Amsterdam's tap water is safe to drink.
- For minor health concerns, see a local drogist (chemist) or apotheek (pharmacy, to fill prescriptions).
- For more serious problems, go to the casualty ward of a ziekenhuis (hospital).
Contact the Centrale Doktersdiensten (Central Doctors Service; www.doktersdiensten.nl) for doctor, dentist or pharmacy referrals day or night.
A number of hospitals have 24-hour emergency facilities, including:
Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis At Oosterpark, near the Tropenmuseum. It's the closest public hospital to the centre of town.
VU Medisch Centrum Hospital of the Vrije Universiteit (Free University).
Forget about buying flu tablets and antacids at supermarkets; for anything stronger than toothpaste you'll have to go to a pharmacy.
After hours, call Informatie Dienstdoende Apotheken to find out which pharmacies are open nearest to you.
Before You Go
No vaccinations are required when travelling to Amsterdam, but the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination.
- The Netherlands has reciprocal health arrangements with other European countries and Australia. If you're a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) covers you for most medical care. If you qualify, make sure you arrange the paperwork in your home country prior to travelling to the Netherlands. You still might have to pay on the spot for medical services, but you should be able to claim it back at home.
- Citizens of other countries are advised to take out travel insurance.
- Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.