Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Area:41,543 sq km
Population:17,337,403 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Dutch (official); note - Frisian is an official language in Fryslan province; Frisian, Low Saxon, Limburgish, Romani, and Yiddish have protected status under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; Dutch is the official language of the three special municipalities of the Caribbean Netherlands; English is a recognized regional language on Sint Eustatius and Saba; Papiamento is a recognized regional language on Bonaire
Religion:Roman Catholic 23.6%, Protestant 14.9% (includes Dutch Reformed 6.4%, Protestant Church of The Netherlands 5.6%, Calvinist 2.9%), Muslim 5.1%, other 5.6% (includes Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish), none 50.7% (2017 est.)
Things to Do
1. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is an art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh. It houses the largest collection of his paintings and drawings in the world.
2. Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is a museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. It is located in the house where she and her family hid from Nazi persecution during World War II.
3. Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof Gardens is the world's largest flower garden. It showcases millions of flowers, including tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, and attracts visitors from around the world.
The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history. It houses a vast collection of artworks, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh.
5. Canal Cruise in Amsterdam
A canal cruise in Amsterdam is a popular way to explore the city's picturesque canals and admire its historic buildings. It offers a unique perspective of Amsterdam's sights and architecture.
6. Windmills of Kinderdijk
The Windmills of Kinderdijk are a UNESCO World Heritage site. They are a group of 19 windmills that were built in the 18th century to drain the polders and prevent floods.
7. The Hague
The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and the residence of the royal family. It is known for its historic buildings, international institutions, and cultural attractions.
8. Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is a historic neighborhood in Zaandam, near Amsterdam. It showcases traditional Dutch windmills, wooden houses, and craft workshops, giving visitors a glimpse into the country's past.
9. Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience is a brewery tour and visitor center located in Amsterdam. It allows visitors to learn about the history and brewing process of Heineken beer.
10. Hoge Veluwe National Park
Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest continuous nature reserve in the Netherlands. It offers diverse landscapes, including forests, heathlands, and sand dunes, as well as cycling and walking paths.
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The climate in the Netherlands is temperate maritime, which means that it is mild and damp throughout the year. The summers are generally cool, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C, while winters are mild, with temperatures averaging around 5°C. Rain is common throughout the year, with the wettest months being October to January.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Netherlands depends on what you are looking to do and see. For those who want to experience the country's famous tulip fields, the best time to visit is between late April and early May when the tulips are in full bloom. If you are looking to explore the country's cities, the best time to visit is during the summer months of June, July, and August when the weather is mild and the days are long. However, these months can also be the busiest and the most crowded, so it's best to book in advance.
The Netherlands is home to many hotels, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels. Amsterdam, in particular, has a large selection of hotels, including boutique hotels, design hotels, and traditional hotels.
Hostels are a popular budget-friendly option in the Netherlands. They offer dormitory-style accommodation with shared facilities and are a great option for backpackers and budget travelers.
Bed and Breakfasts
Bed and Breakfasts are a popular option for those who prefer a more personal and homely experience. They are usually run by local families and offer a cozy, homely atmosphere.
Vacation rentals, such as apartments, houses, and villas, are a great option for those who want more space, privacy, and independence. They are often more cost-effective for families or groups traveling together.
The Netherlands has a large number of campsites, making it a great option for those who love the great outdoors. They range from basic campsites to luxury campsites with a wide range of facilities.
The train system in the Netherlands is fast, frequent, and reliable. It connects major cities and tourist destinations and is a great way to get around the country.
Buses are a good alternative to trains, especially for traveling to smaller towns and villages. They are usually slower than trains but are more convenient for exploring rural areas.
Taxis are widely available in the Netherlands, especially in major cities. They are a convenient option for those who want a private mode of transportation but are more expensive than public transportation.
Biking is a popular mode of transportation in the Netherlands, and many cities have extensive bike lanes and bike rental services. This is a great option for those who want to explore the country at their own pace and get some exercise.
Ferries are a convenient way to travel between the Netherlands and its neighboring countries. They operate between the main ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Hook of Holland.
- The currency in the Netherlands is the Euro (€).
Cash And Cards
- Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in the Netherlands, especially in larger cities and tourist areas.
- It is advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and in case of emergencies.
- ATMs are readily available throughout the country.
- Most ATMs accept international debit and credit cards.
- Tipping is not obligatory in the Netherlands but is appreciated for good service.
- A general guideline is to round up the bill or leave a 5-10% tip.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in the Netherlands is relatively high.
- Prices for accommodation, dining, and transportation can be expensive, especially in major cities like Amsterdam.
- Be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded areas, particularly in tourist hotspots.
- Be wary of individuals posing as police officers or offering unsolicited help.