A land of tulips, bicycles, windmills and canals… An orange ‘army’ of supporters (despite orange bot being on the flag)… Clogs and cheese in equal measure. It sounds like something out of a story book, but the wondrous Land of Nether is indeed real and an open book ready to be explored.
Aside from the fantastical elements above there is much history to this little country, home to the tallest men in the world. Be amazed by the World of Anne Frank, gaze into the brush strokes of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, admire the hues Delft blue earthenware.
Amsterdam is a natural draw not to be missed. However the vibrant waterfront of Rotterdam, which started life as a medieval fishing village, makes for a lovely cycle at dusk before dinner at the harbour. In Rotterdam you don’t need to enter a museum to be able to admire the artwork. With over a thousand artworks out in public, this wonderful port city is perfect for art lovers.
Language – Dutch
Currency – The Euro
Water – Tap water is completely safe to drink unless stated otherwise.
Local Food – Naturally, cheese is a favourite. Try Gouda, Geitenkaas or Maasdammer. Stamppot – a Dutch version of bubble and squeak, best served with juicy sausage. The Stroofwafel – two thin layers of waffle stuck together with syrup. Liquorice – the Dutch eat the most liquorice per capita in the world. So if you like it, join them (but beware, it may be a little saltier than you’re used to).
Visa – A visa is not required to visit the Netherlands from the UK however always check the Foreign Office advice before travelling.
Tipping – in the Netherlands, like in most of Europe, isn’t really expected. However, leaving extra change or rounding up the bill in restaurants, bars and cafés is common.
Climate – The climate is temperate and, due to its location, the Netherlands are affected by both the North Sea and the Atlantic. In winter the average high temperature drops to around 2°C whilst the summer highs average around 20°C. Wind can be common and the driest month is typically March.
Festivals and Events – March marks the start of the flower season. April welcomes the biggest national festival in King’s Day. The new Dutch herring makes its debut in June. Jazz fills the air in July with the North Sea Jazz Festival. All monuments open their doors to visitors in September. Christmas markets are a plenty in December.
Plugs – Much like most of mainland Europe, the Netherlands use a two round-pronged plug (Type F).
Time Zone – The Netherlands are on CET (Central European Time). This is GMT + 1.
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