What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “Holland”? For most people, tulips, bicycles, and Amsterdam’s canals come to mind first.
Officially, the Netherlands is bilingual, with Frisian and Dutch as its official languages. More than 60 percent of the population has no religion. The remaining are mostly Christian, but the Dutch are liberal in their thinking; they were the first to legalize same-sex marriage. The dominant sport in the country is football, followed by hockey and volleyball.
The Dutch love their bicycles so much that cyclists have the right of way over pedestrians, even in Amsterdam. And there is no better way to enjoy and explore the country than by cycling.
Start your Netherlands visit with a day or two in Amsterdam, its capital city. With about 7,000 registered historic buildings, Amsterdam has one of the most extensive historic city centers in Europe, and its canals have been designated a world heritage by UNESCO. The most popular thing to do in Amsterdam is to take canal cruise, so don’t miss it.
While no visit to Holland is complete without a visit to the capital city, Amsterdam, there is so much more to Netherlands. From multi-hued fields of tulips to iconic windmills, cheese factories and historic town centers, cities like Delft, Rotterdam, the Hague and Gouda,you’ll find plenty of things to do in Holland.
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Time zone: UTC/GMT +02:00
Currency: EUR – Euro
Official language: Dutch
UNESCO World Heritage sites: 10
Dutch cuisine is not well known and is simple and straightforward. Breakfast is usually bread with cheese, while dinner consists of meat and potatoes. The cuisine is varied as it is shaped by the various locations of the regions. The location of the fertile north along the sea river give rise to the farming and fishing being the dominant occupation of the area. Wine is usually absent with meals, though beer, jenever, and brandewijn are popular there. The famous Heineken brand is a second rate there.
Shop for traditional souvenirs at the Albert Cuypmarkt street market, the largest street market in Netherlands with over 300 stalls. The Vondelpark, which is the largest and most popular park in Netherlands with over 10 million visitors each year, is surely one of Amsterdam’s most visited attractions. It is great for relaxing, having a picnic or simply enjoying the sun.