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The Netherlands is a country where the natural beauty is almost entirely man-made - from its fields filled with carefully cultivated flowers to its pretty canals, its windmills, its charming cobbled city streets and the artistic and architectural wonders they contain.
Nestled on the North Sea coast between Belgium and Germany, the Netherlands (or Holland as it’s equally often called) is a prosperous, cosmopolitan country that shares maritime borders with France and the United Kingdom.
Without question, the biggest draw of holidays to the Netherlands is the capital, Amsterdam. Spend time discovering this historic city, one of Europe’s most picturesque urban centres, where the canals, lined by crow-stepped gable houses, are crossed by innumerable bridges. Watch everyday life unfold in one of the city’s welcoming cafés or bars, marvel at the art works in its great museums and galleries or perhaps go for a canal cruise, one of the best ways to see the sights and get to know the city.Read more
Holland is also known as the home of some of the world’s most renowned artists. Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer, Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch were all born here, and the Netherlands remains a vibrant hub of art and innovative architecture. You’ll find notable (and more than a few priceless) examples of classical and contemporary art at the country’s impressive museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, where Rembrandt’s famous ‘Night Watch’ is the most celebrated of the impressive exhibits.
And while it’s narrow, elegant waterside townhouses that most immediately spring to mind when thinking of Dutch architecture, the Netherlands is actually home to some startling, fascinating modern buildings. You’ll find some of the most innovative examples in Rotterdam, where cutting-edge designs give this city a lively, modern character - from the rows of cube houses near Blaak metro station to the vast modern 'harp' of the Erasmus Bridge and the remarkable Markthal food market and Cube houses of Overblaak Street.
In contrast to the cities, the Dutch countryside is a place of gentle charms. Enjoy the fun-loving air of picturesque seaside resorts like Scheveningen, meander along the paths and waterways of the Keukenhof, where millions of flowers carpet the ground in a breath-taking horticultural display, or perhaps stroll through the windmill-dotted landscape of on the shores of the Zuider Zee.
The Netherlands may be small, but it has plenty to offer, so take a holiday to Holland with Newmarket Holidays and discover the beauty and charm of every corner you visit.
With its museums, villages, parks and cities, concert halls, bars and network of waterways, Holland has a huge range of activities to offer. Here are our top recommendations for things to do on your holiday in the Netherlands.
Dutch cuisine is often simple and straightforward, with most dishes traditionally consisting more of seasonal vegetables than meat.
Southern Dutch cuisine is famous for its various rich pastries, soups, stews and vegetable dishes. Northern cuisine is known for dried sausages while the western Netherlands is known for its many dairy products, which include prominent cheeses such as Gouda and Edam.
Tourists may turn in particular to pancakes with a million different sweet or savoury toppings, in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, but for locals, Kibbeling is much more a famous snack. These deep-fried chunks of battered fish have much in common with British fish and chips but are served with a mayonnaise-based garlic sauce or tartar sauce. Other traditional snacks include meaty, bite-size Bitterballen, and Frikanddellen (a sort of skinless hot-dog sausage, served split lengthways and served ‘special’ with mayonnaise, curry ketchup and raw onion). For a heartier traditional meal, try stamppot, a delicious, filling dish of mashed potatoes and other vegetables that’s usually topped with a smoked sausage.
Dutch pastries and cookies are world-famous. No visit to Holland is complete without trying stroopwafel, the most famous pastry in the country. You can buy stroopwafels in most if not every supermarket, but they’re best enjoyed in one of the many cases where you can set them atop a steaming cup of coffee to soften the syrup inside. If you prefer something much fluffier, try poffertjes – a deliciously Dutch delight. Served with powdered sugar and butter, you can get these from food stands.