Top events in Netherlands

March
24

About 700,000 people visit Keukenhof Gardens each spring to admire the tulips and other bulb flowers in full bloom. This incredible display of...

April
01

The 'Bloemencorso van de Bollenstreek' is a parade of flower-decorated floats that makes a slow 40km (25-mile) passage from Noordwijk to Haarlem,...

April
08

Thrillers, science fiction, horror and cult movies are the mainstay of the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, which has been terrifying audiences...

Dutch windmills, Netherlands
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Dutch windmills, Netherlands

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Netherlands Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

41,528 sq km (16,034 sq miles).

Population

16.8 million (2013).

Population density

404.7 per sq km.

Capital

Amsterdam.

Government

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state

King Willem-Alexander since 2013.

Head of government

Prime Minister Mark Rutte since 2010.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin European-style plugs are in use.

A small country with a big profile, the Netherlands offers a beguiling blend of rural, traditional beauty and vibrant culture. Occupying a delta at the confluence of three major rivers where they empty into the North Sea, it is truly a water world: canals, coast and lakes are never far from view. Flat as a pannenkoek, it also makes an ideal destination for cycling, an integral mode of transport among the Dutch themselves, and many visitors plan their trips around the extensive infrastructure for two-wheeled travel.

Holland (as the country is alternatively referred to) is also a deeply cosmopolitan place where museums overflow with paintings from its Golden Age and a cavalcade of festivals showcase performing artists from within and beyond its borders. Added to this is an eye-opening nightlife scene in cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

A tolerant people, ever open to outside influence, the Dutch place a high value on a quality they call gezelligheid: a sense of cosiness and conviviality that's immediately apparent to anyone who's ever stepped into a bruin café, the Dutch version of a pub. The object of all their scrupulous planning, it seems, is to share their enjoyment of life.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 21 December 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Amsterdam health authorities have launched a campaign to warn tourists about the danger of buying a substance which is sold as cocaine, but is actually white heroin. This has caused a number of deaths. For more information visit the website of the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD). , and don’t carry or use drugs.

Everybody over the age of 14 is required to show a valid identity document on request.

Be alert to the existence of street crime in cities.

If you need to contact the emergency services call 112.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism.

British nationals make around 1.8 million visits to the Netherlands every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

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