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The flat country, in addition to its lack of geographical relief, has the peculiarity of being close to the sea, which it has encroached upon for building.

Amsterdam, the capital, instills a desire for romantic walks along its canals, nights with a beer in its many pubs, exploration of the Royal Palace and the Historical Museum as well as its famous Red district.

Maastricht, whose name has become known worldwide thanks to the famous treaty, is the oldest city in the country, still surrounded by the centuries-old fortifications. Charming narrow streets border the Meuse.

In the north, the Wadden islands welcome all kinds of birds and are appreciated for their unspoiled nature, their beaches, and picturesque villages, the locally preferred holiday resorts for a peaceful break.

Hoge Veluwe is a huge National Park: It has over five thousand acres and is also home to the Kröller-Müller Museum which boasts a great quantity of paintings by Van Gogh, but also works by other artists like Picasso and Fernand Léger as well as sculptures by Rodin and Giacometti. Forests and heaths dotted with shifting sands are home to wild red deer, mountain sheep, and wild boars.



Top destinations in the Netherlands are:

  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam
  • Utrecht
  • The Hague
  • Groningen
  • Maastricht
  • Haarlem
  • Delft
  • Leiden
  • Lisse
  • Eindhoven
  • Hoge Veluwe National Park


Weather in the Netherlands

The best period to visit the Netherland is from May to September.


The Netherlands enjoys a temperate climate, with relatively mild summers and moderately cold winters. The best time to visit, if you’d like to see the country’s tulips in bloom, is roughly mid-March to mid-May. Generally speaking, temperatures rise the further south you go. This is offset by the prevailing westerlies that sweep in from the North Sea, making the wetter coastal provinces both warmer in winter and colder in summer than the eastern provinces, where the more severe climate of continental Europe has an influence. As far as rain is concerned, be prepared for it at any time of year.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of the Netherlands


Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities’ Journey) Friesland Annual ice-skating marathon along the frozen rivers of Friesland, starting and finishing in Leeuwarden. Weather permitting.


Holland Flowers Festival Enkhuizen The world’s largest covered flower show held over five days in late February.

Lent carnivals All sorts of shenanigans at the beginning of Lent in Breda, ’s Hertogenbosch, Maastricht, and other southern towns. Late Feb to early March.


Keukenhof Gardens Lisse World-renowned floral displays in the bulb fields and hothouses of this large, sprawling park. Late March to late May.


Alkmaar Cheese Market Alkmaar Held every Friday (10am–12.30pm), from the first Friday in April to the first Friday in September.

ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam Popular long-distance run beginning in the city center. Held on a Sunday in April.

King’s Day (Koningsdag) Nationwide (April 27). This is one of the most popular dates in the Dutch diary, a street event par excellence. Celebrations in honor of the king take place throughout the Netherlands, but festivities in Amsterdam tend to be the wildest of the lot, with the city’s streets and canals lined with people dressed in ridiculous costumes. Anything goes, especially if it’s orange – the Dutch national color. This is also the one day of the year when goods can be bought and sold tax-free to anyone on the streets, and numerous stalls are set up in front of people’s houses.


Scheveningen Sand Sculpture Festival Scheveningen Hard-working teams descend on the resort from all over Europe to create amazing sand sculptures, which are left for three weeks for visitors to admire. May to mid-June.

Herdenkingsdag (Remembrance Day) There’s wreath-laying all over the country and a two-minute silence is widely observed in honor of the Dutch dead of World War II. May 4.

Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) The country celebrates the 1945 liberation from German occupation with music, outdoor festivals, and processions. May 5.

Breda Jazz Festival Breda Has open-air concerts and street parades over four days in late May.

Pinkpop festival Landgraaf, near Maastricht A top-ranking, three-day open-air rock festival held at the end of May.


Holland Festival Amsterdam This month-long performing arts festival covers all aspects of both national and international music, theatre, dance, and contemporary arts. Throughout June.

Oerol Festival Terschelling A ten-day event featuring theatre and stand-up comedy; mid- to late June.


North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam Outstanding three-day jazz festival showcasing international names as well as local talent. Multiple stages and a thousand musicians. Mid-July.

Woodstock69 Bloemendaal aan Zee Festival held on Bloemendaal beach and featuring live percussion, dance acts, and plenty of revelries. Begins in April and runs through to September, but July and August are the busiest – and best – months. There are daily shows in high season, weekend shows in the shoulder season.

Internationale Vierdaagse Afstandmarsen Nijmegen One of the world’s largest walking events, with over 30,000 participants walking 30–50km per day over four days. Late July.


Sneek Week An international sailing event in Sneek, with around 1000 boats competing in over thirty classes. Early Aug.

Amsterdam Gay Pride Amsterdam The city’s gay community celebrates with street parties and performances, as well as a “Canal Pride” flotilla of boats parading along the Prinsengracht. First or second weekend.

Grachtenfestival Amsterdam For nine days, international musicians perform classical music at historic locations in the city center. Includes the Prinsengrachtconcert, one of the world’s most prestigious open-air concerts, featuring a stage over the canal and a promenading audience. Mid-August.


Open Monumentendag (Open Monument Day) For two days in September, monuments and historical attractions that are normally closed or have restricted opening times throw open their doors to the public for free. Second weekend.


Amsterdam Marathon Amsterdam Popular city marathon starting and finishing inside the Olympic Stadium and passing through the city center along the way. Held in early/mid-Oct.


Crossing Border The Hague Four-day festival that aims to cross artistic boundaries with performances by over a hundred international acts presenting the spoken word in various forms, from rap to poetry. Second or third week.

Parade of Sint Nicolaas Amsterdam. The traditional parade of Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) through the city on his white horse, starting from behind Centraal Station where he arrives by steamboat, before proceeding down the Damrak towards Rembrandtplein accompanied by his helpers, the Zwarte Pieten (“Black Peters”) – so-called because of their blackened faces – who hand out sweets and little presents. It all finishes on the Leidseplein. Second or third Sunday.

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam Arguably the world’s largest documentary film festival, held over ten days in Amsterdam and showing around 250 domestic and international documentaries. Mid- to late November.


Pakjesavond (Present Evening) Nationwide. Pakjesavond, rather than Christmas Day, is when Dutch kids receive their Christmas presents. If you’re in the Netherlands on that day and have Dutch friends, it’s worth knowing that it’s traditional to give a presentation together with an amusing poem you have written caricaturing the recipient. For the children, legend asserts that presents are dropped down the chimney by Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) as Sinterklaas rides across the rooftops on his white horse. Traditionally, kids sing songs to make Sinterklaas happy in the weeks before Pakjesavond as there is always the chance of being caught by Zwarte Piet (if you haven’t been good) and sent to Spain – where Sinterklaas lives – in a brown bag. December 5.



To travel within the country trains or buses are available, although they are quite expensive. The most practical means of transportation remains the bicycle: There are a lot of bicycle lanes, ubiquitous road signs for cyclists, all combine to make you choose the bicycle in preference to all other means of transportation.

by plane, the main airports are:

by train

by car


health tips & vaccination: none

local currency: European euro

local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)

electricity: type C and type F (230 V – 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:


typical food in the Netherlands

  • Fish and Shellfish: Lobster, Mixed grilled fish of daily catch, Hollandse Nieuwe Haring, raw herring fillets accompanied by pickles and onions or Smoked eel, (gerookte paling);
  • Erwtensoep, thick pea soup flavored with sausage, makes a filling repast; some version of it is often served by the local pub in winter;
  • Vlaamse Frites (French fries) is a popular snack, customarily served with a gob of mayonnaise, though curry or peanut sauce are more exotic toppings;
  • Poffertjes, tiny pancakes often laced with Grand Marnier and dusted with confectioners sugar–are a teatime favourite;
  • Stamppot, is a hearty, traditional mash-up of potatoes with endive, turnips or some other earthy vegetable, customarily accompanied by smoked sausage;
  • Poffertjes, small, fluffy pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour, typically served topped with powdered sugar and butter;
  • Appeltaart, an apple pie with dough on top and bottom, filled with chunks of apple-flavored with cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice;
  • Bitterballen, crunchy balls of a mixture of chopped beef, beef broth, flour, butter, herbs, and spices, battered in a crunchy breadcrumb, typically served with mustard for dipping;
  • Rookworst, sausage made of ground meat mixed with spices and salt and is often served with dishes such as stamppot;
  • Poffertjes, small, fluffy pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour, typically served topped with powdered sugar and butter;
  • Appeltaart, an apple pie with dough on top and bottom, filled with chunks of apple-flavored with cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice;
  • Stroopwafels, waffle cookie made from two thin layers of batter with a sticky syrup filling in the middle;
  • Chocoladeletters, Dutch candy made of chocolate in the form of a letter.
  • Koffie Verkeerd, a hot cup of coffee with a lot of warm milk with steamed milk on top;
  • Goudse Kaas, the typical Gouda cheese
  • Beer

souvenirs from the Netherlands

  • Wooden clogs;
  • Delft blue and white pottery;
  • Flower and Tulip bulbs;
  • China kissing kids;
  • Design, art, and antiques;
  • Stroopwafels, Edam and Gouda cheese, beerJenever (Dutch Gin)


Hello: Hallo

Goodbye: Vaarwel

How are you?: Hoe gaat het met je?

Thank you: Dank je

What is your name?: Wat is jouw naam?

How much is it?: Hoeveel is het?

Sorry: Sorry

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