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Power converter: Electricity in Amsterdam, Holland

You may need a power converter in the Netherlands

It’s a fact of life when you travel: you will encounter different ‘types’ of electricity, plugs, and electrical outlets.

Electrical power in Amsterdam, the rest of the Netherlands, and in most of Western Europe runs on a cycle of 50hz, and a voltage of 230 Volt, alternating current. In North America, power runs at 60hz/110 Volt.

The voltage in England is 230 Volt and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Therefore you may need to bring a travel converter and/or power plug adapters for such electronics as your curling set, battery chargers, electric shaver, powered lens cleaning kit, and cell phone.

You may need to bring several voltage converters and/or adapter plugs if you anticipate needing to operate these items concurrently.

Power-, Voltage-, or Travel Converters?

Basically, they all refer to the same product. You can use power converter and voltage converter interchangeably. Amazon.com sells them under the title of power converters. Some people search for transformers instead.

What most travelers actually want is a so-called travel converter.

If you’re only planning to visit Amsterdam, the Netherlands (‘Holland’), or any country in Western Europe on your next trip, you will only need a European travel power converter

Here’s the one we use:

Plug Adapters

Even if the product you bring can operate on dual voltage, you will still need plug adapters, because European plugs have different shapes depending on which country you visit.

Converters usually include a range of plug adapters. But plug adapters themselves do not convert power.

There are lots of fancy, ‘pretty’ plug adapters out there, but in our experience this lightweight set is all you need:

Knowing what to pack

Here’s how to determine what you need to buy and bring:

  • Check how many of your electronics need a travel converter
  • Check how many of them you want to charge at the same time
  • Purchase one or more converters accordingly
  • Check how many of your electronics run on dual voltage (and therefore do not need converters)
  • Check how many of them you want to charge at the same time
  • Purchase one or more sets of plug adapters accordingly

Most travel converters come with international plugs and adapters, but you may need extra sets for those electronic items that already come with built-in converters (e.g. electronic shavers).

Dual Power Caution

If your laptop, shaver, electronic toothbrush or other electronic item comes with dual-power compatibility, make sure you know how to use the equipment in another country. Some electronics — including most mobile phone chargers — switch automatically. Others need you to manually change a switch.

Consult the manual that came with your equipment. If you no longer have it, look for a voltage switch or dial on the back of the item.

This article is part of our Amsterdam Visitors Guide

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This post was last updated: Dec. 1, 2018