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AMSTERDAM THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS



Amsterdam is an incredible city to explore, and offers so much more than many people think. The accessibility for travel around the city and Holland makes it an ideal place to adventure, either on foot or on one of the city's classic bikes. I recently returned from my travels there, having spent a lot of time wandering in its Old Centre, Red Light District, Dam Square and Museum districts - part of what makes Amsterdam such a unique experience is that you can be immersed in its rich history through these stretches of iconic architecture and captivating canals! There's no doubt about it - Amsterdam is truly the city that never sleeps!


Amsterdam is famous for its cobblestone streets and canals that draw in million of visitors each year. Unfortunately, the same factors that make the city so picturesque also present challenges to those with limited mobility. Many of the trams in Amsterdam are not readily accessible, making it difficult for disabled people to move around the city with ease. For example, a number of restaurants even feature stairs leading up to entrances, making it impossible for those in wheelchairs or other disability-supportive mobility devices to access them. However, Holland has taken steps to ensure these challenges do not prevent disabled visitors from enjoying all that Amsterdam has to offer.


Regulations are being implemented requiring new construction projects meet certain accessibility standards and numerous Disability Access Maps have been released highlighting which buildings are more accessible than others. With this information, everyone can plan their trip and enjoy the city safely and creatively!


Language: The official language is Dutch with English as a second language.


Currency: The Euro


Credit Cards and Banks: All restaurants and hotels will accept credit/debit cards. Contactless payments is preferable allow you to simply tap to pay. 


Getting around: With a population of 17 million and an average of 1.3 bicycles per capita, it's no surprise that Holland is cycling-friendly and bikes are the preferred way to get around in Amsterdam! However, other forms of transportation are accessible as well - public transport such as trains and buses make travelling to further parts of the city easy. 


Amsterdam has also gone the extra mile in regards to accessibility for wheelchair users and those with impaired vision; taxi companies offer special wheelchair taxis, museums and attractions are easily accessible, and various buildings are adjusted accordingly. It's clear that Amsterdam puts great importance on being open for anyone who visits their city! 


Several canal cruise operators make use of wheelchair lifts, such as the Blue Boat Company. If you'd like to experience the city like a local, Star Bikes has a bicycles designed especially to accommodate disabled visitors.


Climate: Amsterdam is a remarkable destination for travel all year round, except during the colder winter months from November to March. However, on the flip side, those who choose to visit Amsterdam between June through September will find summer temperatures and beautiful weather accompanied by vibrant festivities and events. This makes it one of the most highly accessible and visited cities in Holland! Even though it is usually crowded with tourists during these months, the added benefit is that every corner of the city comes alive with energy while creating some beautiful memories that are worth experiencing. The trade-off between sunshine or snow will allow you to create an unforgettable trip either way.


Accommodation: Accommodation costs in Amsterdam is pricey and to stay in a decent hotel which is accessible is on average of $300 euro per night. 


Accessible hotels are available in all parts of the city and near popular attractions like the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark. The following is a list of hotels in Amsterdam, Netherlands with wheelchair accessible rooms and roll-in showers and/or accessible bathtubs.


SUGGESTED HOTELS

Hotel Name: Amsterdam Marriott Hotel

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Waterlooplein

 

Hotel Name: Courtyard Amsterdam Arena Atlas

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Bijlmer ArenA


Hotel Name: Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Bijlmer ArenA


Hotel Name: DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station


Hotel Name: Hampton by Hilton Amsterdam Arena   Boulevard

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Bijlmer ArenA

 

Hotel Name: Hilton Amsterdam

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Amsterdam-Zuid

 

Hotel Name: Holiday Inn Amsterdam - Arena   Towers

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Bijlmer ArenA

 

Hotel Name: Ibis Amsterdam Centre

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station


Hotel Name: NH Collection Barbizon

Nearest Metro/Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station


There are also many hostels but generally not accessible as they are in tall narrow buildings and generally have stairs and limited lift access.


Additional resources are recommended for you if you are planning to explore Amsterdam.


A great blog to check out is ableamsterdam.com, written by a Dutch-British resident who uses mobility aids, promotes wheelchair-friendly places, encourages mobility-aid users to get the most out of the Dutch capital. Sage Traveling also provides helpful tips for wheelchair-accessible travel in Amsterdam. 


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