Electricity in the Netherlands

Do You Need an Adapter, a Converter, or Both for Your American Electronics?

On my first solo trip to Europe, I not only over-packed but - little did I know - some of the electrical devices I had taken would turn out positively useless, even after some cursory research into the European power system. In the hopes that fewer of you will repeat my experiences, here are a few tips and resources on electricity in the Netherlands and Europe from across the About Travel Channel.

First off, the Netherlands has different wall sockets than in the U.S. This means that visitors who plan to use their American electrical or electronic devices in the Netherlands will at least need the correct adapter, i.e. to convert American power plugs into the common European ones used in the Netherlands.

Not only is the plug shape different, however, but Europe's electrical current runs at 220 volts, twice that of the American standard at 110 volts. While some electrical and electronic devices are dual- or multi-voltage, those that aren't will require a power converter to be able to run on a European current.

To learn more about the difference between adapters and converters, with pictures of the necessary adapters and instructions on how to determine which items require a converter, see European Electricity and the Connected Tourist. For the more visually-inclined, these two useful videos cover the essentials of electricity in Europe:

  • Electricity in Europe Basics
  • Distinguishing Between Plug Adapters and Power Converters

Unsure of which power adapter to choose? Have a look at Europe Travel's list recommended power adapters, each suited for different travel needs.

As a writer, I rarely travel without my laptop or tablet, and I'm sure the same is true for many readers.

 These last two articles help travelers keep their laptop, smart phone or other mobile devices powered up - not to mention online - while on the road: