The Netherlands, which many call Holland, is world famous for its windmills, Amsterdam’s canals, free spirits, and tulips. But in this country, it turns out, there are also many beach resorts. So, the Dutch resort town of Zandvoort, located on the North Sea coast, has been welcoming tourists since 1828.
Geography of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is located in Northwestern Europe. In the north and west, the Netherlands is washed by the North Sea. In the south, this country borders with Belgium, and in the east – with Germany. The Kingdom of the Netherlands also includes the islands of Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean. The total area of the Netherlands is 41,526 sq. km., and the length of the European border is 1,027 km.
Most of the territory of the Netherlands is occupied by lowlands. About 20% of the territory of this country is below sea level. The highest point in the Netherlands is Walserberg (322 meters).
There are a lot of rivers in the Netherlands. It is in this country that the mouths of the Rhine, Scheldt and Meuse are located.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, which is now home to more than 800 thousand people. Historians believe that the city of Amsterdam was founded in the 13th century. Amsterdam became the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1814.
The Netherlands has two official languages, Dutch and Frisian. Linguists classify Dutch as part of the Germanic language family, and Frisian as an Anglo-Frisian subgroup of the Germanic languages. The Frisian language is spoken mainly in the province of Friesland.
Only 39% of the inhabitants of the Netherlands identify themselves with any religion. 24% of the Dutch are Catholic (Roman Catholic Church), 16% are Protestant and 5% are Muslim.
State structure of the Netherlands
According to computerminus.com, the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, where the head of state is the King.
In this country, legislative power belongs to the bicameral parliament – the States General, consisting of the House of Representatives (150 people) and the Senate (75 people).
The main political parties in the Netherlands are the Christian Democratic Appeal, the Labor Party, the right-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the left-liberal Democrats 66, and the Socialist Party.
Climate and weather
The climate in the Netherlands is temperate maritime with cool summers and mild winters. In January, the average air temperature is +2C, and in July – +19C. In general, the annual average air temperature in this country is +9.6C. The average annual rainfall is 76.5 cm.
Average air temperature in the Netherlands:
- January – +2С
- February – +3С
- March – +6C
- April – +9С
- May – +13С
- June – +15.6C
- July – +18С
- August – +18
- September – +14.5С
- october – +11C
- November – +7С
- December – +4C
Sea in the Netherlands
The coast of the Netherlands in the north and west is washed by the North Sea. The length of the sea coast of this country is 451 kilometers. The entire Dutch sea coast is made up of wide sand dunes.
Rivers and lakes in the Netherlands
A large number of rivers flow through the territory of the Netherlands, but all of them are not very long. The mouths of the rivers Rhine, Scheldt and Meuse are located in the Netherlands. There are a lot of lakes in this country, the largest of which are Grevelingen, Flussen, Sneaker-Mer, Tjoke-Mer, etc.
Many Dutch rivers and lakes are connected by canals (Corbulon, Ghent-Ternusen, Amsterdam-Rhine, and Nordsee Canal).
In ancient times, the Celtic and Germanic tribes lived on the territory of the modern Netherlands. In I BC the southern Dutch territories were conquered by Ancient Rome. The north of the Netherlands was not even invaded by the Romans.
The power of the Romans over the Southern Netherlands lasted for about 300 years. Then Germanic tribes and Franks invade the territory of the Netherlands. In 800 AD The Netherlands was already part of the empire of the Frankish king Charlemagne.
After the death of Charlemagne, several small states were formed in the Netherlands, ruled by princes and counts. In the Middle Ages, the Netherlands experienced a strong economic boom due to its agriculture. At this time, the Dutch are actively trading with the countries of Africa and Asia.
In 1581, the Netherlands declared its independence from Spain. This was followed by the so-called. “Eighty Years’ War” between the Netherlands and Spain. Upon its completion, the Netherlands became officially an independent state. However, until 1794 the Netherlands nominally remained a country belonging to the Austrian Habsburg Empire.
At the end of the 18th century, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was created. In 1830, the province of Belgium rebelled, as a result of which it separated from the Netherlands (the Kingdom of Belgium was formed). In 1890, another Dutch province, Luxembourg, gained independence.
During the First World War, the Netherlands was a neutral state, but during the Second World War, the Netherlands was occupied by German troops.
Now the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member of the UN, the EU and the NATO military bloc.
Culture of the Netherlands
For some reason, it so happened that a huge number of brilliant and talented painters were born in the Netherlands. But in the Netherlands, it turns out, there were many philosophers, architects.
The most famous Dutch philosophers are Erasmus of Rotterdam, who lived in the 15th century, and Spinoza (17th century).
The most famous Dutch painters are Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Stein, Vincent van Gogh, and Maurice Cornelis.
Carnival is held every year in the Netherlands, usually starting 40 days before Lent.
Of course, Dutch cuisine cannot be compared to Italian or French cuisine, however, it has some very tasty traditional dishes. The main products in the Netherlands are fish, seafood, meat and potatoes. In general, in the Middle Ages, the Dutch cooked very delicious dishes, and loved to spend money on food, but in the 18th-19th centuries thrift came into fashion…
The most traditional Dutch dish is Hutspot, mashed potatoes with onions and carrots, which dates back to the 18th century. In the Netherlands, we also advise tourists to try the following traditional Dutch dishes:
- Erwtensoep – pea soup with meat.
- Waterzooi – fish soup.
- Rijsttafel – rice with a side dish (meat, nuts, fish, or poultry).
- Poffertjes – pancakes.
- Oliebollen are donuts made for Christmas.
- Speculaas are traditional Dutch cookies.
- Stroopwafels are waffles stuffed with syrup.
The Netherlands has been making great beer for centuries. Traditional strong alcoholic Dutch drink – juniper vodka “Genever”.
Landmarks of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is famous for its attractions, the best of which are:
- Canals of Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, canals began to be built in the 16th century during the Golden Dutch Age. At the moment, the total length of the canals of Amsterdam is more than 100 km. 1,500 bridges were built across the Amsterdam canals.
- Leiden’s canals Leiden is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Rembrandt was born in this city. Leiden is also famous for its canals.
- City Hall in Delft. The city hall building in the city of Delft is a beautiful architectural work of the Renaissance. The Delft City Hall building was originally designed and built by the Dutch architect Hendrik de Kaiser, and in the 20th century it was restored according to the original design.
- Keukenhof park garden in Lisse. This park is the world’s largest flower garden (about 1 million different flowers in total). The first flower show in Lisse was held in 1949. A ticket for adults costs 14.5 euros.
- De Hoge Veluwe National Park. This national park is the largest nature reserve in the Netherlands. On the territory of De Hoge Veluwe there is a museum with paintings by the famous Vincent van Gogh. Cyclists can ride around the De Hoge Veluwe park for free.
- Kinderdijk village. In the area of the village of Kinderdijk near Rotterdam, there are a large number of old windmills. 19 of them were built in 1740, and now they are a popular tourist destination. In total, there are now more than 1,000 old windmills in the Netherlands.
- Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum is considered the largest and most prestigious museum in the Netherlands. It has a very large collection of paintings by old Dutch masters including Vermeer and Rembrandt.
- Vrijthof square in Mastricht. Vrijthof Square is the most famous square in the Netherlands. On this square are two of the most beautiful cathedrals – St. Servas and St. John.
- Dome Cathedral in Utrecht. The Dome Cathedral was designed by the architect John Eno and built in 1321-1382. Now the Dome Cathedral in Utrecht is the highest religious Gothic building in the Netherlands.
- Project Delta Between 1950 and 1997, a network of dikes was built in the provinces of Zeeland and South Zealand to protect the Netherlands from the sea. The Delta project is a grandiose architectural solution.
Cities and resorts
The largest Dutch cities are, of course, Amsterdam, as well as Utrecht, Rotterdam, and The Hague.
In the Netherlands, there are, it turns out, several popular beach resorts. The Dutch love to visit the beaches of the resorts of Scheveningen, Katwijk, Bloemendaal, Petten, Noordwijk, Bergen, Cadzand, Vlissingen, and Zandvoort.
Tourists from the Netherlands usually bring as souvenirs decorative earthenware, cheese, windmills, Dutch wooden shoes, tulip bulbs, a strong Dutch alcoholic drink called jenever, and, of course, Dutch beer.
Some banks are also open on Saturday mornings.
Some shops are also open on Sundays.
Supermarkets are open from 08:00 to 20:00.
Ukrainians need a visa to enter the Netherlands.
Currency of Holland
The Netherlands is a member of the European Union, i.е. In the territory of this country, the euro is used as currency. All major payment cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.) are widely used in the country.
Tourists in the Netherlands can import currency without restrictions, but the amount of 10 thousand euros is included in the declaration. Customs regulations in the Netherlands are the same as in other EU countries.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine:
Index – 01901, Kyiv, 7 Kontraktova sq.
T: (044) 490-82-00
490-82-09 e- mail: [email protected]
All emergencies – 112
Police – 0900 8844, but this is not an emergency number (you will be connected to the local police station).
The difference with time in Kyiv is -1 hour. Those. if in Amsterdam, for example, it is 09:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 10:00 am.
In the Netherlands, tips are already included in the bill, but if you want to thank for the excellent service, you can leave a tip of 10% of the bill. In bars, the bill is usually rounded up to a higher amount (for example, with a bill of 7.85 euros, they pay 8 euros). However, in the Netherlands you don’t have to feel uncomfortable if you don’t want to leave a tip.
No special vaccinations are required to enter the Netherlands, but health insurance is required.
The Dutch are open and straightforward people. Some foreigners may mistake these Dutch qualities for rudeness. Dutch travel guides claim that traveling to the Netherlands is “reasonably safe”. However, tourists in this country should be wary of pickpockets.
If your passport is stolen in the Netherlands, contact your embassy immediately and get advice on what to do in this case.