Netherlands has the euro € as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. These 24 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain official euro members which are all European Union member states as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. Together, these countries have a population of more than 330 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse, as well as all bank notes, look the same throughout the eurozone. Every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.

A lot of shops do not accept banknotes of €100, €200 and €500, due to concerns about counterfeiting and burglary. Shops also do not give 1 or 2 cent coins as change, usually rounding the price of shopping up or down to the nearest 5 cent denomination. Shops usually open by 9AM and they usually close by 5:30PM or 6PM. Most shops are closed on Sundays, except at the "koopzondag". "Koopzondag" means the biggest part or all the shops are open. It differs from town to town which Sunday is the "koopzondag". In most towns it is the last or first Sunday in a month. In a few cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Leiden the shops are open every Sunday, in most cases they are open from noon till 5PM or 6PM. In Amsterdam centrum area is an exception, since you can see the shops open till 9PM and Sundays from noon till 6PM. The shops can be crowded with people coming into town from outside the city. In some areas shops are closed on Monday.


The Netherlands is famous for its wooden shoes. However, nowadays almost no one, except for farmers in the countryside, wears them. You could travel through the Netherlands for weeks and find no one using them for footwear. The only place where you'll find them is in tourist shops and large garden stores. Wearing wooden shoes in public will earn you quite a few strange looks from the locals.

If you do try them on, the famous "wooden shoes" are surprisingly comfortable, and very useful in any rural setting. Think of them as all-terrain footwear; easy to put on for a walk in the garden, field or on a dirt road. If you live in a rural area at home, consider taking a pair of these with you if you can. A good quality wooden shoe protects your foot from falling objects up to 10 kg, so you won't feel a thing. Wooden shoes are made from willow or poplar wood. Willow is more expensive than poplar, because the wood is harder and more compressed. This means that the wooden shoe of willow is stronger and more wear-resistant. Also they are better insulated and more water resistant.

For good quality wooden shoes; avoid the kitschy tourist shops at Schiphol and Amsterdam's Damrak street, and instead look for a regular vendor such as Welkoop ( which can usually be found in towns and villages in rural areas. The northern province of Friesland has a lot of stores selling wooden shoes, often adorned with the bright colours of the Frisian flag.

credit cards & atms

For safety reasons, credit card use in the Netherlands increasingly requires a PIN-code. Credit card use in general is reasonably common, but not by far as much as in the US, UK or Scandinavia. The Dutch themselves often use local bank cards, i.e. debit cards without a Visa or MasterCard logo for which even small shops and market stands usually have a machine. In tourist destinations you will generally find credit cards widely accepted, as well as in larger shops and restaurants in the rest of the country, but ask in advance or check the icons that are usually displayed at the entrance.

ATMs are readily available, mostly near shopping and nightlife areas. The very smallest ones excluded, even villages usually have an ATM. The Dutch word for these machines is "pinautomaat", and the verb meaning both withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying with a debit card "pinpas" is "pinnen".


The Netherlands is a good place to buy flowers. Besides florists, you can buy them pre-packaged in most supermarkets.

In most cities there's a big variety of shops and some bigger cities even have some malls.


Accommodation and food is on the expensive side. Rail travel, museums, and attractions are relatively cheap. Retail prices for clothing, gifts, etc. are similar to most of Western Europe; consumer electronics are a bit more expensive. Gasoline, tobacco and alcohol are relatively expensive due to excise taxes. however tobacco products can be considered cheap compared to prices paid in the UK. A pack of Marlboro 19 cigarettes averages about €6,00.