Netherlands Travel Guide

The Netherlands Adventure Travel Guide: Ideas and Inspiration

PureTravel Says: "The Netherlands is an incredible holiday destination. This country is unique, open-minded and creative as well as exciting and beautiful. Canals, shopping, and tolerance are three well-known characteristics of the Netherlands. Experience these in any corner or any big city you choose to see while on holiday. There is incredible history, dynamic activities and soothing scenery to experience in the Netherlands, all which should be part of a travel through the land."

Holiday Highlights

Windmills - There are hundreds of mills in the Netherlands that were constructed either as water mills or windmills. The water mills are found mostly in the eastern and southern regions of the Netherlands while the windmills can be seen in western and northern areas. Mills speak a language – when the mill owner wants it spoken – and the language used to be much more common in days of lesser technologies. When there are blue ribbons flying on any mill in the Netherlands, usually on the first Saturday of each month, visitors are welcome to have a touring view of the mill.

Canals - Find at least one canal to scope out while on holiday in the Netherlands. It won’t be difficult, since there are five: the Herengracht, the Singel, the Singelgracht, the Keizersgracht, and the Prinsengracht. Be educated about the history and working traditions of the canals.

Culture - Don’t be fooled by the traditional costumes you might see in certain areas while on holiday, especially on the northeastern parts of the Netherlands. Dutch people aren’t usually dressed in wooden clogs and cloaks, and the women don’t usually have shocks of blonde hair braided into neat plaits. Clogs are a customary working shoe of sturdy and dry proportion often still used in place of working shoes or rubber boots.

History - See the Amsterdam residence and hiding place of Anne Frank’s family. Visit the Wynand Fockink, a distillery and winery established in 1679. If in the Netherlands on April 30, do not be alarmed when you see thousands of people haphazardly dressed in orange and dancing down every street; this celebration is the national holiday, the Queen’s birthday. Hop on a bus at 11am or 1pm on any weekday to receive a three-hour Netherlands history lesson from trained travel guides.

Art - Enjoy art and the history of expositions in the Netherlands at the famed Amadeus Art Gallery in Amersfoort or the illustrious Art Gallery Soho in Holland. You’ll find an art lesson for all tastes and styles; there are halls of modern artists like Herman Brood and M.C. Escher as well as portfolios of legendary contemporary artists like H.P. Berlage and Willem Penaat. Try a galleria art class, find quiet solace in early morning or evening exposition viewings, or try a virtual gallery tour.

Sport - Mesh with locals and play in a weekly association football, volleyball, or field hockey game; you’re sure to find a game in most towns since one-fourth of all citizens in the Netherlands are committed to a sport association game. In certain months of the year, there are figure skating competitions as well as tennis and cricket games.

When To Go

The Netherlands has mild climate all year round with cool winters and warm summers. You won’t be uncomfortably hot or cold. The high season is from June to August and denotes crowds and the sunniest days of summer. September through December are still perfect months for a holiday in the Netherlands with periods of warm, dry spells. Slushy, snowy, cold winters stay from December through February.

Top Tips

- Holland and the Netherlands are the same region; it is common for visitors to be confused about the distinction. Holland denotes the two western provinces of the Netherlands.
- Transportation is very much efficient and plentiful in the Netherlands. All big cities have trams, buses, and trains; smaller cities have buses and trains.
- April is the perfect time to see the famed tulip fields all over the Netherlands.

Classic Itineraries

- Visit a clog factory to see how those funky wooden shoes are made.
- Tour Volendam and Marken to see citizens dressed in traditional costume.
- See the Rembrandt House Museum where the famous artist resided and worked.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

- Schokland and Surroundings
- Defence Line of Amsterdam
- Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao
- Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
- Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station)
- Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder)
- Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House)
- The Wadden Sea
- Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht

Festivals, Events and Anniversaries in 2014

2014 celebrates works of the Dutch abstract artist Pieter Mondrian, to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of his death. Born on 7 March 1872 in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, Mondrian specialised in the modern art and De Stijl periods of art. He later worked in Paris and London, before moving to New York in 1938. He became well known for his work entitled ‘Broadway Boogie-Woogie’ from 1943, which is owned by the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. He died on 1 February 1944 in Manhattan. He will always be remembered for his incomparable yellow, blue and red compositions which remain admired worldwide. The biggest collection of Mondrian’s works can be seen at the Municipal Museum in The Hague, which is the largest such collection in the world. His last painting, which is unfinished ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’ can be seen here.

Travel Resources

By Julie Bowman


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