The city of Amsterdam
The Dutch capital has been - through the centuries - a renowned cultural, scientific and commercial centre and has always been characterised by its open mind and flexibility. It cherishes a long tradition of unrestricted exchange of ideas.
Although Amsterdam is one of Europe's
leading capitals, it still has the charm of a village.
Amsterdam has a dazzling array of cultural attractions
with something for everyone.
Virtually all points of interest are well within walking distance.
Moreover, the Dutch are multilingual which makes getting around so much easier. Amsterdam will welcome you warmly and you will feel at home in one of the most interesting cities of Europe. http://www.iamsterdam.com/
- 7,000 historic buildings, some of which date back to the 14th century
- The well-known symmetrical rings of canals with over 1,000 bridges summon up visions of Holland's Golden Age.
- 42 museums, including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk (Municipal) Museum, the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum),
and the Anne Frank House.
The city is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch Opera.
Transport to the Netherlands
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is acknowledged as one of the world´s best airports. With 490,000 flights and 45 million passengers a year, Schiphol has the highest standards of service and is constantly improving the benefits for the traveler. From all over the world direct scheduled services fly non-stop to Schiphol. These scheduled services fly from 129 destinations within Europe and from 108 non-European destinations. In addition there are charter flights to and from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. As many as 80 airlines fly to Schiphol, conveniently located in the heart of Western Europe. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol enjoys a very special status among its users, ranking first among the world's airports in virtually every poll of frequent international travellers.
On arrival at the airport, you can board a train carrying you to Station Amsterdam Zuid / WTC within 8 minutes. From there it is only a 2 minute tram ride or a 10 minute walk to the VU university (‘Vrije Universiteit’), the proposed conference venue. A taxi takes only 15 minutes to reach the VU from Schiphol Airport.
Furthermore, super-fast trains and well-made motorways whisk you to Amsterdam from all major European destinations. The Thalys high-speed train and other international express trains arrive at frequent intervals every day from destinations all over Europe.
Transport in Amsterdam
The compactness of the city minimizes the need for taxis and public transport as almost everything is within walking distance. Nevertheless public transport in Amsterdam - buses, tram and metro - is most efficient, modern, reliable.
Taxi ranks are located outside hotels, business and shopping areas. Trams, buses and taxis move rapidly, even during rush hours, thanks to separate traffic lanes.
Climate in December
- temperatures range between 6°C during daytime and -5°C at night
- an umbrella or rain coat for occasional showers may be useful
- please check the weather forecast before leaving
Crime levels are low in Amsterdam, and it is one of the few cities where women will happily cycle home alone. However, watch out for cunning pickpockets, especially when on the train from and to Schiphol Airport, on crowded trams, or when watching street performers, et cetera.
Currency and banking
- currency: Euro
- Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted at the Registration Desk
- in general, all major credit cards are accepted for payment in hotels, restaurants and shops.
- banks are open from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs on working days (on Mondays from 13.00 hrs).
Visitors who have medical insurance through a health plan in their home country are entitled to medical care in the Netherlands in accordance with the stipulations of the Dutch Health Insurance Act, providing that:
- they come from a country with which the Netherlands has international agreements regarding health care;
- treatment cannot be postponed until return to the home country;
- a copy of an international insurance document can be submitted to the doctor, dispensing chemist, hospital, etc.
Visitors from countries with whom the Netherlands has no international agreements are advised to purchase travel insurance in their home countries. For more information, contact your Health Service.
Opening hours shops
- shops open 7 days a week in the city centre
- opening hours: 09.30 until 18.00 hrs (Monday to Saturday); 12.00-17.00 hrs. (Sunday (City Centre only))
- on Thursday evening shops are open until 21.00 hrs.
- pharmacies usually open during working days from 08.00 – 17.30 hrs. For a pharmacy open 24/day please consult the staff at the Registration Desk.
The Netherlands and Amsterdam are in the Central European Time Zone, one hour ahead of GMT.
Service is always included. However, it is customary to tip in restaurants, bars and when paying for taxi’s. As a general rule tipping between 5-10% should be adequate.
Electricity in the Netherlands is 220-240 volts. USA, English and some other foreign appliances require an adapter for the voltage as well as an adapter for the plug. There are no adapters available at the Congress venue. Speakers who wish to use their laptop computer must bring their own power converter and an adapter for two-prong and round-prong plugs.
The congress will be held at the main building of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (VU University). 'Vrije Universiteit' means 'Free University’ and 'free' refers to freedom of state and church interference. VU University Amsterdam was established in 1880 by orthodox Protestants.
VU University is a rapidly growing university with more than 17,000 students and 2,000 academic staff, from the Netherlands and abroad. Responsible scholarship has been a priority at the VU for the past 127 years. Conducted by groups drawn from different disciplines, high-quality research programs continue to attract greater national and international recognition. Both the research and the teaching at the VU are conducted in the service of society.
The university campus and university hospital (VU University Medical Centre) are situated in the south-western part of Amsterdam, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands. The international airport of Schiphol-Amsterdam is 10 kilometres away, just 8 minutes by train. The VU can easily be reached by car, train, tram, express tram/metro and bus.