The Netherlands Travel Guide

from Travel Insurance Direct
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The Netherlands


The Netherlands (officially The Kingdom of the Netherlands) is in northwest Europe.  The Kingdom includes several Caribbean countries and islands, including Aruba, St Marten, and Curacao. The mainland country borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the north and west.


The Netherlands is commonly and mistakenly referred to as ‘Holland’ and this tends to cause confusion. The Netherlands actually has twelve provinces, which include the provinces of North Holland and South Holland in the Western Netherlands. The major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are in the Western Netherlands and tend to attract the majority of visitors.  (Holland is a part of the Netherlands, just as England is part of Great Britain). 


The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, but the seat of government is The Hague. The people and language of the Netherlands are known as Dutch.  Dutch and Frisian are the official languages, although English is widely spoken – especially in major cities and urban areas. 

Amsterdam is perhaps best known for its lovely canals, beautiful architecture, café culture, nightlife, liberal attitude and cultural events.  Other major cities include Delft – known for its ceramics, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht.   


The Netherlands is famous for many things, including its tulips and flower fields, clogs, cheeses (Gouda, Leerdammer, Edam, etc.) and its beer, such as Heineken, Grolsch, Amstel, etc. 

The Netherlands has the reputation of being very liberal, but visitors should be aware of the current laws regarding the use of soft drugs.  Also the drinking laws and ages may differ.


Amsterdam is in North Holland and often the first stop-off for visitors arriving via the busy Schiphol airport.  The public transportation system is very good in the Netherlands with connections by high-speed rail, including the Eurostar from London.  Ferry services also operate between the UK and Holland.



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