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Zaanse Schans, Zaanstad, Netherlands
Zaanse Schans, Zaanstad, Netherlands by Michal Soukup on Unsplash.

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Netherlands (Holland) Travel Notes

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The Netherlands (Holland) Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


,Explore the unique Dutch charm of The Netherlands. Discover museums, windmills, canals, vibrant tulips, historical sites, Holland's culture and friendly locals.

About The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a beautiful country with a rich history and plenty of tourist attractions.

Some popular places to visit include Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Maastricht.

Officially called the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Netherlands (or Nederlanden) in turn forms part of the Benelux countries; along with Belgium and Luxembourg.

Driving Distances in Europe

Driving From Amsterdam - Driving From Rotterdam.

Travel Map Mapping The Kingdom of the Netherlands

Map of The Netherlands

Map of Netherlands

Holland is bordered by Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the north-west.

Holland Overview

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a country located in Northwestern Europe.

Holland is a country with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and a thriving economy.

It offers a unique blend of historical charm, modern infrastructure, and a high quality of life for its residents and visitors.

Art and Architecture

Holland has a long tradition of art and architecture.

The country is home to world-class museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which showcase famous works by Dutch masters.

Dutch architecture is characterised by its unique style, with canal houses, gabled facades, and intricate designs being prominent features.

Culture and Language

Dutch is the official language of Holland, and the majority of the population speaks it.

The Dutch people have a strong sense of national identity and are known for their liberal and tolerant attitudes.

Holland has a rich cultural heritage, with famous painters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh hailing from the country.

The Dutch are also passionate about sports, with football (soccer) being particularly popular.


Holland has hosted prestigious cycling events like the Tour de France and is a popular destination for bicycle tourism.

Cycling is very popular in The Netherlands, with an extensive network of cycling paths and bike-friendly cities making it easy to get around by bicycle.

Cycling is not only a means of local transportation but also a recreational activity for many residents and tourists alike.

Dutch Cuisine

Dutch cuisine includes dishes like herring, stroopwafels, and cheese; with Gouda and Edam being famous Dutch cheeses.


Holland has a prosperous and diverse economy with a highly skilled labor force and an expertise in sectors such as water management, agriculture, and sustainable energy.

Holland is home to several multinational companies and has a highly developed financial sector.

The country is also a major producer of agricultural products, such as flowers, dairy, and vegetables.

Tourism also plays a significant role in the Dutch economy, with visitors attracted to its historic cities, picturesque countryside, cultural attractions, and vibrant festivals.


Holland is famous for its tulips. The fields have become something of a tourist attraction; especially during the springtime, when the flowers are in full bloom.

The Dutch have a strong horticultural tradition and are world leaders in the flower industry.

At the Keukenhof Gardens, near Lisse, visitors can admire a vast array of tulips and other flowers.

International Trade

Holland has a long history of international trade, with the Port of Rotterdam being one of the largest and busiest ports in the world.

The Dutch were prominent colonial powers during the Age of Exploration.

They established trading posts and colonies in various parts of the world, including Indonesia, Suriname, and the Caribbean islands.


The Netherlands is known for its flat landscape, extensive canal systems, windmills, and tulip fields.

It is famous for its innovative water management systems and land reclamation projects.

Nearly one-third of the country lies below sea level, protected by an intricate system of dikes, dams, and pumping stations.

Liberal Politics

The Netherlands has a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy.

The Netherlands is known for its liberal social policies, including the decriminalization of prostitution and the regulation of cannabis.

It has a reputation for tolerance and progressive attitudes, reflected in its laws on same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

The capital city of Holland is Amsterdam, although The Hague is the seat of the government.

Tourist Destinations

Popular tourist destinations in Holland include Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and the windmill-filled landscapes of Kinderdijk and Zaanse Schans.

Holland For Visitors

Visit Holland

From charming windmills and tulip fields to picturesque canals and historic cities, there's so much to explore in Holland; a wonderful destination to visit.


Perhaps start your visit to Holland in the capital city of Amsterdam.

Explore the picturesque canal network, visit world-class museums like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, and take a leisurely walk through the historic Jordaan and De Pijp neighbourhood.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank House and the beautiful Vondelpark.

If the weather is nice, you can also take a boat tour along the canals or rent a bike and explore Amsterdam like a local.


Visit the charming city of Delft, known for its iconic blue-and-white pottery, Delftware.="maintext"> Explore the historic centre, visit the Royal Delft factory to see how the pottery is made, and admire the stunning architecture, including the Old Church and the Nieuwe Kerk.


If you're looking for a unique experience, visit the village of Giethoorn, often called the 'Venice of the Netherlands'.

It's a car-free village characterized by its canals, wooden bridges, and thatched-roof farmhouses.


Just a short train ride from Amsterdam, Haarlem is a delightful city to visit.

Stroll along the cobblestone streets, visit the Frans Hals Museum to see Dutch Golden Age art, and relax in the beautiful Grote Markt square.

Keukenhof Gardens

If you visit during spring (late March to mid-May), a trip to the Keukenhof Gardens is a must.

Located near Lisse, the gardens are famous for their stunning display of tulips and other flowers.

Take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens and enjoy the vibrant colours and fragrances.

It's one of the most stunning flower gardens in the world, with millions of tulips, daffodils, and other vibrant blooms creating a colourful spectacle.


Located in the southern part of the Netherlands, Maastricht offers a mix of Dutch and Belgian influences.

Explore its medieval streets, visit the Basilica of Saint Servatius, and enjoy the vibrant café culture.

National Parks

Holland has several beautiful national parks that are worth exploring.

Hoge Veluwe National Park is known for its diverse landscapes, including forests, sand dunes, and heathlands.

Biesbosch National Park offers a unique experience with its extensive network of rivers, creeks, and wetlands.


Head south to experience the modern and innovative side of Holland in Rotterdam; a dynamic city known for its architectural marvels.

The city boasts impressive architecture, including the iconic Erasmus Bridge and the Cube Houses.

Take a walk along the Erasmus Bridge, visit the innovative Markthal, and explore the impressive Rotterdam Central Station.

Also visit the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, known for its diverse art collection, and enjoy the vibrant food and nightlife scene.

The Hague

Visit the political capital of the Netherlands, The Hague.

This city is home to the Dutch government and international institutions.

Explore the beautiful Binnenhof, the historic heart of Dutch politics, and visit the Mauritshuis Museum, which houses masterpieces such as Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'.


Known for its beautiful canals and historic city centre, Utrecht is a charming city to explore.

Climb the Dom Tower for panoramic views, stroll along the canals, and visit the Cathedral of Saint Martin.

Zaanse Schans

Immerse yourself in Dutch history and traditional culture at Zaanse Schans.

This open-air museum near Amsterdam showcases windmills, traditional houses, and craft workshops.

Learn about traditional crafts like wooden clog-making and see working windmills up close.

Netherlands Attractions

Discovering Holland

Much of the north and west of the country lies below sea-level.

The Dutch have managed to increase their land area by up to one fifth, due to an elaborate system of water drainage dating back to medieval times; using dykes, canals, dams sluices, and windmill- powered pumps.

Nature almost always wins in the end, and much of The Netherlands still suffers from flooding.

Holland in Miniature at Madurodam

Miniature city, Madurodam, is now open all year round. Windmills turn, ships sail, and the most modern trains enter and leave the train stations, while traversing the city on the world's largest miniature railway.

Madurodam is easy to reach by public transport and by car. It is just 45 minutes from Amsterdam and 25 minutes from Rotterdam. If you would like to continue to the beach after your visit, you can have the sand between your toes at Scheveningen within 10 minutes.


If you think of the Netherlands, flowers, windmills and wooden shoes come to mind - but Holland has so much more to offer.

Enjoy the bracing wind with a beach walk along the Dutch coast or a cycling tour of the Veluwe.

Experience the welcoming hospitality of North Brabant and Limburg, the authentic charm of our Hanseatic cities and the Achterhoek in eastern Holland, and the freedom of the provinces of Friesland and Groningen with their wide horizons.

Visit the province of North Holland with cities like Amsterdam, Haarlem and Alkmaar, coastal towns like Zandvoort, and authentic villages like Volendam and Edam.

Visit Overijssel with its special nature reserves like the Weerribben, Hanseatic cities like Kampen and Zwolle in the IJsseldelta region, and the Venice of the North: Giethoorn.

Visit extraordinary Drenthe with its prehistoric hunebeds, the biggest single wet heathland area called Dwingelerveld, and pleasant cities like Emmen and Coevorden.

Visit the province of South Holland with its windmills, flower-bulb fields, beautiful coastal towns like Noordwijk and Scheveningen, and big cities like The Hague and Rotterdam.

Utrecht is the smallest province in Holland but is full of beautiful castles, special natural landscapes, and a pleasant capital that is also called Utrecht.

Discover how the Dutch battle against the water in Flevolanda, the newest province, and immerse yourself in Dutch culture in the modern metropolises, historic cities, and picturesque villages in the west of the Netherlands.

The Low Countries

The Low Countries were ruled by Philip II of Spain, until the late 16th century, when the Protestant Dutch in the northern provinces rioted against the Roman Catholic church.

The Spanish measures to put down the revolt, only encouraged William I of Orange to lead a fight for Independence.

William the Silent was assassinated in 1584, but the British defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 was a major setback to the Spanish war mobility.

The Dutch Republic was officially established in 1648, but fell to France in 1795.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands gained statehood when Napoleon suffered defeats in 1814-1815. Belgium was also a part of the new kingdom, until it seceded in 1830, to form an independent country.


From its humble beginnings as a 13th century fishing village on a river bed to its current role as a major hub for business, tourism and culture, Amsterdam has had a strong tradition as a centre of culture and commerce.

Map of Amsterdam

Map of Amsterdam

While many visitors head to the canals, coffee houses, and red light district of Amsterdam, it is also interesting to view the coastal sand-dunes and the reclaimed province of Flevoland.

Amsterdam Card

The I Amsterdam Card comprises a transportation ticket, a chip card (for free admission to the museums) and the 'I Amsterdam Guide'; a multi-lingual voucher booklet for discounts at restaurants and attractions. Collect the card and free guidebook upon arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, or in the city centre, and you're ready to explore - for free.

Consider Staying in Haarlem

Visitors to The Netherlands should consider Staying in Haarlem, rather than Amsterdam.

Haarlem is less than twenty minutes by train (six per hour) from Amsterdam; making it especially convenient for rail pass holders.

The tourist information office is just outside the Haarlem station, on the south-west corner.

Travellers will save significantly on hotel rates and enjoy a beautiful city with even friendlier Dutch people.

Three Days in Amsterdam

If you are going to spend more than three days in Amsterdam, it is cheaper to buy a strip card to use on Amsterdam's public transportation system.

Hotels in Amsterdam.

Holland Transportation

Dutch Railways

Active in the public transportation sector, NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) keeps the Netherlands moving.

In plain English, that means plan your journey on the rails in Holland at the home of Netherlands Railways (NS).

Flying to Holland

It's always a breeze to transfer through Amsterdam's Schipol airport with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Around Holland

The Hague

The Hague is not the capital of Holland, although it is the seat of the government and has some wonderful architecture; including the Houses of Parliament.


Situated within the woods of the Park Berg en Bos, Apenheul Primate Park harbours over thirty species of primates, many of them ranging freely among the visitors. Open every day from 1st April to 1st November.

Located between Arnhem, Ede and Apeldoorn, National Park De Hoge Veluwe is one of Holland's oldest and largest national parks.

Some 2,000 white bicycles are available to help visitors get around the 5,500 hectares.

The entrances to the Park are in Hoenderloo, Otterlo and Schaarsbergen. Buses run from the railway stations in Ede and Apeldoorn.

Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn.

Paleis Het Loo:
Located in Apeldoorn (bus 102 and 104 from Apeldoorn Central Station, the palace and gardens are open all year round from Tuesday to Sunday (10:00 to 17:00). Closed on New Year’s Day and Mondays, unless it's a Dutch public holiday.


Another interesting location is the historical city of Delft, founded in the 11th century, on the River Schie.


Together with Groet and Camperduin, Schoorl forms an area of small village centres, boasting excellent facilities, great pavement cafes and delightful churches. Located on the coast of the province of North Holland, close to Alkmaar.

Netherlands Travel Guides

Amsterdam and The Netherlands (Rick Steeves) Lonely Planet The Netherlands (Travel Guide)

Netherlands Travel Guides - Netherlands Maps.

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