The Netherlands displayed art and culture by the artists like Rembrants. The Netherlands borders Belgium and Germany. With the high percentage of immigrants, you will encounter various culture here.
Simply walking around the city is already a good travel plan in the Netherlands. Visit museums, art centers, or look around various buildings which will help you to feel their culture. Especially in Amsterdam, you will be charmed by the beautiful canals and buildings in the every street. Small boats and bicycles everywhere delivers the exotic atmosphere.
LANGUAGE : Dutch
AREA : 41,543㎢
RELIGION : Catholic, Christian, etc
CURRENCY : Euro
VOLTAGE : 230V
The most visited city in the Netherlands is Amsterdam, which is the capital city. You can easily go to some other small cities near Amsterdam by bus or train.
1) AMSTERDAM : Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, I amsterdam Sign, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank house, Dam Square, Bloemenmarkt, Rembrandt House Museum, Heineken Experience, Jordaan, A'dam Lookout
2) ZAANSE SCHANS : Windmill village, Windmill Museum De Kat, Wooden Shoes Factory
3) ZAANDAM : Zaandam station, Inntel Hotel - The nickname of this city is lego city. Buildings have special designs just like lego blocks.
4) HAARLEM : Saint-Bavo Church, Teylers Museum, Grote Markt - Getting more and more popular, just 20 minutes away by train from Amsterdam.
5) ROTTERDAM : Cubique House, Euromast, Erasme Bridge - Famous for architecture.
6) THE HAGUE : Mauritshuis, Yi Jun Peace Museum, Binnenhof
7) KEUKENHOF : Tulip festival is held in Keukenhof. You must visit here when you are in the Netherlands in spring.
8) GIETHOORN : Known as a smurfs' village, you can take a boat to look around the village.
The most romantic season with fully bloomed tulips, March-May
The weather is quite clear and sunny during this time. There is a tulip festival, which is special for this season. As the daily temperature range is still huge, you should bring a jacket.
Breezy weather and longer daytime greets you, June-September
It showers often, but you will still feel fresh as the humidity is not high. The daytime is very long, which is perfect to enjoy the city longer and visit the places. Furthermore, there are many festivals held during this period. If you want to see the night view, we recommend you to start your day not to early.
Nice season for indoor activities, October-February
It rains often and the weather is quite gloomy. However, you will meet the most beautiful sunset view during this time. Even though the daytime is shorter than the other seasons, you will enjoy the night view for longer time. You can prepare your itinerary focusing on some indoor activities so that your trip doesn't get affected by the weather.
The overall price is similar to some other European cities. When you shop at the supermarkets, you will find that the ingredients are quite cheap. However, when you visit restaurants, it is not the cheapest country to eat out just like other cities in Europe. As the transportation expenses are expensive, locals like to ride bicycles. The average daily budget per person, except accommodation, is around 80 euros.
The food culture is not very developed in the Netherlands, and to eat in the restaurant is not very cheap either. Thus, locals prefer cooking at home to eating out. If you find nice restaurants, which are famous among tourists, there is a high possibility that it will be very crowded, so we recommend you to make a reservation in advance.
1) STROOPWAFEL : When you visit the local markets, you can have a freshly made warm stroopwafel on the site. In between the soft wafel layers, they put the caramel syrup and put some various sweet toppings on top of it.
2) HARING : A well dressed haring preserved with salts and vinegar. You will see many Haring kiosks on the streets. You can simply have the haring or a haring sandwich.
3) DUTCH PANCAKE : Dutch pancakes are very thin with different ingredients on top of it. Poffertjes, which is a bite-sized mini pancake is also popular and perfect for breakfast.
4) FRENCH FRIES : In the Netherlands, they have stores, selling only french fries. Instead of ketchup, you can add dutch mayo or some other sauces like locals. Dutch mayo is to add the taste, but also to keep the fries warm. When you order a small size, it is already quite big enough.
5) DUTCH CHEESE : You can see the big size yellow cheeses very often in the Netherlands, just like the ones you might saw in the cartoon. Buy a small piece of dutch cheese and enjoy it with bread.
6) CROQUETTE : This is one of best local snacks. At train stations or in the city center, you will find the vending machine where you can easily buy croquette at a very low cost. Fried mashed potatoes with salt deliver the great taste.
7) HUTSPOT : One of the most popular homemade food in the Netherlands. Hutspot is normally cooked with klapstuk [nl] in the same vessel. Klapstuk is a cut of beef from the rib section.
There are many types of transporations in the Netherlands like trains, metro, trams, buses, and bicycles! The bicycle lanes are well structured in the Netherlands. If you want to travel like locals, you can rent a bicycle and enjoy the dutch atmosphere. There are signal lights for bicycles and also, when you make turns, you need to show which way you are turning with your hand.
You need to check in and check out when you get in and off from metro, tram, and bus. When you are using trains and cannot find the ticket gate, you will find the ticket machine to check in and out at the platforms.
In Amsterdam, trams have designated entry and exit doors, thus, when the door does not open, use the other doors which are open.
Trams, buses, and metro operate from 6 A.M. until half past midnight. The night buses operate until 7 A.M.
1) HOW TO GET TO THE CITY CENTER FROM AMSTERDAM AIRPORT
TRAIN : From the airport to the Amsterdam centraal station, it takes around 20 minutes by train. The fare for one way is 4.30 euros.
2) TRANSPORTATIONS IN AMSTERDAM CITY CENTER
1. AMSTERDAM CITY CARD : When you hold the Amsterdam city card, you can use any transportation for free, unlimited. You can also access to various tourist attractions with this card.
Price : 24 hours 59 euros / 48 hours 74 euros / 72 hours 87 euros / 96 hours 98 euros
Website : https://www.iamsterdam.com/en
2. AMSTERDAM GVB DAY TICKET : If you are planning to stay only in Amsterdam, this ticket will be useful for you as you can use transportations in the city center, unlimited. The time and day is counted by hours from the time the ticket is validated.
Price : 1 day(24 hours) 7.5 euros / 2 days 12.5 euros / 3 days 17.5 euros / 4 days 22.5 euros / 5 days 27.5 euros / 6 days 31.5 euros / 7 days 34.5 euros
3. AMSTERDAM TRAVEL TICKET : The ticket varies from 1 day to 3 days travel tickets, and from midnight, it is considered as one day, not by hours. With this ticket, you can also use the train or shuttle between the airport and the city center.
Price : 1 day 16 euros / 2 days 21 euros / 3 days 26 euros
4. AMSTERDAM & REGION TRAVEL TICKET : If you have a plan to visit Zaanse Schans and Zaandam, you can also take the train there with this ticket. You can take unlimited transporation in Amsterdam, and also valid for train between the airport and the city center.
Price : 1 day 18.5 euros / 2 days 26 euros / 3 days 33.5 euros
3) HOW TO GET TO NEARBY CITIES FROM AMSTERDAM
TRAIN : From Amsterdam, you can easily visit nearby cities by train. You can buy the ticket at the train station or book online in advance. You can also visit the information center in the train station to buy tickets.
BUS : Normally, it takes more time by bus, but if the train is full or there is no train during the time you want, you can take the bus as well.
If you are a student, prepare the international student card in advance. You can ask if there is any discount for students before buying the ticket.
The price of admission tickets to museums in Amsterdam is not cheap. However, if you have Amsterdam city card or Holland pass, you can save some budget and also get some discounts. You can either get them delivered to your home before or pick it up at the airport or the train station. If you did not prepare it in advance, you can visit the tourist center in the train station or in the city center to buy them.
1) I AMSTERDAM CITY CARD
If you are visiting many tourist attractions in a short time, this card will be useful for you as you can visit the various museums as you want in a day or some days depending on the card. Including Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam river cruises, you have the access to around 60 museums and you can also take unlimited transportations in the city(except the train between the airport and city center). There are additional discount offers as well.
You can preorder the card and get it delivered to your home or pick it up at the airport or the train station. The card will be validated once you use it either at the museum or for transportation.
Price : 24 hours 59 euros / 48 hours 74 euros / 72 hours 87 euros / 96 hours 98 euros
Website : https://www.iamsterdam.com/en
2) HOLLAND PASS
Holland pass, different from Amsterdam city card, has different types of cards depending on how many spots you are visiting or where you are visiting. Divided to small, medium, and large, each tourist attraction has the level of either silver or gold, and depending on the card you hold, you can visit different spots. For example, if you have Small Holland Pass, you can visit 1 gold level and 2 silver levels. They provide you with a free guide book and other discount offers too.
Price : Small 40 euros / Medium 55 euros / Large 72 euros
Website : https://hollandpass.com/
The currency in the Netherlands is euro, thus, if you are traveling in Europe, you do not have to exchange the money twice. Often in some restaurants, they only take cards. So you need to bring your card just in case.
1) STROOPWAFEL : A representing dutch snack with crispy cookies and caramel syrup in between. You can find it easily at supermarkets. It is much more delicious when you put it on top of hot coffee or tea so that it gets softer.
2) TULIP SOUVENIR : One of the symbolic items in the Netherlands, tulips. You can find many types of souvenirs related to tulips.
3) WOODEN SHOES : When you visit the wooden shoes factory in Zaanse Schans, they demonstrate how wooden shoes are made. You can buy actual wooden shoes or normal shoes with different designs with wooden shoes shape. There are slippers shaped as wooden shoes too.
4) VAN GOGH SOUVENIR : One of the must visit museums in Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum. When you visit the museum, you will see a variety of souvenirs with his paintings on them.
5) TOTE BAGS : Tote bags designed with Amsterdam monuments, tulips, and paintings are one of the famous souvenirs.
6) MIFFY : Miffy, a cute doll, was born in the Netherlands. There is an official miffy shop in Amsterdam, but you can see many types of miffy souvenirs at the souvenir shops in the city center.
7) DUTCH MAYO : Dutch mayo has the best collaboration with french fries. You can easily get it at supermarkets.
If you bring back the products you bought during travel to your own country, you can get a tax refund. To get a tax refund, you shouldn't be the residence in EU, and the products should not be opened or used. For the shops where you can get a tax refund, they have the tax refund mark on the windows or near the cashier.
To get a tax refund in the Netherlands, you need to spend over 50 euros per day in one shop, and return to your country in 90 days.
After filling out the tax refund form, you need to get a stamp from the custom at the airport. After getting a stamp, you need to put the documents in the tax refund postboxes. There are two kinds of tax refund company, Global Blue Tax Free and GWK Travelex(Premier Tax Free, Easy Tax Free, Inova Tax Free), so do not forget to put documents in the right one.
You can find the tax refund desk at Amsterdam Airport at Departure 3 - Lounge 3. You can get a tax refund by cash or card.
They do not have the special tipping culture as the service fee is already included. However, you can sometimes locals leave some changes. You can ask for the check at the table to pay at the restaurant.
In the Netherlands, many people speak English very well so it will be easier for you to communicate with them.
When you are in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam, you might feel confused in the beginning due to many trams and bicycles everywhere. You need to check the tram ways and bicycle lanes so that you avoid collisions.
In the Netherlands, some restaurants and shops only accept cards, so you need to bring your card in case.
The most important thing you must know before traveling in the Netherlands is the difference between Cafes and Coffee shops. If you ask the locals 'where is the coffee shop?', you have a high chance to be at an unexpected spot. In the Netherlands, a coffee shop is where they sell drugs inclduing weeds. If you want to have a cup of coffee or tea, remember to find 'Cafes', instead of 'coffee shops'.
If you need to put your luggage somewhere after checking out the hotels, try to find coin lockers at the main train stations. For example, in Amsterdam Centraal station, there are many lockers.