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    Amsterdam – a brief overview

    Whatever your pre-imagined image of Amsterdam, you’re sure to find what you expect. Canals lined with elegant townhouses, smoky coffee shops, laid-back brown cafés, clanging trams, cyclists in abundance and tulip-filled flower markets. It’s all here and more. But beyond the tourist clichés you’ll also encounter a friendly and cosmopolitan capital city,

    bristling with trendy bars, high-end restaurants, art galleries and designer boutiques. Best of all, unlike Berlin, Paris or London, it’s all laid out on a manageable scale, making it easy to follow in Rembrandt’s footsteps and find your way around on foot or bike.

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    Top 10 sights in Amsterdam

    Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Travel Guide, Lufthansa, Sehenswürdigkeiten


    Museumstraat 1
    1071 XX Amsterdam
    Tel: (020) 674 7000
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1700

    Housing works by masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, the Netherlands’ most important art collection has finally re-emerged after a decade of renovation work.

    Anne Frank House

    Prinsengracht 267
    1016 GV Amsterdam
    Tel: (020) 556 7100
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sun-Fri 0900-1900
    Sat 0900-2100 (Nov-Mar)
    Sun-Fri 0900-2100
    Sat 0900-2200 (Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct)
    daily 0900-2200 (Jul-Aug)

    The canalside house where the teenage diarist and her family hid for two years during the Nazi occupation is a popular draw. Buy tickets online to avoid the long queues.

    Van Gogh Museum

    Paulus Potterstraat 7
    1071CX Amsterdam
    Tel: (020) 570 5200
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sat-Thu 0900-1800
    Fri 0900-2200 (Mar-Aug)
    Sat-Thu 0900-1700
    Fri 0900-2200 (Sep-Feb)

    This museum houses the world’s largest collection of works by the globally celebrated artist. Around 200 paintings and 500 drawings trace the development of his remarkable but tragically short career.

    Canal Ring

    Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht
    Show on map

    Built in the 17th century as part of a major city expansion during the Netherlands’ Golden Age, the iconic tree-lined canals and step-gabled mansions are now a UNESCO World Heritage-listed sight. To see them from water level, a dozen boat operators offer canal tours from various departure points across the city.


    Show on map

    Amsterdam’s green lungs are its largest park, built in 1859. It’s a picturesque place simply to hang out, and is best enjoyed on a summer weekend when it becomes a popular retreat for picnicking locals.


    Jodenbreestraat 4
    1011 NK Amsterdam
    Tel: (020) 520 0400
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800

    Amsterdam’s most famous artistic son lived in this house from 1639 to 1656, and the interior has been lovingly restored and furnished to show how it would have looked during his time there.

    Amsterdam Museum

    Kalverstraat 92 and Sint Luciënsteeg 27
    1012 PH Amsterdam
    Tel: (020) 523 1822
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1700

    Housed in a maze of 17th-century buildings on the site of an old convent, this museum will tell you everything you need to know about the city’s rich history.

    Heineken Experience

    Stadhouderskade 78
    1072 AE Amsterdam
    Tel: (020) 523 9222
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Thu 1100-1930
    Fri-Sun 1030-2100 (Sep-Jun)
    daily 1030-2100 (Jul-Aug)

    On the site of a former brewery, this multi-media exhibition recounts the history of beer in general and of the world’s most famous brewer in particular.

    Dam Square

    Dam Square
    Show on map

    In the shadow of the Royal Palace and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), the city’s main hub is a meeting point for locals and visitors alike, and usually home to half a dozen or more street entertainers.


    Stationsweg 166A
    2161 AM Lisse
    Tel: 0252 465 555
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1930 (mid-Mar to mid-May)

    Half an hour to the south of Amsterdam, Europe’s largest flower gardens burst into life every spring, with around 7 million tulips and other colourful blooms.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    A small country with a big profile, the Netherlands offers a beguiling blend of rural, traditional beauty and vibrant culture. Occupying a delta at the confluence of three major rivers where they empty into the North Sea, it is truly a water world: canals, coast and lakes are never far from view. Flat as a pannenkoek, it also makes an ideal destination for cycling, an integral mode of transport among the Dutch themselves.

    Holland (as the country is alternatively referred to) is also a deeply cosmopolitan place where museums overflow with paintings from its Golden Age, and a cavalcade of festivals showcase performing artists from within and beyond its borders.


    The Netherlands shares borders to the south with Belgium and to the east with Germany, while the North Sea lies to the north and west. Large areas of The Netherlands have been reclaimed from the sea and consequently one-fifth of the country lies below sea level. The country is flat and level and is criss-crossed by rivers and canals.

    Areas reclaimed from the sea, known as polders, are extremely fertile. The landscape is broken by the forest of Arnhem, the bulb fields in the west, the lakes of the central and northern areas, and coastal dunes that are among the most impressive in Europe.

    General Information

    Key facts

    Population: 16805037

    Population Density (per sq km): 405

    Capital: Amsterdam


    Dutch is the official language. Frisian is spoken in the northern province of Friesland. English, German and French are widely spoken.


    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.


    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin European-style plugs are in use.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2015 period.

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    King’s Day: 30. April 2015

    Liberation Day: 05. May 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015
    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2015

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Amsterdam’s efficient public transport system, operated by GVB (tel: 0900 8011; www.gvb.nl), encompasses buses, trams and a metro. There are also night bus services. They use a chip card ticketing system – remember to check both in and out – and 24, 48 and 72-hour passes are available. Buy tickets from metro stations, on board buses and trams, from newsagents, or the GVB office outside Amsterdam Centraal Station.


    Taxis cannot be hailed in the street. Go to a designated taxi rank, or call a reputable company such as Taxicentrale (tel: 020 777 7777) or STA (tel: 020 364 2207). Fares are high, but tipping isn’t necessary.


    Nightlife in Amsterdam


    Amsterdam’s thriving nightlife scene ranges from wooden-floored brown cafés to the hippest dance clubs.

    On weekend nights, many regular bars host DJs playing at full volume.

    In De Wildeman

    Kolksteeg 3
    1012 PT Amsterdam
    Show on map

    One of Amsterdam’s most characterful old bars stocks almost 300 of the world’s best craft beers.

    Wynand Fockink

    Pijlsteeg 31
    1012 HH Amsterdam
    Show on map

    For an aperitif or digestive, this wonderful sandy-floored tasting room stocks the widest range of jenevers and liqueurs in town.


    Spuistraat 2
    1012 TS Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Popular dance club and music venue hosting DJ nights and live acts.


    Weteringschans 6-8
    1017 SG Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Amsterdam’s premier concert venue regularly welcomes big-name live shows and DJs.


    Lijnbaansgracht 234A
    1017 PH Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Running the Paradiso a close second, Melkweg also attracts the star performers.


    Restaurants in Amsterdam


    Amsterdam has a wealth of restaurants representing almost every cuisine around the world.

    From high-end fine French dining to American-style burgers, via the obligatory Indonesian rijsttafel, you won’t go hungry.

    Ciel Bleu

    Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
    1072 LH Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Innovative fusion creations combine with phenomenal views at this two-Michelin-starred place on the 23rd floor of the Hotel Okura.


    Prins Hendrikkade 59-72
    1012 AD Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Michelin-starred restaurant showcasing the finest Dutch seasonal ingredients.


    Egelantiersstraat 24
    1015 PM Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Elegant restaurant in the Jordaan district serving fine modern cuisine.


    Keizersgracht 594
    1017 EN Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Popular spot in a canalside townhouse, serving lobster and/or steak.


    Ferdinand Bolstraat 143
    1072 LH Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    This must for hungry egg lovers serves omelettes cooked 25 different ways.


    Calendar of events

    National Windmill and Pumping Station Day

    19 May 2015

    Venue: Participating windmills throughout Netherlands

    So central are windmills to the nation’s heritage that a special day is devoted to their vital role in draining the lowlands. Many of the molens (windmills) are decked out in flowers, garlands, figures of angels or the Dutch flag and opened to the public, with exhibitions and demonstrations of the miller’s art. Eight windmills remain in, or near Amsterdam, including the Molen van Sloten, at Akersluis 10 in the southwest suburbs, and the Riekermolen, at De Borcht 10 on the banks of the Amstel.

    Holland Festival

    30 Mai – 23 June 2015

    Venue: Various Amsterdam performance spaces, including the Muziekgebouw, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Westergasfabriek and Concertgebouw.

    The principal festival of the performing arts in the Netherlands features classical music, opera, theatre, dance, pop, world music and cinema, plus art and literature events. Both internationally recognized artists and buzz-worthy newcomers perform in some 40 productions around town.

    Amsterdam Roots Festival

    30 June – 5 July 2015

    Venue: Various venues in Amsterdam

    This festival seeks out and presents new forms from the world music scene. Concerts take place at several venues leading up to the finale on Sunday of the festival week, an outdoor event held at Oosterpark. Five different stages are set up in the park to deliver a vibrant and varied musical mix, one especially for children

    Over Het IJ Festival

    2 – 12 July 2015

    Venue: NDSM wharf, Amsterdam-Noord

    The 11-day festival of experimental theatre takes place on the NDSM wharf in north Amsterdam. Some two dozen on-the-edge performances are enacted in abandoned warehouses and a set of old railroad cars in this semi-remote location, a 15-minute ferry ride (free) from behind Centraal Station. Most shows are in Dutch but non-speakers can enjoy the dance and mime programs, live music and generally conspiratorial atmosphere.

    Kwakoe Festival

    18 July – 9 August 2015

    Venue: Bijlmerpark

    Kwakoe is Amsterdam’s biggest multicultural festival and the main event of the Surinamese and African communities. Nominally a commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the former Dutch colony of Surinam in 1863, the fest goes on over six summer weekends in southeast Amsterdam. Thousands flock to Bijlmerpark for live music, dancing, film screenings, discussions and many varieties of ethnic food, plus a football tournament for the Kwakoe Trophy.

    Amsterdam Gay Pride

    31 Juli – 2 August 2015

    Venue: Various streets and venues in Amsterdam

    One of the largest gay and lesbian events in Europe is held in mid-summer. The highlight is a Canal Parade on Saturday afternoon, when dozens of fancifully decorated barges packed with wackily garbed revellers navigate their way through the Prinsengracht and Amstel River. Street parties catering to different sub-groups go on all over town, while club nights, sport and films also feature in the festival.

    Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival

    April 2016

    Venue: Various cinemas in Amsterdam

    Thrillers, science fiction, horror and cult movies are the mainstay of the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, which has been terrifying audiences since 1984. The programme includes features, retrospectives, a Fantastic Shorts section, a children’s day and an all-night horror film marathon. There are more than 70 screenings overall. Winners of the Black Tulip, the festival’s jury award, and the Silver Scream Award, for the film most popular with the audience, are announced on the final evening.

    King's Day

    27 April 2016

    Venue: The streets of central Amsterdam

    Up to a million people take to the streets of Amsterdam for the annual Koninginnedag celebrations, when the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their King. Carnival floats, parades, street theatre, fireworks and decorated canal boats are among the treats on offer and everyone dons wacky orange costumes and wigs in token of the royal house. The night preceding the big day is marked by ecstatic parties with top DJs working the crowds.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Amsterdam


    Amsterdam accommodation covers every base from cheap dives to ultra-plush luxury.


    Habitable budget places are a rarity, and hotels in every category fill quickly – book as far in advance as possible.


    Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
    1072 LH Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This 23-story luxury hotel quite literally looks down on all the others.

    Grand Hotel Amrâth

    Prins Hendrikkade 108
    1011 AK Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Fabulous art nouveau luxury hotel, originally built in 1913.

    Room Mate Aitana

    IJDok 6
    1013 MM Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Ultra-modern waterside design hotel that opened in 2013.


    De Clercqstraat 115
    1053 AJ Amsterdam
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Above a Turkish restaurant, this place combines modern facilities with a friendly welcome.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 06.05.2015 10:00 UTC





    wind direction


    wind speed

    22.5 mph



    7 days forecast



    23°C / 11°C

    73°F / 52°F



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    Climate and best time to visit Amsterdam

    Amsterdam is a year-round destination, and busy at all times. Like other cities in northwest Europe, you have to be prepared for changeable weather, and it can rain at any time. Winters can be cold, with biting North Sea wind whistling down the canals, but the queues for the top attractions are shorter. Summers can be cool or swelteringly humid. The queues are longer, but there are also more free distractions such as open-air festivals. Mid-March to mid-May is particularly popular with flower lovers, as the nearby Keukenhof gardens are awash in a colourful sea of millions of tulips.


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    5 °C

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    42.8 °F

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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan13 °C-16 °C4 °C0 °C90 %63 mm131.4 h
    Feb16 °C-19 °C5 °C0 °C86 %40 mm82.6 h
    Mar24 °C-11 °C8 °C1 °C84 %58 mm123.5 h
    Apr26 °C-3 °C11 °C3 °C80 %39 mm95.4 h
    May31 °C-1 °C16 °C7 °C77 %49 mm96.9 h
    Jun37 °C1 °C19 °C10 °C79 %64 mm106.8 h
    Jul34 °C5 °C20 °C12 °C81 %64 mm106.5 h
    Aug33 °C5 °C20 °C12 °C81 %55 mm96.2 h
    Sep34 °C2 °C18 °C10 °C84 %74 mm114.5 h
    Oct25 °C-2 °C14 °C7 °C87 %79 mm113.2 h
    Nov17 °C-8 °C8 °C3 °C89 %85 mm141.8 h
    Dec13 °C-14 °C5 °C1 °C90 %67 mm131.2 h
    year37 °C-19 °C12 °C5 °C84 %738 mm1274.2 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +31


    Calls can be made from public callboxes, though they’re increasingly difficult to find. Phones accept the KPN telefoonkaart, a prepaid card which can be bought from tobacconists in denominations of €5, €10 and €20. Coins or credit cards are also accepted. The cost is €0.10 per pulse for local calls. Telephone information is given in French, English and German.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is universal.


    There are many internet cafes and some internet access centres. Business centres also provide public access. Using the Internet is very straightforward in Amsterdam, where computers are available to use free of charge in libraries and public buildings.


    Shopping in Amsterdam

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Amsterdam’s main shopping drag is Kalverstraat, where the high street names are located. Jordaan and De Pijp are where to look for trendy bargains. The Negen Straatjes area is home to high fashion outlets and boutiques. Utrechtsestraat is a happy hunting ground for specialist stores from vinyl records to cheese.


    Open daily, the Singel canal is home to the world’s only floating flower market. For a real bargain, the city’s largest regular market is held Monday to Saturday on Albert Cuypstraat. An art market takes place every Sunday from March to December on central Spui Square.

    Shopping Centres

    Magna Plaza, just west of Dam Square, is in a renovated neo-Gothic building, and one of the city’s few central shopping malls. Spread over several floors around a central atrium, it is home to numerous designer and high street fashion outlets.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    The Dutch are a tolerant breed and there is little you can do or say to ruffle them (except perhaps to display your own intolerance of, say, ethnic minorities or alternative lifestyles). Their straightforwardness can sometimes strike foreigners as blunt, if not plain rude. Conversely, the Dutch will expect you to be direct as well: yes means yes, not ‘maybe.’

    It is customary to shake hands when seeing someone you know or when being introduced to someone; women and men or women and women may kiss each other on alternating cheeks three times.

    You may be fashionably late for social gatherings but not for business meetings. Casual wear is generally acceptable, except for business functions or at smart restaurants, bars and clubs.

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    According to Oxfam, The Netherlands is the best country in the world for having the most plentiful, nutritious, healthy and affordable diet. Suffice to say, then, travellers couldn’t be in a better place as far as food quality and hygiene is concerned. As in most developed nations, tap water in The Netherlands is safe to drink.

    Other Risks

    People visiting The Netherlands have a low risk of contracting diseases, but medical professionals advise travellers to make sure they are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before every trip.

    Hepatitis A and B are present around the world and can be transmitted through contaminated food, sexual contact and contaminated needles. Speak to your doctor to see if vaccinations are right for you. Rabies is present in bats in The Netherlands, but is not found in dogs. If you are planning to go caving in The Netherlands or work with bats, it may be worth having a rabies vaccination.

    Perhaps the biggest health risk in The Netherlands is that of sunburn. It might not always feel hot during the summer months, but the UV rays are still strong – be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and make sure you stay hydrated.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. van Coevorden, Ruben
    Medisch Centrum Buitenveldert
    A.J. Ernststraat 173
    1083 GT Amsterdam
    Tel. +31-20-644-1627

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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