It’s said that the biggest fear one has it that of public peaking. For me, my biggest fear is not having cellular service, and not being able to connect while on the go.

So, how does one connect while in Netherlands

Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go:

Netherlands phone photo

Photo by FaceMePLS

The international calling code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00, so to call the US, substitute 001 for +1 and for the UK 00 44 for +44. The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The cell phone networks are operated by KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile; other operators use one of these 3 networks. The networks are high quality and cover every corner of the Netherlands. With the exception of some low-end service providers, all mobile operators support GPRS. KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile offer UMTS (and HSDPA) service in almost all parts of the country.

There are few public phone booths left in the Netherlands. They are mostly found at train stations. Telfort booths accept coins, whereas most KPN booths accept only prepaid cards or cr cards. Some new public phones have been installed which accept coins again. Be aware of public phones in a more public area as well as the same types in a more public-private area, where tarrifs (per unit or amount of calling time) can differ. (National) Directory Inquiries can be reached -since 2007- on 1888, 1850 and various other ‘Inquiry-operators’. Rates differ by operator, but are usually rather high, more than €1 per call, as well as per-second charges. International Directory Inquiries can be reached on 0900 8418 (Mon-Fri 8AM-8PM, €0.90 per minute).

Phone numbers can also be found on the Internet, free of charge, on Telefoonboek.nl , De Telefoongids.nl and for opening times visit Openingstijden.nl . 0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates. If you’re bringing your own (GSM) cell phone, using your existing plan to call (or receive calls) whilst in the Netherlands can be very expensive due to “roaming” charges. Receiving phone calls on a cell phone using a Dutch SIM card is free in most cases; charges apply if you’re using a foreign SIM card, as the call is theoretically routed through your country of origin.

It’s cheaper to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card to insert into your GSM phone, or even to buy a very cheap pay-as-you-go card+phone bundle. For example: lyca , lebara , ortel and vectone are providers that specialize in cheap rates to foreign countries. targets those traveling through multiple countries. To enjoy cheap international calls from the Netherlands you can use low-cost dial-around services such as Qazza , BelBazaar , pennyphone , SlimCall , telegoedkoop , beldewereld , teleknaller Dial-around services are directly available from any landline in the Netherlands. No contract, no registration is required. Most dial-around services offer USA, Canada, Western Europe and many other countries at the price of a local call so you can save on your phone expenses easily.

They also work from public payphones. Internet cafés can be found in most cities, usually they also provide international calling booths. Many public libraries provide Internet access. Wireless Internet access using Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly popular and is available in many hotels, pubs, stations and on Schiphol, either for free, or at extortionate prices through one of the national “networks” of hotspots.

Other tips on staying connected while in Netherlands? Please add your comments and tips.