Useful information A-Z


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.

Banking Hours

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.

Bringing Money into the Netherlands

You may bring unlimited amounts of money into the Netherlands. Travelers’ cheques are accepted throughout the country. We do advise you to bring travelers’ cheques in euros, as otherwise you will incur exchange costs.

Changing Money

You can exchange money at banks, post offices and exchange offices in the Netherlands. 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 the Netherlands.

Calling from and to the Netherlands

If you want to call a telephone number in the Netherlands from abroad, dial +31 first, followed by the area code (without the first 0), and the local number. If you want to call a number in another country from the Netherlands, dial the country code.

Important area codes are:

  • Amsterdam (0)20
  • Rotterdam (0)10
  • Utrecht (0)30
  • The Hague (0)70
  • Maastricht (0)43

Credit Cards

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.

Drinking Policy

According to the ADM-policy (alcohol, drugs and medicines) of the Trimbos Institute - principal host of KBS 2019 - conferences, congresses and symposia are considered working time. All externally organized social events (i.e., welcome reception, social tours, conference dinner) at which alcohol is being used, caution should be exercised.

Dutch Health Care Insurance System

The medical care sector in The Netherlands is based on a referral system which requires patients to see a local general practitioner first. Medical specialists will generally only see those patients who have been referred to them by a general practitioner.

The Dutch National Health Service does not cover visitors to the Netherlands. It is therefore recommended to obtain an estimate of the cost involved before receiving any services. It is also important to telephone the doctor's office for an appointment.

For more information on the Dutch Health Care Insurance system please see the Dutch Minisitry of Health,Welfare and Sport.

Dutch Medical Care

Dutch medical care is of high quality and is comparable to the medical care one finds throughout Western Europe. Diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all fields of medicine are available. Hospitals are well-equipped, and maternity hospitals and many clinics are available. Most doctors and dentists speak English.
Most medicines are available locally. They may not, however, be of the same brand as those used in other countries and prices are generally higher. Tourists should bring a supply of the medicine they know they will need whilst abroad and provide proper documentation.


The voltage on outlets in the Netherlands is 230 volts. Hotels may also have a 110-volt or 120-volt outlet for shavers. Travelers are advised to bring along a power converter and an adapter for round two-prong plugs with side grounding contacts.

Emergency Numbers

Emergency services (police, fire services and ambulance): 112
Police (non-emergencies): 0900 - 8844

Emergency Medical Treatment

If you should be in need of immediate medical attention , call the emergency services (police, fire services and ambulance) at 112. Emergency calls from pay phones are free of charge. Emergency medical services (including transportation by ambulance) are not free and you will be billed for any services rendered to you. If you are staying in a hotel and you need to see a doctor or dentist, contact the reception desk and they will direct you to someone assigned to that hotel. If you are staying with a friend or family, you are advised to contact their family doctor or dentist.


The Netherlands has numerous places where you can use a computer with internet access, including internet cafés, libraries and almost any hotel. Nowadays many restaurants, lunch rooms, coffee shops and cafes also offer free WiFi services. Travelers from the European Union can use their own data plan without roaming costs.

Post Offices

Most post offices are open from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Only the major post offices are open on Saturdays. Services offered by the post office include sending letters and packages, buying stamps, postcards, stationery, telephone cards and public transport cards, and withdrawing cash from an ATM.

International mail may be deposited in any mailbox, provided the item weighs less than two kilograms. If the parcel weighs more, you will have to send it from a post office.

Public holidays

New Year’s Day 1 January 2019
Good Friday 19 April 2019
Easter 21 & 22 April 2019
Kings Day 27 April 27 2019
Liberation Day 5 May 2019
Ascension Day 30 May 2019
Whitsun Weekend 9 & 10 June 2019
Christmas 25 & 26 December 2019

School holidays in the Netherlands

the Netherlands has staggered holidays and therefore not everyone has holidays at the same time. There are a couple of weeks’ difference. The staggered holidays were introduced to reduce extremely busy situations and traffic jams.

Overview of school holidays in 2019.


Most shops are opened every day from around 9 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. On Monday mornings, shops often don’t open until around noon. Most towns and cities have a shopping night when shops are opened until 9 p.m. This is usually on a Thursday. Every Dutch city has its own rules for shopping on Sundays. Dates are available at the local tourist information (VVV). In most big cities, supermarkets are open every day until 10 p.m., except on Sunday’s when they close around 5.30 p.m. In other parts of the country, supermarkets are usually opened until 8 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, with varying opening times on Sundays.


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.

Travelling in the Netherlands for the disabled

When travelling by train in the Netherlands, the NS (the Dutch national railway company) has special facilities in place to ensure that your journey is as comfortable as possible. Inform yourself in advance about the facilities that the stations you will be visiting have to offer. Most trains also have special entrances for wheelchairs, and most intercity trains also have a wheelchair-accessible toilet. Most buses in the Netherlands are accessible; more information can be found, among others, on the website of Amsterdam’s public transport organisation, the GVB, and the website of the main bus company in much of southern the Netherlands Veolia.


The tap water in the Netherlands is of excellent quality and you can drink from any tap, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Bottled water is available at all supermarkets, snack bars and kiosks.

Weights & Measures

The Netherlands uses the metric system and therefore uses meters as its measurement for length, liters for liquids and kilos for weight. This is different from countries that use the Imperial System. The conversions between these two systems are:

Kilometers & miles 

  • 1 mile = 1.609 kilometers 
  • 1 kilometer = 0.621 miles

Liters & gallons 

  • 1 gallon = 4.546 liters 
  • 1 liter = 0.220 gallons

Kilos & pounds  

  • 1 pound = 0.453 kilos 
  • 1 kilo = 2.204 pounds

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