You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Netherlands .
The Netherlands is a country located in Western Europe with territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, bordering Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. In the Caribbean, it consists of three special municipalities: the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The country's official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland, and English and Papiamento as secondary official languages in the Caribbean Netherlands. Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are recognised regional languages (spoken in the east and southeast respectively), while Dutch Sign Language, Sinte Romani and Yiddish are recognised non-territorial languages.
The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Amsterdam is the country's most populous city and nominal capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe, and the busiest in any country outside East Asia and Southeast Asia, behind only China and Singapore. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, and the third busiest in Europe. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centred in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed 'the world's legal capital'.
Netherlands literally means "lower countries" in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 m (3.3 ft) above sea level, and nearly 26% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 14th century. Colloquially or informally the Netherlands is occasionally referred to by the pars pro toto Holland. With a population of 17.4 million people, all living within a total area of roughly 41,800 km2 (16,100 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,500 km2 (12,900 sq mi)—the Netherlands is the 16th most densely populated country in the world and the 2nd most densely populated country in the European Union, with a density of 521 km2 (201 sq mi). Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture and inventiveness.
The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion, prostitution and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in Civil Law in 1870, though it was not completely removed until a new constitution was approved in 1983. The Netherlands allowed women's suffrage in 1919, before becoming the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy had the eleventh-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development and quality of life, as well as happiness. In 2020, it ranked eighth on the human development index and fifth on the 2021 World Happiness Index.
Foods in Netherlands :
(1) Erwtensoep :
Essentially a meal in itself, erwtensoep is a thick pea soup – so thick in fact that some say you should be able to leave a spoon standing up in it! You make it using dried split green peas and other vegetables such as celery, onions, leeks, carrots, and potatoes. You then add slices of smoked sausage just before serving; which is usually with a piece of rye bread (roggebrood) topped with smoked bacon (katenspek), cheese, and butter. While the Dutch traditionally eat Erwtensoep on New Year’s Day, it is also a popular choice during the cold winter months. In fact, you will often see skaters along the frozen canals warming themselves up with a steaming hot mug of snert – another name for this tasty soup.
(2) Pannenkoeken :
Pannenkoeken have remained a staple of local cuisine in the Netherlands for centuries, and it’s not hard to see why. These hearty Dutch pancakes can be topped with sweet or savory ingredients; such as bacon, salmon, apple, cheese, chocolate, powdered sugar, and stroop (a treacly Dutch syrup). But don’t be fooled into thinking they are similar to the American or Scotch variety, because they can be huge! As a result, they can be enjoyed as a main course for lunch, dinner, or dessert – if you have room.
(3) Poffertjes :
If you can’t quite manage a pannenkoeken, then why not have the next best thing – poffertjes. Made with yeast and buckwheat flour, these small, fluffy pancakes have a light and spongy texture and are a popular food at Dutch festivals and events. Food stalls usually serve them warm on a piece of cardboard paper with powdered sugar, butter, or syrup (stroop). They are cooked in special poffertjes pans, which have lots of shallow indentations in them. But if you’re making them at home, you can simply drop small spoonfuls of the batter onto a frying pan or skillet and carefully turn them over to cook the other side.
(4) Bami Goreng :
Due to the colonial connection of the Netherlands with Indonesia, you will find some surprisingly exotic dishes when exploring Dutch cuisine. In fact, you will find Indonesian restaurants everywhere throughout the country, and nearly all of them will have bami goreng on the menu. This stir-fried egg noodle dish blends together garlic, onion, vegetables, meat, egg, and chili to offer a spicy kick. Other Indonesian specialties to look out for in the Netherlands are rendang (meat in coconut milk and mixed spices), rijsttafel (rice served with small dishes of spiced meat and vegetables), and a spiced layer cake called spekkoek.
(5) Stamppot :
This might not be the most sophisticated dish you will come across in the Netherlands, but you will certainly be grateful for it during those cold winter evenings. Literally translating as ‘mash pot’, stamppot is the ultimate comfort food and involves mashing together potatoes with other vegetables, and serving it with a big smoked sausage and gravy. There are many varieties of stamppot to try, including boerenkool (kale), zuurkool (sauerkraut), hutspot (onions and carrots), and rauweandijvie (endive). Nutritious, delicious, and easy to make, stamppot is undoubtedly one of the most popular Dutch foods you will find.
Weather & geography in Netherlands :
Area of the Netherlands: 41,526 sq km. ... Maritime climate: The Netherlands has a mild, maritime climate, similar to England; summers are generally warm with colder, rainy periods, and excessively hot weather is rare, but last years happens more and more often. Winters can be fairly cold, windy, with rain and some snow.The geography of the European Netherlands is unusual in that much of its land has been reclaimed from the sea and is below sea level, protected by dikes. It is a small country with a total area of 41,545 km2 (16,041 sq mi) and ranked 131st. With a population of 17.4 million and density of 521/km2 (1,350/sq mi) makes it the second most densely populated member of the European Union after Malta, and the 12th most densely populated country in the world, behind only three countries with a population over 16 million. Consequently, the Netherlands is highly urbanized.
Per day Cost in Netherlands :
You should plan to spend around €137 ($162) per day on your vacation in the Netherlands, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, €36 ($43) on meals for one day and €21 ($26) on local transportation.
History of Netherlands :
The history of the Netherlands is a history of seafaring people thriving on a lowland river delta on the North Sea in northwestern Europe. Records begin with the four centuries during which the region formed a militarized border zone of the Roman Empire. This came under increasing pressure from Germanic peoples moving westwards. As Roman power collapsed and the Middle Ages began, three dominant Germanic peoples coalesced in the area, Frisians in the north and coastal areas, Low Saxons in the northeast, and the Franks in the south.
During the Middle Ages, the descendants of the Carolingian dynasty came to dominate the area and then extended their rule to a large part of Western Europe. The region nowadays corresponding to the Netherlands therefore became part of Lower Lotharingia within the Frankish Holy Roman Empire. For several centuries, lordships such as Brabant, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland, Guelders and others held a changing patchwork of territories. There was no unified equivalent of the modern Netherlands.
By 1433, the Duke of Burgundy had assumed control over most of the lowlands territories in Lower Lotharingia; he created the Burgundian Netherlands which included modern Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and a part of France.
The Catholic kings of Spain took strong measures against Protestantism, which polarised the peoples of present-day Belgium and the Netherlands. The subsequent Dutch revolt led to the splitting in 1581 of the Burgundian Netherlands into a Catholic, French- and Dutch-speaking "Spanish Netherlands" (approximately corresponding to modern Belgium and Luxembourg), and a northern "United Provinces" (or "Dutch Republic)", which spoke Dutch and was predominantly Protestant. The latter entity became the modern Netherlands.
In the Dutch Golden Age, which had its zenith around 1667, there was a flowering of trade, industry, and the sciences. A rich worldwide Dutch empire developed and the Dutch East India Company became one of the earliest and most important of national mercantile companies based on war, entrepreneurship and trade.
During the eighteenth century, the power, wealth and influence of the Netherlands declined. A series of wars with the more powerful British and French neighbours weakened it. The UK seized the North American colony of New Amsterdam, and renamed it "New York". There was growing unrest and conflict between the Orangists and the Patriots. The French Revolution spilled over after 1789, and a pro-French Batavian Republic was established in 1795–1806. Napoleon made it a satellite state, the Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810), and later simply a French imperial province.
After the collapse of Napoleon in 1813–15, an expanded "United Kingdom of the Netherlands" was created with the House of Orange as monarchs, also ruling Belgium and Luxembourg. The King imposed unpopular Protestant reforms on Belgium, which revolted in 1830 and became independent in 1839. After an initially conservative period, following the introduction of the 1848 constitution, the country became a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. Modern-day Luxembourg became officially independent from the Netherlands in 1839, but a personal union remained until 1890. Since 1890, it is ruled by another branch of the House of Nassau.
The Netherlands was neutral during the First World War, but during the Second World War, it was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany. The Nazis, including many collaborators, rounded up and killed almost all of the country's Jewish population. When the Dutch resistance increased, the Nazis cut off food supplies to much of the country, causing severe starvation in 1944–45. In 1942, the Dutch East Indies were conquered by Japan, but prior to this the Dutch destroyed the oil wells for which Japan was desperate. Indonesia proclaimed its independence from the Netherlands in 1945, followed by Suriname in 1975. The post-war years saw rapid economic recovery (helped by the American Marshall Plan), followed by the introduction of a welfare state during an era of peace and prosperity. The Netherlands formed a new economic alliance with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Benelux, and all three became founding members of the European Union and NATO. In recent decades, the Dutch economy has been closely linked to that of Germany and is highly prosperous. The four countries adopted the Euro on 1 January 2002, along with eight other EU member states.
Language in Netherlands :
The Netherlands has 16 million inhabitants and Dutch is the only official language of the country. Frisian, spoken in the Northern province of Fryslân, has been granted local offical language status too. Frisian is very close to English.
Culture of Netherlands :
The culture of the Netherlands is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the foreign influences built up by centuries of the Dutch people's mercantile and explorative spirit. The Netherlands and its people have long played an important role as centre of cultural liberalism and tolerance. The Dutch Golden Age is popularly regarded as its zenith.
Between the Celtic and Germanic peoples and later the Roman conquerors a cultural exchange took place. An adaptation of polytheistic religions and each other's myths took place among the various tribes, coming from the Germanic, Celtic and later Roman mythology. From the 4th to the 6th century AD The Great Migration took place, in which the small Celtic-Germanic-Roman tribes in the Low Countries were gradually supplanted by three major Germanic tribes: the Franks, the Frisians and the Saxons. Around 500 the Franks, initially residing between the Rhine and the Somme embraced Christianity under the auspices of King Clovis I. However, it would take at least until AD 1000 before all the pagans were actually Christianized and the Frisian and Saxon religions became extinct, although elements were incorporated into the local Christian religion. The following centuries Catholic Christianity was the only mainstream religion in the Netherlands. The rebellious Netherlands that had united in the Union of Utrecht (1579) declared their independence from Spain in 1581, during the Eighty Years' War; Spain finally accepted this in 1648. The Dutch revolt was partially religiously motivated: during the Reformation many of the Dutch had adopted Lutheran, Anabaptist, Calvinist or Mennonite forms of Protestantism. These religious movements were suppressed by the Spanish, who supported the Counter Reformation. After independence the Netherlands adopted Calvinism as a quasi-state religion (although never formally), but practiced a degree of religious tolerance towards non-Calvinists.
Until late into the 20th century, the predominant religion in the Netherlands was Christianity. Although religious diversity remains, there has been a decline in religious adherence. In 2006, 34% of the Dutch population identified as Christian, decreasing till in 2015 almost 25% of the population adhered to one of the Christian faiths (11.7% Roman Catholic, 8.6% PKN, 4.2% other small Christian denominations), 5% is Muslim and 2% adheres to Hinduism or Buddhism, based on independent in-depth interviewing by Radboud University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Approximately 67.8% of the population in 2015 has no religious affiliation, up from 61% in 2006, 53% in 1996, 43% 1979 and 33% in 1966. The Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau (Social and Cultural Planning Agency, SCP) expects the number of non-affiliated Dutch to be at 72% in 2020.
A large majority of the Dutch population believes that religion should not have a determining role to play in politics and education. Religion is also decreasingly seen as a social binder, and is generally considered a personal matter which should not be propagated in public. The Dutch constitution guarantees freedom of education, which means that all schools that adhere to general quality criteria receive the same government funding. This includes schools based on religious principles by religious groups (especially Roman Catholic and various Protestant). Three political parties in the Dutch parliament, (CDA, and two small parties, ChristianUnion and SGP) are based upon the Christian belief. Several Christian religious holidays are national holidays (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and the Ascension of Jesus). In the late 19th century atheism began to rise as secularism, liberalism and socialism grew; in the 1960s and 1970s Protestantism and Catholicism notably began to decline. There is one major exception: Islam, which grew considerably as the result of immigration. Since the year 2000, there has been raised awareness of religion, mainly due to Muslim extremism. In 2013 a Catholic became Queen consort.
From a December 2014 survey by the VU University Amsterdam it was concluded that for the first time there are more atheists (25%) than theists (17%) in the Netherlands. The majority of the population being agnostic (31%) or ietsists (27%). Atheism, agnosticism and Christian atheism are on the rise and are widely accepted and considered to be non-controversial. Among those who adhere to Christianity, there are high percentages of atheists, agnostics and ietsism, since affiliation with a Christian denomination is also used in a way of cultural identification in the different parts of the Netherlands. In 2015, a vast majority of the inhabitants of the Netherlands (82%) said they had never or almost never visited a church, and 59% stated that they had never been to a church of any kind. Of all the people questioned, 24% saw themselves as atheist, which is an increase of 11% compared to the previous study done in 2006. The expected rise of spirituality (ietsism) has come to a halt according to research in 2015. In 2006 40% of respondents considered themselves spiritual, in 2015 this has dropped to 31%. The number who believed in the existence of a higher power fell from 36% to 28% over the same period.
Christianity is currently the largest religion in the Netherlands. The provinces of North Brabant and Limburg have historically been strongly Roman Catholic, and some of their people might still consider the Catholic Church as a base for their cultural identity. Protestantism in the Netherlands consists of a number of churches within various traditions. The largest of these is the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), a United church which is Reformed and Lutheran in orientation. It was formed in 2004 as a merger of the Dutch Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and a smaller Lutheran Church. Several orthodox Reformed and liberal churches did not merge into the PKN. Although in the Netherlands as a whole Christianity has become a minority, the Netherlands contains a Bible Belt from Zeeland to the northern parts of the province Overijssel, in which Protestant (particularly Reformed) beliefs remain strong, and even has majorities in municipal councils.
Islam is the second-largest religion in the state. In 2012, there were about 825,000 Muslims in the Netherlands (5% of the population). Muslim numbers increased from the 1960s as a consequence of large numbers of migrant workers. These included migrants from former Dutch colonies, such as Surinam and Indonesia, but mainly migrant workers from Turkey and Morocco. During the 1990s, Muslim refugees arrived from countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan.Other religions account for some 6% of the Dutch people. Hinduism is a minority religion in the Netherlands, with around 215,000 adherents (slightly over 1% of the population). Most of these are Indo-Surinamese. There are also sizable populations of Hindu immigrants from India and Sri Lanka, and some Western adherents of Hinduism-oriented new religious movements such as Hare Krishnas. The Netherlands has an estimated 250,000 Buddhists or people strongly attracted to this religion, mainly ethnic Dutch people. There are about 45,000 Jews in the Netherlands.
Place to visit in Netherlands :
(1) Jordaan and Amsterdam's Canals
(2) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
(4) Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
(5) Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
(6) The Windmills of Kinderdijk
Hotel in Netherlands :
(1) Ambassade Hotel
(2) Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
(3) Conservatorium Hotel
How to reach in Netherlands :
There are about 5 international airports in the country – Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam - The Hague Airport, Eindhoven Airport, Groningen-Eelde Airport, and Maastricht/Aachen Airport. Schiphol airport is the main international airport in The Netherlands, which is near Amsterdam. It is the biggest international airport in the country with flights from all over the world like Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, KLM, British Airways, Air India and so on. You can also find flights on other low-cost carriers like EasyJet, Ryanair, Jet2.com and Transavia at this airport in case you want any domestic flights. Maastricht/Aachen Airport and Eindhoven Airport usually see flights by Ryanair while the Rotterdam - The Hague Airport receives Transavia flights. The Schiphol airport has an excellent railway network, which you can use to get to any main city in The Netherlands. One of the things that makes taking the trains incredibly convenient is that the railway station is under the main airport hall. As The Netherlands is a part of the Schengen agreement, Indians need a Schengen visa and valid passport to travel to this country.
Travel Guide for Netherlands : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).