The Netherlands is often referred to by the name Holland. This terminology is not complete, as the provinces of North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country’s twelve provinces.
The Netherlands is a densely populated and geographically low-lying country and is popularly known for its windmills, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), dikes, tulips, bicycles and social tolerance. Its policies are liberal toward drugs, prostitution, same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia.
The country is host to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the European Union’s criminal intelligence agency (Europol) at The Hague.
The Netherlands is a country with a rich cultural heritage and diverse natural landscapes, offering visitors a wide range of tourist highlights. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in the Netherlands:
- Amsterdam: The capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a vibrant city known for its beautiful canals, world-renowned museums, and lively nightlife. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Anne Frank House and the Royal Palace, or stroll through the city’s charming neighborhoods and parks. The capital Amsterdam has Europe’s largest and best-preserved historic centre. In Amsterdam you will find it’s famous canals, Rembrandt, hashish and red lanterns, the epicentre of liberal attitudes. It is truly one of the world’s most alluring cities, with hundreds of 17th century houses, canals and museums where masters such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt are on permanent display. The tiny towns and villages just outside Amsterdam, e.g. Volendam, offer a rich tradition with locals sometimes still wearing traditional garb and wooden shoes. Marvel over typical Dutch landscapes with windmills, dikes and in late spring millions of blooming tulips.
- Keukenhof Gardens: Located in Lisse, the Keukenhof Gardens are a world-famous attraction known for their stunning displays of colorful tulips and other spring flowers. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens, which cover over 32 hectares of land.
- Van Gogh Museum: The Van Gogh Museum, located in Amsterdam, is a must-visit attraction for art lovers. The museum houses the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s works in the world, as well as works by other artists from the same era.
- The Hague: The Hague is the political center of the Netherlands and home to several important international institutions, including the International Court of Justice. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Binnenhof, the Peace Palace, and the Escher Museum.
- Rotterdam: Rotterdam is a modern and vibrant city known for its innovative architecture and bustling port. Visitors can explore iconic landmarks such as the Erasmus Bridge and the Markthal, or visit world-class museums such as the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.
- Kinderdijk Windmills: The Kinderdijk Windmills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Rotterdam. Visitors can explore the 19 traditional windmills, which were built in the 18th century to manage water levels in the low-lying areas of the Netherlands.
- Utrecht: Utrecht is a charming university town located in the heart of the Netherlands. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Dom Tower and the Rietveld Schröder House, or stroll through the city’s picturesque canals and parks.
Even more information:
- Guidor – Tourist Guide Organization – Information about the Guidor Tourist Guide Organisation and the possibility to book a guide.
- Holland.com – Travel information catered to people around the world. Information on museums? Pretend to be from Canada.
- Lonely Planet – Netherlands – Comprehensive facts and advice for traveling along with background material on the culture and history of the country.
- PlanetWare – Netherlands Tourism – Information about tourism and tourist related websites.
- Travel.State.Gov – Netherlands – Offers travel information including Quick Facts, embassies and consulates, entry and exit requirements, safety and security, local laws, health, transportation and Fact Sheet. From the U.S. Department of State.
- World Travel Guide – Netherlands – Tourist and business travel information with facts on climate, visa, health, passport, currency and customs requirements.