When most people think of the Netherlands, visions of windmills, wooden shoes, tulips, bicycles and cheese spring to mind. And not without good reason! The Netherlands features all of these icons and then some more. No fewer than 50,000 of our buildings are listed monuments. We invented gin (jenever). And our DJs and artists are world famous.
The Netherlands in a nutshell
The Netherlands is located in western Europe with Belgium, Germany and the North Sea as neighbours. Vastly influenced by water, due to its low-lying land, dykes, windmills, canals and creative bridges are a regular sight. Its capital city, Amsterdam, with its historical attractions and UNESCO World Heritage recognized canal belt, is a favorite amongst tourists. Rotterdam, with its unique skyline, Gouda and it famous cheese, and the university city of Utrecht are also firm favorites. Not to forget our museums. They say the Netherlands has the largest museum density in the world.
While cheese buying and windmill viewing can be done throughout the year, there is one Dutch icon that relies on the season. The Dutch bulb fields. While greatly influenced by the weather, the bright red, pink and yellow colors sprout to life in the springtime. They are a real highlight of the Netherlands.
Things to do in the Netherlands
You'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding things to do in the Netherlands.
For windmills you can visit Kinderdijk or Zaanse Schans. The latter is perfect for catching a glimpse of traditional Dutch heritage. If you have timed your visit for the annual tulip season, then head to Keukenhof for more flowers than you could ever imagine. And to satisfy those cheese cravings, a visit to the Alkmaar cheese market is never a bad plan.
While in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, you won't want to miss the Rijksmuseum with its vast art collection. Inside you’ll find the well-known masterpiece, The Night Watch. Step back in history at the Anne Frank House to understand the time and place that created the world-famous diary. Relax on one of the many canal cruises, while you admire how Amsterdam looks when glimpsed from the water.
Head to Rotterdam, Netherlands to experience its unique and impressive architecture. From Cube Houses to a swan bridge, your eyes won't know where to look next. The city's covered market hall, the Markthal, is a perfect place to stop when your stomach starts to rumble. And head to the Euromast for a high-up overview of the city.
A trip to The Hague is not complete without visiting the Girl with the Pearl Earring at the Mauritshuis. If the weather is nice you can even head to the beach at Scheveningen. And don't forget a visit to Maastricht in the beautiful, slightly less flat, south of the country.
Visit the Netherlands
In a country that can be travelled around in less than a day, the Netherlands really is your oyster. Trains crisscross the country connecting major and minor locations with ease. You can even be in Rotterdam from Amsterdam in a mere 45 minutes.