Best Places to Visit
Netherlands Travel Guide:
Tourism Rating Travel
Safety Entry Requirements
Avoiding Petty Theft
|Tourism Rating||Top of Page|
Netherlands: Add-on Destination (two of four globes)
The Netherlands is an intriguing country. It boasts more museums per square meter than any other country. If you are a fan of Van Gogh, Vermeer, or Rembrandt, the Netherlands is a must see place. For most of us, however, the Netherlands is a great add-on destination to a trip involving visits to other countries.
|Travel Safety||Top of Page|
The Netherlands is a safe destination for tourists.
|Entry Requirements||Top of Page|
A passport is required for travel in the Netherlands. Visas are not required for U.S. citizens for tourist visits of up to 90 days(that period begins when entering any of the following countries which are parties to the Schengen agreement: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia Spain, and Sweden).
To be admitted into the Netherlands, travelers must have a passport with a validity that exceeds the intended stay by at least three months, a return airline ticket, and enough money to finance the planned stay.
For further information on entry requirements, contact the Embassy of The Netherlands at 4200 Linnean Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300 (at http://www.netherlands-embassy.org/homepage.asp ), or one of the Dutch consulates in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York or Miami. Additional information is available on the Netherlands' National Bureau for Tourism's Internet web site at http://www.goholland.com.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parents or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure
DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on citizens of the Netherlands.
instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. Government efforts to provide
protection abroad. For additional information, please see the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at
|Avoiding Petty Theft||Top of Page|
Before you travel, read our articles on Pickpockets, Con Artists, and ATM safety in the ThereArePlaces Information Guide on Personal Safety for travelers.
Be alert and avoid the situations described below.
Tourists in the Netherlands are targets for petty crime. Local press recently reported that almost one out of every 10 tourists visiting Amsterdam is the victim of a crime. Visitors to larger cities frequently fall prey to pickpockets, bag snatchers and other petty thieves. Never leave baggage or other valuables unattended.
While thieves may operate anywhere, there are frequent reports of thefts in Amsterdam:
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the Netherlands, all passport and American citizen services are provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam. If you are the victim of any crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.
If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members of friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution for the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney
|Special Notes||Top of Page|
1. In cities, pedestrians should be mindful of trams,
which often cross or share bicycle and pedestrian paths. Motorists must be
especially mindful of the priority rights of bicyclists. Pedestrians
should not walk along bicycle paths, which are often on the sidewalk and
usually designated by red pavement.
2. Taxi service in the Netherlands is safe but expensive. Trams and buses are both convenient and economical, but they are often frequented by pickpockets.
3. If you have been defrauded in Amsterdam, contact the Fraud Unit, Amsterdam Police, Police Headquarters, PB 2287, 1000 CG Amsterdam, Netherlands, tel. (31) (20) 559-2380, fax (31) (20) 559-5755.
4. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF) of the Netherlands provides financial compensation, under specific circumstances, for victims of crime and for those who have suffered injuries and consequent loss caused by such incidents. The fund also provides for dependents or immediate family members of homicide victims. Violent crimes include assault, robbery with violence or murder, intended murder, rape, sexual abuse and unlawful deprivation of liberty. For more information, contact the Dutch Ministry of Justice at (31) (70) 414-2000.
5. Train travel is the Netherlands is quick, efficient, and relatively economical. Buying a ticket from an agent is a little more costly than buying one from a kiosk, but you can ask the agent to print you out a schedule for the train that will include transfer stations, time of arrival/departure, and the platform number where you will board the train. Note that trains are often broken down during transit and redirected to several locations. The schedule will indicate which part of the train you should board to get where you are going.
6. ThereArePlaces makes every attempt to ensure that the travel information we present to you is current. Before you depart, be sure to check with official government sources to determine the status of critical information relating to a particular county.
|Road Safety and Conditions||Top of Page|
While driving in the Netherlands, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
The information below concerning the Netherlands is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance:
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent Availability of Roadside Assistance: Excellent
Travel in, around and between cities is possible via a highly advanced national train, light rail and tram network, by use of an extensive system of bike paths, and by automobile and motorcycle using the highway system. Rail is often a convenient alternative to driving, particularly in the areas around Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, where road congestion is frequent. Rail network information is available at http://www.ns.nl .
Intercity travel by road is relatively safe in comparison with some other European countries. Nonetheless, more than 1,000 people die and another 10,000 are injured in traffic accidents in the Netherlands each year. More than two thirds of the fatal accidents occur outside urban areas.
A valid drivers license issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles in the U.S. is valid for use in the Netherlands for up to 180 days.
Seat belt and child seat use is compulsory.
Driving is on the right side of the road. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to drivers and bikers coming from the right at intersections or traffic circles, unless otherwise posted.
Lanes at the center of many urban two-way streets are reserved for buses, trams and taxis. In cities, pedestrians should be mindful of trams, which often cross or share bicycle and pedestrian paths. Motorists must be especially mindful of the priority rights of bicyclists. Pedestrians should not walk along bicycle paths, which are often on the sidewalk and usually designated by pavement colored red.
The maximum allowable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the Netherlands is 0.5 (mg/ml). ThereArePlaces recommends that you do not drink and drive. In most foreign countries, especially in Europe and the UK, the maximum permitted blood alcohol levels are lower than those enforced in the United States. Penalties and punishments are significant. See our article on drinking and driving in foreign countries for more information.
Speed Limits in the Netherlands:
The Dutch government has reduced speed limits on certain roads near cities in an effort to reduce air pollution. During traffic jams, authorities also reduce speed limits; drivers should be sure to check for revised limits posted on electronic billboards above the highways.
Our information on speed limits is as current as possible. Always confirm the speed limits with your rental car agent and observe the posted speeds limits whenever and wherever you drive.
Use of mobile telephones while driving is against the law in The Netherlands is illegal without the use of a "hands-free" device The fine for violating laws against the use of mobile phone while driving is significant. If you need to use your mobile phone while on the road, stop your car in a designated parking area and place your call.
Tourists driving rented vehicles should pay close attention to the provisions of their rental contracts. Failure to do so could result in fines or confiscation of the car during your travels. Make sure that you are familiar with the terms, restrictions and costs related to your car rental (see our article on Rental Car Costs).
For information on obtaining international drivers licenses, contact AAA or the American Automobile Touring Alliance. For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1179.html#safety . .
For specific information concerning the Netherlands, see the Netherlands Bureau for Tourism's Internet web site at http://www.holland.com . Information also is available from the Netherlands Ministry of Transportation, Public Works and Water Management (Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstraat) at http://www.verkeerenwaterstaat.nl/?lc=uk .
|Medical Care||Top of Page|
Good medical facilities and quality medical care are widely available in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Association of Hospitals has compiled a list of all Dutch
hospitals on the following web site: http://www.ziekenhuis.nl/
Some common medications are not available in the Netherlands without a prescription, and some prescription drugs cannot be mailed into the country. Travelers are therefore urged to carry an adequate supply of prescription drugs in their original container while traveling.
Some U.S. over-the-counter medications are not available in the
Netherlands and travelers should carry an adequate supply of these as well.
Those traveling with any preexisting medical problems should bring a letter
from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any
prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs.
Emergency medical response can be accessed by calling 1-1-2. Reputable pharmacies are widely available and can assist with emergency prescription needs. Some common medications are not available in The Netherlands without a prescription, and some prescription drugs cannot be mailed into the country. Travelers are urged to carry an adequate supply of prescription drugs in their original container while traveling
We strongly urge you to consult your medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, you should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing medical service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your departure, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur.
Your existing medical insurance carrier may cover "customary and reasonable" medical care while you are abroad. Usually, if reimbursement is provided, it is paid at a reduced rate (due to the use of an "out of system" provider). Check with your insurance carrier before you depart to determine the type and amount of coverage that may be provided. If coverage is provided, be sure to ask how claims should be filed and ask them to send some claim forms, in case you require any medical treatment while on vacation.
Read our article on
insurance to learn the factors
that you should consider before you purchase or decline to purchase a
travel related insurance policy.
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