The most common European emergency number 112 (following Directive 2002/22/EC: Universal Service Directive) and also standard on GSM mobile phones. 112 is used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in addition to their other emergency numbers.
Here are some useful phone numbers that you might need while in Netherlands:
Police (non-urgent): 0900-8844
The new central location of the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) openend in July 2007 in a 10 floor building designed by architect Jo Coenen.
It's the biggest library building of the Netherlands.
It's located at the Oosterdokskade 143 - 1011 DL Amsterdam at a 5 minutes walk East of the Central Train Station.
All floors have special corners and seats & sofas for reading comfort. Many of them offer a great lookoff of the Oosterdok and Amsterdam's old city center.
Basement - Children's corner
Ground floor - Entrance, reception & Toilets + newspapers & magazines + reading café
First floor - Multi media, CD & DVD
Second floor - Novels
Third floor - Travel & history
Fourth floor - Art & Music
Fifth floor - Health + study rooms
Sixth floor Philosophy & Social work
Seventh floor - Theater + La Place restaurant
50 Multi media work stations, 110 terminals to explore the collection.
11 print & copy stations.
On the top floor is a small terras with a spectacular view over the Oosterdok and the old city center and a big inside restaurant.
Opening hours: 7 days per week 10AM - 10PM
Membership for 1 year:
0 - 19 yr free
19 - 22 yr € 14,50
23 - 64 yr € 24,00
From 65 yr € 14,50
Surcharge for CD, DVD, CR-Rom and Video € 1,00 per item for maximum 1 week.Garage: 1200 cars and 2000 bicycles
Fondest memory: Looking out over the Oosterdok from the top floor.
One remark I got from a visitor from abroad was that he was unable to locate a post office downtown.
Things have changed over the years. The former Head Office behind the Royal Palace has been transformed into the Magna Plaza shopping Center and the distribution center at the Central Station has lost its function, because all mail is distributed by road.
The former PTT was split up into private post and telephone companies. The post is now handled by TNT.
Post facilities are often an integral part in a book- or cigarette shop and not always easy to identify from the outside.
Here are the downtown post shops:
The emergency number to remember in Amsterdam (their equivalent to US' 911) is 112
They, like most people in Holland, speak English. You just need to remember to speak slower than usual as it's not their first language; which I know can be hard in emergency situations.
A list of Dutch words that might be handy in emergency situations:
Police = politie (po-lit-see)
Fire Department = brandweer (brand-weir)
Hospital = ziekenhuis (seek-en-haus)
Doctor = huisarts (haus-arts)
Dentist = tandarts (tand-arts)
Safety & crime
In comparison to other large European cities, Amsterdam is considered as a relatively safe city. It is one of the few cities in which most women are not afraid to return home alone at night. In general, violent crimes do not occur very often.
You do need to be cautious of petty crimes, such as pick pocketing. Pickpockets are mainly active in the summer and in the train travelling between Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport. They can also find you in a tram or when you are watching one of the many street artists perform. Watch your belongings carefully.
- POLICE: Via 0900-8844 all police stations in The Netherlands can be reached. Call this number for questions and matters that are not urgent. Urgent calls can be made to the emergency number 112.
Any robbery/theft should be reported to the local police station in connection with the insurance.
- LOST & FOUND: Bureau Gevonden Voorwerpen
Lost and found objects can be dropped off day and night at one of the police stations / neighbourhood team offices and are sent to the Lost and Found Bureau once a day. When you have lost something in or around Amsterdam, contact the Lost and Found Bureau.
Fondest memory: Tips
As in the rest of the Netherlands, you are not obligated to tip anyone in Amsterdam. If you wish to leave waiters, hotel staff or taxi drivers a gratuity, a 10% tip is customary.
Taxis can be found at one of the many taxi ranks in the city. You can also hail a taxi on the street. When choosing for the latter option, please note that taxis are not obliged to stop at your signal.
See also: practical taxi service information.
Presale national bus and tram cards
National ‘strippenkaarten’ (bus and tram cards) are available in every bus or tram in Amsterdam, but not on the subway. However, it is cheaper to buy your ‘strippenkaart’ in advance at:
- the tourist information offices of the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board
- various offices of the GVB (public transport company) Amsterdam and train stations
- tobacco shops, newspaper shops
The library on Prinsengracht 587 (not far from the Leidseplein) is open on Sundays and has free internet access for half an hour per day. There is also a nice cafe where you can sit and write your postcards with your coffee.
Amsterdam Public Library
Fondest memory: Friendly library receptionists who, when asked if you can have an extension on your internet time say "yes.. I shall just pretend I don't know you" :))
The Amsterdam Police Headquarter is located at the Elandsgracht 117.
The imposant figures on the frontwall are famous as is the words around them: "’T GEZAG DAT RUST BEHOEDT IN STAD EN STAAT, WAAKT RUSTLOOS TEGEN ’D ONRUST VAN HET KWAAD".
The police corps Amsterdam-Amstelland guards Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Diemen, Uithoorn and Ouder-Amstel, an area of 357 square meters where 900.000 people live.
The corps has about 6000 policemen with a yearly budget of 400 million Euros.
This is the Police Station just across from the Homegrown Fantasy coffeeshop.
Fondest memory: I took it from inside while sitting at the open window smoking a nice cone! Ahhh, life is so great here, the feeling of such freedom is incredible.
Ahh Dutch Police seem to have a casual job, at least most I have seen.
Fondest memory: I have seen them on horses just trotting around, on bikes cruisin', on motorcycles just chilling and talkin', and a few in cars but not many.
Always look for Red.
Place any mail going OUTSIDE of Holland in the left slot (you facing box) and the local mail in right-hand side.
Fondest memory: There are many locations through out town, some I know are:
Centraal Station has 4 outside the front entrance to the right.
There is one on Oude Brugsteeg, it is up against a wall and it faces centraal station.
Another one is located just outside of the Grasshopper on Nzv Burgwal.
Also on the Single between the Siberie and the Grey Area coffeeshops:))
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