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Holland / The Netherlands Information


Holland is a country with a fascinating culture, history and one of the world’s most lively cities in Amsterdam.

Copyright Used by Permission Ricardo Liberato

The Netherlands (also commonly called Holland in English) is a Benelux country located in Western Europe and a founding member of the European Union. The Netherlands borders 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".

The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, administratively divided into 12 provinces (provincies). Though the Netherlands is a small country, these provinces are quite diverse and have plenty of cultural differences.


North-Holland is probably the most important province for tourists. This province is dominated by Amsterdam, the country's capital, and has the largest airport. The north however, is also interesting for tourists who are interested in the old heritage of the Netherlands. Other notable old towns are Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Alkmaar. The west coast offers nice beaches. You can also take an island trip to Texel.


The most densely populated province of the Netherlands. Rotterdam is the largest city and home to one of the world's largest harbours. The Hague has a number of touristic sights, like the governmental square and Madurodam. The west coast beaches, like in Scheveningen, are considered the best of the country. Leiden and Delft are historic student towns, while Kinderdijk offers traditional Dutch windmills.


The historic city of Utrecht is a good introduction to the Netherlands. It's one of the big cities in the Netherlands, but still has a bit the feeling of a village. It has a compelling atmosphere, a proper nightlife and the shopping mall Hoog Catharijne. Outside of Utrecht, you can visit the historic city of Amersfoort.


Flevoland is the newest province. Its land is created on the formerly Southern Sea. Due to a large commuter population from Almere to Amsterdam, this province is often counted as belonging to the west side of the country. For tourists however, probably the only good reason to get here is the theme park Walibi World.


Friesland is a distinct region in the Netherlands, in which many people speak the Frisian language. Signs are double-posted in two languages (just like in Wales). Frisia's culture is mostly characterized by speed skating, sailing, seafood and traditional farm life.


Groningen can be an interesting spot for curious tourists. The city of Groningen is an ambivalent city in which old-fashioned and modern blend. The city is historic, with the Martinitower as most important building. On the other hand, it's quite a large city dominated by students. If you want,you can rock the night till the sun gets up.


Drenthe offers left-overs of the 'Hunnebedden'-civilization. It's also home to the largest zoo of the Netherlands in Emmen.


A rural hinterland located behind the IJssel-river. The west side is dominated by its capital Zwolle. The east side is known as Twente and mostly dominated by the city of Enschede.


Gelderland is an experience into the historic Netherlands. Although Arnhem is its capital, Nijmegen is the oldest city of the Netherlands (dates back to Roman times; said to be founded in the year 6 after Christ). Another ancient town is Zutphen, which has a well-preserved city center. Nature can also be found here, it can be nice to head back into the Veluweforest for a weekend.


North-Brabant has plenty of historic large towns. Notable towns are Breda, Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch. It's largest city is Eindhoven, a town mostly shaped by technological companies Philips and DAF Trucks. The Efteling, the largest theme park of the Netherlands, is also located in this province.


The most interesting destination is it's capital Maastricht. The historic city has great shopping areas and many pubs in the city cen