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WHY the NETHERLANDS?
If you think of the Netherlands solely as a tranquil still life by Vermeer, you may be in for a surprise. Much of its countryside—with cows grazing in fields near canals and old windmills—does suggest the timeless serenity captured by so many Dutch painters, but in its cities you'll find a more unexpected sort of harmony—one that balances tidy traditional architecture with a very modern point of view.
Amsterdam, for example, has lovely gabled houses, priceless paintings and cheery, multilingual people. It also has coffee shops selling cannabis and window prostitutes touting their wares. The Dutch are nothing if not practical about sensual needs and desires, and the Netherlands is as well-known for its tolerance as for its tulips.
Giethoorn - the Venice of the Netherlands
A SPOTLIGHT ON OUR FAVOURITE SUPPLIERS
Get to know some of our favourite suppliers + explore the array of exciting opportunities you can enjoy in Holland
EXCITING DESTINATIONS IN HOLLAND
The official governmental seat (but not the official capital) of the country, The Hague is a beautiful city of parks, trees, government buildings and gardens. With its footpaths and bike lanes, it seems very orderly—a nice respite from the bustle of Amsterdam. The Hague is about 35 mi/55 km southwest of Amsterdam. Perhaps the most famous of all? The Palace of course!
Rotterdam, a large and modern port city 45 mi/70 km southwest of Amsterdam, rose from the ashes of World War II. In 1940, the Nazis threatened to flatten the city unless it surrendered. Rotterdam capitulated, but the Luftwaffe bombed anyway. The harbor, one of the busiest in the world, is a draw in itself, as is the nearby maritime museum.
Amsterdam's reputation for tolerance laced with sin precedes it, but equally renowned are its scenic and cultural attractions. Amsterdam hotels are known for their cleanliness and hospitality, its restaurants offer world cuisine, and along the city streets is a shopper's paradise. Most visitors fall in love with the city and return again and again.
Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. It's known for its churches, and if you walk along the Wittevrouwensingel, the city's main street, or the Oudegracht (old canal), you're certain to hear church bells tolling. In the town center is Dom Toren, a 367-ft-/112-m-tall cathedral tower, and it's well worth the view from the top.
Arnhem, also previously called the Green City on the Rhine, is better known to World War II veterans as the city of A Bridge Too Far. (The film depicts an attempt by Allied paratroopers to gain a foothold across the Rhine near Arnhem.) A visit to the near-by Hartenstein Airborne Museum is truly worth the visit.
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