Netherlands holidays mean so much more than fabulous flower fields and wooden shoes. Wedged between Germany and Belgium, with the North Sea lapping against its famous dams, the Netherlands has been a potent force in European history, exporting culture, science and tulip bulbs with an influence that belies its geographical size. The rich offerings of this progressive country make it a perfect getaway, from the quaint canals and bustling districts of Amsterdam to the modern port city of Rotterdam.
Whether you’re in search of rolling fields and romantic windmills or famous paintings and offbeat nightlife, there’s more than enough culture and cycling to keep any traveller hooked. You’re likely to begin in Amsterdam, a city that effortlessly combines the hip and the quaint. Countless museums and vibrant commercial districts provide a seemingly endless choice of fascinating excursions, while a quiet evening stroll along the picturesque canals with their historic houses makes for a charming alternative to the lively nightlife. Beyond the capital, Rotterdam wows visitors with its modernity and enormous port, while the Hague is a point of pilgrimage for politics buffs.
Hungry sightseers will be delighted by the local specialities of hot, crunchy meat and potato croquettes and syrup-drenched stroopwafels, while the country’s colonial past means that a stop in an Indonesian restaurant is actually a very Dutch experience. While hearty eating is very much on the national menu, your sightseeing trips are best taken as the locals themselves travel – by bicycle – so there are lots of opportunities to work off any big meals during your holidays to the Netherlands.