The city of Amsterdam welcomes millions of travellers from across the globe each and every year, and these key Amsterdam travel tips can help you become one of them in no time.
As Amsterdam’s one of the world’s most multicultural cities, it’s easy to navigate using English. Getting around is also simple; the city’s compact size means you can explore on foot, though cycling is a popular mode of transport and a great way to see the city’s less populated areas. Despite its rambunctious nightlife, Amsterdam is a very safe city.
Here’s some more Amsterdam travel advice to help you prepare for your trip.
The Netherlands is a Schengen country. Australian passport holders traveling to the Netherlands for tourism purposes may do so without a visa if their stay in the Schengen area amounts to 90 days or less within a 180-day period. Speak to your local Escape Travel agent if you have any questions relating to your visa requirements.
The currency in the Netherlands is the euro (€). Credit cards are widely used in Amsterdam, though many supermarkets will only accept Netherland bank cards or cash. It’s wise to exchange a small amount of money at your local bank before you depart, because money exchange services at the airport or in the city centre will likely have unfavourable exchange rates. If you’re carrying cash, be vigilant of pickpockets. For more on currency, visit the Europe currency page.
Food in Amsterdam varies from traditional and modern Dutch to international cuisine. Make sure you have at least one hearty Dutch meal and give a few local treats a try: poffertjes, stroopwafels and bitterballen are all musts. A diverse dining scene means you’ll have no problem finding that which suits your mood, from fine-dining to cosy, candlelit pubs, terrace bars and street stalls.
Do you? Don’t you? As is often the case in many European countries, tipping is optional and not necessarily expected in Amsterdam. That being said, common practice is to round up your bill to the nearest whole euro, or leave a few euros extra. By all means, though, if you feel like you’ve received great service that’s worth a few more euros, don’t be afraid to leave a more generous tip.
Electrical sockets in the Netherlands are European standard, made for plugs with two round pins with voltage typically between 220V and 240V. You should still be able to use your Australian devices during your Amsterdam holiday – just be sure to pack an adapter in your luggage. Leave the hairdryer, though; most accommodation provides such necessities.
While it never hurts to know a few phrases of your destination country’s official language (one more beer, please?), most residents in Amsterdam can speak English fluently, so it’s not necessary. The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, so if you feel so inclined, pick up a Dutch phrase book from your local bookstore and… veel geluk!
The journey from Amsterdam’s main airport (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol) to the city will take you about 20-30 minutes by car, though reaching the city from the airport is also easy via train. One of the busiest airports in the world based on passenger traffic, Schiphol sees over 50 million passengers every year, though it has just one main passenger terminal.