The Netherlands, also commonly known as Holland, is a very popular destination for foreign visitors despite its relatively small size.
The capital Amsterdam is one of the most visited European cities as it has a wealth of culture to offer, from classic artworks to stunning architecture.
The city also has a vibrant entertainment scene which has something to offer everyone whatever the time of day.
The following guides should provide some useful information if you are planning a visit.
As well as some basic travel tips, you will find information on the local language and cuisine, and a few interesting facts that you probably don’t know about the country.
Despite being one of the smaller European nations, the Netherlands is well known around the world due to the wide influence of the former Dutch Empire and for its long history of famous artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer.
If cycling isn’t your thing then maybe you would prefer to see the country from the calm waters of its extensive canal system.
The country is also famous for its flat, low-lying land that is perfect for cycling either for sport, fun or simply as everyday transport.
Although there is no bad time to be in the Netherlands, if you want to witness the extraordinary site of millions of tulips in bloom then April to May is the best time for you.
Amsterdam is without doubt one of the most visited cities in Europe due to its great mix of attractions.
The Anne Frank House in the heart of the city is another must-see attraction for many visitors, as is the Heineken Experience where beer lovers can get an insight into the history of one of the world’s most popular tipples.
If world-famous art is your thing then you can enjoy some of the very best collections in the world, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rembrandt House Museum.
Amsterdam's famous flower stalls, shops and markets offer an iconic backdrop to the city that can easily be explored by bicycle or from the comfort of a canal barge.
When visiting a foreign country for a short visit or a longer-term stay, one of the most challenging aspects is often the local language.
And when it comes to funny expressions, Dutch certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Many everyday Dutch words also raise a smile when translated into English, such as “hand shoes” meaning gloves and “garden snake” for a hose.
However, once you have mastered the basic pleasantries and everyday phrases, you can start to experiment with parts of the language that are not generally known by non-native speakers.
Expressions such as “as if an angel is peeing on your tongue” and “to fall with your nose in butter” are thankfully explained here.
This list of fascinating facts about Amsterdam offers a fun insight into the culture of one of Europe’s most popular cities.
During your stay you can explore 400km of cycle paths that thread throughout the city, but make sure you carry a padlock so your bike doesn’t join the 100,000 that are stolen every year.
Many local residents also call them home as there are 2,500 converted boats providing permanent accommodation across the city.
Amsterdam is well-known for its love of the humble bicycle, but did you know that the city has more bikes than people?
Canals are another iconic part of life in Amsterdam and you will find an incredible 1,281 bridges spanning its waterways.
Although Dutch cuisine is relatively unknown in much of the wider world, there are plenty of great dishes to enjoy during a visit to the Netherlands.
Another local favorite that you are sure to come across is bitterballen, a spiced mincemeat snack that is often served with drinks in bars and cafés. Visitors with a sweet tooth will be pleased to know there are several delicious offerings to look out for.
For a real taste of traditional Dutch food you should try stamppot which typically consists of mashed potatoes, vegetables and a smoked sausage.
Poffertjes is a pancake-like treat that is usually served with sugar and butter, while a stroopwafel is a chewy cookie that is popular with a cup of tea or coffee.