Netherlands Travel Facts

By | May 19, 2022

The Netherlands is one of the four autonomous countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The European country borders Germany & Belgium and has a long North Sea coast. The landscape is rather flat and unspectacular, but thanks to exciting cities and a lot of atmosphere, it still offers some great highlights as a travel destination.

Capital City Amsterdam
Size 41,548 km²
Resident 17.139.856
Official Language Dutch
Currency Euro
Time Zone UTC+1/+2
Telephone Area Code +31

Source: Destination Explorer

Fast facts to know

  • The Netherlands is a parliamentary monarchy.
  • The color of the Dutch royal family is orange.
  • Almost a third of the Netherlands is below sea level.
  • The highest point in the Netherlands is the Vaalserberg at 323 metres.
  • There are more than 35,000 kilometers of cycle paths in the Netherlands.
  • In Amsterdam and other cities, cyclists often have the right of way.
  • Christmas is not celebrated in the Netherlands, but “Sinterklaas” (Santa Claus).
  • Most Dutch people have a sweet tooth.
  • The country has a very high density of museums.
  • Rotterdam has the largest port in the world.
  • There are more than 1,200 bridges in Amsterdam.
  • Around 1,000 operational windmills are still operational across the country.

Exciting cities in the Netherlands

  • Amsterdam
  • Enkhuizen
  • Eindhoven
  • Rotterdam
  • Utrecht
  • Maastricht
  • Alkmaar
  • The Hague

History of the Netherlands

  • Area of ​​the Netherlands already inhabited since the last glacial period.
  • 50 B.C. BC Conquest by the Romans, later part of the Frankish Empire.
  • After the division of the Frankish Empire, the lower lands belonged to the East Frankish Kingdom and then to the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Once included what is now Belgium and parts of northern France and western Germany.
  • 1581 Declaration of Independence from the Spanish Crown.
  • After eighty years of war, the independence of the Netherlands from Spain is recognized in the Peace of Westphalia on May 15, 1648.
  • The southern Netherlands – today’s Belgium – remains with Spain, so the Netherlands is henceforth divided.
  • The Netherlands rose to become one of the greatest maritime and economic powers of the 17th century.
  • 1806-1810 Kingdom of Holland.
  • 1810 Netherlands is annexed to France under Napoleon.
  • 1813 renewed independence.
  • 1815 Incorporation of the southern Netherlands (today’s Belgium) until the Belgian Revolution of 1830.
  • The country remained neutral during World War I, but was occupied by Germany during World War II.
  • In the 1950s, the Netherlands are among the ten largest economic powerhouses in the world.

Climate & travel weather in the Netherlands

  • Temperate maritime climate.
  • Not too warm summers and quite mild winters.
  • Rapidly changing weather on the coast.
  • Strong storms from October to November.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Beach holiday: August and September.
    • City trips: May to September.
    • Winter months rather uncomfortable.

Ideas for trips in the Netherlands

  • Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
  • Canal cruise in Amsterdam.
  • Mills of Kinderdijk.
  • The Delta Works in Zeeland.
  • Zaanse Schans.
  • Cheese market Alkmaar.
  • On the road by bike.
  • Admire the tulips at Keukenhof.
  • Efteling amusement park.
  • Rotterdam Zoo.
  • Enjoy a break in a café in Utrecht.
  • Castle of Haar.
  • Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
  • Visit one of the many beautiful beaches.

Eating & drinking in the Netherlands

  • Sweets are very popular.
  • Warm meals are usually served in the evenings.
  • Typical meal time is 6 p.m. (prefer not to disturb unannounced).
  • Mostly served potatoes, vegetables and meat and sauce.
  • Chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag) are very popular for breakfast.
  • Snack bars and quick, small dishes or simple snacks are preferred at lunchtime.
  • In the afternoon we like to have stroopwafels.
  • The Netherlands are considered a tea nation.
  • Kopje Koffie very popular.
  • More of a beer nation, good wines are hard to find.
  • Known for good cheeses such as Emmental, Gouda and Maasdammer.
  • Eating out in the Netherlands is quite expensive.
  • Typical opening times of restaurants from 6 p.m. to approx. 10.30 p.m.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Andijviestamppot (endive and potato stew).
    • Asperges met krieltjes in botersaus (asparagus with small new potatoes in butter sauce).
    • Erwtensoep (pea soup).
    • Fryske mosterdsoep (Frisian mustard soup).
    • Hutspot (carrot, onion and potato stew).
    • Stamppot met boerenkool (potato and kale stew).
    • Texelse lamsbout (leg of lamb from Texel, quite salty).

Particularly scenic

  • Gorgeous beaches
  • Wadden Sea of ​​the North Sea
  • Natural areas such as the Hoge Veluwe and the Oostvaardersplassen

Netherlands Travel Facts