Where is it: The Netherlands are located in western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany.
Why do people go here: The Netherland’s largest city, Amsterdam, draws people from around the world due to its stance on marijuana and other drugs. It is legal to smoke weed and use other drugs, and connoisseurs indulge to their heart’s content at “coffee shops”, where marijuana is the main thing on the menu. Also popular is the city’s infamous red light district, as prositution and live sex shows are legal. The Anne Frank Haus is also in Amsterdam, as is the Heineken brewery. A number of famous museums are also located in the city, including an extensive Van Gough collection. Those who venture outside of the city are rewarded with the beautiful countryside and idyllic tulips.
What are the main entry points: Amsterdam is an airport hub for KLM, and flights from the UK are numerous. Train travel from Germany is common.
Currency used: Euro
Country Code for Phones: 31
Area codes for Major Cities: Amsterdam 20
Religion: Roman Catholic 31%, Protestant 21%, Muslim 4.4%, other 3.6%, unaffiliated 40%
Population: 16.5 million
Ethnic Breakdown: 80.9% Ethnic Dutch, 19.1% various others
Government: Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
Languages: Dutch (official language), Frisian (official language)
Major Cities: Amsterdam
Attractions: Museums, Tulips, Marijuana
Tourism Office locations and links: Netherlands-Board of Tourism Netherlands Convention Bureau Amsteldijk 166 1079 LH Amsterdam +31-20-646-2580;; FAX +31-20-644-5935; www.goholland.com www.visitholland.com
Tips for Visiting
Off-the-Beaten-Path: Yes = Ja, No = nee, Please = Alstublieft, Thank you = Dank u, Do you speak English? = spreekt u Engels?
Health Issues: No vaccines are required to enter the Netherlands. Health care is on par with the rest of Europe and the U.S.
When to go: April to mid-May are the best months to see the infamous tulips. The summer months are the warmest and have the least amount of rain.
Common Phrases: Yes = Ja, No = Geen, Please = Alstublieft, Thank you = Dank u, Do you speak English? = Spreekt u het Engels?
Specific Events/Holidays: Queen’s Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA in 1909 and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX in 1980), 30 April
Getting Around: Trains are the quickest, nicest, and easiest way to get around the Netherlands. Eurail is valid in Portugal.
Good to know: If marijuana isn’t you thing, book into a hostel that doesn’t allow smoking on the premises. Watch out for the mushroom shakes!
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Netherlands is the Schiphol Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Netherlands travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.