One of the top 15 international destinations for Italian travellers, the Netherlands is known for its bike lane lined canals, fields of tulips, and rural windmills. The European country is home to such famous figures as Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt, and Amsterdam pays homage to the two artists at a pair of excellent museums. In other historical figures, Second World War diarist Anne Frank is commemorated in the city, in a solemn yet inspiring museum housed in her family’s wartime hiding place. Amsterdam is also where you can find the famous Red Light District, a series of alleys where prostitutes dance behind glassy facades.
There’s much to see outside of Amsterdam. Take a stroll and admire the medieval canal architecture in the central city of Utrecht, or visit The Hague, the diplomatic centrepiece home to Dutch parliament as well as the United Nations’ International Criminal Court. If you want to get out of the city, rent a bike and cycle across the Netherlands’ pancake flat landscape, admiring blossoms and windmills aplenty.
The Netherlands have a special relationship with Canada since the Second World War. That’s when Canadian forces led the liberation of the country and hosted the exiled Dutch royal family. The connection is still honoured each year when the Dutch donate thousands of tulip bulbs to celebrate the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.
Travellers experience relatively few health concerns when visiting the Netherlands. The Public Health Agency still recommends visiting a travel medicine specialist at least six weeks prior to travel to discuss the following:
While there is no risk of malaria or yellow fever in the Netherlands, the PHA still recommends travellers take precautions against bug bites. Certain insects can spread lyme disease, West Nile virus, and other illnesses.
For more details on any of the above vaccinations, visit the detailed vaccination pages or make an appointment with your local International Health Passport Travel Specialist. Call +39 392 0056499 or book online to set your appointment today.
Here is what to expect weather wise in a few key destinations:
- Amsterdam: The climate in the Netherlands’ capital is temperate and cool, and ranges from between 3º Celsius in the winter and 18º Celsius during summer months. Winter temperatures rarely dip below zero, though conditions frequently feel damp and humid. Rain is heaviest between August and November.
- Utrecht: This central city is temperate and similar to the rest of the Netherlands in terms of climate. It experiences virtually the same conditions as Amsterdam, including the same amounts of rain.
- Groningen: The climate in this northern city can get slightly colder in the winter months because of its proximity to the North Sea. The summer months are quite pleasant, with temperatures reaching an average of 14º Celsius to 17º Celsius. In the winter, temperatures regularly hover around the freezing mark. Rainy periods are common throughout the year, though snow rarely stays.
The Netherlands is considered a safe place for Italian travellers and there are no special security advisories in place for the country.
Travellers should still be vigilant of their belongings in the city, since pickpocketing and theft do occur. A common technique is for a group of thieves to take advantage of distraction tactics, spilling something on a traveller and offering to clean up while an accomplice steals a bag or pickpockets a wallet. Bags should always be zipped and kept in close sight, especially around transit stations and on trains.
Be careful when walking in the city – cyclists have priority over nearly all other traffic, and that often includes pedestrians. Never walk in bike lanes.
The greatest threat to travellers to the Netherlands is the possibility of terrorism, especially following recent attacks in France and Belgium. Tourist attacks are impossible to predict, and could occur in spots frequented by travellers such as sporting events, coffee shops, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other public celebrations. The best way to protect yourself is to keep up with local media reports
The Netherlands is known for its flexible laws on marijuana and other substances. However that liberal standpoint has started to change, particularly for foreign visitors.
Famous for its “coffee shops” selling hash, marijuana, and mushrooms, changes made in 2012 started to prohibit tourists from entering these locations. While changes haven’t come into effect consistently across the country, tourists can be legally barred from entering a coffee shop. A 2008 law also banned the use of magic mushrooms, though these substances remain available on an ad hoc basis from Dutch “smart shops.”
Dutch law has created penalties for travellers found using, possessing, or trafficking several illegal substances, including marijuana and hashish.
Here are a few items you should consider packing for a trip to the Netherlands:
- Small umbrella: The Netherlands can get rainy, with much of that precipitation falling in small bursts throughout the day. This is especially common in Amsterdam. Carrying a foldable umbrella will help you avoid being drenched by surprise showers.
- Rain jacket: This goes with the umbrella – surprise rainstorms can also bring on heavy winds. Have a rain jacket in case those gusts turn your umbrella inside out.
- Shoes with good grip: Once rainy, the streets and cobblestones can get slick. Since cities in the Netherlands are so walkable, you’ll want to make sure you can take advantage of this feature, even after rainshowers.
Ambasciata d'Italia a L'Aja
2514 JL Den Haag
Tel. 00 31 70 3021030
Fax 00 31 70 3614932
e-mail : embitaly.denhaag@esteri.
24/7 Emergency line: 0031 (0)6-51541399
Visit the Embassy website prior to your departure.
Italians travelling to the Netherlands do not require a tourist visa. Passports must be valid for at least three months beyond the intended date of departure. The same rules apply to the Netherlands as with several other countries in the Schengen Area of Europe, including Austria, Denmark, France, Norway, Poland, and Spain.
If you have any questions about travelling to the Netherlands or are wondering what shots you may need for your trip, call us at book online to schedule an appointment with your Internationa Health Passport clinic today.or