Holland or Netherlands is located in the centre of Western Europe between the third and seventh meridian of Greenwich. This country has much to offer to it’s citizens and travellers as well. There is no other country like Netherlands for it’s size and quality of the life. It borders to the south with Belgium, to the east with Germany, while to the north and west it is bordered by the North Sea. The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are part of the Kingdom. The Netherlands has an area of ​​41,526 sq. km and the territory has a shape that can be traced back to a right triangle; except for the modest hills, which rise in the extreme south, the territory is entirely flat. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s travel in Netherlands together.

GEOGRAPHY

When talking about “travel in Netherlands”, there is no reason to avoid visiting this country as it is in the middle of Europe. Indeed, you can easily travel to Netherlands from any European country. Travel to Netherlands from Frankfurt, Germany by train is just about 4 hours trip. You can travel From Brussels to Rotterdam, Netherlands in just 3:30 or are you already in Paris, France? Thinking about travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands? Then we are speaking about just 2:38 train.

The Lowlands Region, to the west, is crisscrossed by canals, rivers and inland seas. To the east and south stretches Upper Holland, whose soil is just above sea level, with reliefs that rarely exceed 50 m. Almost half of the territory is made up of sands and 38% is made up of marine and fluvial clays. Over the centuries the Dutch have reclaimed their lands from the waters by means of a complex system of embankments, dams and canals, managing to increase the area of ​​the mainland by about 1/5. The territories bordering the North Sea are mostly formed by a sequence of dunes and dams which have the function of protecting the densely populated hinterland. Between the dunes and the sea stretches of sand extend as far as the eye can see, counted among the largest in the old continent. The national territory is crossed by a large number of rivers, the main ones being the Rhine and the Meuse, and canals, almost all of which can be navigated.

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COOKING

Travel to Netherlands to try their delicious and healthy breakfast. The eating habits of the Dutch are very similar to those of the English. A’ a hearty breakfast in the morning is followed by a quick and frugal midday meal. The dinner, on the other hand, is copious and nutritious. The cuisine of the Netherlands is basically simple, based on eggs, milk cheese, vegetables and fish. The breakfast, is generally based on cheese, salami and ham, eggs and dessert. 

The midday lunch, Uitsmijter, is based on canapes of considerable variety, slices of bread with cooked ham, fried eggs and lettuce. Coffee and tea are usually consumed in the afternoon. Evening dinner usually consists of an appetizer or cold dish, followed by a soup. The side dish of vegetables of all kinds is very abundant, given the considerable production all year round. One of the most significant items in Dutch cuisine is fish. The typical dish is herring, which is generally sold smoked, on the characteristic haringkar, herring cart. The eels and octopuses are also very good, often accompanied by seafood; mussels and oysters from Zealand are tasty and of excellent quality. Typical Dutch specialties include: pea soup, eel soup, eel soup with vegetables, vegetable soup, sprouts with smoked sausage, beef steak, rice with white meat, roast chicken, cod, eel and sole. 

Among the sweets and desserts, chocolate deserves a separate place, while the cakes are mainly made with candied fruit and leavened dough; finally, notable species of biscuits and pandolce. 

WHAT TO DRINK

Beer of various types, light-dark, and quality, is the preferred accompaniment to food, while the consumption of tea and coffee is quite common. among the typical drinks advokaat, egg brandy, jenever, brandy that can be drunk pure or with the addition of lemon or currant, brandewijn, brandy and sugar. There is also a remarkable variety of Curaçao liqueurs, Cherry brandy, Anisette and Apricot brandy. HOW TO EAT The catering offer in Holland is wide and very articulated. They range from the most exclusive restaurants, where next to the local cuisine, first-rate international cuisine is offered, to the restaurants of the Tourist menu chain that offer the three-course lunch formula at very reasonable prices, to the chain of Neederlans Dis Restaurants that serve exclusively courses of the most rigorous and traditional Dutch cuisine in typical places and environments, at the snack bars, cafeterias, lunch rooms, self-service, generally suitable for a hasty midday meal. The department store chains also have their own catering services. Cafes, student restaurants and pancake restaurants offer refreshments at moderate prices. Finally, in some public facilities it is possible to find vending machines for sandwiches, hot food and drinks. Numerous typical national restaurants, where it is possible to taste the specialties of Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek cuisine. there are also numerous pizzerias, mostly managed by Italians.

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THE DUTCH HISTORY

The Dutch territories initially inhabited by Germanic tribes, were occupied in the 4th century by the Salii Franks. In 870 they passed under the German reign, the 10th century the counties of Gelderland and Kennemerland (Holland) were formed in 1430 that of Burgundy. In 1477 the Netherlands passed to the Habsburgs, but a century later, following a long war against Spain, they separated, becoming an independent state. The new republic quickly asserted itself by coming into possession of a vast colonial empire, in conflict with the maritime power of England. In the eighteenth century a period of economic decline began and in 1806 the town was annexed to the reign of Luigi Bonaparte; in 1815 the congress of Vienna reunified the northern and southern Netherlands (Belgium) forming the kingdom of the United Netherlands. The current territorial order was achieved in 1831, after the separation of Belgium. The two world wars saw the Netherlands neutral but, during the in the last conflict they were occupied by the German army and the civilian population suffered greatly due to the destruction and deportations that mainly affected the Jewish community. After the war, the country, now a parliamentary monarchy, renounced the possession of the colonies and neutrality, becoming part of the economic associations and military alliances of Western Europe, the European Community, NATO. Want to know more about Dutch history and see them in real life? We advice you to travel to Netherlands to see their rich history by visiting several museums. One more advantage to travel to Netherlands is to see their engineering’s.

CLIMATE

Spring and summer are undoubtedly the best times to visit Holland. In spring, from mid-April to mid-May, it is not very hot, but the landscape offered by the flowering of bulbous flowers (tulips, hyacinths, daffodils) is extraordinary. In summer, from June to September, the temperature is mild and if you want you can visit the sandy beaches of the coast, exposed to the winds, but sheltered by the presence of the dunes. However, it must be borne in mind that the sea temperature only reaches 17-18 degrees in August. Summer is undoubtedly the most suitable season to visit this country by bike, flat and below sea level, even if you can encounter a light warm rain. Winter is not particularly cold but the fogs are very frequent and the presence of a humid drizzle is rather persistent.

TRANSPORT

For those who reach Amsterdam by flight, the arrival is foreseen at Shipol airport which has only one terminal and remains one of the most moderate, efficient and cleanest in the world.
There are connections to the city centre by bus, train or taxi, the KLM bus service, available to passengers, connects the airport to the large hotels in the city with two different routes, the cost of the ticket is about 15-20 euros. The best way to reach the centre is by train, the trip lasts about 20 minutes, with frequency every 15 minutes from 6.00 to 24.00, and then every hour. The trains all arrive at Central Station, including those from Schipol Airport. 

To drive in the Netherlands all you need is a valid driving license, a registration document, insurance and a green card. The main roads are in good condition, while the Dutch motorways have narrow lanes, traffic lights and sometimes no equipped stopping points. The speed limit ‘is 120 km / h on motorways, 80 km / h outside the city and 50 km / h in urban areas. When driving downtown Amsterdam beware of cyclists, most of the centre is one-way. We also recommend you to check the government latest speed limits to avoid fines.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Public transportation in the Netherlands is just amazing! It has been planned in genius way and it works on time. There are 17 tram lines in Amsterdam and are the most used form of transport in the city. The tram service runs from 6.00 on weekdays and a little later on weekends. Ends before midnight, when night races take over. The yellow signs indicate the name of the stop and the route number. Lines 24 or 25 lead to all the characteristic districts of Amsterdam. 

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On trams you can get on just two doors (the one in the close to the driver and the one in the middle) and get off from any of the doors. First thing to do when get on tram and bus is: touch the ticket checker with your ticket or OV-chip card. And importantly, don’t forget to touch the checker once you get off.
How to buy tickets? If you are on the bus you can ask the driver and don’t worry about the language, because most of them speak English fluently. In case of the tram, you have to get on through middle doors if you don’t have tickets on your hands. Once you get on, there is a counter where you can ask for tickets. When you buy tickets, you have few options:

1 hour ticket

€3.20 – valid only on GVB trams/metro/buses, NOT on trains.

Unlimited GVB Day

€8.50 – Good value if you are planning to catch tram/bus few times a day. This ticket lasts for 24h.

€4 – for children of age 4-11.

Need to know more about tickets and routs in Amsterdam? Click Me.

Amsterdam Trasport Tips

You can easily recognize Tram and Bus stops, but if you are new to Netherlands I will recommend you to use Google maps.
The Amsterdam metro network consists of three lines which all lead to Central Station. It is mainly used by commuters, as it covers only four central stations, all on the eastern side, Amsterdam CS, Nieuwmarkt, Waterlooplein and Weesperplein. Extend the service by half ‘ now compared to trams on working days, but the payment system is the same. 
Most buses depart from Central Station and cover an extensive network of routes. Eastern lines serve the Scheepvaart Museum, which is not accessible by tram. The buses observe the same stops and payment system as the trams, but you must go up front. The buses stop running between 2.00 and 4.00. 
Taxis are quite expensive, but very comfortable, you cannot call them on the street: you can check it on internet or you have to call the central office (6777777), or look for a taxi rank. 
Canals Various means of transport will allow you to visit Amsterdam from the canals. The Canal bus, a regular public service connects the central station to the Rijksmuseum; the Museum service leaves from the station and serves the main museums. Tickets are on sale at the tourist office. Some companies offer boat trips for tourists; the landing stages are almost all in front of the station or near the Rijksmuseum. Ferry The ferry is free and connects, every 8 minutes, the central station in Amsterdamnord, it does not carry cars, but only bicycles and public buses. 

ACCOMMODATION STRUCTURES

Hotels

The hotel accommodation facilities in Holland are undoubtedly very good;

The average standard is maintained at very satisfactory levels of quality and comfort. In addition to the usual international classification, a mandatory classification is in force in the Netherlands. The typical hotel accommodation is the HOTEL, which is a modest hotel and is marked with the letter H instead of stars. Prices generally include service and VAT, and include breakfast. 

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Motels

Other types of accommodation are the Motels, which are generally located in direct connection with the motorways and the main roads. They operate the restaurant bar service and provide accommodation for the night. The Garnis are designed, in most cases, to provide only the “bed & breakfast” service. 

Bed & Breakfast

The Bungalow Villages, which are over 500, are to provide only the “bed & breakfast” service. The Bungalow Villages, which are over 500, are equipped with modern comforts and equipped with excellent sports facilities (indoor swimming pools, gyms, saunas).

Rooms

There are also Rooms for Rent, which offer family accommodation and can be found in all the main towns and in particular in the seaside resorts of the coast. 

Hostels

Youth hostels, which are very numerous in every part of the country, are usually very well equipped and offer a series of facilities for youth tourism. They are flanked by other similar accommodation options, such as the “Sleep-ins”, which are farms used as student hotels. Campsites are very popular, at least judging by the over 2500 areas equipped for this purpose. A list of some campsites, with their classification based on the facilities and services offered, is published annually by the Netherlands Board of Tourism. As a general rule it should be borne in mind that in Holland free camping is not allowed outside the specially equipped areas

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