Netherlands : Hotels , Flights & Travel Packages
Netherlands Travel Guide : Netherlands Tours & Travel Services : Hotels Best Deals & Discounts : Low Cost Flights : Affordable Travel & Holidays Packages
The Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Netherlands in short, (Dutch: Nederland, also commonly called Holland in English, in reference to the provinces North-Holland and South-Holland) is a Benelux country and a founding member of the European Union. The Netherlands border Germany to the east and Belgium to the south. To the west, the country faces the North Sea and the United Kingdom. The people, language, and culture of the Netherlands are referred to as "Dutch". Main attractions in the Kingdom of the Netherlands include : Amsterdam's canals and traditional architecture - Windmills, such as Kinderdijk and Schiedam - Picturesque countryside villages, such as Broek-in-Waterland, Marken and others in the Waterland and Zaan Region - Flower fields in the Bulb Region, such as the Keukenhof - Delta Works in the province of Zeeland and South-Holland .
Events : Every two years, the country goes football crazy as either the European Championship or the World Cup is held. It's not uncommon for literally fifty percent of the population to be watching a game if it's a particularly important one. Often bigger cities will put up large tv screens for the general public, like on the Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam. Likewise, cafes and bars are another popular place to watch games. In the Southern Netherlands (North Brabant, Limburg and to a smaller extent also in Twente, Overijssel and the south of Gelderland), the Catholic celebration of Carnival is held since medieval times. It occurs immediately before Lent; which is usually during February or March. Parades can be seen almost in any town on Sunday, sometimes also occurring on Monday. Parades can also be held in the evening, usually on Saturdays all the wagons are then lit up by numerous small lights. The other days of the week, many activities can be found ranging from street painting (stoepkrijten) to beer drinking contests. The cities of 's-Hertogenbosch, Breda and Maastricht are advisable for attending Carnival.
Queen's Day (Koninginnedag) is held every year at April 30th all over the country (except if this day is a Sunday, then it will be held at the Saturday before). In every village and town, you will find frollicking Dutch, free markets and authentic Dutch games. It is advised to wear orange clothes, most Dutch people walk around in their national colour. An advisable city to attend at this day is Amsterdam, because it's one of the largest events of the year there. In several larger cities (most notably The Hague and Utrecht), the festivities start in the evening of the 29th of April.
Pinkpop - is a three-day pop festival every year with Pentecost ("Pinksteren") in Landgraaf, Limburg.
Lowlands popfestival - every last weekend of August at Biddinghuizen, Flevoland.
Summercarnaval - A big parade through the center of Rotterdam. One of the biggest events in The Netherlands.
Heineken Dance Parade - A big dance parade through Rotterdam. Much in the spirit of the popular Love Parade in Germany.
Northsea Jazz Festival - Big summer jazz festival, held in the Ahoy stadion, Rotterdam since 2006 as it moved there from The Hague. Around 1,800 jazz, blues, funk, soul, hip Hop, latin and r&b acts play during this 3 day event.
Vierdaagsefeesten - Summer festival in Nijmegen lasting seven days, during the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse, which always starts on the 3rd Tuesday in July. The celebrations though start already the weekend before and over 1 million people attend. During the festival, there is a section for all the top Dutch bands such as Moke and Racoon, De Affaire which is focussed on alternative and rock, The Matrixx which has all your electronic dance music needs, and of course the numerous terraces and bars.
Sensation - Famous dance party, with genres such as trance, house and hardstyle. Begin July in Amsterdam.
Dance Valley - The largest dance festival, with over 40,000 visitors. Annually mid July in park Spaarnwoude, near Schiphol Airport. The focus is on celebrating summer, and has circus tents in which every tent is a different genre in dance music.
Mystery Land - Dance festival with a flower-power theme. In the last week of August near Schiphol Airport. Most dance genres are present, including even electro. Also has activities such as workshops and theatre, which are usually uncommon with dance festivals.
Defqon.1 - Dance festival focussing on the harder dance styles, such as hardstyle and hardcore. Residing in Flevoland, usually in mid June, but in 2009 is held in mid September.
Netherlands Cities & Attractions : The Netherlands has many cities and towns of interest to travelers. Below are nine of the most notable ones:
Amsterdam — traveller magnet due to its impressive architecture, lovely canals (grachten), museums and liberal attitudes
Delft — historic unspoiled town with the world-famous blue and white ceramics
Groningen — student city with a relaxed atmosphere and nightlife till the sun gets up
The Hague (Den Haag) — seat of government, royal family, judicial capital of the world and Madurodam
Leiden — historic student city with the country's oldest university and three national museums
Maastricht — fortified medieval city showing the different culture, style and architecture of the south
Nijmegen — oldest city of the country, known for its 4-days march which attracts walkers from all over the world, left-wing politics and large student population
Rotterdam — modern architecture, good nightlife and the largest port of Europe
Utrecht — historic center, nice antique stores and the Rietveld-Schröder House
Other Destinations : These are some interesting destinations outside of the major cities.
Efteling — renowned theme park with fairytale elements like elves and dwarves
Hoge Veluwe National Park — largest national park with heathlands, sand dunes and woodlands
Keukenhof — millions of tourists visit these enormous flower fields each Spring
Kinderdijk — these windmills show the typical Dutch landscape in all its glory
Marken — a former island, and more authentic than Volendam, it is well-known for its characteristic wooden houses
Schokland — old island evacuated in 1859, a well-preserved ghost village remains
Texel — largest island suited for cycling, walking, swimming and horse riding
Volendam — traditional Dutch countryside fishing village with clogs, costumes and windmills
Zaanse Schans — popular well-preserved historic windmills and houses
Netherlands Flights & Airports : Schiphol Airport , near Amsterdam, is a European hub, and after London, Paris, and Frankfurt the largest of Europe. It is by far the biggest international airport in the country, and a point of interest in itself, being 4 metres below mean sea level (the name actually translates as Hollow of Ships). Travellers can easily fly in from most places of the world and then connect with The Netherlands' biggest airline KLM . Other international airports are Eindhoven Airport, Maastricht/Aachen Airport, Rotterdam - The HagueAirport, and Groningen-Eelde Airport.
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