The old center of Amsterdam -- filled with narrow cobbled streets, steep humpback bridges, zillions of little barrier pillars called Amsterdammertjes, and bicycles parked all over the place -- can be hard going. But many hotels and restaurants provide easy access for people with disabilities, and some display the international wheelchair symbol in their brochures. It's always a good idea to call ahead to find out about accommodations before you book; bear in mind that many older hotels have steep, narrow stairways and no elevators. Many, but not all, museums and other sites are wheelchair accessible, wholly or partly, and some have adapted toilets. Call ahead to check on accessibility at sites you wish to visit.
Schiphol Airport has a service to help travelers with disabilities through the airport. Not all trams in Amsterdam are easily accessible for wheelchairs, but newer trams have low doors that are accessible, and most buses are accessible. The Metro system is fully accessible, but that's not as good as it sounds because few Metro stations are near places where visitors want to go. Taxis are also difficult, but the new minivan taxis are an improvement. Call ahead to book a wheelchair-accessible cab from Taxi Centrale Amsterdam (tel. 020/677-7777).
There's comprehensive assistance for travelers on Netherlands Railways trains and in stations. Call tel. 030/235-7822 for information, or visit www.ns.nl. Give this organization a day's notice of your journey (by visiting a station or calling ahead) and they'll arrange for assistance along the way.
A good source of travel-related information in the Netherlands is the ANWB Disabled Department (tel. 070/314-1420; www.anwb.nl).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.