The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland) is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that is formed by the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The Netherlands is located in northwestern Europe. It borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. In many countries, The Netherlands is often referred to as "Holland". This usage is technically incorrect, as "Holland" is actually a region in the central-western part of The Netherlands, divided into two provinces. The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated and geographically low-lying countries in the world (its name literally means "Low-lands") and is famous for its dikes, windmills, wooden shoes, tulips, bicycles and social tolerance.
All foreign visitors entering The Netherlands must possess valid passports. Visa is not required from citizens of most foreign countries. Participants should check with travel agents or Dutch embassies in their own countries, whether or not visa is required.
Dutch time is 1 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).
The climate in The Netherlands is temperate, with gentle winters, cool summers, and rainfall in every season. Southerly and westerly winds predominate, and the sea moderates the climate through onshore winds and the effect of the Gulf Stream. The average day temperature in May is 17 (min 7, max 25) degrees C. May has the most sun hours of the year, on average 207 hours.
The electrical supply in The Netherlands is 220 volts.
The Netherlands is member of the European Monetary Union, thus its currency is the Euro. Bankomats are everywhere and especially in Metro stations and certainly in all tourist areas. Most banks are open on Monday from 1 to 4 pm, on Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. They are closed over the weekends and on public holidays. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants in the larger cities. Service charges are included in your bill for most services. It is common to tip a waiter in a restaurant after a satisfactory meal.
Shops in Rotterdam are open on Monday from 11 am to 5:30 pm, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm, on Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm, and on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. Major shops in the center are also open on Sunday from 12 am to 5 pm.
The country code for The Netherlands is 0031. Each telephone number in The Netherlands has an area code (the area code for Rotterdam is 10), and an individual number.
Emergency calls: 112