Traveling to Amsterdam
Arriving at Schiphol airport
Amsterdam has excellent international air connections. Schiphol Airport has its own train station. It takes some 10 minutes and € 2.50 to travel by train to Amsterdam Zuid WTC, from which you can take a tram (5) or the sneltram (express tram) 51 into the city centre or to the Vrije Univeriteit. It takes some 20 minutes and € 3.60 from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station, from which you can take many trams and metros.
The Connexxion Schiphol Hotel Shuttle is a daily hotel shuttle between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and more than 50 hotels in Amsterdam. The air-conditioned coaches leave Amsterdam Schiphol Airport at least every 20 minutes; in peak hours the frequency is higher. The shuttle bus goes to almost all hotels in Amsterdam, so if your hotel is not in the list, please ask the driver or employees. Tickets cost € 13.50 one-way, and € 22 return (2008 prices). See www.airporthotelshuttle.nl for further details.
Travelling from Schiphol to the city centre by taxi is another, more expensive option, which may save you some time but might cost some 35 Euros.
Most hotels’ web-sites will give you travel directions by public transport. Otherwise, you can consult the web-site of the local public transport company, the GVB, which also contains various maps.
Arriving by international train
Amsterdam also has excellent international rail connections. International trains typically arrive either at Amsterdam Centraal, Amsterdam Zuid WTC, or Schiphol Airport. Further travel directions are as above.
Entry into the country is granted to all foreigners taking part in congresses organized in the Netherlands, regardless of their nationality. Delegates must, of course, meet the normal requirements; i.e., they must possess valid travel documents and sufficient means of support. Delegates requiring a visa for entry into the Netherlands are strongly advised to submit the application in their home country at least three months before the intended date of travel. Visa application procedures are easier when the acknowledgement of registration is included.
The Netherlands are part of the Euro zone. Money can be drawn from the many Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) that are located throughout the city and are accessible 24 hours per day. There is an ATM outside the University’s Main Building that accepts cards with Cirrus, Maestro and Visa logos, and also one outside the VU Hospital. Most banks are open from Tuesday to Friday between 9 am and 4 pm. On Mondays business hours start mainly at 1 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays banks are closed. All major credit cards are accepted widely, but not everywhere.
Local climate in June
Dutch weather is as unpredictable as the country's national soccer team. Average day-time temperatures in June/July are around 20 oC (68 oF), with night-time temperatures of around 11 oC (51 oF). But actual weather conditions may be quite different from these averages. Current weather conditions and forecasts can for example be found here.
The voltage in The Netherlands is 220 volts. Hotels may have a 110-volt or 120-volt outlet for shavers. Depending on your country of residence, you may wish to bring along a universal travellers’ plug.
Dutch is the national language of Holland. However, almost everyone speaks English, and many Dutch people speak some German and French.
The Netherlands is in the Central European Time Zone.
Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, including the VU’s main building, except for designated smoking areas.
Although some ‘coffee shops’ may in fact sell coffee, it is good to know that in Amsterdam this term is used for cafés in which no alcoholic drinks are served but soft drugs are sold.
Value Added Tax and service charges are included in your check in hotels, shops, taxis and restaurants. Tipping is always appreciated but not necessary. It is customary to give taxi drivers and waiters a tip of around 10 percent.
- Programme at a glance
- Detailed programme
- Plenary sessions
- Preconference Water Economics
- Special sessions
- Social programme