1. Practical Information
a. How can I obtain a Dutch tourist or business visa ?
You can obtain a Dutch visa from any Dutch embassy or consulate, or from a Schengen member that represents Dutch interests abroad in case that nation does not have Dutch diplomatic representation.
Your type of visa will depend on the purpose of your visit. Tourist visas are easily arranged if you simply provide all necessary documents. If you plan to visit any other Schengen member for a longer period of time than your planned stay in the Netherlands you should apply at the respective country’s embassy.
If you are travelling as a public official or business, you may require a letter of invitation. Ni Hao Helan only aids you in procuring this letter if use is made of our services. In addition, we can only arrange a letter of invitation if the Dutch party is willing to host you during your visit.
b. How should I get to the Netherlands?
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is one of Europe’s largest airports with many daily flights from China. We recommend booking your flight in China, as several airlines offer full refunds if your visa application is refused.
c. How can I make payments in the Netherlands?
Payments in the Netherlands are made in euros, and transactions nowadays are largely cashless, however cash is still widely accepted. Mastercard and Visa are used more frequently than Union Pay. Note that Dutch ATM’s do not accept Union Pay cards.
d. What sockets are used in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands uses Type C and F outlets, and its electrical grid supplies 230V of current.
e. How can I communicate with the Dutch?
Dutch is the lingua franca in Holland, however 90% of the Dutch population speaks English. If you don’t speak English we recommend downloading a translation app for your own convenience.
f. Can I obtain a local sim card easily?
You can purchase sim cards for data locally at the airport and many shops. You can also purchase a sim card for use in the EU, in China prior to departure. Data and minutes on a sim card bought in any EU country can be used without additional charges in all EU countries.
g. How can I get around in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands has an efficient, extensive road and rail network with excellent public transportation. Travel times are short. Dutch railways also connect directly to London, Brussels, Paris, Cologne and many other European destinations. We can pre-book your tickets. For our clients we also arrange car rentals, minivans with driver and coaches, as part of your tailor made package.
h. What is the climate like in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers. The Netherlands has 182 days a year with precipitation, so we recommend bringing a raincoat with you. Check the weather forecast prior to your departure so that you can bring along appropriate clothing.
2. Health & Safety
a. What should I do regarding travel insurance?
We recommend you purchase travel insurance from a third party in your country of residence prior to your departure.
b. I need medication, should I bring it myself?
We recommend you bring all medication you need. Please also bring an official medicine passport with your prescribed medicine. If you require medical assistance in the Netherlands, local hospitals and pharmacies are well-stocked with all kinds of medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine is not widely available, and certain ingredients in Chinese medicine are illegal in the Netherlands. Please check if you wish to bring Chinese medicine with you.
c. How can I deal with my allergies abroad?
We advise that you bring a note with your allergies written on them in English. This way you can notify restaurant staff before consuming a meal to avoid complications.
d. How is public safety in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is a safe country to visit, but petty crime remains in the big cities, so be careful to mind your personal belongings in crowded areas.
3. Dutch Culture
a. Is tipping expected in the Netherlands?
In Holland tipping is not mandatory, but it is appreciated. You can judge yourself whether the service you received was satisfactory or not.
b. What should I avoid doing in the Netherlands?
- Don’t cut queues in the Netherlands. Queuing is like religion to the Dutch – woe betide anyone who cuts.
- Don’t smoke indoors, in restaurants, on street side cafes, or on train platforms. You can receive a hefty fine if you smoke in a zone where it is not permitted.
- Don’t walk on bike paths – Amsterdammers are especially unforgiving towards rookie bikers or unfazed pedestrians slowing down their commute.
- Don’t take photos of people randomly. Avoid taking any photos of sex workers. It is a gross sign of disrespect and will lead to confrontation.
- Avoid conversations about money with the Dutch as it is considered poor taste.
c. When are the Dutch on leave?
January 1st – New Years
April 16th – Easter
April 17th – Easter
April 27th – King’s Day
May 25th – Ascension Day
June 4th – Pentecost
June 5th – White Monday
December 25th – Christmas
December 26th – St. Stephen’s Day
d. What kind of things do the Dutch eat?
A traditional Dutch dinner consists of meat, vegetables and potatoes. For breakfast and lunch, bread with cheese or another topping is consumed. Large immigrant communities means that nowadays almost any cuisine is available in the Netherlands, including a good selection of Chinese restaurants in the larger cities.
a. How can I transfer money to Ni Hao Helan?
Transaction to Ni Hao Helan can be done via the following bank details. Payment by credit card is also accepted by the company.
Name : Ni Hao Helan
IBAN: NL95 KNAB 0255 3002 55
Please keep in mind that Ni Hao Helan requires a deposit payment of 30% of the total travel sum to be paid directly at the time of booking, unless stated in writing before entering the travel agreement.
The tour price is calculated in Euro and includes VAT. Costs for bank transfer, remittance, currency conversions, credit card fees and payment fees for other modes of payment are not included in the price.
b. What’s included in my final price?
The list of things included in your trip will be specified in your final offer. Ni Hao Helan does not usually offer international flights, visa or travel insurances but can be arranged on requested.
c. What is Ni Hao Helan’s cancellation policy?
Ni Hao Helan reserves the right to cancel the trip if the minimum number of required participants is not met.
The traveller can also terminate the travel agreement but they will be required to reimburse the loss of Ni Hao Helan with a maximum of one time the travel sum.
Unless the travel organiser has stated otherwise before entering the travel agreement, the following fixed percentages of the travel sum are used to set the loss, depending on the time of termination (cancellation costs):
- Until 42 days before departure – full deposit (30% of the total fare)
- 42-28 (excl) days before departure – 50% of the total fare
- 28-14 (excl) days before departure – 75% of the total fare
- 14-0 days before departure – 100% of the total fare
A traveller who cancels the travel agreement will be required to pay these cancellation costs, unless the traveller can make a plausible case that the loss of the travel organiser is lower. In such cases, the travel organiser will charge this lower loss. The term loss refers to loss suffered and loss of profits.