8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to The Netherlands
If you want to unwind and just enjoy the rest of your vacation, head over to Amsterdam. Appreciate and witness its winding canals, fields of blooming color, vibrant culture, a great amount of tradition, fascinating history and unrivaled charm. Just the right ingredients to make your trip a remarkable one. The majority of the must-visit attractions are easily accessible. If you’re looking for the carrier that will take you to this beautiful city, we’ve got here KLM. Quickly check your flight status with the use of the world’s renowned system. But before heading off to your trip, we’ve listed here some things to keep in mind. Fasten your seatbelt and let’s fly.
Exploring and discovering Amsterdam
Getting around Amsterdam is easy since the majority of the main attractions are squeezed into the city center. To give you an idea, it will only take you around 20 minutes to walk across. Don’t worry about commuting when you’re here. This country is known to have an exemplary public transport system which includes trams and buses that reach every corner of the city. If you we’re to travel from north to south, there’s a small metro system where you can use. A single fare costs around €3.00 but if you want to save more, you can purchase an unlimited travel ticket costing €8 per day. However, this does not include the ticket if you’re heading between Amsterdam Schiphol airport and Central Station which cost €4.50 per way. The said journey takes around 20 minutes. Another option to discover what the city has to offer is through renting a bicycle which costs around €14 a day. The country indeed has a huge number of bicycles.
What city passes are there?
If you want to have numerous savings, it is recommended to purchase I Amsterdam City Card, the most popular city pass. It includes a city map, free canal cruise, and free access to the majority of the city’s museums and even allows its user unlimited use of the public transport system. It’ll only cost €50 for 24 hours, €80 for 48 hours and €93 for 72 hours.
Book at least three months advance prior to arrival
If you’re traveling to Amsterdam during peak season namely between June and August, booking in advance is truly advisable and recommended. If you prefer to stay at hostels located inside the city center, be sure to book ahead of time since it usually gets fully booked especially during summertime. And if you’re going to visit various popular attractions, you might spend hours in a queue. This is just glimpses of the perks if you do book online or in advance.
If visiting Anne Frank House is included in your itinerary, be sure to purchase a ticket online before making your way there since there are only a limited number of tickets that are available each day. If you don’t opt to buy online, prepare yourself to wait for about a couple of hours in a line.
If you want to visit museums, you can make use of your I Amsterdam City Card if you have. You can enter for free to the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and, of course, the Tulip Museum.
Recommended areas to stay for your entire vacation
Despite having various hotels located all over the city, advance reservations are still strongly advised especially if you’re visiting during the peak season. As much as possible, try to avoid staying in or near the so-called red-light district. It would be better if you stay either near the Rijksmuseum or along the three main canals namely Herengracht, Keizersgracht or Prinsengracht. If you want to explore the famous tourist attractions, it’ll be easily accessible.
Learn the distinction between Coffee Shops and Cafes
Are you aware that weed is legal in The Netherlands? Well, yes, it’s no longer a secret. Tourists usually head over to Amsterdam just to try some of the local weeds. Various coffee shops are allowed to sell. It is indeed tolerated for as long as you only buy a small amount for personal consumption, a maximum of 5 grams per day. But if you want to have a real cup of caffeine and some slice of banana bread, head over to the real cafes and get your preferred drink. That’s the difference between coffee shops and cafes when you’re in Amsterdam. Travelers, please do take note of it.
Tipping in the Netherlands
When it comes to tipping, it’s a bit confusing since it’s not as straightforward if you were to compare it to some places. The majority of the locals just rounded off the taxi fare or restaurant bills up to the nearest number of whole euros although some customers prefer to add at least 10 percent to the total bill. It is their way to show appreciation for the service that they’ve received. Lastly, some places add a service charge, if that’s the case, you don’t need to worry about giving tip.
Public holidays in the Netherlands to be mindful of
The majority of the establishments are closed and public transportation operates reduced service during New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, Liberation Day (May 5), Ascension Day (mid-May to early June), Whit Monday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Especially during King’s Day which usually falls on April 26 or 27, don’t expect to get any sightseeing done. Please be reminded that the whole city goes wild in the knees-up to end all knees-ups.