Money in Amsterdam
August 26, 2004 10:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to Amsterdam soon for a week with some friends, and I'm wondering what the best way to deal with money is. We're staying in a hostel that costs €178 for the whole week, which is about £120, so I was planning on taking £200 worth of euros with me, and getting more money using my Visa Electron card when I'm there. I'll be carrying the money with me the whole time. Is this the most secure/cost efficent way? Should I be taking more/less? Using travellers cheques? And will I have trouble with places not accepting the Visa Electron, as I have before?
posted by Orange Goblin to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, The Netherlands (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Good travel money advice here. [The whole site is great for UK money-saving tips]

Your best bet is to pay with your Visa when you can (does the hostel take it?) Check with your bank regarding commission rates on your account.

You'll always be paying commission somewhere along the way and you'll probably be charged a withdrawal fee at an ATM in the Netherlands too.

Travellers cheques mean that you have to find somewhere to cash them - banks are best (e.g. ABN Amro are all over the city) but whatever you do AVOID 'CHEQUEPOINT' OUTLETS. Hidden nasties in the fees altho' they do a decent free map of the city.

When I'm over there I usually pay with my Visa (credit) card when I can & withdraw Euros from my UK bank a/c using my ATM Maestro card, [I *think* Electron works too] and just swallow the £2 they charge.

P.S. Best quality smoke in The Greenhouse Effect in the red Light dist. but like MeFi it's stuffed full of Yanks ;-)
posted by i_cola at 1:28 PM on August 26, 2004

Well I'm an american male travelling in Europe for the past 2 months who happens to have just stayed a few days in Amsterdam, so here's what I've been doing... You will need at least 180 euro cash to pay for the hostel, as they usually only accept cash. You had best carry this with you, which shouldn't be a problem: I have not been pickpocketed yet, although I keep my wallet in a small backpack the whole time and I don't exactly exude wealth. I also keep a packet of kleenex in my back pocket, just for the smile when I discover it's gone. In terms of cards I have an american debit/check card linked to an american bank account, although it is backed by the visa logo. This is the only card I have used the whole time. ATMS are everywhere (look for "Geldautomaat") , they accept a 4-digit pin and surcharges are just travelling expenses for me. The only time this card has not worked is in the Spoorwagen ticket machines. I would carry no more than 50 euros, but cash is nice and always works. Restaurants will always take your card, but watch your statements as there are some shifty operators. (I.E. giving a customer 70,00 euro charge on the receipt and a 700,00 euro billing)

In terms of amsterdam I would reccomend chilling in the Vondelpark if the weather's nice or smoking at the Grey Area, cool hole-in-the-wall run by americans. The guy with the glasses is awesome.
posted by spatula at 1:42 PM on August 26, 2004

I don't know how much british banks charge for international withdrawals, but as suggested, you're probably best off withdrawing the money (in large chunks, preferrably once or twice) with a credit or direct debit card at an ATM.

Let us know when you'll be there on metatalk by the way and we'll have a pseudo-international meetup.
posted by fvw at 4:28 PM on August 26, 2004

P.S. Best quality smoke in The Greenhouse Effect
posted by i_cola at 1:28 PM PST on August 26

I recommend (take a taxi) Kashmir Lounge. Always a live dj, always dark.
posted by the fire you left me at 6:05 PM on August 26, 2004

Be sure to visit an old friend of mine, named Jack Herrer. He can be found hanging in most reputable coffee shops. If he isn't there, maybe you're better off elsewhere.
posted by Goofyy at 9:52 PM on August 26, 2004

As another second-class Electron citizen, I can attest to the sporadic inability to use said Mickey-Mouse plastic. But, I have never had a problem withdrawing cash from cashpoints overseas, so if the worst comes to worst, you can always just splash the cash.
posted by influx at 1:57 AM on August 27, 2004

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