Canals, Windmills And Beer Await You Again In The Netherlands 

Aug 30, 2021, 20:22 IST

netherlands for indians main

The Netherlands welcomes Indian travellers again all you need is to be vaccinated with Covishield 

Indian travellers will be happy to know that the Government of the Netherlands is now ready to welcome desi seekers of all things beautiful. Updated travel requirements for Indians have been released and the good news is that fully-vaccinated travellers can apply for any type of visa. 

Happily, India has been moved to the list of Very High-Risk Countries from the previous Virus Variant Countries list. 

Currently, the Dutch government only recognises the Covishield vaccine for Indian travellers, so travellers who have had two doses of Covishield are eligible to apply for any visa category with prior appointment.

The embassy has tweeted that travellers vaccinated with Covaxin or who have not been vaccinated can only travel if they fall under one of the EU entry ban exemptions. These travellers will have to carry a recent negative RT-PCR test report, and mandatorily self-quarantine for 10 days even if they are vaccinated. A fine will be imposed in case they do not comply with the rules.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

Here are some other factors that Indian travellers must keep in mind when planning to visit the Netherlands.

  • There is a European entry ban in place for some travellers from high-risk areas. If the purpose of your trip falls into an exemption category,  you’re good to go. If you are fully vaccinated with Covishield, you are probably exempted from the European Union entry ban.
  • You will need to mandatorily quarantine yourself at home or in an accommodation option for 10 days if you are travelling to or returning to the country after staying in a high-risk country  yes, even if you have been vaccinated. You will need to display a completed, printed and signed quarantine declaration. You might be able to shorten the quarantine period if you test negative on day 5 of the 10-day period. You might also be exempt from the quarantine requirement depending on your trip purpose. 
  • Everyone 12 years and over must carry a negative COVID-19 test result  even if you are fully vaccinated. There are different requirements for  this negative test result depending on the mode of travel you use to arrive in the Netherlands.
  • Additionally, if you are flying in  as most of us will be  you must fill in and carry a health declaration. Some airlines have a facility for you to complete this declaration digitally when you check in for your flight. This is applicable to everyone above 13 years of age. 

You’re In For A Different Experience...

Sadly, travelling these days involves so much more than just checking if your bank account could support a much-deserved break. Taking a holiday in the time of the pandemic means so much planning, so much leave in case of a quarantine, and a whole lot of much-warranted worry about social distancing and sanitation. 

From that point of view, it is perhaps good that we are going into that part of the year that works in our favour. 

There is a reason why June, July and August are the high season period to visit the Netherlands. This is when you will find everything is open, and you can enjoy a coffee on a cafe terrace or even a bike ride through the countryside in the best of weather. On the flip side, you will also find that prices are high, accommodations are difficult to get if you didn’t book early enough and, since crowds tend to follow good weather, lots of people around - yes, even in the pandemic. 

So, the high season is done with for this year, but, if you get a visa quickly and get to the Netherlands in September, you’ll still catch the end of summer. We think you’re more likely to make your Dutch foray in October, where you will be greeted by autumn and a beautiful kaleidoscope of Fall colours in the parks and gardens across the country.

sm netherlands for indians vondelpark


September and October make up the shoulder season for the Netherlands (as, incidentally, do April and May). The weather will still be mild (at least in September), but can also be wet and cold, so you will need some warm clothes, especially if you want to sit out on cafe terraces. You will find that the lines at the attractions are not as long as in high season, and the prices for food and accommodation are more low season, and, so, more pocket-friendly. If you’re feeling like experiencing something really different after our prolonged bout of cabin fever, why not take a chance and go in the low season  November to March? The days are shorters, the nights much colder. Also on the menu are a series of cultural events  Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) arriving in Amsterdam on December 5 marks the beginning of the festive season  and you might just get snow. You will find a different sort of magic in the Netherlands in winter, with public ice skating rinks, Christmas celebrations and New Year’s Eve marked with massive fireworks displays over the Amstel in Amsterdam. Accommodation rates are much lower, and it is a very different world that not many visitors from India experience. 

Something For The Family

Amsterdam especially seems made for travelling with kids – and will also delight the child in you. High up on the family-friendly menu are Vondelpark and the NEMO Science Museum. Vondelpark (above) is a green space where you can let your kids run free. You will find picnic spots, lakes, outdoor cafes and a concert ground for summer performances. There are many family-friendly cafes, and you can rent bikes to explore. The NEMO Science Museum is five storeys packed with workshops, exhibitions and demonstrations, and the best part: everything is interactive, so you don’t need to hold your breath as the children find their way around. Don’t miss the sloping roof that has a cafe, water fountains and great views on offer.

sm netherlands for indians stroopwafels

Other things kids will be excited about include the swing on the sky deck at the
A’dam Lookout atop A’dam Tower;  a ride on the Pannenkoekenboot (think an unlimited pancake buffet and a ball pool on the boat); and the outdoor play areas at the Amsterdamse Bos. The tram system in the city is also designed to take the ouch out of travelling with kids. There is a spot on every tram for strollers and prams, kids under four travel free, while four- to 11-year-olds enjoy reduced fares. And, of course, with family or without, don’t miss out on yummy stroopwafels (above),

Images: Shutterstock 

Also see: Travel with food: Mosterdsoep from The Netherlands