The quick answer is the euro. Until 2002 the Netherlands used the Dutch guilder or gulden.
Luckily, those hoarding old guilder notes under the mattress have until 2032 to exchange them for euros at the national De Nederlandsche Bank!
As far as travelers are concerned, euros are what you will be dealing with in Amsterdam, and the rest of the Netherlands and most other countries in Europe.
This post discusses using the euro in Amsterdam based on both my visits there, as well as information from our local tour guides living in Amsterdam.
At the bottom of this post, we include more advice from locals and travelers from our popular Amsterdam Travel Tips Facebook Group.
- What Currency Is Used in Amsterdam
- Cash vs. Credit and Debit Cards
- Exchange Rates
- Exchanging Currency
- Withdrawing Cash From ATMs
- Tips From Locals & Travelers
What Currency is Used in Amsterdam
As stated above, the official currency of Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands is the euro, which is the currency for almost all of the European Union (EU) nations.
Euro Banknotes and Coins
- Euro banknotes come in these denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500.
- Euro coins come in these denominations: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, and €2.
Here’s something minor - and kind of cool - to take note of when handling euro coins in Amsterdam. All eurozone coins have common imagery, a map of the European Union (EU) along with the denomination of the coin.
Some EU countries have a national side with a traditional or iconic image of the country. Such coins are still euros so no need to fret if you get a coin with the image of a Dutch queen or king!
You can still use these coins in any nation that accepts the euro.
Cash vs. Credit and Debit Cards
The Netherlands is quite progressive and a majority of transactions are now completed with credit and debit cards.
You could avoid handling a single bit of cash on your entire trip to Amsterdam!
All major establishments and many small ones accept debit and credit cards. Some places do not accept cash!
MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly used credit cards in Europe, followed by American Express. You may also use Apple Pay and Google Pay in many establishments.
Contactless payment (or tap-to-pay) is popular in the Netherlands, and no PIN is needed for payments below €100. Above that, you will have to use your PIN code.
Read about PIN and contactless payment and Google Pay/Apple Pay rules as they may change over time.
While not having to carry cash around keeps things simple and safe, we are advocates of having a bit of cash handy.
You might like to buy small items, a snack at a food stand, or a very small shop that won't accept credit or debit cards.
Read below at the bottom of the post what travelers from our Amsterdam Travel Tips Facebook Group have to say on the subject.
Exchange Rates for the Euro
Should you choose to exchange some of your home country's currency for euros, here are some things to know.
Some common conversions into euros are from the U.S. dollar (USD), the Canadian dollar (CAD), the British pound (GBP), and the Australian dollar (AUD).
As of early January 2024, these were the exchange rates apply for these currencies:
- $1 USD is equal to around €0.90 and $100 is equal to roughly €90.50
- £1 GBP is equal to about €1.15 and £100 is equal to approximately around €115.43
- $1 CAD is equal to around €0.68 and $100 is equal to about €68.39
- $1 AUD is equal to around €0.61 and $100 is equal to about €61.69
Remember that exchange rates change daily as they are related to international financial market conditions.
Before you arrive in Amsterdam, Netherlands, become familiar with the standard exchange rate worldwide by looking at this currency converter website, xe.com.
Exchanging Your Currency
If you are traveling between EU countries that use the euro, your money situation will be quite simple to navigate.
But if you’re coming from another part of the world that does not use the euro, you may need to exchange some currency.
Avoid exchanging currency at Schiphol Airport. The rates offered will be considerably less favorable than at other exchange services.
Plus, you will likely pay a service fee cutting into the amount of euros you will receive in exchange for your currency.
Similarly, rates will not be as good if you exchange from hotels, shops, or currency kiosks.
Withdrawing Cash From ATMs in Amsterdam
The most convenient way to get euros is by withdrawing them from ATMs (geldautomaten).
We prefer using the ATMs provided by the major banks as independent companies can charge higher fees.
These are ING, ABN AMRO, Rabobank, and SNS. Each has ATMs throughout the city.
They collaborate under one ATM system called Geldmaat. The machines are bright yellow.
Use this locator to find the nearest Geldmaat ATM.
For more information on using one of these ATMs, read this helpful Geldmaat website.
Good to know
- When given the option by the ATM what currency you want to receive your cash in, choose euros, not your home currency.
- All ATMs can dispense €50, €20, and €10 notes and some may have €5 notes.
- ATMs have a limit on the amount you can withdraw per transaction. At most machines, the amount is €2,000 per transaction.
- Most official bank-affiliated ATMs charge a €4 fee per transaction in addition to what your bank charges.
- It’s best to use your debit card at the ATM, and not a credit card as you will pay your credit card interest rate on that money.
- Many ATMs are not open overnight, closing at 23:00 (or earlier) and opening at 7:30. When you use the locator, check the hours of that ATM.
- Just as you would in your home country, exercise care when withdrawing cash, and take care to know who is around you.
REMINDER: Before you depart for your trip, let your bank and credit card companies know that you will be traveling overseas so they don't freeze your card when a foreign transaction pops up.
Currency Tips From Locals and Travelers
You don't have to rely on only us to tell you how to handle currency issues when there are loads of locals and tourists who also have first-hand knowledge.
Here are a few bits of advice from Amsterdam natives and tourists who are members of our Amsterdam Travel Tips Facebook Group.
By far, the most frequent currency question that came up was "Will I need cash?"
Here are many answers on the subject.
These two travelers and one local said that cash wasn't really necessary.
Travelers Eric and John made a good point about the need to get cash at an ATM only when you need some, and not bother bringing cash in advance.
Planning on going to Amsterdam in the winter? Here’s some money advice for shopping, especially at the fabulous Christmas markets!
For more helpful advice, check out our Amsterdam Travel Tips Group on Facebook. You can post your questions there and you will get plenty of replies with different perspectives!