The Netherlands country guide | Europe

Tradition and innovation intertwine right here: inventive masterpieces, centuries-old windmills, tulip fields and romantic candlelit cafés coexist with visionary structure, cutting-edge design and phenomenal nightlife.

Art & Architecture

In a country that gave start to celebrated Dutch Masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian, the artwork legacy is big. World-renowned artwork museums in Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Haarlem and Leiden drip with iconic masterpieces, alongside a good portfolio of up to date works. The Dutch affect on building spans greater than a millennia, from Romanesque and Gothic medieval magnum opuses to Dutch Renaissance palaces and romantic Golden Age gabled homes. Trailblazing modern structure – inexperienced and revolutionary – is an ideal reflection of a country completely in tune with its atmosphere (and the necessity to shield it).

Cycling

With fabulously pancake-flat, scenic landscapes beckoning alongside each final dyke, canal, river and coastal shore, two-wheeling within the Netherlands is one among Dutch life’s biggest pleasures (headwinds however). While the bike-loving Dutch virtually dwell on their well-worn, beloved fietsen (bicycles) – many, infamously solely with back-pedal coaster brakes – biking for guests is an excellent technique of exploring and getting round. Bike-rental retailers are ubiquitous, and the country is criss-crossed with some 32,000km of biking paths, together with the Dutch ‘motorways’ of biking, the long-distance LF routes. Grab some wheels and go!

Café Culture

When the Dutch say café they imply a pub, and there are hundreds – with wonderful summertime terraces peppering flower-strewn canals, looking to sea, hidden down historic lanes, standing on each city’s Grote Markt (market sq.). In a country that values socialising and dialog greater than ingesting, cafés are locations for go-slow contemplation and camaraderie, over dusk-time borrel (drinks) with bar snacks or a wonderful meal any time of day. The final café kick: revelling in that deliciously comfortable, Dutch state of gezelligheid (conviviality, cosiness) in a timeless bruin café (brown cafe), named for the nicotine stains of centuries previous.

Landscapes

Geography performs a key function within the Netherlands’ iconic landscapes. More than 1 / 4 of the pancake-flat country is under sea stage, and 20% has been reclaimed from the ocean, making regimental rows of polders (areas of drained land) omnipresent. Uninterrupted North Sea winds have powered windmills for the reason that thirteenth century, pumping water over the dykes, milling flour and extra. Some two-thirds of the floor is dedicated to agriculture, together with stunning rainbow fields of crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips that burst into flower annually between March and May. The kaleidoscope of color is nothing in need of psychedelic.

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