NetherlandsOfficial Name: Kingdom of the Netherlands
Must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
Two pages required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
10,000 Euros or equivalent
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
10,000 Euros or equivalent
Embassies and Consulates
Lange Voorhout 102
2514 EJ The Hague
Telephone: +(31)(70) 310-2209
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (070) 310-2209
Fax: +(31)(70) 310-2207
Please note that all requests for consular assistance in the Netherlands must be directed to the Consulate General in Amsterdam. There are no consular services available at the Embassy in The Hague
U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Telephone: +(31)(20) 575-5309
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(31)(70) 310-2209
Fax: +(31)(0) 20-575-5330
The Netherlands is a highly developed, stable democracy. Tourist facilities are available throughout the country. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on the Netherlands for additional information on the U.S.-Netherlands relationship.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
The Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, you may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The 90-day period begins when you enter any of the Schengen group of countries. If you are traveling for any other purpose, or if you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you should inquire about the appropriate visa at the Dutch Embassy or a Dutch Consulate in the United States. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. We recommend that your passport be valid for at least six months whenever you travel abroad to avoid unintended travel disruptions. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet
Visit the Embassy of the Netherlands' website for the most current visa information. Information on work, residency, and immigration requirements in the Netherlands can be found on the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service.
For further information, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands at 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20008, one of the Dutch consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, or Miami, or one of the various honorary Dutch consulates throughout the United States. Additional information is available on the Dutch Board of Tourism and Conventions website.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of The Netherlands.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Since 2004, Dutch Government security measures have been in place in response to concerns about terrorist activity in the Netherlands by international and domestic extremist groups. The Dutch Government has determined the current terrorist threat level to be "substantial." According to the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, this level, the second-highest of four levels, means that “there is a realistic possibility that an attack will take place in the Netherlands.”
We encourage you to keep up with the latest news while in the Netherlands and to take steps to increase your security awareness. As with other countries in the Schengen area, the Netherlands’ open borders with its European neighbors allow for the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country with anonymity.
Demonstrations take place in the Netherlands from time to time in response to world events or local developments. Prior police notice is required for public demonstrations, and police routinely provide oversight. We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of the demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Information regarding demonstrations in the Netherlands can be found on the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam website.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam on Twitter and visiting the Consulate General’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: While the rate of violent crime in the Netherlands is low, tourists are often targeted by thieves. Visitors frequently fall prey to pickpockets, bag snatchers, and other petty thieves who target automobiles and hotel rooms. You should use your room or hotel safe, and keep your baggage locked or secured when you’re away. Avoid leaving valuables in automobiles, especially electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, GPS devices, and mobile telephones, even if the area appears to be safe.
While thieves may operate anywhere, the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam receives frequent reports of thefts from specific areas. Within Amsterdam, thieves and pickpockets are very active in and around train and tram stations, in the city center, and aboard public transportation. In September 2013, media reported that 44 percent of all pickpocketing on Amsterdam’s tram system occurs on line 5, which travels from Central Station through some of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist sites. Theft is also especially common on trains to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and international destinations, where hand luggage and laptop computers are often targeted. Thieves often work in pairs; one distracts you, often by asking for directions, while the accomplice moves in on your momentarily unguarded property. The timing of these thefts usually coincides with train stops, enabling the thieves to escape. In addition, many U.S. citizens have reported the theft of purses and briefcases while eating in downtown restaurants, including hotel breakfast rooms. Never leave your personal items or baggage unattended.
Electronic financial crime has decreased dramatically in the Netherlands in the past year. In 2014, the DNB (Dutch central bank) reported 2013 losses at 33 million euros – a nearly 60 percent decrease from 2012. Most of the theft involved “skimming,” a technique that copies bank card information. Most retailers in the Netherlands only accept a “chip and pin” credit card and will not accept a standard U.S. credit card which only contains a magnetic strip. ATM and credit card users are advised to keep an eye on their cards at all times. If you feel uncomfortable using your card for any reason, use cash. Contact your credit card provider for further guidance.
Con artists have victimized U.S. citizens around the world, including in the Netherlands. Typically, a U.S. citizen is notified via email of a winning lottery ticket, an inheritance, or other offer requiring his or her assistance and cooperation. The U.S. citizen is asked to forward advance payments for alleged “official expenses,” “taxes,” etc. and, often, to come to Amsterdam to conclude the operation. Another common scam involves an Internet friend or partner who is reported to have been detained by immigration authorities in the Netherlands en route to the United States, and will not be released unless additional funds are paid to the “traveler.” Several U.S. citizens have lost tens of thousands of dollars in such scams. Funds transferred in response to such offers can rarely be recovered. Information on fraud schemes can be found on the U.S. Consulate General’s website and the Department of State's International Financial Scams page. If you suspect you have been targeted by a scam based in the Netherlands, you may report it to Dutch law enforcement authorities through the following police website and through the Fraud Help Desk website.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF) of the Netherlands provides financial compensation, under specific circumstances, for victims of crime and for those who have suffered injuries and consequent loss as a result of such incidents. The fund also provides for dependents or immediate family members of homicide victims. For more information, contact the Dutch Ministry of Justice at (31) (70) 414-2000.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in the Netherlands is 112. If the dispatcher does not speak English, request to speak to someone who does.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in the Netherlands, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating the Netherlands’ laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. In the Netherlands, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In the Netherlands driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you break local laws in the Netherlands, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: In recent years, U.S. citizens in the Netherlands have suffered death and injuries stemming from the use of marijuana, hashish, and other substances. Despite common misperceptions, marijuana and hashish are controlled substances in the Netherlands, and possession is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine. Legislation enacted in recent years is meant to prevent foreigners’ access to licensed “coffee shops,” where illegal soft drugs have historically been available. Local jurisdictions develop their own enforcement plans and implementation time lines.
“Coffee shops” are a haven for petty criminals who prey on tourists and other individuals under the influence of drugs. Persons who visit “coffee shops” have become victims of pickpocketing, identity theft, sexual assault, and other crimes. Visitors are warned that marijuana sold in the Netherlands may contain higher levels of THC, the active chemical in marijuana, which may exacerbate the drug’s effects and a user’s judgment. “Coffee shops” and related areas are known for selling other illegal substances, such as psychotropic mushrooms and stronger drugs. Visitors are cautioned against using such substances, as they are often counterfeit and can cause illness or death. It is illegal to take any controlled substance, such as marijuana, into or out of the Netherlands.
A comprehensive indoor smoking ban includes all cafes, pubs, clubs, theatres, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, airports, shopping malls, amusement centers, etc. Smoking is only allowed in private homes, in the open air, in designated smoking areas, and in owner-operated cafes and bars with no employees.
Dutch customs authorities stringently enforce regulations concerning importation into the Netherlands of items such as firearms and other controlled materials. Contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., or one of the Dutch consulates in Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, or New York for specific information regarding customs requirements. It is illegal to own and/or possess aerosol self-defense sprays, such as mace or pepper spray, in the Netherlands.
You must carry identification at all times in the Netherlands if you are age 14 or older. Accepted forms of identification for U.S. citizens include a U.S. passport or a Dutch residence card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A copy of a U.S. passport is not sufficient under Dutch law.
Dutch authorities may require U.S. citizens who apply for or obtain Dutch nationality to renounce their U.S. citizenship. For further information, visit the Dutch immigration and naturalization authority website and the U.S. Consulate General website.
We are not aware of any special currency circumstances for this country.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in the Netherlands. LGBT individuals enjoy full rights in the Netherlands. Dutch law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, including in the areas of taxes, allowances, pensions, inheritance, and access to health care. The Dutch government prioritizes combating anti-LGBT violence. The police have special units to protect the rights of LGBT persons. The courts can provide higher penalties to perpetrators of violence against LGBT persons if it was motivated by bias. Since January 2014 elementary and secondary schools are obliged to pay attention to diversity and LGBT issues. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in the Netherlands you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices For further information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in the Netherlands, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Dutch law guarantees equality and the right to access for people with disabilities. In the Netherlands, discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities is illegal. The law requires equal access to employment, education, health care, and other state services, and that persons with disabilities have access to public buildings, information, and communications. Despite continued progress, public buildings and public transport are not always easily accessible in practice. Criminal penalties--including fines and administrative sanctions--exist for those who do not provide sufficient access for handicapped individuals; however, government enforcement of the rules is limited. Information about accessibility in and around Amsterdam for travelers with disabilities is available on the Amsterdam guide.
Good medical facilities are widely available. Dial 112 for emergency medical assistance. Pharmacies (“Apotheek”) are widely available and can assist with emergency prescription needs. Some common medications are not available in the Netherlands without a prescription, and some prescription drugs cannot be sent to the country. You should carry an adequate supply of prescription drugs in their original container in your carry-on luggage. Please carry a letter from your pharmacist or medical doctor with you, as some drugs are subject to confiscation by local custom agents. If you are traveling with any pre-existing medical problems, bring a letter from the attending physician that describes the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs.
Vaccinations are not required for travel to the Netherlands.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in the Netherlands, you may encounter traffic conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
In the Netherlands, travel in, around, and between cities is possible via a highly developed national public transportation system, an extensive system of bike paths, and by automobile and motorcycle on a modern highway system. Rail is often a convenient alternative to driving, particularly in the areas around Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam, where road congestion is frequent. Rail network information is available online. It is relatively safe to travel by road from city to city, compared to some other European countries.
A valid driver’s license issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles in the United States is valid for use in the Netherlands for up to 180 days while in tourist or visitor status. You must use seat belts and child seats. Driving is on the right side of the road, as in the United States. Speed limits are strictly enforced via radar. Traffic cameras are common throughout the Netherlands and you could receive a ticket for traveling even 2-5 km/h over the limit. Different limits may apply to certain hours of the day, as posted. The Dutch Government has reduced speed limits on certain roads near cities in an effort to reduce air pollution. Speed limit signs are electronic, and therefore authorities can change the speed limit depending on traffic conditions. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to drivers and bicyclists coming from the right at intersections or traffic circles unless otherwise posted. The maximum allowable blood-alcohol content in the Netherlands is 0.05 percent. Use of cellular telephones while driving without the use of a hands-free device is prohibited, and is punishable by severe fines.
Lanes in the center of many urban two-way streets are reserved for buses, trams, and taxis. In cities, pedestrians should be mindful of trams and buses, which often cross or share bicycle and pedestrian paths. Serious--and sometimes fatal--accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists colliding with trams and buses occur each year. Motorists should be especially mindful that bicyclists have the right-of-way; motorists must yield to bicyclists. Pedestrians should not walk along bicycle paths, which are often next to the sidewalk and usually designated by red pavement.
Bicyclists and pedestrians should be particularly cautious during the winter months, when paths, roads, and especially bridges can be icy and extremely slippery.
Taxi service in the Netherlands is safe but expensive. Trams and buses are both convenient and economical, but are often frequented by pickpockets.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the Netherland’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the Netherland’s air carrier