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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Amsterdam

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Amsterdam each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (Nieuwjaarsdag, national holiday)

January or February: Chinese New Year (local)

Each year, Amsterdam's Chinatown (one of the biggest in the world) celebrates the event with parades in the city streets and the Vondelpark. On the program: the lion's dance, paper dragons, traditional music and martial arts displays.

April 27:King's Day (Koningsdag, national holiday)

This is the most important secular festival of the year, celebrating King Willem-Alexander. Many of the revellers wear orange and the festivities are spread across town, with giant garage sales, fun fairs, concerts and numerous shows.

April: Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (local event)

This parade consists of a series of imaginative floats entirely decorated with millions of blooms, on a route from Leyde to Haarlem, large producer of flower bulbs only 20 kilometres from Amsterdam. Each year, the parade takes inspiration from a different theme, for the enjoyment of its thousands of spectators.

May to September: Vondelpark Open Air Theatre (Openluchttheater, local event)

Every year, Amsterdam's Chinatown district, one of the largest in the world, hosts the event with a long parade amidst the streets and into the Vondelpark. The program consists in: lion dances, paper dragons, folk music and martial arts displays.

December 6: Sinterklaas (local event)

A different Dutch town is chosen each year to host the event, starting point of Saint-Nicholas' long tour. Pakjesavond takes place on the eve of December 6th, celebration during which Saint-Nicholas distributes presents to children.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a temperate oceanic climate influenced by the proximity of the North Sea. Summer temperatures are warm but rarely hot, around 22°C (72°F) on average in July and August. Winters are humid and relatively mild. It rains quite frequently in Amsterdam (about 187 days per year). Owing to the comfortable temperatures, spring and summer are the best seasons to visit the city, stroll around the parks bursting with flowers, and walk or bike along the canals.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 1/34 6/43 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
February 0/32 6/43 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
March 3/37 10/50 73/2.9 Not the best period to go
April 5/41 13/55 46/1.8 Good period to go Good period to go
May 8/46 17/63 59/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
June 11/52 20/68 71/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
July 13/55 22/72 78/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
August 13/55 22/72 85/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
September 11/52 19/66 86/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
October 7/45 14/57 100/3.9 Not the best period to go
November 4/39 10/50 94/3.7 Not the best period to go
December 1/34 6/43 87/3.4 Not the best period to go
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Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport

The Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport is located about 17,5 kilometres (11 miles) south-west of the city centre.

  • 1 terminal

Getting from the airport to Amsterdam and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A4 motorway.
    • Several short- and long-term parking facilities are available at the airport:
          • "Short-term" parking lot (3 minutes from the airport by foot), EUR 1 for 10 minutes, EUR 40 per day.
          • "Long-term" parking lot (5 minutes from the airport with free shuttle). For 24 hours, EUR 40, EUR 67.50 for 48 hours.
          • “"Basic" parking lot for 3-day+ parking: reservations online, on the airport website.
          • "Valet" parking lot located between Departure halls 2 and 3, a valet taking care of your car. Key-drop at the Schiphol Valet Parking counter. EUR 47.50 for the first day. EUR 7.50 for each extra day.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at Schiphol Plaza, directly behind Arrivals
  • By rail
    • Trains leave for Amsterdam Centraal (the city's main train station) from the Schiphol station directly beneath the terminal complex. The trip takes about 15 minutes and the fare is EUR 5.50 (EUR 4.50 online: https://www.ns.nl/en) each way.
  • Bus
    • The bus station is located in front of Schiphol Plaza (directly in front of the arrivals and departure halls).
    • Bus line 397 connects the airport to Amsterdam's city centre. It leaves every 7-8 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. One-way ticket is EUR 3.50.
    • Night bus N97 (the Niteliner) to Amsterdam, from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. One-way ticket is EUR 4.50.
    • Several buses connect the airport with more than 100 hotels in Amsterdam, with departures every 10 minutes between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Find more information at the desk in the airport.
  • Taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the arrivals hall (from EUR 40 to central Amsterdam)
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +31 (0)20 7940800
  • Website: https://www.schiphol.nl/en/

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GETTING AROUND Amsterdam

The best way to discover Amsterdam and its famous canals is to explore on foot, by bicycle or by boat! In addition, Amsterdam is a city very well served by its public transport system, operated by GVB.

By bicycle

Amsterdam is a cyclist's paradise: half-million Amsterdammers use their two-wheels in the streets. Amsterdam is a fairly flat, compact city, with an extensive network of cycling paths ensuring safe and relaxing rides. Many bike rental companies have offices in Amsterdam. Rates for 1-day rentals start at about EUR 10.

By rail

Amsterdam's Metro has 4 lines (50, 52, 53 and 54) serving the city's southern suburbs (Amstelveen-Sud, Gaasp and Bijlmermeer).

  • Line 50, also known as the Ring line, operates a semi-circular route from the southeast/west around the city centre.
  • Lines 53 and 54 connect points in the south with Amsterdam Central station.
  • Line 52 opened in 2018 and connects Northern Amsterdam with the Southern Amsterdam station, through Central Station.

The Metro operates daily from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. A single ticket (valid for 1 hour) on any mode of transport operated by GVB (Metro, buses, trams) costs EUR 3.20. Tickets must be validated at the card reader when entering and exiting any bus, tram or Metro platform. Transport passes are also available, offering unlimited travel over the entire GVB network for their entire validity period (from 1 to 7 days):
  • EUR 8 for the 1-day pass
  • EUR 13.50 for the 2-day pass
  • EUR 19 for the 3-day pass
  • EUR 37 for the 7-day pass

For further information, visit https://en.gvb.nl

By bus

Amsterdam's bus network is particularly well developed, with 46 routes. Buses operate from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Night buses take over between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

By tram

Amsterdam has 13 tram lines running daily from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. This is the most pleasant way to discover Amsterdam's historic centre and get to all its museums.

“I AMSTERDAM” City Card

This discount card offers unlimited access to the entire public transport system (metro, bus, trams), free admission to several Amsterdam museums and attractions, as well as discounts and special offers. It is possible to purchase this pass before your trip on this website: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/i-am/i-amsterdam-city-card

Prices:

  • 24-hour "I AMSTERDAM" City Card: EUR 65.00
  • 48-hour "I AMSTERDAM" City Card: EUR 85.00
  • 72-hour "I AMSTERDAM" City Card: EUR 105.00
  • 96-hour "I AMSTERDAM" City Card: EUR 120.00

By taxi

Taxis are useful in Amsterdam when you need to get around very quickly. Fares consist of three components: the initial charge (EUR 5), the fare per kilometre (about EUR 2.35), and waiting time (about EUR 0.50 per minute).

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Amsterdam, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

I AMSTERDAM Visitor Centres

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Stationsplein 10, Noord-Zuid Hollands Koffiehuis (directly across from Amsterdam Central station)
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Sunday
  • Address: Holland Tourist Information, Arrivals 2, Schiphol Plaza, Schiphol Airport
  • Telephone: +31 (0)20 702 6000
  • Website: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en

Further information available online for visitors to the Netherlands

The official website maintained by the Dutch national tourist authority provides a wealth of information on Amsterdam.

Website: http://www.holland.com/global/tourism.htm

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Amsterdam counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Amsterdam. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Amsterdam.

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Administrative formalities

For stays of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay.  As a general rule, travellers from all other countries are subject to visa requirements, although foreign nationals from certain countries may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

For further information, visit the Dutch Immigration Service website: https://ind.nl/en

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Dutch phrases that will make your stay in Amsterdam a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Goedendag / Goedemiddag Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Goedendag / Goedemiddag</em>

Good evening: Goedenavond Good evening: <em>Goedenavond</em>

Goodbye: Tot ziens Goodbye: <em>Tot ziens</em>

Yes: Ja Yes: <em>Ja</em>

No: Nee No: <em>Nee</em>

No, thank you: Nee, bedankt No, thank you: <em>Nee, bedankt</em>

Thank you very much: Hartelijk dank Thank you very much: <em>Hartelijk dank</em>

Please: Alstublieft Please: <em>Alstublieft</em>

I don't understand: Ik begrijp het niet. I don't understand: <em>Ik begrijp het niet.</em>

Could you repeat?: Kunt u dat herhalen ? Could you repeat?: <em>Kunt u dat herhalen ?</em>

What time is it?: Hoe laat is het? What time is it?: <em>Hoe laat is het?</em>

Sorry / Excuse me: Neem me niet kwalijk / Pardon / Sorry Sorry / Excuse me: <em>Neem me niet kwalijk / Pardon / Sorry</em>

Airport: Vliegveld Airport: <em>Vliegveld</em>

Train station: Station Train station: <em>Station</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hotel Hotel: <em>Hotel</em>

Hospital: Ziekenhuis Hospital: <em>Ziekenhuis</em>

Bank: Bank Bank: <em>Bank</em>

Telephone: Telefoon Telephone: <em>Telefoon</em>

I'm (…): Ik ben (…). I'm (…): <em>Ik ben (…).</em>

I'm looking for (…): Ik zoek (…). I'm looking for (…): <em>Ik zoek (…).</em>

How much is it?: Wat is de prijs van (…) ? / Wat kost (…) ? How much is it?: <em>Wat is de prijs van (…) ? / Wat kost (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Heeft u (…)? Do you have (…)?: <em>Heeft u (…)?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Waar kan ik (…) vinden? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Waar kan ik (…) vinden?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Waar kan ik (…) kopen? Where can I buy (…)?:<em> Waar kan ik (…) kopen?</em>

I'd like (…): Ik zou graag (…). I'd like (…): <em>Ik zou graag (…).</em>

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Good to know

+31
+ phone number (without the 0)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Rome
Start of daylight saving time > last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time > last Sunday in October

Banks
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government Offices
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
Tipping is appreciated at all restaurants, bars and cafés, and when paying for a taxi fare. It is customary to leave between 5 and 10 % if you are satisfied with the service.

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