Face masks are required on public transportation and social distancing requirements are likely to remain in place through August.

By Meena Thiruvengadam
June 25, 2021
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American travelers are once again welcome to stroll Amsterdam's gorgeous canals, peruse art at its world-famous museums and stop and smell its colorful tulips.

The Netherlands officially reopened its border to U.S. travelers on Thursday without having to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or take a COVID-19 test prior to their departure. There also are no requirements for travelers to quarantine once they arrive in the Netherlands.

Still, travelers should expect a different experience than they may remember. Face masks are required on public transportation and social distancing requirements are likely to remain in place through August.

Concert halls, cinemas, and sporting venues across the Netherlands are cleared to reopen on Saturday. Curfews limiting alcohol purchases and public drinking also will lift on Saturday.

In Amsterdam, tours of the city's famous red-light district are no longer allowed. While tourists still are allowed to visit Amsterdam's marijuana lounges, there have been renewed efforts to curb that access and to move the city's red-light windows to the suburbs.

Pedestrian wear face masks on a street in the center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Credit: Remko de Waal/Getty Images

The Netherlands is among several European countries rolling out the proverbial welcome mat for American visitors. Greece began welcoming U.S. travelers in May. Spain, France, Germany, and Portugal began welcoming U.S. travelers earlier this month.

Vaccination rates have been rising in both the U.S. and Europe, helping to drive down infection rates and push governments to ease lockdowns and return to some semblance of normalcy during a crucial summer travel season.

The Netherlands has reported nearly 1.7 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 17,000 deaths, according to the latest available data from the World Health Organization. It has so far administered 14 million COVID-19 vaccines, the WHO data shows.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.