Population: 17.1 million people
Currency: Euro (EUR)
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a small state in northwestern Europe, located on the coast of the North Sea. More than half of the territory is below sea level, which explains the name of the country (the Netherlands is translated from Dutch as “Lowlands”). The kingdom is known for its cultural heritage, windmills, tulips and the most liberal atmosphere in Europe. This is one of the most picturesque states in Western Europe with an unusual nature, many castles and ancient cities.
The Netherlands is often called Holland, after the large provinces on the west coast – North and South Holland, which played an important role in the country’s history.
The Dutch themselves are a very friendly nation, with a good sense of humor and a desire to get as much out of life as possible.
We recommend starting your acquaintance with Amsterdam – the city of flowers. This is a real treasure trove for painting lovers. A walk along the canals of the capital will leave an unforgettable experience. The water offers a wonderful view of colorful houses, parks and streets. The further from the center, the more colorful the architecture becomes. Some houses are so narrow that it is difficult to imagine how people live in them. There are even “falling” houses, which are only held together by the buildings that support them on both sides.
After enjoying the versatility of Amsterdam, head to the less popular cities of Groningen, Maastricht or Eindhoven. Sip a cold beer in a pub with friendly locals and visit first-class restaurants, small breweries and museums filled with masterpieces. Wherever you go, you can take a break from the noise of the big city.
Explore the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meet alpine cows on a hike through the Veluve, or sail on one of the many Frisian lakes.
How do you manage to do all this? Of course, as the locals do it – by bike. There are always bike lanes on the roads and city streets; there are special bike parking lots at almost every corner.
The construction of a network of cycle paths does not stop for a minute, and the total length is currently more than 35,000 km.
How to get here
The Netherlands has three major airports located in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. The busiest of them is Schiphol, located 18 km from the capital. It is the largest airport in the Netherlands.
The second busiest airport is located 7 km west of Eindhoven. There are no regular flights, but major carriers organize “plane plus bus” routes with transfers in European cities.
In addition, the Netherlands is easily accessible by train. The main station of Amsterdam – Amsterdam Centraal Station, located almost in the very center of the city, accepts trains from Brussels, Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Zurich, Vienna and Prague.
The new direct Eurostar line connecting Amsterdam and London has made it possible to reach the capital via the UK.
An unforgettable experience
- In the Green Heart (a natural area surrounded by The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam), the adventure company Hihahut has created four unique locations connected by hiking, cycling and boat routes. Create your own Hihahut adventure by visiting these locations, and after living there, you could sleep in a tent, in a greenhouse, or in a booth with transparent rooftop stargazing located in the garden.
- There are five Dutch Islands in the Wadden Sea, all of which are worth visiting. For a complete experience, take a guided “muddy ride” on a cart on the seabed at low tide, feel the power of the ebb and flow as you walk from the mainland to Ameland or Shirmonikoog.
Duration: 1 week
- Start in Amsterdam and take a ferry to the little-known northern part of the city. Spend the day hunting ancient treasures, then choose a riverside spot in Plek to sample local beers. Get out of the bustling city and look at the country from the train window – the final stop is no more than 2 hours away.
- Take a walking tour of Rotterdam to discover its groundbreaking architecture and heartbreaking military history.
- Take a day trip from historic Arnhem and cycle through De Hoge Veluwe National Park to admire Van Gogh’s work at the Kroller-Müller Museum.
- Explore Groningen’s cozy city center, where no cars, bars are always open, and the countryside is just a bike ride away.
When to go
Holidays in the Netherlands are so diverse that it is simply impossible to make a mistake when choosing a travel date.
The country is beautiful both in winter and in summer! The mild maritime climate does not know any bitter frosts or exhausting heat, and there are always plenty of ideas for meaningful leisure.
In the spring, the Netherlands literally bloom. At the end of March, the suburbs are covered with solid carpets of flowers, saturating the air with captivating aromas. Every year on May 5, the Netherlands celebrates a national holiday – Liberation Day. In honor of him, fourteen festivals of the same name are held throughout the country.
The beach holiday season in the Netherlands coincides with the holiday season and lasts from mid June to August. Summer dance festivals, carnivals and youth music bring life to the relaxed rhythms of resort life and become a pleasant bonus for holidaymakers.
From mid-October, prices for hotel accommodation begin to decline.
When traveling in a large company, you can save on transport by purchasing a Herfsttoer group ticket for unlimited travel on commuter trains on weekends.
Starting in the second half of November, the country begins to prepare for Christmas, and many stores offer attractive discount programs.
By mid-January, the Christmas peak of tourist activity is declining, and the low season comes into its own again, forcing hoteliers to significantly reduce rates. Perhaps this is the only time when there are almost no queues in the museums of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. In late December and early February, the triumphant element of fairs and carnivals spills out onto the streets of cities. The most colorful processions take place in Limburg.
You can exchange currency at any bank, hotel, airport or train station, as well as in private exchange offices. The most attractive conditions are in bank branches and at the post office (exchange is made at the official rate, the lowest commissions are charged).
Banks are open on weekdays from 9:00 to 16:00, some of them close an hour earlier on Fridays.
Currency exchange, as well as cashing traveller’s checks and credit cards can be done at the offices of GWK (“Central Exchange Office System”).
Most of the GWK points are located near the railway stations and are open from 8:00 to 20:00 (Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00).
Credit cards of the major world systems are accepted almost everywhere.
You can familiarize yourself with the pricing policy below:
Useful phone numbers
USA Embassy in Hague (Netherlands), John Adams Park 1, 2244 BZ Wassenaar, Netherlands: +31 70 310 2209
Ambulance, police, fire brigade: 112