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NETHERLANDS            Europe Enquiry Form
   
     
 
                                                           

Home to windmills and vast fields of colourful tulips, the Netherlands belie its place as a cultural mecca in Europe. Long a great seafaring nation, the traditions and cultures from many nations have been transferred to Holland, with Amsterdam as its multicultural cosmopolitan heart. Museums, art galleries, cultural centres and diamond-cuttings workshops are dotted alongside exotic restaurants amongst the many canals that meander through the city.

The capital, The Hague, is splendid in its formality as the head of the state and regal, historic buildings abound. The busiest port in the world, Rotterdam confirms Holland’s place as a leader in world commerce.

Netherlands holiday

WEATHER    Back to top

The Netherlands has a fairly temperate climate, very similar to England; temperatures are variable and rain occurs throughout the year. Despite the hordes of tourists the best time to visit is over the summer, or in spring when the flowers are in bloom - the tulips come out in May.

Amsterdam

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

79

44

89

39

50

60

73

60

80

104

76

72

Rainfall (inches)

3.1

1.7

3.5

1.5

2.0

2.4

2.9

2.4

3.2

4.1

3.0

2.8

Min Temp (°C)

0

0

2

4

8

10

13

12

10

7

3

1

Max Temp (°C)

5

6

10

13

18

20

22

22

19

14

9

6

Min Temp (°F)

30

30

34

37

45

50

54

54

48

45

37

34

Max Temp (°F)

39

43

48

55

63

68

72

72

66

57

48

43


                                                           
GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin round European-style plugs are used.

Money: Single European currency, or Euro (EUR), is the official currency of the Netherlands, and is divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Foreign currency or travellers cheques can be changed at banks, post offices or bureaux de change (usually indicated by the letters GWK). Banks are closed on weekends. ATMs are widely distributed and most are open 24 hours a day.

Approximate Currency Exchange Rates

EUR 1.00 =

USD 1.27

GBP 0.69

CAD 1.44

AUD 1.70

ZAR 9.08

EUR 1.00

NZD 2.08

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

Netherlands holiday
Netherlands holiday


Language: Dutch is the official language. English is widely spoken. Fries (as well as Dutch) is spoken by the people of Friesland province.

Passport/Visa Note: The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that, in principal, allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all.

Health: There are no health risks associated with travel to The Netherlands and no inoculations are required. It is safe to drink tap water. The standard of health care in The Netherlands is very high, but the necessary health insurance provisions must be made before travelling. A reciprocal agreement exists with other EU countries, which entitles nationals to free emergency medical treatment. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is necessary for this purpose.

Tipping: Service charges are included in hotel rates, restaurant bills and taxi fares, usually at 15%. Tips for good service are always appreciated but not necessary. It is customary to tip taxi drivers and waiters 10%.

Safety: Travel in Holland is fairly safe. Travellers should however always exercise caution in empty streets at night and be aware of pickpockets, particularly in central Amsterdam and at Central Station. There is a risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks and visitors should be vigilant in public places and tourist sites, particularly since extra security measures have been set up around the country in response to concerns about a possible terrorist attack.

Customs: In Holland, the use of soft drugs is allowed, and even sold at 'coffee shops'. This policy exists to prevent the marginalisation of soft drug users thereby exposing them to more harmful drugs. However the trafficking in hard or soft drugs outside licensed premises is illegal. From 1 January 2005 everybody from the age of 14 is required to show a valid identity document to law enforcement officers on request.

Communications: The international access code for the Netherlands is +31. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). City codes are also required. Five local mobile phone operators have the Netherlands extremely well covered with GSM 900 and 1800 networks. Internet cafes are widely available.

Duty Free: Travellers over 17 years arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco; 1 litre spirits with alcohol volume higher than 22%, or 2 litres spirits or aperitifs made of wine or similar beverages less than 22%, or 2 litres of sparkling wines, liquor wines, or still wine; perfume up to 50g or 250ml eau de toilette; 500g of coffee; 100g tea; and goods for personal use to the value of €175. Prohibited items include the import of all birds. Providing goods are bought for personal use, there are no restrictions on carrying tobacco and alcohol between the 15 original countries of the EU (including the UK), with the exception of Finland, Denmark and Sweden.

                                                           
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