Known as the 'Venice of the North', Amsterdam is a liberal city with more museums than any other city in the world and more bicycles than people. While these facts are fun to know, they might not come in that handy during your Amsterdam holiday, which is why we have collated some basic information for you to know as well.
As it stands, Australian passport holders travelling to the Netherlands for less than 90 days do not need to apply for a visa. Travellers staying longer than this time, however, will need to apply for a visa. Please be aware this information is only a guideline and visa requirements are subject to change. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Netherlands embassy.
The Netherlands is a member of the European Union and thus uses the Euro. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Euro can change constantly, so it's a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider bringing a credit card or travel money card with you. Cash Passports are great for travel as they can hold a range of currencies, including Euros, and can also be used like credit cards.
Food in Amsterdam reflects the city's multicultural population with everything from Turkish pizza to Indonesian salads readily available. If you're keen to taste the traditional Dutch fare however, the quintessential Amsterdam dish is raw herring. It's not for everyone, but worth trying just to say you did. Sweet tooths will love starting every day of their holiday with apple pancakes or chocolate sprinkles on freshly made bread (it's a thing here), while cheese lovers will be in heaven with a Dutch cheese plate found on many a menu. And when in doubt, a simple bowl of local frites, or fries as we call then, served with a general dollop of mayo will always hit the spot.
Like most European capitals, Amsterdam is home to many a pulsating dancefloor. For the most part, the city's superclubs, jovial bars and boutique lounges are clustered within the Rembrandtplein, Canal Ring and Leidseplein areas around Centrum. Leidseplein is especially great for students with a number of dance clubs and Irish bars ideal for all sorts of mischief. Some of Leidseplein's best known party spots include Club Air and Studio 80. Most first-time travellers to Amsterdam will undoubtedly want to take a peek at some of the city's more notorious sights such as the Red Light District in De Wallen, or sample the fare on offer in the coffee shops. Not to be confused with cafes, the coffee shops are the only place where you can legally purchase marijuana and cannabis in Amsterdam. The rules and regulations surrounding coffee shops change regularly, so do your research before you go.