The Netherlands has a modern capital city in the midst of charming villages and a flat countryside. Endless tulip fields, traditional farmsteads and pretty canals have inspired some of the most iconic painters for centuries. On the northern coast, relax on the beaches and clamber up the dunes.
Among the world’s most progressive and liberal cities, Amsterdam is known for marijuana cafés, legal prostitution and a cycling culture. Take a boat along the labyrinthine canals that meander beneath cobbled lanes and bridges. Go to the Anne Frank House, where a young Jewish girl wrote her famous diary while hiding from the Nazis during World War II.
Visit the Red Light District in the De Wallen neighborhood to see the streets of window displays containing male, female and transgender prostitutes. Learn about the history and culture of the city around the grassy plaza of Museumplein, where you will find some of the city’s best museums. Admire the classic works of art by Rembrandt and van Gogh among other masters in the Rijks Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum.
The Hague is the seat of government, with fancy palaces and the majestic Binnenhof or Inner Court. Wander through the pleasant seaside city and view some of the Netherlands’ most important sights. Nearby Rotterdam has a vast river harbor and a thriving nightlife scene. Take a cruise through the port and visit the modern art galleries.
Travel north to the quaint historic town of Zaanse Schans for some of Holland’s most traditional customs. It has windmills, wooden houses, cheese workshops and a clog factory. Notice the charming farms that continue to thrive following old Dutch traditions. A little east is Edam, where you can taste its iconic cheese.
The country lies in the central northern part of mainland Europe, between Germany and Belgium. Fly to the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and get around by rail or car.
The Netherlands is an enchanting country where quaint traditions continue to influence today’s society.