Telephone: A hard thing to find in Amsterdam and when you do try to get it to work is another thing. Most do not accept coins, so you need either a credit card or a phone card.
There are two types of telephone boxes on the streets: cash and phone card but finding either is difficult. With the payphones, one must insert money before dialing.
Phonecards can be bought in various denominations from railway stations, tobacconists, post offices and shops displaying the PTT Telecom card poster. Recorded messages in Dutch are often followed by an English translation. A full IDD service is available; the discounted rate is from 8 pm to 8 am daily
Mobile phones: British and Australian mobile phones work in Amsterdam, but North American mobiles do not. Mobile phones can be hired at Schiphol airport on arrival. Prinafoon, the Post Office telephone shop, hires mobile phones from 6 different locations in Amsterdam (tel: (06) 0402). PTT Telecom (tel: (020) 653 0999) also hires mobile phones, or you can visit one of the mobile shops and buy a card that should make your mobile work.
Post: Postage stamps are available from all post offices as well as a lot of small shops that sell postcards and souvenirs. Mailing from within Europe takes approximately three to five days. Post offices are open 0900-1700 Monday to Friday.
The main post office is located at Singel 250-256 (tel: (020) 556 3311) and is open 0900-1800 weekdays (until 2100 Thursday) and 1000-1330 Saturday. The post office at Oosterdokskade 5 (tel: (020) 622 8272) is open 0900-2100 Monday to Friday and 0900-1200 Saturday.
Courier services: UPS (tel: (06) 099 1300), DHL (tel: (06) 0552) and Federal Express (tel: (06) 099 1300) all pick up from hotels.
Internet access: Amsterdam is a pioneer in the Internet world. There are Internet phone booths at various points throughout the city, including on the Spui, by the Westerkerk, by the Van Gogh Museum and Centraal Station; visitors can use them to access the Web and send e-mail, but not at present - to receive e-mail. The cost is Euro 1 per 90 seconds, and a phone card is required to use one.
E-mail can also be checked at one of the many Internet cafes at Korte Nieuwendijk 30 in the Old Centre (tel: (020) 620 0902, e-mail: visitor1@café.euronet.nl; ). It is open 1000-0100 daily and costs Euro 3 per 30 minutes.
Free access is available at the Internet Reading Room in the café at In De Waag, Nieuwmarkt, in the Old Centre (tel: (020) 557 9844; web site: www.waag.org).
Also the new library building down by central station gives visitors free internet access on a large collection of free PC's.
Press: There are several daily newspapers all in Dutch, De Telegraph, De Volkskrant, Het Algemeen Dagblad and NRC Handelsblad (an evening paper).
English and other foreign newspapers are available in newsagents (WHSmith at Kalverstraat 152 and American Discount Book Centre at Kalverstraat 185) and hotels, with the day's British nationals normally available by about 10am and others later in the day.
There is an English-language guide, What's On, published by the tourist office biweekly, which is available from the tourist office and most hotels. Amsterdam also has several weekly English speaking papers The Amsterdam Times out every Friday and The Weekly published on Wednesdays.
TV and radio: The national TV channels are Nederland 1, 2 and 3, RTL 4 and 5, SBS 6 and Veronica. Broadcasts are mainly in Dutch, but English-language programmes have Dutch subtitles. There are international television stations on the Amsterdam cable, including American (CNN) and British (BBC1 and 2).
Some of the more local radio stations are Hilversum 1, 2 and 3, Sky, Veronica, Radio 10 Gold, Radio 3FM, Radio Noord Holland and Kink FM. The following frequencies for the BBC World Service and Voice of America are correct at the time of going to press, but do change from time to time.
MHz 12.10, 9.410, 6.195, 0.648
A service is also available on 648kHz/463m and 198kHz/1515m (0100-0500 GMT).
Voice of America:
MHz 15.25, 9.760, 7.170, 1.197,
City code: 020 (when dialing from outside The Netherlands, the initial zero is dropped)
Country code: 31
Outgoing international code: 00
Directory enquiries (in English): (0900) 8008
International directory enquiries: (0900) 0418
Operator (in English): (0800) 0410
International operator: (0800) 0410
Irish Consulate General
Dr Kuyperstraat 9
2514 BA The Hague
Ph +31 (0)70 363 0993
Fax: +31 (0) 70 361 7604
British Consulate General
Konigslaan 44, 1075 AE Amsterdam
Tel: (020) 676 4343. Fax: (020) 676 1069.
Consulate General of the United States of America
Museumplein 19, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
Tel: (020) 575 5309. Fax: (020) 575 5310 (visa section).
Sophialaan 7, 2514 GP The Hague
Tel: (70) 311 1600. Fax: (70) 311 1620.
Carnegielaan 4, 2517 KH, The Hague
Tel: (070) 310 8200. Fax: (070) 310 7863.