When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on the Netherlands, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!
Across the Netherlands
- Randy Roy's Redlight Tours is no longer in operation.
- Direct Amsterdam to London Eurostar trains will begin service on April 30, 2020, and tickets are on sale now. On about 3 departures per day, travelers won't need to connect in Brussels in the London-bound direction. There should be four direct departures per day by mid-year and five by December. These Eurostar trains also serve Rotterdam, with return boarding from Rotterdam expected to be available in late May.
- Amsterdam city government may ban guided tours of the Red Light District in 2020.
- The Amstelkring Museum is now (once again) called the Our Lord in the Attic Museum (Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder).
- The Connexxion shuttle bus between Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport now only allows payment by credit card.
- Hotel Brouwer is closed for renovation for several months, with plans to reopen in June 2019.
- The bus route to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction from Amsterdam's Centraal Station has been renumbered to #357.
- Café Villa Zeezicht has closed, as have the Atrium University Cafeteria and Ristorante Hostaria.
- The correct address for La Perla restaurant is Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 14 and 53.
- B&B Helmers has closed.
For books printed before May 2019, the following may also apply:
- The correct email address for local guide Albert Walet is email@example.com.
For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:
- Tickets to the Anne Frank House go on sale two months in advance, and are released gradually over the two-month period between the on-sale date and visit date. If no tickets for your preferred date are available initially, keep checking back. The entrance to the museum has moved. Facing the museum, the entrance is now around the right side, in the new modern annex. Hours are April–Oct daily 9:00–22:00; Nov–March Mon–Fri 9:00–20:00, Sat until 22:00, Sun until 19:00.
- The I Amsterdam City Card now covers the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum, as well as public transport and a canal cruise. With this card, travelers who've booked a (required) time slot at the Van Gogh Museum won't need to stand in line, but will still have to queue at the Rijksmuseum.
- The rules governing tourists' use of the Museumkaart sightseeing pass have changed. The €60 pass, which is bought at participating museums, is now good for just five museum visits over 31 days (instead of unlimited admissions). But, this temporary card can be upgraded to a one-year card offering unlimited admissions to nearly 400 museums. To do so, register your temporary card online. A few days later, a one-year card is mailed to you at the address you give (your hotel in the Netherlands, for example). The temporary card may still be worthwhile for those on a short stay; the one-year card can be a very good deal for those staying longer.
- The Van Gogh Museum is only admitting visitors who've booked a timed-entry slot online before arriving, even those using a Museumkaart or I Amsterdam CIty Card in lieu of a ticket (and the museum isn't selling any in-person tickets); it's unclear whether this new rule is temporary or not, so check the museum's website for updates well before your visit. The museum also has new (permanent) hours: daily April–Aug 9:00–19:00, Fri until 21:00, and Sat until 18:00 (April–June) and 21:00 (July–Aug); Sept–Oct 9:00–18:00, Fri until 21:00; Nov–March 9:00–17:00, Fri until 21:00.
- All Amsterdam trams are now "cashless." To buy a ticket or pass onboard, you'll have to use a credit card and PIN. Ticket machines at stops accept both coins and credit cards. You can purchase tickets with cash from many points of sale within the city; see the public transport website for details.
- Many of the city's tram lines have been renumbered and/or rerouted — check the new route map, and double-check local signage in person.
- A new Amsterdam Metro line (#52) has begun operation from Noord (across the IJ River) to Centraal Station, then through Rokin to the Zuid train station in the south. We recommend getting around by tram instead of underground metro, but this line can be helpful for reaching sights in Rokin and in the Museumplein area.
- From Schiphol Airport, bus route #197 into town is now bus #397 (it still departs from platform B9 in front of the airport).
- The Civic Guards Gallery at the Amsterdam Museum is now called the Amsterdam Gallery.
- The Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport has reopened.
- Maes B&B has closed.
- Hotel van Onna is no longer a standalone hotel, but is now an annex of Mr. Jordaan Hotel.
- The following eateries have closed: La Place Cafeteria, Dwars Restaurant, Los Pilones Mexican, and the Marks & Spencer mini-grocery.
For books printed before February 2018, the following may also apply:
- TripKey transit cards can no longer be picked up at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Centraal station, but can now be picked up at Amsterdam Ticket Shop at Kerkstraat 155a.
For books printed before May 2017, the following may also apply:
- The Stedelijk Museum now closes at 18:00 on Thursdays, and is open until 22:00 on Fridays.
- Starbikes Rental has moved down the way to De Ruijterkade 143.
- Hotel Filosoof has been thoroughly renovated and reopened as the Pillows Anna van den Vondel.
- Sunhead of 1617 Canal House Inn has closed.
- Frederic Rent-a-Bike no longer rents guestrooms. Frederic will still honor the printed Rick Steves reader discount on bike rentals (50 percent discount on 24-hour rentals).
For books printed before October 2018, the following may apply:
- The Kröller-Müller Museum no longer has computers set up to help visitors design self-guided tours, but does now offer audioguides (€2.50).
For books printed before October 2018, the following may apply:
Keukenhof & Aalsmeer
- The bus route to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction from Amsterdam's Centraal Station has been renumbered to 357.
- Our driving directions to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction should read: From the A-4 expressway south of Amsterdam, drivers take the Aalsmeer exit (#3) and follow signs for Aalsmeer, then FloraHolland.