The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outgoing international dialling code is 00, so to call the USA replace 00 1 with +1 and for the UK replace 00 44 with +44.
The mobile phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The cellular phone networks are operated by KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile; the other operators use one of these 3 networks. The networks are of high quality and cover all corners of the Netherlands. If you bring your own mobile phone (GSM) to make (or receive) calls while in the Netherlands, you should check your provider’s roaming rates, as they vary widely. Receiving calls on a mobile phone with a Dutch SIM card is free in most cases; if you use a foreign SIM card, charges will apply as the call will theoretically be routed through your home country. It may be cheaper to buy a prepaid SIM card that you insert into your mobile phone, or even to buy a very cheap package of prepaid card and phone. Providers that specialise in discounted rates abroad include Lyca, Lebara, Ortel and Vectone.
To benefit from cheap international calls from the Netherlands, you can use cheap dial-up services like Qazza, BelBazaar, pennyphone, SlimCall, telegoedkoop, beldewereld, teleknaller. Bypass services are available directly from any landline in the Netherlands. No contract or registration is required. Most numbering services offer the United States, Canada, Western Europe and many other countries for the price of a local call, so you can easily save on your telephone costs. They also work from public phones.
There are only a few public pay phones left in the Netherlands. They are mostly found in railway stations. Telfort booths accept coins, while most KPN booths only accept prepaid cards or credit cards. Some new public telephones have been installed that accept coins again. Note that tariffs (per unit or call duration) may differ between public phones in a truly public area and the same types of equipment in a more public-private area.
0800 numbers are free, while 09xx numbers are charged at a premium. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to mobile phones are also charged at higher rates. The (national) directory enquiry services can be reached via 1888, 1850 and various other “directory enquiry” numbers. Prices vary depending on the operator, but are usually quite high, more than one euro per call, as well as charges per second. The international directory enquiries service can be reached on 0900 8418 (Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, €0.90 per minute). You can also find telephone numbers free of charge on the internet at Telefoonboek.nl, De Telefoongids.nl and for opening hours at Openingstijden.nl or OpeningstijdenGids.nl.
Access to the Internet
With the exception of some low-end providers, all mobile operators support GPRS. KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile offer UMTS (and HSDPA) services in almost all parts of the country, with 4G coverage almost complete with most providers. Dutch sim cards are also available with mobile internet access, usually starting at €10 for 1 GB and valid for one month. Internet cafés are becoming increasingly rare, but can still be found in major cities and usually offer international phone boxes. Many public libraries offer internet access, usually for a fee. Wireless internet access via Wi-Fi is quite widespread. It is usually free in pubs, restaurants and many attractions. In hotels the situation is different: in some cases the service is free, in others the prices are high. Free Wi-Fi is available in many major train stations, on an increasing number of NS intercity trains, on some other operators’ local trains and on some regional buses, and Schiphol offers limited free service and better (and longer) paid use.