Here’s why The Netherlands should be your next vacation destination
The country of Holland is known for tulips, windmills, cheese and clogs and home to the tallest people in the world!
For those travelling to Europe or Netherlands for the first time, let us clear up some confusion. “Netherlands” literally means “Low Country” in Dutch, which may be the reason why the country is also known by its much cooler name, albeit informal, Holland.
Netherlands is an amazingly chill place where prostitution, abortion and soft drugs are all legalized. It is also the first country to have legalized same sex marriages in 2001. One of the richest countries in the world, it is also the most tolerant. All in all, it’s a great place to visit if you want to experience culture, social freedom, and eat some of the healthiest food in the world while partying non-stop.
There are so many interesting things to do and see that are unique to Holland, that it is hard to compile just a single list. For example, did you know that there are more than 1,000 windmills in the country, dating back to 1850? These windmills are still used for various purposes such as grinding grain and irrigation. Interesting trivia aside, here are some of our favorite reasons why Netherlands should definitely be on your bucket list:
With its mild climate, excellent infrastructure, flat landscape and short distances, Holland is the ultimate cycling nation. While it is fabulously scenic, it also very safe with perfect road signs to make it impossible for you to get lost on a cycle, making it an ideal vacation to go on tours.
Whether you are a lone adventurer, a group of friends seeking to make memories, or are on a look-out for a unique family experience, you can have safe and healthy fun by taking a cycling holiday in Holland.
Netherlands is uniquely geared towards cycling since it has more bikes than people! Given the strength of their infrastructure and how used to car drivers to seeing Dutch cyclists, a study from Rutgers university reported that Netherlands has the lowest rate of serious injuries per million kilometers cycled.
For kids, a Dutch cycling tour offers canals, coasts and its delicious chocolate. Cycling is a great way to explore Holland and discover its historic cities, beautiful landscapes, windmills and bulb fields. Whether you are passing through sweeping coastlines or polder landscapes, there is no better way to experience Netherlands first hand.
And it is easy. Bike rental outlets are common and the country has some 32,000 km of cycling paths including long distance LF routes and ‘motorways’ of cycling.
Ice Skating Tour
With 15,000 ice skaters, encouraged by hundreds of thousands of fans, Elfstedentocht, also known as the Eleven Cities Tour, is the biggest ice-skating tour in the world. Undertaken only during severe winters, the 200-kilometer track is formed when waterways between eleven Frisian cities freeze over.
The tradition began in 1890, when a group of hundred people, men and women, took up the challenge of skating along all the Frisian cities in one day. Since then, the Eleven Cities tour has taken place 15 times. Traditionally, the event starts and finishes in the capital of Friesland province, Leeuwarden, with the finishing line being a windmill called the Bullemolen.
While the Elfstedentocht takes place only in years of extreme winter, ice skating in Holland is a true winter sports with frozen canals, streams, lakes, ponds, and channels all offering natural ice rinks rather than man made rinks.
If you are fan of feeling free and have ice skating in your blood, try going to Netherlands in winter, where the Dutch have used ice skating even as a means of travelling, like cycling.
Art & Architecture
Ever heard of Van Gogh? Or Rembrandt? They were Dutch along with other famous painters such as Vermeer, Frans Hals, Piet Mondrian, MC Escher, and Hieronymus Bosch.
Domestic scenes, portraits, landscapes, seascapes and still lifes from the 17th century, the undisputed Golden Age of Dutch art dot the walls of various galleries in the country. Imagine then being able to feast your eyes on such works in person, along with the work of other contemporary Dutch artists, in some of Netherlands’ renowned museums.
Similar to the culture of Netherlands, which is all-encompassing and accepting in nature, the architecture is unique too. From EYE Amsterdam, the only museum in the Netherlands exclusively dedicated to film and the moving image to Van Nellefabriek, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage site, Netherlands is home to many architectural gems.
And as a side note, you don’t have to be female to love the sight of diamonds. Consider visiting Gassan Diamonds in Amsterdam where you can see the most beautiful jewelry, luxury watches, and of course, diamonds. Employees, who happen to speak multiple languages, give personal tours and tell you everything about the origin of diamonds, how to work them, and the unique Gassan 121.
Any European tour or travel would be incomplete without Amsterdam which is one of Europe’s top short-break destination. The compact city is an intriguing mix of the parochial and the international while welcoming visitors and possesses a uniquely youthful orientation.
Holland’s capital Amsterdam is a centuries’ old city with renowned museums, classic architecture, and picturesque canals. Tours through canals are available to see stately homes that date back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age”.
There are three must-see world famous sights which are the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank Huis, and the Rijksmuseum that has a marvelous Rembrandt paintings collection. Other sights include the Resistance Museum and Royal Palace on the Dam, though for any tourist, the canals are a main draw.
Beyond sightseeing, Amsterdam provides an unparalleled selection of drinking places, nightlife, and innovative cultural events. One of Europe’s liveliest cities, it is at the forefront of contemporary drama, film, music, and dance.
Honestly, these highlights just scratch the surface. From its beaches and boating experiences, to the cafes that are sprawled all over the country, from the love of tulips and the flower shows to the food, there is so much to see and do in Netherlands that it is hard to pick and decide what to do and what to skip. But we can say this for sure, if you are not thinking of Netherlands for your next vacation, then you are missing out on some of the most wonderful memories and experiences you could have while travelling.
About The Author: Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write article related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well. Currently, she is associated with cosmosvacations.in Team. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia
Image Source: Pixabay