Mention tourism and then Holland and to most people it’s almost certain that the first things they’ll think of is
Well, I hope that with this little piece, written by an unbiased foreigner who has lived in the Netherlands for ten years, I can persuade you that whilst all the aforementioned are highly worthy, Amsterdam is a fabulous city (most visitors only come to Amsterdam and never see the rest of Holland) and the cheese, tulips, clogs or windmills which are all deep rooted parts of the Dutch heritage and culture, Holland offers much, much more besides for the tourist. There is also its quirkiness, with its clean and tidy look, noticeable lack of litter and well kept gardens and homes.
The Netherlands literally are the low lands because of it being largely below sea level, protected by a series of massive sea defences which keeps the sea out. It is a small fairly densely populated country flanking the North sea to its west and north coasts. It remains a monarchy, with a lively well liked royal family, with strong links to the British royal family going back to the days of William of Orange.
In its fairly northerly exposed position flanking the North Sea, the winter weather here can be exceptionally cold. However in the spring and summertime, when the weather perks up, you would be unfortunate not to have several days may be even weeks of that Continental warm weather which can make your vacation unforgettable.
It’s an excellent way to see any of the large cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht or Rotterdam the flat countryside laying itself open to you. The national spoken language is Dutch, but you’ll find that most people can speak English are friendly and helpful towards tourists.
There is no particular time of the year that is best to visit Holland – you’ll find that the tourist attractions are open all year round. A wet November weekend in Amsterdam for example can provide enjoyable memories that will last a lifetime. However spring and summer with the warmer weather will make your trip more enjoyable.
As for accommodation, when it comes to hotels you’ll be spoiled for choice. With many of the well known established chain hotels in Holland, you’ll find most offer high
quality luxury at reasonable cost, in fact a recent report in 2013 has shown that hotels in the Netherlands offer by far the greatest value. With facilities available as found in most of the larger worldwide hotels, you’ll find that most of them will cater well for the majority of your needs and requirements.
Holland’s easily accessed, convenient, central position in Europe makes it a veritable choice for visitors, who may want to travel onto other European countries. The east side adjoins Germany while the south borders Belgium. France is to the south, approximately an hour or so from the Dutch border.
Paris is not too far away either and can be reached by rail in a morning. There are extensive air, rail and bus networks throughout the country, which makes travelling about really easy. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has connections to over 225 cities worldwide. Other major airports are Eindhoven Airport, Groningen Airport Eelde, Enschede Airport, Maastricht Aachen Airport and Rotterdam Airport. Trains, buses and trams provide excellent transportation throughout the Netherlands.
With so many other countries trying to woo the tourist, is Holland really somewhere worthy of being included in a European visit?
From personal experience, the answer to that question has to be an unreserved big yes!