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Other Helpful Tips

May 03, 2022 8:11 AM | Anonymous

I wish I had known this my first week in Holland:

Do not stand on the red brick bike path, as the person may not stop on time! Yes you will get run over even if you think this is picture perfect moment.

Getting around town

  • Paper metro and tram schedules are available at larger stations such as Central Station and Station Zuid (South)
  • 9292 App, GVB App, NS App, CityMapper App - helps= you navigate the buses, trams and trains
  • Get an OV chipcard – Openbaar Vervoer Card (Public transport card). You can buy an “anonymous” card at places like AH (7 Euros) and load it up at special machines located around town. Note that these cards do have an expiration date. You can also get a Personal OV Chipcard, which will automatically upload once you go below a certain sum. (Very practical, but it does require a link to your bank account)

US television programs

Slingbox – box you attach to your USA cable box and enables you to watch US TV on your laptop. If you have a VPN, that should work as well.

Products like Netflix, Hulu, etc. will work here, though you may have different selections available than when you were in the US.


There is a “Mall” in Amstelveen called Gelderlandplein. It has a large Albert Heijn supermarket with free underground parking. It also has many handy shops for everyday needs.

Action = Kmart, Dollar Store
Apotheek = Dutch word for Pharmacy. Here you can get your prescriptions
Big Bazar = Dollar Store
Bijenkorf = Nordstroms
Blokker = Target
Douglas - Sephora (all things cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, make-ups)
Ekko Plaza = Health foods/vitamins
ETOS = CVS (no Rx)
Gamma= Home Depot
Hema = Target with everyday wear
ICI PARIS XL - Sephora (all things cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, make-ups)
Karwei = Home Depot
Kijkshop = Catalog store. Good for every day items
Kruidvat = CVS (no Rx)
Marqt = Whole Foods
Media Markt = Best Buy, Circuit City
PC Hoffstraat – is like Rodeo Drive in LA, just smaller
Praxis = Home Depot
V&D = Sears, JC Penney
Wibra = Kmart
Xenos = Pier 1 import, Dollar store
Zeeman = Kmart

Grocery Stores

Albert Heijn (AH) and many other supermarkets and shops do not accept credit card.
Albert Heijn = supermarket
Aldi = Discount supermarket - Cheaper, smaller Costco.   They have Aldi's in the US now.
Boni = supermarket
Coop = supermarket
DekaMarkt = supermarket
Dirk van den Broek = supermarket
Ekoplaza = organic supermarket
Hanos = kind of Costco
Jumbo = supermarket
Lidl = Discount supermarket - Cheaper, smaller Costco
Makro = Costco
Spar = supermarket

Supermarket Munten are free at Jumbo. Munten are these coins, which can be used to release the shopping cart without worrying about having the required change. AH, Hanos, Jumbo and David Lloyd Gym all have coins available. Sometimes they have them sitting by the cashiers. It never hurts to ask.

Membership cards

  • Museum card - worth the money. It gives you free entrance to many Dutch museums, including the Rijksmuseum (National Museum). Card is valid for one year.
  • Movie abonnement (subscription) - you pay a monthly fee, but may be worthwhile if you like to go to the movies regularly
  • Hanos is like a Costco (AWCA members get free membership)


  • If a Dutch person gives you a gift, open it right away. It is considered impolite to put it away for later.
  • Write nice notes to let your neighbors know you have arrived and invite them over for a drink.

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