The capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam promotes a relaxed and engaging atmosphere which attracts visitors worldwide with the mix of architecture, nightlife and attractions.
Amsterdam has an oceanic climate, meaning it has mostly mild weather throughout the seasons, with warm summers but the weather is not too hot. There are many holidays and festivals to embrace such as Koningsday, King Willem Alexander's Birthday on 27th April which is celebrated by the entire country by a large open air market on this day, or on the 26th if the 27th falls on a Sunday that year. The country also celebrates Bevrijdingsdag on May 5th each year, to commemorate the end of occupation by Nazi Germany.
Before you travel, it is useful to know that the time difference is one hour ahead of the UK (GMT +1). Whilst in Amsterdam, be sure to ask taxi drivers for the estimated cost of a trip to avoid unexpected high costs once you arrive at your destination. On arrival in Amsterdam, there are numerous snack bars and restaurants that feature food from former colonies such as Indonesia, Surinam, NL Antilles. Behind the main station there is a free ferry "het pontje" across the IJ to NDSM which was a former wharf and now a cultural centre. The cost of living in Amsterdam varies within the more tourist-orientated areas, especially regarding the prices in restaurants. There are many restaurants that have much lower costs than those in the UK.
When travelling from the airport to the centre, the airport railway station has trains directly to central Amsterdam, with a journey time of more or less fifteen minutes only costing about four euros. There is also the 197 bus to/from Leidseplein in central Amsterdam, which takes 35 minutes or thereabouts. A taxi can be expensive at ca. 50 euros. Taxi's are the most expensive way to travel, with a ten minute journey costing between around 15-20 euros. It may be more cost-effective to purchase a 24 hour day ticket for public transport as this costs about 8 euros, or ca. 3 euros for children aged 4-11. Trams also sell single tickets. Accommodation can be relatively cheap with hostels from ca. 20 euros a night or a hotel will cost from approximately 45 euros a night.