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Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you're new to Amsterdam or a long-term resident, there will be occasions when you require municipal information or have a specific question about life in Amsterdam that you can't easily solve on your own. Before contacting your local City Office or calling the Amsterdam city helpline on 14 020, check the list of questions below for some handy answers.

Frequently Asked Questions


I can't reach a service agent on the Amsterdam city helpline

If you have any municipal questions or complaints, the 14 020 helpline is open Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 18:00. Learn more about the 14 020 helpline.

If you have problems connecting to a service agent, you can try calling these alternative numbers:

  • 020-624 1111 (from within the Netherlands)
  • +31 (0)20 624 1111 (from abroad, also via Skype)

What are the municipal tax rates in Amsterdam?

Each year all residents and businesses in Amsterdam are responsible for paying municipal taxes (Gemeentebelastingen). These payments contribute towards maintaining and improving the welfare, facilities and quality of life throughout the city.

Each year, you will receive an invoice from the City of Amsterdam (written in Dutch). This notifies you of any taxes you are due to contribute to the city for the coming annual period. Your annual invoice contains a maximum of four types of tax:

  • Waste disposal levy or commercial waste collection charges
  • Property tax
  • Movable spaces tax
  • Sewerage charges

Please note: not everyone will be charged for all of the above types of tax. The types of municipal tax applied to you depend on your personal situation: whether you are a tenant or property owner, or whether the premises are residential or used by a business, etc. There are also additional taxes, such as dog tax and tourist tax (if you let out your home or apartment to tourists), but these are not included in the annual invoice. Learn more about the types of taxes in the Netherlands.

In order to estimate your annual municipal taxes, you can check the latest tariffs (in Dutch).

Is there only paid parking available in Amsterdam?

Almost all locations in Amsterdam require payment or a permit for on-street parking, however the parking rates vary by area.

Check out an interactive map showing the parking rates in Amsterdam by neighbourhood.

For more information about parking in Amsterdam, visit I amsterdam's parking information, including details of the P+R garages around the city and how to use them. Residents of Amsterdam can also learn more about parking permits.

What do I do if I lose my passport?

Firstly, if you have reason to believe that your passport may have been stolen, notify the local police as soon as you can. The contact numbers for the police in Amsterdam Metropolitan Area can be found here – if phoning, please use the non-emergency contact.

If you are a Dutch citizen and passport holder, you must fill in a declaration at your local City Office. Here you can also apply for a new passport.

If you are the holder of an international passport, you should contact the foreign embassy or consulate for your home nation. Please check this list of all embassies, consulates and representatives in the Netherlands.

Where can I go to get an approved passport photo?

Whenever a passport-style photo is required for official matters, such as to use on an identification card, it must meet precise standards and none of your facial features can be obscured. As such, it is always advisable to visit a professional photographer who will ensure a high standard.

At Amsterdam City Hall (Amstel 1), there is a professional photographer available, which you'll find on the covered street running through the heart of City Hall. Please note, this photographer does not take ID photos of babies.

At the City Offices in Nieuw-West, Oost, West and Zuid, you'll find a passport booth. A list of the City District offices with photo booths can be found here (in Dutch).

When are the waste collection points open?

Amsterdam is home to six special waste collection points (Afvalpunten). These are stations where you can deposit your bulky waste, construction and demolition waste, chemical waste, unwanted electronic/electrical goods, plastic, paper, glass for free. You can also take recyclable goods, products and furniture that will be reused by students or those less fortunate. The waste collection points are open six days per week (Mon-Sat 08:00-17:00). The locations are as follows:

  • Afvalpunt Meerkerkdreef (Meerkerkdreef 31, Tel: 020-409 5501)
  • Afvalpunt Papaverweg (Papaverweg 33, Tel: 020-637 0712)
  • Afvalpunt Rozenburglaan (Rozenburglaan 1, Tel: 020-463 2316)
  • Afvalpunt Seineweg (Seineweg 1, Tel: 020-253 7498)
  • Afvalpunt Cruquiusweg (Cruquiusweg 90, Tel: 020-463 2138)
  • Afvalpunt Henk Sneevlietweg (Henk Sneevlietweg 22, Tel: 020-408 4678

Learn more about refuse and recycling in Amsterdam.

Can I get married in Amsterdam for free?

In Amsterdam it is possible to get married in the municipal marriage halls of the City Offices for free. Please note however, there is a very limited availability for free ceremonies and these are usually booked up many months in advance. As of 2017, all offices will begin to standardise the options for free ceremonies, primarily on Tuesdays at 10:30, 10:50 or 11:10.

The list of the City Offices and the times of their free ceremonies can be found here. If you wish to request a free ceremony, you must do so in person at the City Office – not by telephone.

Learn more about registering a marriage in Amsterdam. More official information about getting married in Amsterdam is available in Dutch, including the latest costs.

Where is the official Lost & Found office in Amsterdam?

If you lose any items in Amsterdam, or indeed if you find an object lost by another, you can contact the official Lost & Found office (Gevonden Voorwerpen). This is a physical office at Leidseplein (Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 52) in the centre of Amsterdam. It is also possible to get in touch by telephone (+31 (0)20 251 0222), or to report found objects using the online system. For more information and the official opening hours, visit the City of Amsterdam's Lost & Found website.

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