The Netherlands is an anomaly of liberalness and regimen rolled into one. National symbols include: windmills, tulips, dykes, and clogs, all which can be seen in abundance outside the larger cities. The majority of the country is below sea level, though much of it has been reclaimed from the sea with the institution of dykes and drainage systems. Amsterdam, notorious for its radical and legal activities not found in most other parts of the world, is the country's largest draw. The "grachts", or canals, provide an excellent opportunity to see the city from a dinner cruise by candlelight the winding streets allow endless meandering through the city to the center of town, Dam Square. Amsterdam is often referred to as Venice of the North. Outside the cities are quaint fishing villages filled with blonde-haired, blue-eyed children riding their bikes. Bicycle is a main form of transportation in the Netherlands, as one of the most densely populated European countries per capita. Quite impressive, considering its size.
The Netherlands has a maritime climate. Summers are generally warm but not extreme. In summer a light sweater or wrap might be needed in the evenings. Winters are fairly cold and rainfall occurs throughout the year. Pack a raincoat for those spontaneous showers.
One fifth of the country is below sea level as a result of the land mass being reclaimed by the sea. It is generally flat and level and is crisscrossed by rivers and canals.
Major Holidays & Events
January 01 New Year’s Day
April 18 Good Friday Friday before Easter Sunday
April 21 Easter Monday Monday after Easter Sunday
April 26 King's Day (observed) If April 27 is a Sunday, the Saturday is a holiday
April 27 King's Birthday
May 04 National Remembrance Day Dodenherdenking
May 11 Mother’s Day 2nd Sunday in May
May 29 Ascension Day 40 days after Easter
June 09 Whit-Monday 7th Monday after Easter. Also Known as Pentecost Monday
June 15 Father’s Day 3rd Sunday in June
November 02 All Saints Day 1st Sunday in November
December 25 Christmas Day Eerste Kerstdag
December 26 St Stephens Day Tweede Kerstdag. Celebrated on 26th December. Typically it will be moved and celebrated on the next weekday if 26 December is a Saturday or Sunday