The Netherlands, so named because much of the surface area of the country lies below sea level, is the most populous of the Benelux countries and is a liberal, welcoming and scenic nation in northwestern Europe. Between the notoriously tolerant attitudes of the Dutch people and the nation's rich cultural and artistic history, a visit to the Netherlands is an eye-opening experience that will win over every type of traveler.
Some of the nation's must-see sights include:
-Amsterdam: Admire the winding canals, charming row houses, and outstanding art museums.
-Rotterdam: Rotterdam is home to a vibrant nightlife scene as well as owning the distinction of being Europe's busiest port.
-The Hague: The world's judicial capital and the seat of the Dutch government, The Hague has an impressive setting on the North Sea and is a must for anyone interested in the nation's political and cultural history.
-Maastricht: This city offers an excellent introduction into the unique lifestyle, culture and architecture of the southern part of the Netherlands, and it is also home to a perfectly preserved medieval fortress that is well worth a look.
-Efteling: If you're visiting Holland with your family, a visit to this amusement park is quite literally like walking into a fairy tale. Elves, tiny cottages and magic kingdoms are among its charming motifs, delighting children and adults alike.
Camping in the Netherlands and cycling tours of Holland are both wonderful ways to explore the quaint, quiet Dutch countryside. If you're interested in these activities, visiting during the summer is recommended.
Instead of staying in a hotel, consider the many advantages of a vacation rental. These convenient and spacious accommodations are available throughout Holland, from the center of the action in major cities to the quiet countryside and coastline. Your options include everything from apartments and condos to beach houses and cabins in the woods.
From the Netherlands, you have access to many different European destinations. The United Kingdom is a short journey across the English Channel, and you can also be in Paris in a matter of hours if you take a high-speed train.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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