Netherlands : Safety by City
A country with, according to many, the most interesting capital in Europe, Netherlands shares its borders with Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and France in the Caribbean. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and its reputation of a country of painters, windmills, clogs and flat lands. Today, it is a contemporary European country with an international character and a liberal spirit towards everyone, which is the biggest reason tourists adore coming here, especially Amsterdam, Europe’s “capital of the free spirited.”
The Netherlands also boasts wonderful landscapes that are comprised mostly of flat lands, as hills may be found only at the Veluwe and Southern Limburg. In Netherlands, industrialized farming is extremely developed: so much so, in fact, that today it is one of the largest food exporters in the world. However, tourists expecting to see the gorgeous landscapes filled with tulips and windmills might be surprised, since areas like that do exist, but they have to be found (for example, in the Waterland and Zaan Region) and they are so secluded that even most Dutch have never been there.
Warnings & Dangers in Netherlands
OVERALL RISK : LOW
The Netherlands is generally a very safe country to travel to. Its crime rates are low, and your biggest concern in this country might be pickpockets. Use common sense and apply basic precaution measures and that should minimize the chances of something going wrong.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transportation in the Netherlands is generally safe and reliable, but it is advised to be careful in public transportation since that's where pickpockets operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
There is risk of pickpockets, mostly in larger cities, but it shouldn't be too big of a problem if you take precaution measures, such as keeping your valuables in a safe place, not carrying all your money in the same place, and not carrying anything valuable in an easily accessible part of your outfit.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There are no significant threats of natural disasters in the Netherlands, but there have been reports of the Netherlands being prone to extreme flooding, which is why the Dutch invest heavily in infrastructure to prevent similar natural disasters from happening again.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Mugging or kidnapping aren't common in the Netherlands, but it is still recommendable to avoid poorly lit and deserted areas, and to not accept drinks from strange people, although drink spiking is not common either.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Even though there haven't been any terrorist attacks in the Netherland's recent history, these types of attacks shouldn't be ruled out, especially since its neighboring countries France and Belgium have been targeted, so be aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
As in any other tourist destination, there is the risk of getting scammed. Always check your change twice, negotiate the price of every service beforehand, and ask around about the real prices of services and other goods.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Traveling alone in the Netherlands is very easy for females. The country is very safe and friendly. Just avoid poorly lit and deserted areas and walking alone at night, with a few more basic precaution rules and your trip should go smoothly.
So... How Safe Is Netherlands Really?
The Netherlands is a very safe country to travel to. However, in larger cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and there is heightened risk that you will encounter pickpockets and other forms of petty crime such as bag snatching and bicycle theft. Rates of violent crimes are very low but you should still avoid some parts of larger cities, such Kolenkitbuurt in Amsterdam and Morgenstond in the Hague.
Some other minor issues in Netherlands include catching a Lyme disease when walking or camping in forests and dunes, (so be aware of ticks) and of course, diseases related to the prostitution issue in Netherlands. Here, prostitution has been legalized in 1988 to a certain extent, but illegal prostitution still exists and hotel personnel are obligated by law to notify the authorities if they suspect these kinds of activities in their hotel. It is highly recommended to use protection in indulging into these practices at brothels or other locations in the Netherlands.
- Visas - Generally, visa is not needed for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you might have to acquire a visa. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your planned date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Euro is the official currency in the Netherlands. Bear in mind that the Netherlands, much like its neighboring countries, is pretty expensive, so plan on spending between 100 and 150 euro per day, including accommodation. ATMs are widely available and credit cards accepted in most hotels but not all restaurants. Keep in mind that non-European credit cards are sometimes rejected.
- Weather - The Netherlands have a temperate maritime climate due to influences from the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. This climate is characterized by cool summers and moderate winters. Daytime temperatures vary between 2°C and 6°C during winter and between 17°C and 20°C during summer.
- Airports - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, sometimes referred to as simply Schiphol, is the main international airport of the Netherlands. It is located 9 km southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to the Netherlands, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.