Amsterdam Travel Guide & Information
Amsterdam the capital and largest city of the Netherlands is a complete destination offering something for every kind of traveler. Impressive architecture, lovely canals that criss-cross the city, great shopping and friendly people make it one of the most popular tourist destinations. Whether your idea of vacation is indulging in culture and history or serious partying, or just relaxing amidst charm of an old European city, Amsterdam won’t disappoint you.
Once you get cheap flights to Amsterdam and start researching about destination, you would realize Amsterdam is a broad spectrum of recreational and cultural sites that range from fascinating old buildings, like the Oude Kerk, to oddities such as the Hash Marihuana Museum.
Visiting Amsterdam is like time travelling to 17th century, as the center of Amsterdam has a lot of architecture that dates back to this period. A trip to the city can never be complete without a without a boat cruise on the numerous beautiful canals that line up in the city making Amsterdam lovingly known as "Venice of the North"
Things to do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has an amazing collection of museums, ranging from masterpieces of art to porn, vodka and cannabis.
Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum: As its name suggests, the Museum is dedicated to the cannabis plant and its many uses. The museum offers visitors extensive documentation and information about the historical and modern uses of the cannabis plant, as well as its medicinal, religious and cultural applications. The museum also highlights cannabis enormous potential to benefit the environment, agriculture and industry in the future.
Van Gogh Museum: The museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the world. It provides the opportunity to keep track of the artist's developments or compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century in the collection. The museum also holds an extensive offer of exhibitions on various subjects from 19th century art history.
Vondelpark: Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam and certainly the most famous park in the Netherlands, which welcomes about 10 million visitors every year. Here you can spend your time enjoying a sunny day, dog-walking, jogging, roller-skating, listening to music, people-watching or just lazing about in grass.
Wertheimpark: Wertheimpark features lovely sculptures and structures such as the two marble sphinxes with lanterns and the marvelously decorated fountain commemorating the patron of the park. The park is opposite to the botanical gardens and is home to a Second World War memorial and one of the most popular canals in Amsterdam.
Last year i.e. in 2008 Amsterdam was host for 140 festivals and events.
Koninginnedag: Koninginnedag or Queen's Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands. Queen's Day is known for its "freemarket" all over the country, where everybody is allowed to sell things in the streets. Other activities during Queen's Day are children's games, individual musical performances and music concerts.
Holland Festival: It is the Netherland's oldest and largest performing arts festival and takes place every June in Amsterdam. It comprises theater, music, opera and modern dance. In recent years, multimedia, visual arts and film were added to the festival roster.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam:
Hotels and even hostels are spread all over Amsterdam and most of them are walking distance from interesting sights. But in case you are planning to visit Amsterdam, there are three main neighborhoods that our travel experts recommend for you.
Central Station Area: From a tourist point of view that area has huge number of hotels and a very active nightlife. The area is dotted with number of hotels and hostels that range from the cheapest hostel beds in town up to luxurious hotels.
Rembrandtplein: Rembrandtplein is often dubbed as Amsterdam’s glamorous district. The popular sights are spread out from the train station area with a high concentration near Leidseplein and all of them are a fairly short walk from this key area in the center.
Leidseplein: The area is close to all the museums and other major attractions likeVondelpark, Heineken Brewery and Albert Cuyp Market. The area is lined up with famous cafes, bars and coffee shops. If you are looking for endless eating, drinking and nightlife opportunities a hotel in Leidseplein is a perfect option for you.
Passport & Visa Requirements
For US Citizens:
The Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.
* If you are traveling for any other purpose, you may need to obtain a visa.
* Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
* The 90-day period begins when you enter any of the Schengen group of countries.
For Canadian Citizens:
A tourist visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days within a 6-month period.
* A Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit the Netherlands.
* The passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of the expected departure from the country.
* Canadians must also have proof of sufficient funds in order to buy a return airline ticket.
We would strongly recommend that you check out the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting "Venice of North"
*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.
When to visit Amsterdam
Amsterdam has an instantly recognizable charm whether you chose to see it under blue skies, through light drizzles or even alongside the biggest crowds of high season.
In general, most travelers visit Amsterdam between April and September, when the days are longer and temperatures are milder than during other months.
Planning your Visit
Spring: (March - May)
Summer: (June - August)
Amsterdam has a mild, damp climate but the weather can be variable with temperature extremes even in summer. Rain is spread evenly over the year, often in the form of endless drizzle.
* Summers are moderately warm but rarely hot. The average daily high in August is 22°C.
* Amsterdam's average annual precipitation is less than 760 mm
Currency and Language
In Amsterdam, as well as in all the Netherlands and many other countries of European Community the accepted currency is Euros.
Credit cards are widely accepted, however in some small shops or hotels their might be an extra charge of approximately 2-6% in case you pay by credit card.
* Dutch is the national language of Amsterdam. However, English is spoken by everyone in Amsterdam.
*In addition, many Dutch people speak German and French as well.