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You are here: Home / Conferences / Amsterdam 2013 / Amsterdam / Communication

Communication

This is an international city. You won't have any problems.

Language

Just about everyone speaks English in Amsterdam, and is proud of the fact. Many speak German and French too. If you are English speaking, speak English (unless you speak Dutch too).

Mobile phones

There are 5 national GSM mobile phone networks, so there is good coverage. You need a phone that uses the European 900 and 1800 MHz bands.

You can hire a mobile phone at Schiphol Airport (once you get through customs), or if you have a suitable phone, buy a pre-paid SIM card from telephone shops (there are several on the Rokin) or from a Hema department store.

Hema stores (there's one on the Nieuwendijk near the Dam, and one on the Kalverstraat near the Munt Tower) have one for €10, which includes €3 worth of calls on it. If you have a European phone or a tri-band one, you just stick the SIM in your phone and you've got a working Dutch telephone number! Since it is free to receive calls on mobile phones in Europe (you only pay for outgoing calls), you can leave it on all the time. The outgoing tariff for national calls is around 35 cents, and 10 cents to send an SMS. You buy more prepaid time from the same locations.

Hema also has prepaid cards for cheap international mobile calls (e.g. 3 cents to the USA or UK). You buy a prepaid international card at Hema, phone 020-715 55 55 on your mobile phone, and enter the number on the back of the prepaid card. This couples the card to your phone. After that, you can dial the same number and then the international number you want to phone, followed by a '#'.

Internet

You can get wireless internet access all over the city, at a lot of cafes.

There are also internet phone booths at Schiphol airport, including phone jacks for direct connection of your portable computer, and several internet connection centres, including ethernet connections and WiFi wireless connections.