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City of Amsterdam

Accessible & compact 
Amsterdam is a national and international gateway. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is considered one of the best in the world and is just 20 minutes from the city centre. Amsterdam’s compact city centre has an outstanding public transport service and therefore most facilities and sights are within walking distance of each other. The city’s network of canals also offers a unique opportunity to transport your delegates via the water.

Historic heart 
Amsterdam was founded in the Middle Ages near a dam on the River Amstel. The city truly blossomed in the early 17th century, when it became the world’s largest centre for trade and art. The historic heart of the city known as the ‘Grachtengordel’ (canal ring) has remained beautifully intact to this day. The area is by no means an open-air museum, but rather the warm, friendly and vibrant heart of the city.

Stable economic climate 
Though recent publications indicate price increases in the capital and in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam congress and conference market has, in general, remained stable. The relationship between price and quality has passed official international testing with satisfactory results.

Outstanding culture 
The Netherlands capital city has been a centre of creativity and culture for centuries. Works by 17th century Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer grace the walls of Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum. The Van Gogh Museum houses several of the artists’ masterpieces. Other cultural treasures include Anne Frank’s House, the baroque Royal Palace on Dam Square and the Rembrandt House. Amsterdam can even satisfy the cultural pallet of the most experienced visitor.

Knowledge centre 
During the 17th century Amsterdam was a stockpile of trading goods; today knowledge is also being generated. With two highly developed universities and several laboratories, Amsterdam is now firmly on the world map as a centre of knowledge. The city attracts many prominent academics and has become an attractive meeting place for those involved in science and research. Due in part to its central location on the edge of Europe, Amsterdam now offers a new ‘market place’ for the free and efficient exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Dazzling nightlife 
Amsterdam is home to an array of bars, nightclubs and cafés. Authentic 19th century pubs or ‘brown cafés’ can be found all over the city, alongside their contemporary counterparts: designer grand cafés and sleek lounge bars. The most popular bar areas are around the Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. The hottest new dance music is played in trendy Amsterdam nightclubs by some of the top DJs in the world. There are also jazz cafés, late night bars and a large casino in the city. Best of all, nightlife venues are located less than a few square miles of each other.

Superb surroundings 
Most people think of the Netherlands as the land of tulips and windmills. In just 15 minutes from the centre of Amsterdam you can experience this side of the Netherlands. The villages of Marken and Volendam are an open-air museum with an unrivalled display of authentic Dutch houses and windmills. In springtime, tour the spectacular bulb fields or take in the blossoming flowers at the world’s most photographed location: the Keukenhof.

Colourful people
Amsterdam has always set itself apart from other European capitals. During the 17th century ‘Golden Age’ the city was a centre for trade and art. In the 60s it was Europe’s ‘magical centre’. People are what make Amsterdam the unique city it is. The city’s character is highly individual, spirited and young at heart. Its inhabitants are traditionally friendly, tolerant and cosmopolitan by nature: a mindset illustrated by the fact that most speak more than one language. With 174 different cultures, Amsterdam is amongst the most diverse in the world.

Business with pleasure 
Home to the world’s first multinational company, the Dutch East India Company, Amsterdam is also the new address for Google and AKZO Nobel headquarters. A consistent high score in the European Cities Monitor for companies may be a reason why several international companies have their head office in Amsterdam. Advertising and design firms prefer Amsterdam for its ability to attract creative people. Because of its compact size and excellent infrastructure, Amsterdam combines and does business on the level with other European capitals, but with the ambience of a small town. The city of Amsterdam is in the top ten of the world’s most preferred conference cities.

General information

Banks, ATM and Offices
Banks are usually open from 09:00-16:00 (Monday-Friday), with a few big city banks also open Thursday evening until 21:00 or on Saturday morning. Offices are usually open from 09:00-18:00 (Monday-Friday) and closed during the weekends.There will be ATMs (Automatic Teller Machine) all over the city of Amsterdam. At the airport and main station and along the main streets you find currency exchange offices as well.

Climate
Amsterdam has a moderate, maritime climate largely influenced by the North Sea and other surrounding waterways. Water holds temperature longer than land; it heats and cools more slowly. In watery Amsterdam, this means the crisp, rejuvenating spring and cool, breezy autumn can linger for months, as warm summer air and cold winter chills arrive quite gradually. Average temperatures are 17°C (62.6°F) in mid-summer (July) and 3°C (37.4°F) in mid-winter (January). Rainfall occurs an average of 120 days annually and is spread evenly throughout the year.

Credit Cards
All major cards are widely accepted, though in some small shops or hotels, there might an extra charge (2-6%). When paying by credit card for your shopping, you will be asked to show identification.Please have your ID card or passport with you all the time, otherwise they may refuse to accept your credit card as payment.

Currency and Exchange Bureaus
The Dutch currency is the Euro (EUR). Major credit cards are accepted at most large businesses. When you are exchanging your currency, you need your passport or official ID card. If you don’t have it with you, the bank may refuse to exchange your currency.

Electricity
The power supply in the Netherlands is 220/240 V. Most electric outlets adhere to the continental standard (Schuko). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor for the two-pin sockets in use in the Netherlands.

Insurance
The conference fee does not include insurance. All participants should arrange for their own insurance. Health and accident insurance is recommended and has to be purchased in your country of origin.

Museums
The Netherlands’ capital city has been a centre of creativity and culture for centuries. Works by 17th century Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer grace the walls of Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum. The Van Gogh Museum houses several of the artists’ masterpieces. Other cultural treasures include Anne Frank’s House, the baroque Royal Palace on Dam Square and the Rembrandt House. Amsterdam can even satisfy the cultural pallet of the most experienced visitor.

Restaurants & Nightlife
Amsterdam is home to an array of bars, nightclubs and cafés. Authentic 19th century pubs or ‘brown cafés can be found all over the city, alongside their contemporary counterparts: designer grand cafés and sleek lounge bars. The most popular bar areas are around the Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. There are also jazz cafés, late night bars and a large casino in the city. Best of all, nightlife venues are located less than a few square miles of each other.On the restaurant front, Amsterdam is offering a culinary melting pot reflective of the city itself. City restaurants offer everything a hungry visitor craves: from Indonesian to tapas, from Mediterranean to modern Dutch.

Shopping
With everything from multi-storey department stores and exclusive boutiques to antiques and contemporary Dutch design, Amsterdam inspires even the most discerning shopper.

Opening hours
Monday 11:00 – 18:00
Tuesday – Saturday 09:00 – 18:00
Thursday evening until 21:00
Sunday 12:00 – 17:00

Telephones
Pay phones are available at the Congress venue, both for local and long distance calls. Public phones in Amsterdam operate by using phone cards which can be purchased at tobacconists and VVV tourist offices.

Time zone
Amsterdam is 6 hours ahead of US – Eastern Standard Time, and 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Visas
EU citizens must either present a passport or ID card valid for the duration of your stay in order to enter the Netherlands for tourist visits. Citizens of other countries must have a valid passport. Some non-EU citizens are required to produce a visa.

PLEASE CHECK THE CURRENT VISA REQUIREMENTS WITH THE NEAREST DUTCH CONSULATE/EMBASSY IN YOUR COUNTRY BEFORE YOUR DEPARTURE TO AMSTERDAM.