Netherlands — Overview
Vincent Van Gogh once said, “I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people,” and nowhere does that statement ring more true than in his native homeland of the Netherlands. A glorious mix of age-old traditions, beautiful countryside, colorful, modern European communities, and warm, loving people await you in Amsterdam, The Netherlands’ most visited city, where you will find a network of stunning canals, charismatic squares and wonderful architecture, with a tram network running a ring around the cobblestone streets of the city center.
Among the city’s star attractions are the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, all serving to feed your hunger for culture. Outside the cities, the countryside of the Netherlands is truly breathtaking, with rolling green hills and meadows dotted with quaint villages, charming windmills, attractive dykes, and beautiful church steeples. Unline many other European countries, farming and agriculture continue to play a leading part in Dutch society and are pivotal to the success of so many small communities.
The Netherlands is home to many picturesque villages, traditional towns and fascinating cities. Rivaling Amsterdam for culture and attraction, Utrecht is home to a host of festivals and events, with an amazing arts scene and collection of tall cathedrals and spectacular windmills. Further south is Rotterdam, the country’s most romantic city, where age-old beauty in the form of canals, castles and ancient buildings has been married with tasteful modern developments and contemporary structures.
Despite great national pride, many Dutch are proud to be Europeans, with European politics and current affairs often the topic of conversation over local or national matters. Though the Dutch can be somewhat reserved, at heart they are family oriented, treasuring friendships and relationships. They also love the arts and expression, and the country has produced a number of world famous painters including Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer.
Getting around the Netherlands couldn’t be simpler as public transportation is cheap and hassle-free. There is an impressive rail network, as well as many coach and bus companies, all helping to link the many cities and places within the small nation. Inner-city travel is just as easy, with taxis, trams and buses running all hours of the day and night. If you want the authentic Dutch experience, rent a bicycle to cruise in style.
- Explore the canals and squares of Amsterdam city center
- Take a midday stroll around the traditional Hague Market
- Attend one of the many festivals in Utrecht
- Go on a cycling adventure through the windmills and tulip fields
- Enjoy a romantic weekend around the port of Rotterdam
- Watch a soccer match at the Amsterdam Arena
- Take the Gouda cheese tour
- Explore the amazing waterways of Amsterdam and Utrecht