Location: North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean
Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean.
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors.
The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to cultural highlights, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch. Other well known places of interest in Amsterdam are the Palace on the Dam, the Artis Zoo, Jewish Historical Museum and the Rembrandt House.
The cultural scene in Amsterdam is rich and diverse. You can enjoy classical concerts at ‘Concertgebouw’, one of the best concert venues in the world, and jazz at ‘Bimhuis’. ‘Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’ is a cultural melting pot with different shows every day of the week. Theatre and cabaret blossom at ‘Carré’ and City Theatre Amsterdam.
For a relatively small country, the Netherlands boasts a rich variety of nature. The largest national park is De Hoge Veluwe, which is best explored on one of its thousand free-to-use white bikes. The Wadden Sea is the largest coastal tidal wetland in Europe and on the World Heritage List.
Water dominates the Dutch landscape. Three big European rivers (Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt) reach the ocean via the Netherlands and create an important delta. 26% of the Netherlands is under sea level. During a age-long battle against the water, the Dutch constructed a water system consisting of dykes, polders and weirs. However, the Netherlands offers more variation than the familiar green, flat polder landscape with black and white cows.
The Netherlands is home to a wide range of holiday villages, which offer many activities, both in summer and winter. Most holiday parks are situated near areas of scenic beauty and tourist attractions.
It’s hard to describe the Dutch culture in a few words. It’s better to experience it. So take a canal tour through Amsterdam, relive Dutch history at Zaanse Schans, eat a herring in Volendam, watch the cheese market of Gouda, marvel at the cathedral of Den Bosch and the basilicas of Maastricht, climb the Dom Tower in Utrecht, visit the mills of Kinderdijk, and cycle through the bulb fields, Giethoorn and along the dolmens. You would have seen only a fraction of what Holland has to offer and will already be impressed.
The eastern part of the Netherlands holds many castles, mansions, squares and other imposing structures that date from a prosperous medieval period. The rural landscape make it one of the most attractive areas of the Netherlands and very popular among cyclists and walkers.
Dutch Drug Policy
The Netherlands is famous for its tolerant drugs policy. But a lot of people don’t realize that drugs are in fact illegal in the Netherlands. Understanding the Dutch drug policy can spare you a lot of trouble.
The Dutch recognize that it is impossible to prevent people from using drugs altogether. Coffee shops are therefore allowed to sell small amounts of soft drugs. This pragmatic approach means that authorities can actually focus on the big criminals who profit from drugs and who supply hard drugs.