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Introducing The Netherlands

Tradition and innovation connect here: artistic masterpieces, windmills, tulips and candlelit cafés concur with stunning architecture, cutting-edge design and impressive nightlife.

Although almost half of it was once under water, the Netherlands is one of the most urbanised – and densely populated – nations on earth, with a huge range of places to visit packed into a relatively small area.

The flat scenic landscapes make cycling in the Netherlands a pleasure.

Visit Amsterdam – The capital and centre of tourism in Holland, Amsterdam is as beautiful and serene as it is crazy. There’s lovely canals, beautiful houses, great shops, food, and, of course, the infamous red light district.

Take a canal tour – Whether in Amsterdam or in another city, make sure you take a canal tour and see the canals that made the area famous and inhabitable.

Explore Rotterdam – As Amsterdam’s industrious rival, Rotterdam may not get all the attention Amsterdam does but the city is a great place if you want good shops, great architecture, and a chance to learn about the famous harbour locks. Rotterdam is one of the busiest shipping ports in the entire world.

Wander historic Haarlem – Take a stroll through the old, upper-class homes of the rich and famous and visit the old homes of the merchant class that helped build the city.

Find culture in Den Haag (The Hague) – Filled with a lot of worldwide court bodies such as the International Criminal Court, this city is a hub of international life as it’s a centre of European justice. You can see the Queen’s office here and visit the old castle and palace. Moreover, The Hague is located right on the beach, so lounging on the sand and strolling the boardwalk are popular summer activities.

Celebrate King’s Day – Every year on April 30th, the Dutch used to celebrate the birthday of their queen Juliana. However, in 2013, Queen Beatrix passed the throne to her son, Willem Alexander and Queen’s Day became King’s Day. It’s a national holiday filled with outdoor concerts, lots of orange, lots of drinking, and celebrating on the canals.

Stroll through beautiful Leiden – Head to this small town near Amsterdam, and see where the Pilgrims lived before they left for America. It’s a very historic city and filled with beautiful 17th-century buildings and parks.

Visit Edam – A picture-perfect town with windmills, farmland, and quaint houses where the famous Dutch cheese gets its name. It’s one of the more quintessential Dutch towns.

Hoge Veluwe National Park – Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest national reserve in the Netherlands. It is home not only for drift-sands, wild deer and other animals but also to the Kröller-Müller Museum, the repository of Helene Kröller-Müller’s art collection.

Kick back in Maastricht – One of the southernmost towns in the The Netherlands, this city is famous for having the country’s only “mountain.” It’s really more of a hill though and doesn’t take long to climb. But this hardly-ever visited city is a great place to see Dutch life away from hoards of tourists.

Visit Delft – This is a fascinating little town, making it the perfect destination for a day trip. There are a few interesting sights here, including the Municipal Museum het Prinsenhof, Nieuwe Kerk, De Zeven Zonden, and of course, the trademark blue and white pottery. The town lies between The Hague and Rotterdam.

Admire the art at the Van Gogh Museum – Open since 1973, this museum is host to over 500 original works by Vincent Van Gogh, in addition to several works by some of his contemporaries and beloved friends. The exhibits chronicle his life span, showing the progress and development of his work, alongside Gaugain, Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec. Note: Pre-book tickets online to avoid massive queues when you arrive.

In spring and summer the bulb fields provide bold splashes of colour, and in the west and north the long coastline is marked by mile upon mile of protective dune, backing onto wide stretches of perfect sandy beach. Today the Netherlands is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest population density in Europe. Most people speak English, at least in the heavily populated west of the country