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Netherlands

Navigating the Land of Canals and Windmills

Step into a land where picturesque canals weave through historic cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Delft, offering a glimpse into the country’s rich maritime heritage. Wander along cobbled streets lined with gabled houses, explore vibrant markets bursting with local treasures, and discover centuries-old landmarks steeped in history and culture.

For nature enthusiasts, the Netherlands enchants with its picturesque landscapes of tulip fields, rolling dunes, and verdant forests. Cycle along scenic paths, cruise through tranquil waterways, or stroll through lush parks and gardens ablaze with colorful blooms.

Where, What and How?

Accommodation – When choosing accommodation in the Netherlands, consider factors such as location, amenities, and budget. Whether you’re looking for a historic hotel in the heart of Amsterdam, a cozy B&B in a quaint village, or a rustic cabin in the countryside, the Netherlands offers a wide range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences.

Food – While traditional dishes like stamppot (mashed potato and vegetable hash) remain beloved staples, there’s been a shift towards convenience and global flavors in Dutch dining culture. In urban centers like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague, you’ll find a plethora of fast food joints, trendy cafes, and international restaurants catering to diverse tastes.

Transportation – The Dutch national railway company, NS, operates an extensive network of trains connecting major cities, towns, and regions across the country. Intercity trains provide fast connections between cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven, while Sprinter trains serve shorter distances and local routes.

 

My favorites

Delft: It is not only the place where I live but also my favorite city in The Netherlands. The so-called “Little Amsterdam” has plenty of things that are worth paying a visit. It’s famous for being the birthplace of the renowned Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and for its association with the Dutch royal family, as the burial place of members of the House of Orange-Nassau.
Zaanse Schans: It is a picturesque village located in the Netherlands, just a short distance from Amsterdam. It’s renowned for its well-preserved historic windmills, which stand as iconic symbols of Dutch craftsmanship and innovation.
Amsterdam: The vibrant capital of the Netherlands, is a city of contrasts, blending rich history with a contemporary flair. Renowned for its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and world-class museums. Wandering along the labyrinthine streets, you can encounter stunning 17th-century buildings, charming bridges, and lively waterfront cafes.
Texel & Wadden Islands: Texel, the largest of the Wadden Islands in the Netherlands, is a haven of natural beauty and tranquility. Visitors are drawn to its pristine shores, where they can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as beachcombing, birdwatching, and kite surfing. The island is also known for its diverse wildlife, including seals, birds, and unique flora and fauna.
Amersfoort: This city’s historical buildings stand as proud monuments to its rich heritage, with ancient city walls, majestic towers, and centuries-old churches dominating the skyline. The iconic Koppelpoort, a monumental city gate and a symbol of Amersfoort, welcomes visitors with its imposing presence, while the Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside from its lofty heights.
Rotterdam: Unlike its more traditional Dutch counterparts, Rotterdam’s skyline is a testament to its resilience and determination to rise from the ashes of World War II destruction. From the historic maritime district of Delfshaven to the trendy neighborhoods of Katendrecht and Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam offers a diverse array of experiences.
Volendam: This charming fishing village nestled along the shores of the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands, is a picturesque retreat steeped in tradition and maritime heritage. With its iconic wooden houses, bustling harbor, and vibrant atmosphere, Volendam offers visitors a glimpse into Dutch culture and coastal life.
The Hague: The political and administrative heart of the Netherlands, is a city of sophistication, cultural richness, and international allure. As the seat of the Dutch government and home to numerous international organizations, The Hague exudes an air of importance and influence. From the historic charm of the Old Town to the vibrant energy of the seaside resort of Scheveningen, The Hague invites visitors to explore its many facets and discover its hidden treasures.

Money Saving Tips

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Cycling Embrace the Dutch way of getting around by renting a bicycle. Cycling is not only an affordable way to explore cities and countryside but also allows you to experience the Netherlands like a local.
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Street Food I suggest avoiding fancy restaurants because in The Netherlands an expensive meal is not a guarantee of quality. Instead, try their typical street food such as Haring, Kroket, Frikandel, Bitterballen, Kibbeling, Stroopwafels, Poffertjes and Oliebollen. The dutchies don’t like to spend either so you will find these delicatessens in every local market.
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Public Transportation Passes Consider purchasing a multi-day public transportation pass, such as the OV-chipkaart or the Amsterdam Travel Ticket, which offer unlimited travel on buses, trams, and trains within specific regions or cities.
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Budget Accommodation Look for budget-friendly accommodation options such as hostels, guesthouses, or vacation rentals, especially outside major tourist areas.
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