Top events in Netherlands


On the evening of April 29, the city centre is converted to a festival venue, with stages for rock, jazz, blues and dance performers. The...


A celebration of the late Queen Juliana's birthday, this is Holland's biggest party of the year. Everyone dons wacky orange outfits, live music...


So central are windmills to the nation's heritage that a special day is devoted to their vital role in draining the lowlands. Many of the ...

Dutch windmills, Netherlands
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Dutch windmills, Netherlands

© Minnis

Netherlands Travel Guide

Key Facts

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


16.8 million (2013).

Population density

404.7 per sq km.




Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state

King Willem-Alexander since 2013.

Head of government

Prime Minister Mark Rutte since 2010.


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: 19 April 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

Heightened security measures will be in place in The Hague on 24-25 March during the annual Nuclear Security Summit, which will be held at the World Forum convention centre. Disruption to road travel is expected in and around the Hague area.

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.

Edited by Jane Duru
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