fashion. There are vintage shops, trendy boutiques, designer studios, jewelers, art galleries, specialty foods stores and lot’s of fine cafes, lunchrooms and restaurants. You’ll need at least a day to walk around all the alleys and hidden boutiques.
High Level Fashion Amsterdam
One of Holland’s best known streets is the posh ‘PC Hooftstraat’. Here you can find any major fashion brands and luxury product. The ‘Cornelis Schuytstraat’, ‘Van Baerlestraat’ and ‘Beethovenstraat’ offer a few more chic fashion boutiques.
Red Light Fashion
Now here’s something you probably did not expect. For high level fashion you must go to the Red Light District. Next to the girls of pleasure is an assembly of young and talented designers. The so-called Red Light Fashion is located along the ‘Oudezijds Achterburgwal’. A visit to the CODE Gallery Store and La Beuf Shoes is a must.
Art and Antiques
The ‘Spiegelkwartier’ (Mirror Quarter) is located behind Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and is a gathering place for art and antique stores. If you are in search for historical items or interesting curiosities this is the place to be.
Amsterdam Shopping Malls
If you’re in search for a shopping mall, go to the ‘Bijenkorf’ and ‘Magna Plaza’, both located near Dam Square. The Bijenkorf is a major department store with everything from fashion to design. Magna Plaza is a fancy shopping center of international class.
Theatre, Culture and Entertainment
The cultural scene in Amsterdam is rich and diverse. You can enjoy classical concerts at ‘Concertgebouw’, one of the best concert venues in the world, and jazz at ‘Bimhuis’. ‘Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’ is a cultural melting pot with different shows every day of the week. Theatre and cabaret blossom at ‘Carré’ and City Theatre Amsterdam.
Leidseplein Square and Rembrandt Square are the main entertainment areas of Amsterdam. Small wonder; Leidseplein offers a wide range of options for a great night out. Cinemas, discos, theaters and a casino are located right on the square or within easy walking distance. If you want to go clubbing or feel like a nice meal, this is the place to come to. The square boasts Holland’s best-known coffee-shop The Bulldog and music temple De Melkweg (The Milky Way). Other music venue Paradiso is just a stone’s throw away.
For lovers of art! Every Sunday from March through December an open-air sales exhibition is organized on Spui Square in Amsterdam. Recent works by some 60 contemporary Dutch and foreign visual artists are on display. You will meet the artists themselves.
Wining and Dining
Here you find a selection of Amsterdam's best restaurants, whether you fancy traditional Dutch cuisine, Mediterranean, Asian – or even Basque tapas.
Restaurant De Vijff Vlieghen
Good food, great wines, unique interior, this restaurant is a culinary museum, situated in the centre of Amsterdam, near the floating flowermarket and adjoining the Amsterdam canals. You can have dinner whilst sitting under 4 original Rembrandt etchings, antique Delft blue tiles and rare 17th century glassware.
Restaurant De Kas
De Kas, meaning greenhouse in Dutch, is housed in an enormous glasshouse: one half for eating, the other for growing the fruit and vegetables that end up on your plate. If your food wasn't produced here, it will come from the surrounding garden or a nearby farm.
Blauw is on the up-and-coming Amstelveenseweg, and the design – split level with low-slung lighting and mood decor – gives it the edge over its more traditional Indonesian competitors. But its trendy interior and cool crowd don't detract from the fact that the food is exquisite.
While in Amsterdam don't miss a night out at the original Supperclub restaurant. It's an amazing dining experience where you recline on beds and are entertained by artists and musicians throughout the four course surprise meal. A real thrill!
Restaurant “Haesje Claes”
A restaurant situated in the historical center of Amsterdam, between the Spui and the Dam square, across from the Amsterdam Museum. The restaurant occupies six, epic buildings, in which the original architectural features such as little steps, corridors and hallways all have been preserved. Likewise, the exterior of the building is a beautiful example of traditional Dutch architecture. All chambers are breathing a century old ambiance, perfectly suited for a comfortable and casual lunch or dinner.
Restaurant Pata Negra
This is an authentic Spanish restaurant with the hams hanging from the ceiling run by Spaniards. Although crowded it is very efficient and serves great Spanish tapas.
Amsterdam has much more to offer than the major attractions and cultural highlights you might read about in your guidebook. If you want to spend some time among the locals or find the unexpected treasures of Amsterdam, please be sure to take a look at our list. “Amsterdam Secrets” presents some of the best hidden places and little-known stories of Amsterdam. Walk the unbeaten paths and enjoy Amsterdam’s hidden tourist gems.
Combine the Amsterdam canals and the city’s famous bikes. Hop on a water bike and pedal through the canals.
The beach in Amsterdam
On a summer’s day in Amsterdam, the best beaches to visit are Strand Zuid, Strand West and Strand IJburg.
Friday Night Skate
Join hundreds of skaters during the Friday Night Skate in Amsterdam and enjoy some of the best skate spots of Amsterdam.
The Amsterdamse Bos
The forest of Amsterdam to relax and unwind.
Proeflokaal Wynand Fockink
Hidden away behind Dam Square is one of the most beautiful tasting rooms in the Netherlands, where guests can taste home-distilled Dutch jenever.
Narrowest house in Amsterdam
Read the stories behind the narrowest house in Amsterdam, the narrowest street in Amsterdam and the Kleine Trippenhuis.
2theloo offers the use of clean, comfortable restrooms in the heart of Amsterdam for just one Euro.
The Zevenlandenhuizen are each characterized by their own European style, and are part of the unique architectural landscape of Amsterdam.
Enjoy a snack the way the natives of Amsterdam do, and get a croquette from the wall at FEBO.
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder Museum
The Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder Museum is a church in Amsterdam where for 200 years, Catholics secretly attended church services.
World Heritage Sites
UNESCO has appointed eight monuments in Holland to be on the World Heritage List:
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