AMSTERDAM – what a great place

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Patrick & Janine van der Plaat
My friends, Patrick & Janine, who live there

Although the seat of Netherlands government is in The Hague, Amsterdam is the nominal capital. It is also the country’s largest city, with a population of more than 750,000 and the most visited, with over 3.5 million foreign visitors a year.

The Netherlands is in Western Europe, bordering Belgium to the south and Germany to the east. To its north and west is the North Sea. Although the Netherlands is the country’s official name, people often call it Holland. The provinces of North Holland and South Holland form only part of the Netherlands.

Climate
The warmest weather is from June to August, with temperatures between 21 – 26 degrees Celsius. There are rarely extreme temperatures. The air is relatively humid and fog is common in autumn and spring. There are stronger winds from October to March. Click for the weather.

Currency
The currency in the Netherlands is the Euro (€, EUR). Cash, Credit Cards and ATMs are commonly used. All major international cards are recognised, and you will find that most hotels, restaurants and major stores accept them. Shops often levy a 5% surcharge (or more) on credit cards to offset the commissions charged by card providers. To withdraw money at a bank counter instead of from an ATM, go to a GWK branch. You’ll need to show your passport.
Automated teller machines can be found outside most banks and at airports and most train stations. Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard/Eurocard are widely accepted, as well as cash cards that access the Cirrus network. Be aware that, if you’re limited to a maximum withdrawal per day, the ‘day’ will coincide with that in your home country. Also note that using an ATM can be the cheapest way to exchange your money from home – but check with your home bank for service charges before you leave.

Exchange Rate
£1 = 1.32
$1 = 0.91

Hours of Business
Shops:
Mon-Fri 8:30/9:00 am – 5:30/6:00 pm, Sat 8:30/9:00 – 4:00/5:00 pm. Most cities have late-night shopping on Thursdays or Fridays. In holiday and tourist resorts many shops are open at night and on Sundays.

Banks
Mon-Fri 9:00am – 4:00/5:00pm; sometimes also on late night shopping nights and on Saturdays.

Language
Dutch is the national language of the Netherlands. However, English is spoken by almost everyone. In addition, many Dutch people speak German and French.

Things to Do

Why not experience Amsterdam by taking a look at the top attractions:

Anne Frank House

Rijksmuseum

Van Gogh Museum

Hermitage Amsterdam

The Heineken Experience

Canals of Amsterdam

Artis Zoo

The Jordaan

Vondel Park

*Information from LPWA 2016 website – http://www.iotnetworksevent.com/welcome

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