The Netherlands is a tiny country with a big reputation, known for everything from its renowned art and architecture to its attitude toward marijuana to its world-famous canals. From the streets of Amsterdam to the quaint villages in the countryside, there’s plenty to do in the Netherlands. Just make sure you pack all the essentials, including devices like your phone and Kindle, as well as a US to Netherlands power adapter to plug them all in.
Which power outlets do they use in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands has two different types of electrical outlets, Type C and Type F. Both have two round holes, and they differ in that Type C is ungrounded while Type F has grounding clips. You’ll find both types in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands. Any plug type with two round pins will work in the Netherlands, including the Type E plugs commonly found in France. Sockets of any type in the Netherlands are usually set into a round indentation in the wall (unlike in the US, where outlets are flush against the wall).
Unlike the US, but like most other countries in Europe and elsewhere, the Netherlands uses a voltage of 230V and a frequency of 50 Hz.
What kind of power adapter do I need for the Netherlands?
While packing for your trip, you’ll probably be asking, “What plug do I need in the Netherlands?” Since the US uses a different outlet type than the Netherlands, you’ll definitely need to bring an adapter with you. A US to Netherlands power adapter can have either a Type C, Type E, or Type F plug; it just needs to have two round pins.
This recommended Universal Adapter fits all of these requirements and will reliably charge all of your personal electronics (laptop, mobile phone, tablet, camera) not only in the Netherlands but in over 100 other countries around the world.
What’s the electricity and power supply like in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is among the most developed countries in the world, and its electrical infrastructure is no exception. By 2030, solar and wind are expected to have a cumulative share of over 60% of the total capacity, while coal power generation is expected to be phased out by 2028.
Both in cities like Amsterdam or Rotterdam and in more rural areas, power outages are exceedingly uncommon. While outages happen very occasionally due to accidents, you’re extremely unlikely to encounter one while visiting.
Do I need a voltage converter for the Netherlands?
To safely use electronic devices in the Netherlands, they need to be rated to 220V-240V. Even though the US’s electrical grid only operates with a voltage of 110V-120V, many US-made devices are actually rated much higher. Things like phones and laptops will not require a voltage converter in the Netherlands or elsewhere because they are dual voltage. However, certain American appliances are rated only to around 110V-120V, including curling irons, hairdryers, and electric razors. If you want to bring any of these items on your trip, you’ll need to use a voltage converter. Do not plug one of these devices into the wall without it – it’ll destroy the device, and it could shock you or cause a fire.
Other Netherlands Packing List Items
In addition to your US to Netherlands power adapter, these items will help you pack with intention and expand the possibilities of your getaway. Going to Amsterdam? Check out our Amsterdam packing list for more inspiration and ideas.
1. Travel Umbrella
The Netherlands experiences rainy weather year-round, so it’s be important to come prepared. We recommend a compact travel umbrella that’s sturdy enough to withstand the windy, stormy weather you might encounter. The umbrella pictured is a great option with its quality parts and convenient automatic open/close function.
2. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes have revolutionized packing. Before cubes, you had to pack every item in your luggage individually, meaning you’d have to rummage through the whole bag to find anything. Now, you can fold or roll your clothes into the cubes and then pack the cubes into your bag, making it much easier to find things during your trip.
3. Lipstick-Sized Charger
You’ll want to have your phone with you while you’re out and about in the Netherlands, so you can access a navigation app, call an Uber if you need one, or use it as your camera. But you’ll be in a tight spot if the battery dies while you’re not in your hotel room. To make sure that doesn’t happen, bring this little portable charger so you can charge your phone even while you’re out.
4. Neck Wallet
The Netherlands is an extremely safe country, but pickpocketing is a real problem there, especially in Amsterdam. To make sure it doesn’t happen to you, keep your cash and credit cards in a neck wallet – where they’ll be out of reach of pickpockets – instead of in your bag or pocket.
5. Jet Lag Relief Pills
The Netherlands is six hours ahead of the East Coast of the US, so you’ll probably experience some jet lag during your trip; and if you’re coming from the West Coast, it’s pretty much guaranteed. To stop it from disrupting your trip, bring along some jet lag relief pills, which will help your body readjust and back on a regular schedule quickly.
6. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
You might associate VPNs with trying to use Facebook in China, but they’re actually useful no matter where you are. Logging onto different public Wi-Fi networks makes you vulnerable, and using a VPN will protect your online privacy and help prevent you from getting hacked.
7. Travel Insurance for the Netherlands
If you end up getting sick or injured and need to see a doctor in the Netherlands, your American health insurance most likely won’t cover the cost. Make sure you purchase a travel insurance policy before you leave for your trip. That way, if the worst happens, you won’t get stuck paying your medical bills out of pocket. I recommend using TravelInsurance.com to find travel insurance because their site lets you easily compare policies from top companies to find the best option for you and your travel plans.
Other FAQs about traveling in the Netherlands
1. When to travel to the Netherlands?
Because the winter months can get cold and dreary, it’s not the ideal time to visit. Visiting the Netherlands between mid-spring and mid-fall will be much more pleasant. July and August are the busiest months for tourism, so if you go a little earlier or later, you’ll be treated to lower prices and fewer crowds. Be sure to check current Netherlands travel advisories before you go.
2. What is the weather like in the Netherlands?
Because the Netherlands is so small and the elevation doesn’t vary much (the highest point is only about 1,000 feet above sea level), the weather is similar throughout the country. Winter lows are around freezing, and the winter months have long hours of darkness and occasional snow. Summers are only moderately warm, with average highs around 70 degrees. For the most part, January and February are the coldest months, and July and August are the warmest. The Netherlands experiences rainfall all year long, and damp gray days are common year-round.
3. What to do in Amsterdam?
Taking a cruise through the canals is one of the top things to do in the city, and there are numerous different options depending on what you’re looking for. Amsterdam is also home to some world-famous museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, as well as many lesser-known ones, like the FOAM Photography Museum.
Tulips are a symbol of the Netherlands, so make sure you stop at Bloemenmarkt, the only floating flower market in the world. Lastly, do as the Dutch do, and hop on a bike – it’s really the best way to explore the city.
4. What to do in the Netherlands?
Amsterdam is its most famous city, but there are lots of great things to do in other parts of the Netherlands. Head to Maastricht to explore the man-made caves underneath the city, or see the Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In The Hague, which is actually the administrative capital of the Netherlands, you can take a tour of the Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice. There are also beautiful parks and gardens throughout the country, including Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world.
5. How to get around in the Netherlands?
Thanks to its developed infrastructure, the Netherlands is quite easy to get around. The country’s rail network is extensive, and because the country is so small, train trips are almost never longer than a couple of hours. Buses may be the only choice in the north and east of the country, though, where trains are less common. Otherwise, buses are more often used for shorter trips.
Most Dutch cities also have extensive public transportation.
Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam have metro systems, and many cities, including Utrecht and The Hague, have trams. Other cities have networks of buses, so you’ll likely never be too far from a public transportation option. You can also find taxis and Uber in most major towns, and there are even taxi buses, which are taxis that hold up to eight passengers. Of course, the most Dutch way to get around is on two wheels, and you can easily rent a bicycle almost anywhere in the country. The Netherlands is a safe and easy country to cycle around, since bike lanes are ubiquitous and drivers are accustomed to giving cyclists the right of way.
When you arrive in the country, buy an OV-chipkaart, which is a stored-value card that can be used on all public trains, buses, and trams in the Netherlands. Having the card will get you discounts, and it makes paying your fare much easier.