Of course you’ll want to tell your relatives and friends at home how you are doing. Below you will find information on how to use the telephone, the mail and the Internet in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has landlines and mobile phones. For a landline you need a subscription. You pay a monthly fee and you pay for the minutes you use. Prices depend on your type of subscription so it is worthwhile to find out which would be cheapest for you.
If you make a lot of calls, a monthly fee is the cheapest option. Tariffs vary substantially. You can choose to pay a fixed fee for a fixed number of minutes. Or you pay a (lower) monthly fee and pay an additional rate for the minutes you use. Quite often you get a phone for free.
Please note: you may have to pay an initial fee, and contracts have either a one or two year duration. A cancellation fee may also apply, and you can only cancel your contract providing you give three months’ notice. Therefore, make sure you do your homework before you sign up.
If you do not make many calls, a prepaid card is the best option. You buy a specific number of minutes, and when you run out of minutes you buy a new card. You do have to pay for your phone, though. The cheapest price of a prepaid phone is €20 to €30 including €15 credit. You can visit the Dutch website www.bellen.com for more details or call rates. You can also make your calls in phone shops (belwinkels).
If you want to post a letter, you will need to pay attention to postage. Mailing a letter (0 to 20 grams) to a Dutch address needs a number one stamp. These cost €0.69. The heavier the letter, the more you have to pay. Letters to addresses across the world require a number two stamp. These cost €1.15. You can buy stamps at Postnl service points, supermarkets, tobacco shops and some bookshops. A letter can be posted in the orange (and sometimes red) post boxes that you can find almost everywhere. If you want to send a letter or a postcard to another country, you can put the letter or the card in those post boxes too. If you want to send a package that weighs two kilograms or more, you will have to use the international service at Postnl service points. If you have more questions about posting a letter or a card to another country, please ask the Postnl service point staff for more information.
Free Wi-Fi in Amsterdam
The number of free Wi-Fi connections is increasing almost every day. You can use free Internet while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea at cafés like the Coffee Company (www.coffeecompany.nl). But free Wi-Fi is also available in some restaurants, like the In de Waag restaurant, McDonald’s and La Place (inside V&D). Access to the Internet is also provided by the pillars kpn has put up at Leidseplein, Max Euweplein and elsewhere. Free Wi-Fi can be found at other locations as well, including the following:
- Bagels and Beans, Waterlooplein 2 and all other locations
- Coffee Company, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 24 and all other locations
- McDonald’s, Damrak 92 and all other locations
- Vapiano, Oosterdokskade 145 and Amstelstraat 2-4
- Belgisch Bierproeflokaal De Zotte, Raamstraat 29
- La Place, Kalverstraat 203 and all other locations
- Starbucks, Utrechtsestraat 9 and Rembrandtplein and all other locations