The Netherlands, a low-lying country in Northwestern Europe, is known for its iconic windmills, picturesque canals, and vibrant cities. Amsterdam, the capital, offers world-class museums and historic charm. The country is celebrated for its tulip fields, cycling culture, and rich maritime heritage.
The Netherlands, known for its picturesque landscapes, unique blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty and charming towns and cities, offers a variety of highlights for travelers. Here are five to six must-visit destinations and experiences:
Amsterdam: Explore the capital city, known for its iconic canals, historic neighborhoods like Jordaan, and world-class museums, including the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.
Delft: Discover the historic city of Delft, famous for its Delftware (blue and white pottery), and visit the Nieuwe Kerk and the burial place of the Dutch royal family.
Giethoorn: Explore the charming village of Giethoorn, often referred to as the "Venice of the North" due to its canals, bridges, and lack of roads.
Keukenhof Gardens: Witness the dazzling display of colorful tulips and other flowers in the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, especially during the spring.
Windmills of Kinderdijk: Visit the UNESCO-listed Kinderdijk, where you can see a network of beautifully preserved windmills and learn about Dutch water management.
Zaanse Schans: Experience Dutch traditions and craftsmanship at Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum featuring historic windmills, wooden houses, and artisan workshops.
When to go / useful information
When to go
The best time weather-wise is from mid-April to mid-October. July and August are the peak months for visitors. The weather overall is never severely cold or hot as the temperatures are influenced by the North Sea (the Netherlands has a maritime climate).
Language: While the Netherlands' official language is Dutch, the country sits at a unique crossroads of Europe, such that French, English, and German are all also fairly common to hear, as well as dozens of local dialects.
What makes it special: The Netherlands has always been renowned for its cheese production. For centuries, we have been the largest exporter of this tasty and versatile product. It's not for nothing that the cheese markets of Alkmaar, Gouda, and Edam have existed for more than 600 years and that 'Gouda Cheese' is known throughout the world. The Netherlands is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, with a high quality of life, great healthcare system, good work-life balance, safety and security, multicultural society, great public transportation, and strong social safety net.
Weather: The Netherlands enjoys a moderate maritime (or oceanic) climate. This type of climate generally features mild winters and cool summers. Rain is common throughout the year, which means there is no dry season.
Social customs: Shake hands with everyone individually including children. Very close friends may greet each other by air kissing near the cheek three times, starting with the left cheek. Most Dutch only use first names with family and close friends. Wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis.