Amsterdam Travel Guide
Amsterdam and Beyond
The VVV (Netherlands Board of Tourism) has several offices around Amsterdam. The office on Stationsplein, opposite Centraal Station, is open Mon.-Fri. 9-7, Sun. 10-5 in summer; on Leidseplein, Mon.-Fri. 10-7, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-6; and at Schiphol Airport, daily 7 am-10 pm. Hours at all offices except Schiphol may vary slightly with the seasons. Each VVV within Holland has information principally on its own region.
Online Travel Tools
Amsterdam and the Netherlands
For a guide to what's happening in Holland, the official site for the Netherlands Board of Tourism is www.holland.com. The official Amsterdam site is www.iamsterdam.com. More information is found at www.visitamsterdam.nl. Other general sites are www.amsterdamhotspots.nl and www.amsterdam.info. The website www.channels.nl guides you through the city with the help of many colorful photographs. The American Society of Travel Agents is at www.asta.org. For rail information and schedules, go to www.ns.nl. For airport information, go to www.schiphol.com. For flight information and reservations on KLM, the national carrier, go to www.klm.com; check out the low tariffs to other European destinations on www.easyjet.com, or www.ryanair.com.
One of the most informative English-language websites about the Netherlands is at www.expatica.com. At www.dutchnews.nl you'll find a daily digest in English of the top domestic news stories in the Netherlands. Shark is a free newspaper with alternative listings; their site is at www.underwateramsterdam.com. Go to amsterdam.citymundo.com to view City Mundo's creative city-specialist directory of accommodations. Make accommodation bookings online with www.booking.com or www.hotels.com. For budget accommodations, try www.stayokay.com, which provides comprehensive information for the Netherlands—just click on "English" to access all information. Hostelling International has a site for worldwide reservations at www.iyhf.org. For information on car-breakdown rescue service, camping, biking, hiking, and water sports, go to www.anwb.nl, the Dutch Touring Club. Go to www.raileurope.com for pan-Europe ticket sales, for U.S. residents, which also has links to sites for Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and British residents. You'll find these at the top of the screen. At www.weer.nl you can find weather forecasts for the Netherlands (in Dutch but with figures and visuals so it's accessible). For a fun site where you can learn a bit of Dutch, go to www.learndutch.org.
Virtually all cities and towns have individual tourism websites; see the Essentials listings near the beginning of many of our town write-ups.
Brussels Airport (www.brusselsairport.be.)
Transeuropa Ferries (Slijkensesteenweg 2, Oostende, B8400. 059/340–260 in Belgium; 01843/595–522 in U.K. www.transeuropaferry.co.uk.)
Europ Assistance (02/533–7575. www.europ-assistance.be.)
Touring Secours (070/344–777. www.touring.be.)
Gîtes de Wallonie (Av. Prince de Liège 1, Namur, B5100. 081/31–18–00. www.gitesdewallonie.net.)
Taxistop (Rue Thérésienne 7a/c, Brussels, B1000. 070/222–292. www.taxistop.be.)
Auberges de Jeunesse de la Belgique Francophone (Rue de la Sablonnière 28, Brussels, 1000. 02/219–5676. www.lesaubergesdejeunesse.be.)
Vlaamse Jeugdherbergen (Beatrijslaan 72, Antwerp, B2060. 03/232–7218. www.vjh.be.)
AT&T Direct (0800/100–10. www.att.com.)
MCI WorldPhone (0800/100–12 in Belgium. consumer.mci.com.)
Medical Emergencies, Fire, Accidents, and Ambulance (112 or 100.)
Police (112 or 101.)
American Express (02/541–9222.)
Diners Club (02/626–5004.)
Beer Trips.com (406/531–9109. www.beertrips.com.)
In the U.S. (620 8th Ave., 44th Floor, New York, NY, 10018. 212/584–2336. www.visitbelgium.com.)