Tips for visitors
Whether you have one, two, three days or more, Amsterdam has plenty to offer and more than enough to keep you entertained. These are our recommended itineraries to give you the best possible overview of the city.
Amsterdam Guided Tours and Boat Trips
A young Amsterdam company has a range of tourist tours around the city offering you a interesting and affordable guided walks with distinct themes in various parts of the city like Red Light District, Jordaan or Museum District. They may also organize a boat trip through the canals, as well as variety of city games for whole groups of visitors.
Mike's bike tours run throughout the year with an option to combine a coutryside tour in the summer. The daily bike tour goes through the city and countryside visiting sites like a windmill and a cheese farm/clog factory.
Things to avoid
General knowledge of what to avoid in Amsterdam, concerns the car driving, bicycle lanes, public transportation and visitor's safety, as well as smoking at public areas.
Amsterdam Holland Pass, iAmsterdam Card and Museumkaart
As admissions to museums and public transport tickets might represent an important cost during your visit to Amsterdam, three different discount cards aim at lowering these expenses. Amsterdam Holland Pass offers free transfer from and to the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, free tickets to most important museums (including Rijksmuseum), discounts on many attractions and 24-hours public transport ticket. iAmsterdam card offers free entrance to several museums (but not Rijksmuseum) and city attractions, 25% discount on selected restaurants and a free public transport ticket in Amsterdam (but not transportation from and to the airport) for a limited period of 1 to 3 days. Museumkaart opens the doors to 34 museums in Amsterdam (including Rijksmuseum) and 400 museums in the Netherlands for a period of one year.
Amsterdam tourist information office
Local tourist office is a one of the great information sources that dwarfs many countries offerings, especially what is up in Amsterdam. They however charge a small fee for the room reservations.
Private Photographer NEW
A great way to immortalise your trip to Amsterdam, it is possible to hire a private photographer here to provide professional photographs of your holiday, bachelor party or other event. You only pay for the pictures you want to keep, so this won't break your travel budget.
City Navigators GPS Rental Service
Never get lost again with City Navigators hand held GPS system. Includes directions to all major Amsterdam highlights, walking routes and recommendations all in the palm of your hand.
Using the telephone
Public telephone in Amsterdam can be found on streets all over the city, at railway stations, post offices and some bars. Using the phone is quite straightforward, just when you have the right telephone card. See where you find the phones, where to get the phone-cards, places you can use a credit card or call-direct cards, learn about mobiles and calling from the hotel.
Sending your postcards
Most of the shops with cards and souvenirs also carry the post stamps. Postal boxes are in colour red or orange (the new ones). The post is collected every day at 6PM, except for Saturday. If you send your cards abroad, especially overseas, the quickest way is the priority mail. Cards and letters sent with a priority mail are usually delivered within couple of days. Using the priority mail, do not forget to put the blue priority mail label on your card or letter. As the mail service is largely automated, writing Priority or Air Mail will not do the trick, and your post will be delayed.
Central Post Office
If you are sending some letters overseas and you are not sure how many stamps to put on, or you just want to send a small parcel, the Central Post Office is your place. In addition, telephone cards, useful stationary and money change, although the specialized places in town will give you a better rate. The address is Singel 250 (at the corner of Radhuisstraat).
Money and currency
In Amsterdam, as well as in all the Netherlands and many other countries of European Community the accepted currency is Euro (EUR, €), no other currencies are commonly accepted, so you will have to change your dollars, sterling, yens, etc to Euros. Credit cards are widely accepted too, though in some small shops or hotels, there might an extra charge (2-6%) if you pay by a credit card, passport may be required. Generally, the most preferred payment method is Euro cash with the banknotes up to 50 Euro bill.
Amsterdam is a safe city, and there is nothing to fear when walking in any part of the city. However, don't leave your belongings unattended. When you're in a coffee shop, bar or restaurant, keep your bag near to you - under the table, between your legs. As in every larger city, beware of pickpockets. Some residential surburbs (outside the city) have a bad reputation at night.
Amsterdam canal houses
Authentic and immensely beautiful and gable portraits and gifts with a face of Amsterdam. If you are looking for a gift with a practical, cultural and souvenir value, there are many household items decorated with gables.
Dutch is the national language of Holland. However, English is spoken by everyone in Amsterdam. In addition, many Dutch people speak German and French. Dutch is the mother tongue of well over 21 million Dutch people and Flemish people (Dutch- speaking nationals of Belgium). Find a here few Dutch keys phrases.