GENERAL INFO & TIPS

DRESS CODES

Dress codes can be difficult to decipher at times, so below we added some information about the dress codes at the conference and what they mean. We offer you these dress code infos with attire photo examples to guide you through and suggest what might be appropriate to wear for the programme segments with the corresponding dress code.

Business Casual

Appropriate dress code during:

  • ExCo meeting
  • Presidents’ Round Table
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Conference plenary parts
  • Guided boat tour – sensible shoes
  • Presidents’ Dinner
  • City Tours – sensible shoes

Cocktail

Appropriate dress code during:

  • Welcoming Reception

Black Tie

Appropriate dress code during:

  • Gala Dinner

BANKS AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE

Currency in the Netherlands
The Netherlands official currency is the Euro.
Paying with Euros is the most cost effective and other currencies are unlikely to be accepted.

Exchanging Currency

To be prepared upon your arrival, it may be wise to exchange a small amount of money at your local bank before traveling. Money exchange services at the airport are expensive so it wouldn’t hurt to already have enough Euros to buy a few goodies and pay for your taxi from the airport.

DUTCH ATMs

If you don’t already have cash in your pocket when you arrive, it’s good to know that the best place to exchange currency in the Netherlands is actually at an ATM. As banks in Holland won’t exchange your money unless you have an account there, the second best place is at a money exchange (*Geldwisselkantoor* in Dutch).

ATMs are the primary way to get money in the Netherlands and are, therefore, easy to find. Most travelers report that they get very good or excellent exchange rates at the ATM.

Traveler’s cheques

However, if you do decide to carry traveler’s cheques, bear in mind that it may be quite difficult to find a place to cash them. Post offices won’t cash them. The airport will, but the exchange rate will be quite high and you’ll lose quite a bit in the exchange. Though it’s difficult to do, if you manage to find a bank that agrees to cash your traveler’s cheques, exchange rates are often fair.

Using credit and debit cards in the Netherlands

Major credit cards and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted in the Netherlands at restaurants, hotels, and tourist destinations.

Banks in the Netherlands

You will find plenty of banks in the Netherlands. However, banks in the Netherlands generally no longer handle banknotes. Instead, they manage loans, sell insurance, and some may sell or cash traveler’s cheques. Some banks will exchange your money, but will charge you fees or commission. Banks prefer you use their ATMs.

Tipping

In The Netherlands, Value Added Tax and service charges are included in your check in hotels, restaurants, shops and taxis. Tips for extra service are always appreciated but not required. It is customary to give taxi drivers and waiters a tip of about 10 percent. Many public restrooms have an attendant who is usually tipped EUR 0,50.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

Dutch medical care is of high quality and is comparable to the medical care throughout Western Europe. Diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all fields of medicine are available. Hospitals are well-equipped. Maternity hospitals and other clinics are available.

Emergency Treatment

If you should be in need of immediate medical attention , call the emergency services (police, fire services and ambulance) at 112. Emergency calls from pay phones are free of charge. Emergency medical services (including transportation by ambulance) are not free and you will be billed for any services rendered to you.

When staying in a hotel and in need of a doctor or dentist, contact the reception desk and they will direct you to someone assigned to that hotel.

Dutch Health Care Insurance System

The medical care sector in The Netherlands is based on a referral system which requires patients to see a local general practitioner first. Medical specialists will generally only see those patients who have been referred to them by a general practitioner.

The Dutch National Health Service does not cover visitors to the Netherlands. It is therefore recommended to obtain an estimate of the cost involved before receiving any services. It is also important to telephone the doctor's office for an appointment. 

Dutch Medical Care

Dutch medical care is of high quality and is comparable to the medical care one finds throughout Western Europe. Diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all fields of medicine are available. Hospitals are well-equipped, and maternity hospitals and many clinics are available. Most doctors and dentists speak English.

Most medicines are available locally. They may not, however, be of the same brand as those used in other countries and prices are generally higher. Tourists should bring a supply of the medicine they know they will need whilst abroad and provide proper documentation.

ELECTRICITY, WATER & GAS

All you need to know about Electricity, Water, Gas and the Metric System in the Netherlands.

Electricity

The voltage on outlets in Holland is 230 volts. Hotels may also have a 110-volt or 120-volt outlet for shavers. Travelers are advised to bring along a power converter and an adapter for round two-prong plugs with side grounding contacts.

Water

The tap water in Holland is of excellent quality and you can drink from any tap, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Bottled water is available at all supermarkets, snack bars and kiosks.

Gas

Most Dutch households use gas for cooking, central heating and to heat water.

Weights & Measures

Holland uses the metric system and therefore uses meters as its measurement for length, liters for liquids and kilos for weight. This is different from countries that use the Imperial System. The conversions between these two systems are:
Kilometers & miles 
1 mile = 1.609 km  
1 km = 0.621 miles
Liters & gallons 

1 gallon = 4.546 liters 
1 liter = 0.220 gallons 
Kilos & pounds 
1 pound = 0.453 kilos 
1 kilo = 2.204 pounds

FACTS & FIGURES

Here you can find the most important facts and figures about the Netherlands

Surface area: 41,528 km² (18.41% water)
Total population: 17 million
Population density: 488 people per km2
Capital city: Amsterdam
Government: The Hague
Official languages: Dutch, Frisian (only spoken in Friesland)
Type of government: Constitutional monarchy - parliamentary democracy

Religion: 44% No religion, 29% Roman Catholic, 19% Protestant, 6% Muslim, 1% Hindu, 1% Buddhist
Currency: Euro
National holidays: King’s Day (27 April) Liberation Day (5 May)
Highest point: 323 m (Vaalserberg, Limburg)
Lowest point: 6.7 m (Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, Zuid-Holland)
Average temperature in July: 17.4 °C
Average temperature in January: 2.8 °C

People

With 17 million people and a population density of 488 people per km2, the Netherlands is the most densely populated country of the European Union and one of the mostly densely populated countries in the world. The total size of the Netherlands is 41,500 km2. Amsterdam is the capital, but the government resides in The Hague. More than 40% of the total population live in the Randstad, the agglomeration of the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

Language

The official language is Dutch. The population of the province of Friesland has a choice between Dutch and Frisian, the only officially recognised regional language. The Netherlands also include the regional languages of West Low German and Limburgs. Inother parts of the Netherlands, people often speak a dialect besides Standard Dutch. Many Dutch people also speak German and English.

Landscape

 Water dominates the Dutch landscape. Three big European rivers (Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt) reach the ocean via the Netherlands and create an important delta. 26% of the Netherlands is under sea level. During a age-long battle against the water, the Dutch constructed a water system consisting of dykes, polders and weirs. However, the Netherlands offers more variation than the familiar green, flat polder landscape with black and white cows.

Economy

The Netherlands is known as a politically stable country with a sound financial policy. The Netherlands is one of the most open economies in the world and is one of the world’s top 5 biggest exporters.

Three quarters of the professional population work in the tertiary sector, one quarter in the industrial sector and only 4 percent in agriculture. Despite these figure, the Netherlands are a big exporter of agricultural and horticultural products. Some big Dutch companies are: Shell, Unilever, Akzo Nobel, Philips, Aegon, ING Group, Rabobank, Heineken, TNT and Randstad.

Sports

The most popular sports in the Netherlands are football, hockey, equestrian sports, tennis, cycling, golf, volleyball, korfball, handball, swimming and ice-skating. Dutch football and speed skating especially enjoy a worldwide reputation.

Orange is related to the Dutch Royal Family and represents the national identity of the Netherlands. That’s why Dutch fans dress up in orange. During some sport events the whole country turns orange and people become infected with what we like to call the ‘orange fever’.

National Anthem

The Dutch National anthem is ‘Het Wilhelmus’, which consists of 15 stanzas about Prince William of Nassau, the Prince of Orange. The anthem is still played at official occasions, but most Dutch people will mainly recognise it because it is played during international football competitions.

Social Ways

 The Dutch are creative, open minded and pragmatic. They are also rather direct, honest and open in their dealings with others. The Dutch are known for their tolerant attitudes towards topics such as abortion, euthanasia and (soft) drug use.