Using the Telephone in Amsterdam

Public Telephone AmsterdamPublic telephones in Amsterdam can be found on streets all over the city, at railway stations, post offices and some bars.

Telephone booths

There are few types of telephone booths on the streets, one for cash and phone-cards, but it's unlikely you will be able to make a call with coins. Phone cards are available at post offices and most tabacco shops. The main post office (postkantoor) is situated on the corner of the Singel near the Dam square, and is the only which is open also Saturday morning. Phone cards can be bought for € 5, € 10 or € 20, and better when they are labeled with the "KPN" logo (for green booths, KPN is the former PTT state-run telecom monopol).Instructions for using the phones are in both Dutch and English.

Look for a green phone booth (KPN Telecom), stick the card in the slot, (select your language if you are using an operator), dial the number. With cash phones you should insert money before dialling, unused coins will be returned. Calls after 8 pm are cheaper.

There are many public phone booths all around, like opposite the Central Station, on Damrak, around Leidseplein, also Muntplein (Flowermarket). It is recommended to keep an eye for your belongings if you use the booths, especially around central station they are frequented by petty thieves.Mobile phonesThere is a good coverage for mobile networks all over the Netherlands. You need to use a mobile phone with 900 and 1800 MHz bands, then you may wish to buy a pre-paid SIM card. These are available in telephone shops (on Rokin, around Kalverstraat) and also in some supermarkets (Albert Heijn). You can rent a mobile at Schiphol airport.

Call-direct cards and credit cards

Green telephone booths do not work with pre-paid call direct cards that you can purchase in all exotic shops promising the cheapes call ever; anyway, if some do, still an initial credit is required. These card can usually be handy only using the home telephone line.

Pay phones for credit cards can be found at a quite few hidden locations around the city. Anywhere, general safety with the credit cards applys: check that nobody can screen your credit card number.

Calling from the Hotel

Most hotels have telephone in rooms, but better ask in advance at the reception. Otherwise the telephone costs that will appear at your bill are likely to be inflated. Whether phone is available at the hotel you can see by the telephone pictogram on the page of the hotel.

Reaching the right number

When you are in Amsterdam, you do not use the pre-dial for Netherlands (+31) rather you need to start your phone call with someting like 020... or 06.. for mobile numbers.

Emergency number

112 - for first aid, police and fire department