When it comes to travel to the Netherlands, most people know a little something about the famous city of Amsterdam, and hope to see fields of tulips or a picturesque windmill in a green field somewhere. There is so much more to the Netherlands, and this country can cater to nature-lovers just as much as cosmopolitan travelers. Its national parks are surprising, and offer a unique mix of culture and experiences. Its towns and cities are extremely varied and lovely. And the Dutch people are warm, welcoming, and practical.
Type: Sovereign Nation (1648)
Official Languages: Dutch, Frisian
Population: 17 million (2016)
Capital: Amsterdam (Check out No Man Before’s Undiscovered Amsterdam: Off the Beaten Path)
Outlets: Plug Type F with 230V 50Hz
Highpoint: Vaalserberg (Summitted)
UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 10 Sites
National Parks: Learn more at the official national park website.
The Natural World
The Netherlands is a country focused on sustainability, and they have a history of agriculture and innovation. These things join together to form a landscape of verdant fields dotted with windmills (old and new), cottages, and unique Dutch architecture. The influence of humans is obvious almost every where in this country, but that doesn’t mean nature-lovers won’t enjoy their visit here. For example, the Netherlands is home to 21 national parks! We visited just three of them, and we loved each one!
Our Posts on Nature in the Netherlands
Nature in the Netherlands: Three National Parks That You Have to See : We only got to sample a few of the 21 national parks that the Netherlands have, and each one was a unique and enchanting experience. We got to ride bikes and marvel at art in De Hoge Veluwe. We discovered the “desert” of the Netherlands at De Loonse en Drunense Duiden, and we drifted through a watery wonderland at Weerribben-Wieden.
Most countries these days have a mix of people that come from all over the world, and the Netherlands is no exception. However, the native Dutch and Frisian cultures are vibrant, unique, and of course, form the heart of the country. We are FAR from experts on this, although we do have a Little Notes on Culture and History in the Netherlands post.
For a quick read on Dutch history, see Amsterdam.info’s Short History of Netherlands. And for a more in-depth exploration, you might listen to the History of the Netherlands podcast.
For a quick read on Dutch culture for outsiders, iAmsterdam has a Pocket Guide to Dutch Culture. LonelyPlanet also has a short guide called The Dutch Way of Life.
The Frisian people have their own culture and history (although, they obviously share history with the Netherlands because they are part of the Netherlands. BUT if you want to learn more about Frisian history, I like De Dutchman’s The History of the Frisian Folk. National Geographic also discusses visiting the Wadden Islands, where Frisian culture lives.
Our Posts on Culture
Visiting Giethoorn: What is it Really Like? If you’ve heard about the Venice of the Netherlands, there is a good chance that you’d like to visit. But what is this popular tourist site actually like? Learn how to avoid the crowds, support locals, and how to plan your trip to this beautiful village.
Three Less Crowded Destinations in the Netherlands: Want to avoid the crowds? Check out the highpoint of the country, a beautiful beach, and the Van Gogh bike trail!
The Perfect Five Days in the Netherlands for Nature Lovers: Discover the natural beauty of the Netherlands on this 5-day, self guided expedition.
Where We’ve Been
For official tourism news, itineraries, and information on the latest travel regulations, please visit the Netherlands Tourism website.
If you need more information for your trip to the Netherlands, be sure to visit our Pinterest Board, and read about some of the best places that we missed when visiting.
Travel Advisories and Visa Information
From the Government of Canada
From the US State Department
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