Amsterdam, the Netherland’s capital city, has been a center of creativity and culture for centuries. With its elaborate canal system, picturesque historic houses, and parked bikes everywhere, the city center looks like a modern day painting. Amsterdam is packed with cultural, historical and architectural delights. With a rich history in art, Amsterdam is home to many world renowned museums and cultural attractions. Amsterdam also has a global gastronomic scene worth exploring. From authentic Dutch fare to award-winning Japanese food, organic-focused fusion cuisine, and Michelin-star French dishes, there is truly something for everyone in Amsterdam.
The IMAST meeting venue and headquarter hotels are located 4 km/2.5 miles from the city center. With the newly opened North/South Metro line, getting to the city center takes just ten minutes, making it easy for meeting attendees to explore this vibrant and remarkable city.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the fourth largest European airport in terms of passenger numbers with 99 scheduled airlines operating flights to 317 destinations in 98 countries worldwide making it one of the most conveniently accessible airports in Europe. Amsterdam Schiphol is located 13 km/8 miles from the Amsterdam city center and is a quick eight minute train ride to the RAI Amsterdam Convention Center and IMAST headquarter hotels.
Amsterdam Public Transportation
Traveling within Amsterdam by public transport is straightforward and convenient. The extensive network is operated connects the city's neighborhoods by train, tram, metro, bus and ferry.
Please note, Amsterdam is working towards making public transport completely cashless. Tickets can only be purchased using debit or credit at the yellow ticket kiosks, located at most stations. Tickets can also be purchased in advanced, online at https://en.gvb.nl/ontdek-amsterdam/gvb-dag-meerdagenkaart.
Planning your Route
Helpful tools to plan your route:
- Plan your route online
- Download the GVB app (The official app from the GVB – Amsterdam’s primary public transport operator – will help you make sense of the city’s tram bus, tram and metro lines )
- Download the NS Reisplanner App (The official app of the NS – Dutch national railway. It provides up-to-the-minute information on departure times, suggested routes, prices and even disruptions in service)
Schiphol Airport to RAI Amsterdam Convention Center
Once landed, follow the signs to the Schiphol Airport train station (connected to the airport). Take the NS Sprinter towards Utrecht Centraal or towards Almere Oostvaarders. For more information on route options visit: https://www.ns.nl/en/journeyplanner. There is also a staffed information kiosk at the airport station, that can provide further assistance upon arrival.
RAI Amsterdam Convention Center to City Center
Take the Line 51 on the Noord/Zuidlijn (North-South) metro line from the RAI Station Metro Station towards the Centraal Station.
For more information on this route visit: https://maps.gvb.nl/en/lijnen/51/512N1H
Passports & Visas
Most visitors must have a passport to travel to the Netherlands; some visitors may also be required to have a visa. More information on visas and other travel requirements can be found online at https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visiting-the-netherlands.
The Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. Inhabitants of the Schengen countries can move freely within the Schengen area without having to go through border checkpoints. However, they still must have their passports or identification cards with them when traveling
U.S. citizens may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. Additional information for U.S. travelers can be found online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Netherlands.html.
The Netherlands has a moderate, maritime climate largely influenced by the North Sea and other surrounding waterways. The average temperatures in July range from 71°F (21°C) to 55°F (13°C).
Amsterdam observes Central European Time and will be in Central European Summer Time in July during IMAST.
Central European Summer Time is six (6) hours ahead of US Eastern Daylight Time and two (2) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, GMT +2.
The currency of the Netherlands is the Euro (EUR or €). Other currencies are normally not accepted, so be sure to change dollars, etc. at one of the currency exchange offices located throughout the city. Many shops and restaurants in Amsterdam accept credit cards, but not all. It is therefore recommended to either ask before you order or ensure you have a sufficient amount in cash to cover the bill. Most shops and restaurants do not accept €200 or €500 notes.
If using a credit card, you may be required to enter your credit card pin (including when purchasing Metro tickets); you can request this from your bank before departing.
The Netherlands operates on 230 volts, compared to the standard 120 volts in the United States, and uses a Type F Electrical Plug with two round pins, spaced about 20cm apart.
Visit www.iamsterdam.com/en/plan-your-trip/practical-info/amsterdam-apps for a list of useful smartphone apps that can help you plan for and get the most out of your visit to Amsterdam.
Tours & Attractions
With a multitude of cultural and historical attractions, museums, and entertainment options; there is no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam during your visit. Due to this, SRS will not be offering any scheduled tours.
Visit the I Amsterdam website for more information: www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do/things-to-do
In addition to comprehensive lists of sites and suggested itineraries, the site also includes links to booking museum and tour tickets online so you can skip the lines when you arrive!