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Netherlands (Holland) > Details

Country Name
Netherlands (Holland)
Geographical Area
16,033 sq mil 41 526 km²
Population
16,730,632 (Oct 2014 est.)
Capital City
Amsterdam
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People   80.9% Dutch 2.4% Germans 2.4% Indonesians 2.0% Surinamese 12.3% others
Language   Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
Religion   Roman Catholic 30%, Protestant 20% (Dutch Reformed 11%, Calvinist 6%, other Protestant 3%), Muslim 5.8%, other 2.2%, none 42%
Government   Government Parliamentary democracy
Constitutional monarchy
- Monarch Queen Beatrix
- Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Head of Government   Prime Minister: Mark Rutte; Monarch: King Willem-Alexander
Embassy   American Embassy Lange Voorhout 102 2514 EJ The Hague Tel : +31 70 310-2209
Visas   For a visit to the Netherlands of less than three months (90 days), a US citizen does not need a visa.
To be admitted into the Netherlands all of the following is needed:
1) a US passport with a validity that exceeds the intended stay by at least three months
2) a return airline ticket
3) enough money for your stay

It is advisable to make provisions for emergencies such as sudden illness and hospitalization, prior to your trip.
Health Risks   None
Clothing Suggestions   Temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

Climate in the Netherlands
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 the autumn and spring. There are stronger winds from October to March.
Time Zone:   Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Daylight saving time: +1 hour
Current time zone offset: UTC/GMT +2 hours
Time zone abbreviation: CEST - Central European Summer Time
6 hours ahead of Washington DC time
Banking / Exchange   Hours of operations - Monday to Friday between 08:30am to 5:00pm.
Currency   Euro (€)
Electric Current   Current Type - a.c. indicates alternating current; Nominal voltage - 220/380
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   Credit cards used in Netherlands:
Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover
Credit cards are widely accepted, though in some small shops or hotels, there might an extra charge (2-6%) if you pay by a credit card, passport may be required. Generally, the most preferred payment method is Euro cash with the banknotes up to 50 Euro bill.
Shopping   Amsterdam is the city of antiques, books, diamonds, and curiosities. In general, shop-opening hours are 1-6pm on Mondays and 9/10am-6pm Tuesday to Friday. Most have late night shopping on Thursday until 9pm, and close earlier on Saturdays, at 5pm. Some supermarkets, like Albert Heijn stay open until 8 or 10 pm. On Sundays, you can shop in the city center, Kalverstraat, Damrak, Leidsestraat and near the Noorderkerk.

Weights & measures   The metric system is standard throughout the country.
How to shop Tax Fee   1. Shop in any of the stores that display a TAX-FREE FOR TOURISTS window sticker and ask for a Tax-Free Shopping Form. With this form you can later claim your VAT (Value Added Tax) Refund. The VAT is included in the selling price. 2. When leaving the country, show the unused goods to customs and get your form stamped. 3. Return your completed, customs stamped form to Global Blue-Netherlands by mail to receive your refund.
National Airport   Amsterdam Schiphol is the Netherlands' main airport.
Major Tourist Attractions   Amsterdam, along with The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and other nearby towns and cities.
Tipping Suggestion   Tipping is not compulsory in the Holland, but rounding up the bill is always appreciated in taxis, restaurants and pubs with table or pavement service. It is customary to tip tour guides 5 to 7 EUR per person per day on multiday tours and drivers 3 to 5 EUR per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is 10 to 15 EUR for the guide and 5 EUR for the driver.
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