Since 1990 most European countries, including the Netherlands, have been using the so-called Europlug: a plug to be used in the whole Europe and that would meet certain security measurements, as well as making companies’ lives easier by allowing most European countries to be compatible.
You do need a plug adapter in Amsterdam, but only if you come from outside Europe or the UK and Ireland. The whole Netherlands has a type C plug, 230V capacity, and 50Hz. If you come from any other continent you will surely need an adapter and sometimes even a plug converter.
So, what is a type C plug? It is the same as Europlug, a flat, two-pole and round-pin AC power plug, resistant to voltage up to 250V and 50Hz. If you come from any of these countries, you won’t need to worry because they all use the same plug outlet: Andorra, Austria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madeira, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine.
If you are coming to Amsterdam from any country named in the list up there, you won’t need to worry, they all have the Europlug. The dimensions of these were created to make the production of devices and connections compatible with the whole continent (at least Continental Europe) and also taking into consideration safety measures to benefit citizens.
If you see that some countries in continental Europe have a different outlet shape, don’t worry, in Europe vary. This doesn’t mean that it is different, it only means that it looks different. It means that the shape of the outlet doesn’t modify the main components your plug has. This is not a problem, you can always use the Europlug or plug type C, it just means there are more options!
The same happens when it comes to voltage capacity: these countries share a max of 230V of voltage capacity and a frequency of 50Hz. So you won’t need a converter either. If you want to know more about power converters in Europe you may want to read this article.
UK and Ireland
Even though the UK and Ireland have the same voltage as the rest of Europe (230 V) and the same frequency (50 Hz) you will need an adapter if you are coming to Amsterdam from there, Gibraltar or Malta.
In these countries, they use the power plugs and sockets type G. Back in the day, this type was invented by the British Empire to save copper, making it be inside the connector of every gadget instead of installing it in all the sockets. That is why you will find them to be bulkier than the Europlug, and that is why we need to adapt these three pins to the European standard. If you need UK-EU adapter I recommend you to get this easy and low price adapter on Amazon. It’s perfectly fine. If you are a traveler it’s a good idea to pay a little bit more and buy this universal travel adapter. It’s also very affordable.
Good news is, you won’t need a converter!
Both Canada and the United States have a different type of voltage capacity and plug outlet, which means that if you are coming from there to spend your holidays in the Netherlands or the rest of the world, you will have to worry about both adapters and converters.
North-America has a voltage capacity of 120V and a type A and type B plug. This means that you will need both an adapter and a converter if you are planning on coming to Amsterdam unless your gadget is dual-voltage. You can buy this adapter here on Amazon.
For those who don’t know the difference, a power adapter is only a plug that adapts the shape of your outlet to that of the country you are traveling to. A power converter is a plug that has the capacity of converting the voltage (V) from one country to another. If you come from North-America you need to make sure that you bring both along with you. If you need a power converter you can get it here on Amazon.
Checking out if you need a converter is key. Of course, if you don’t have an adapter you won’t be able to use your devices, but not using a convertor may damage your electronic devices (from your laptop and phone to your hairdryer and electric toothbrush), which have special needs. These have been designed with certain batteries and their engines have been constructed considering certain powers for the countries they are being sold on. It is very important to respect this in order to make sure we don’t burn the engine, the batteries or damage them irredeemably.
It is true that nowadays most gadgets are “dual-voltage”, which means they have been created to be used both in Europe and North America, mostly. You can check this information online and sometimes in the same gadget or battery of it, where it would say what type of voltage takes. Keep in mind that you will always need an adapter.
What about the rest of the world?
Each continent is different, and each country too! You will need to make sure to check what you have in your homeland before traveling to Amsterdam. You can always get yourself a universal plug, just in case, but if you are reading this, you still have time to plan it out.
Here you can check what is the voltage capacity and the type of plugs used in your country, and see if it is compatible with the Dutch one or not.
In any case, most of the Caribbean has a lower voltage capacity, similar to that of the US. This is also the case in Japan and some South-Eastern Asian countries. Therefore, if you come from any of these areas, you will not only need an adapter for a type C plug outlet but also a converter to reduce the high voltage of the Netherlands (230V).
If you are still not sure what plug you need to travel to Amsterdam, my recommendation is to get one of those Universal Travel Adapter Multi Plug Charger. It will change your life for good: it is an adapter and a converter at the same time, and one that you can use everywhere. This is affordable and has a lot of uses and it will not only work perfectly well for your trip to the Netherlands but also the rest of the world, for future trips.
Do you want to know more about power adapters and converters from all over the world? Here you have an article explaining what countries need them in Europe and what type of plug each corner of the world uses.
Travel Packing Check List to Visit Amsterdam
If you are planning your trip to Amsterdam, you may already know what you want to bring, but besides the obvious, here I came up with certain items that I would find indispensable to make your visit to Amsterdam very pleasant, including plug adapters and converters:
- Adapter/Converter: since we are talking about plugs, let’s make clear that this is very important. Nowadays you cannot do anything without your phone, and knowing that you will be able to charge it after your long trip is key to get yourself around in Amsterdam. If you happen to forget it, you can always ask for one at the hotel or get yourself one, but better safe than sorry!
- Card: having both debit and credit cards are always important when traveling, but it is so much more in Amsterdam. Dutch people are used to paying absolutely everything you can think of with card. And if you come from another country, paying a one euro package of chewing gum with your card may sound crazy, but not for Dutch. If you are planning on visiting Amsterdam you will need a card for everything: paying for the tickets for public transportation, paying for the deposit of the bike you are renting for a ride, paying for everything, literally. As a side note, I would like to add that in most places in Amsterdam they don’t take Visa Electron. This is something very important if this is the only type of card that you are bringing along with you on holidays.
- Poncho and Umbrella: summer or winter, any season, you will need them. If you are not used to getting soaking wet on a daily basis, you will want to pack one of these. Dutch weather is unpredictable and it is always important to be ready for a heatwave and the storm of the century.
- SPF for the summer, moisturizer for the winter: being the weather as unpredictable as it is, you have to be prepared. Even if it looks cloudy, always wear SPF during the Dutch summer. The sun doesn’t always make an appearance, but when it does, it will burn you. In the case of a winter holiday, and even more so if you are planning on going for a bike ride, anything to moisturize your face and hands will be a great idea.
- Hand sanitizer: a lot of public transportation means a lot of people, so be ready for this.
- Medicines with a prescription: Dutch drugstores and supermarkets sell certain basic pills and medicines that you may need, without prescription, but don’t forget those with it, because it is very hard to get your hands on them.