The Netherlands

With a robust economy, formidable football team, rich artistic heritage and ever-progressive attitudes on… well, pretty much everything, The Netherlands punches well above its weight, even by European standards. Idealistic and industrious, cosmopolitan and tolerant, it’s a country whose cities continue to set the world pace for all things innovative. In classic Dutch liberal-mindedness, Amsterdam’s colourful cafe culture exists right alongside The Hague’s International Criminal Court, while psychedelic poppy plantations, glistening lakes and the occasional windmill still adorn the countryside. Distinguished, distinctive and damn good fun, The Netherlands is about as impressive and irrepressible as countries come – all the more so given that it was practically built on a swamp.

The Netherlands Tours & Travel

All our The Netherlands trips

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About The Netherlands

At a glance

Trips Available: 2
Capital city: Amsterdam (population 820,000)
Population: 16.7 million
Language: Dutch, Frisian
Currency: EUR
Time zone: (GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
Dialing code: +31

Best time to visit The Netherlands

The Dutch weather can be somewhat unpredictable throughout the year so be prepared whenever you decide to visit. Most people visit between April and September when the weather is warm and the days are long, though showers are always a possibility and it's also a good idea to have a light jacket handy. You'll find smaller crowds during autumn and winter when conditions can be quite cold and wet, though temperatures rarely drop below freezing. The bulb fields near Amsterdam come into bloom from April to mid-May.

Amsterham weather chart

Geography and environment

Known for its low-lying topography, large areas of The Netherlands were reclaimed from the sea and protected by dikes and seawalls, which means that 20 per cent of its land area is below sea level and more than half is no more than 1 metre high. There are slightly higher areas to the east and south in the foothills of the Ardennes. The Netherlands borders Belgium to the south, Germany to the east and has the North Sea to its north and west.

Top Picks

Top 5 Museums in The Netherlands

1. Rijksmuseum

Recently reopened after a major renovation, this national museum boasts one of the most important art collections in the world, featuring Rembrant's 'The Night Watch' plus works by Jan Vermeer and other masters of the Dutch Golden Age.

2. Anne Frank's House

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam, the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the city's Nazi occupiers is preserved as a museum dedicated to those who hid here and those who helped them.

3. Van Gogh Museum

Home to a collection comprising nearly every painting, sketch, print, etching, and piece of correspondence that Vincent van Gogh ever produced, including his most famous work, 'Sunflowers'.

4. Stedelijk Museum

Focusing on various disciplines of modern and contemporary art, Stedelijk aims to represent all significant art and design movements of the 20th and 21st centuries through its world-class collection.

5. Zaanse Schans

An open-air conservation area and museum not far from Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans provides a unique insight into Dutch industry during the 17th and 18th centuries with its traditional windmills and craft workshops.

FAQs on The Netherlands

Tipping is done on a voluntary basis in The Netherlands and is generally left up to the discretion of the customer. If the service in a cafe or restaurant is good, feel free to leave spare change or round up the bill.
Internet access is excellent in The Netherlands - internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots are easily found in most cities and major towns.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in The Netherlands. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
Western-style, flushable toilets are the standard in The Netherlands.
Cup of coffee in a cafe = 2.5 Euro
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 4 Euro
Basic, takeaway lunch = 6 Euro
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 15 Euro
The Netherlands has some of the best 'tap water' in the world. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.
Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops and hotels in The Netherlands. Smaller vendors may not accept credit cards, so carry enough cash to cover small purchases.
ATMs are commonly found in Dutch cities and urban areas. Remote regions will have less ATM availability, so prepare accordingly before travelling away from cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
April 1 Easter Monday
April 30 Queen's Day
May 5 Liberation Day
May 9 Ascension Day
May 20 Whit Monday
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/netherlands/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

The Netherlands Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for The Netherlands

1. Be considerate of The Netherlands’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Diary of a Young GirlAnne Frank
Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It ArousedMike Das
In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam CyclistPete Jordan
RitualsCees Nooteboom