Welcome to The Netherlands


Art & Architecture

In a country that gave birth to celebrated Dutch Masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian, the art legacy is huge. World-renowned art museums in Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Haarlem and Leiden drip with iconic masterpieces, alongside a respectable portfolio of contemporary works. The Dutch influence on construction spans more than a millennia, from Romanesque and Gothic medieval magnum opuses to Dutch Renaissance palaces and romantic Golden Age gabled houses. Trailblazing contemporary architecture – green and innovative – is a perfect reflection of a country perfectly in tune with its environment (and the need to protect it).

Cycling

With fabulously pancake-flat, scenic landscapes beckoning along every last dyke, canal, river and coastal shore, two-wheeling in the Netherlands is one of Dutch life's greatest pleasures (headwinds notwithstanding). While the bike-loving Dutch practically live on their well-worn, beloved fietsen (bicycles) – many, infamously only with back-pedal coaster brakes – cycling for visitors is a wonderful means of exploring and getting around. Bike-rental outlets are ubiquitous, and the country is criss-crossed with some 32,000km of cycling paths, including the Dutch 'motorways' of cycling, the long-distance LF routes. Grab some wheels and go!

Café Culture

When the Dutch say café they mean a pub, and there are thousands – with glorious summertime terraces peppering flower-strewn canals, looking out to sea, hidden down ancient lanes, standing on every town's Grote Markt (market square). In a country that values socialising and conversation more than drinking, cafés are places for go-slow contemplation and camaraderie, over dusk-time borrel (drinks) with bar snacks or a fabulous meal any time of day. The ultimate café kick: revelling in that deliciously snug, Dutch state of gezelligheid (conviviality, cosiness) in a timeless bruin café (brown cafe), named for the nicotine stains of centuries past.

Landscapes

Geography plays a key role in the Netherlands' iconic landscapes. More than a quarter of the pancake-flat country is below sea level, and 20% has been reclaimed from the sea, making regimental rows of polders (areas of drained land) omnipresent. Uninterrupted North Sea winds have powered windmills since the 13th century, pumping water over the dykes, milling flour and more. Some two-thirds of the surface is devoted to agriculture, including beautiful rainbow fields of crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips that burst into flower each year between March and May. The kaleidoscope of colour is nothing short of psychedelic.


Top experiences in The Netherlands

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The Netherlands activities

$62.47 Day Trips & Excursions

Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Tour from Amsterdam

You’ll be picked up from central Amsterdam at your selected tour time for your half-day tour of Keukenhof Gardens. Traveling by air-conditioned coach through the Dutch countryside, admire rolling meadows of beautiful springtime blooms as your guide explains the history of this prized region of Holland.When you arrive at the Keukenhof Gardens, your guide will give you a map of the gardens to help you navigate during your three hours of free time. Spanning nearly 79 acres (32 hectares), the Keukenhof Gardens is the world’s largest flower garden, and is truly a memorable sight in the spring. Stroll down winding paths lined with millions of blossoming tulips, narcissis, daffodils, hyacinths and bluebells and dotted with lovely greenhouses, brooks and shady ponds. Stop by a special exhibit in one of the pavilions, and bring a picnic lunch or grab a bite from a refreshment stand for a relaxing lunch among the flowers.After your time at the gardens, board the coach and head back to Amsterdam.

$68.26 Day Trips & Excursions

Zaanse Schans Windmills, Volendam, and Marken from Amsterdam

Next, you'll travel to the world-famous fishing villages of Volendam and Marken, on the coast of the former Zuiderzee (now called Ijselmeer). The old wooden houses here are built on stilts and locals still wear their colorful traditional dresses. Then, take a 20-minute boat trip from Volendam to Marken, with approximately 45 minutes at each stop (summer only). The cruise is optional but is included in the cost of the tour. During the day you'll also stop at one of the few farms where cheese is still made in the traditional way. 7-Hour tour departing at 12pmThis option was created based on customer feedback to offer an alternative itinerary and longer tour duration. The afternoon tour at 12pm is 7hours in duration. It visits the windmill village of "Zaanse Schans" and the towns of Marken and Volendam. However, this tour gives you more time at all 3 locations.

$102.96 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise with 4-Course Dinner and Drinks

Step aboard your sightseeing cruise boat near Amsterdam Central Station, and then help yourself to a drink from the bar. Take a seat at your table – either out on deck or inside the lower saloon – and gaze out at the sights of Amsterdam as your waiting staff serves your first course. Unlike many other Amsterdam dinner cruises, all food is prepared and cooked on board – ensuring that your meal is of the freshest quality! Savor a full four courses as you cruise, passing the sights of Amsterdam. The route taken is dependent on water levels on the day, but typical attractions that may be seen include the Anne Frank House, Hermitage Museum, Amstel River and Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge).  After 2,5 hours cruising around the canals, return to the start point and hop back onto dry land. For a sample menu, please refer to the section below. Please submit your menu choice (meat, fish or vegetarian) in the Special Requests field at time of booking! Customers will automatically get the meat menu if no choice has been made.

$28.92 Walking & Biking Tours

Amsterdam Red Light District Walking Tour

The tour takes you to the area that's synonymous with Amsterdam, De Wallen (Red Light District), passing monuments and entering narrow old streets such as the well-known Zeedijk street. In the past it was one of the most dangerous streets in Amsterdam, where sailors could be found searching for local amusement. Nowadays, instead of the shady bars of yester year you'll find lively and welcoming Dutch pubs and restaurants.The walk includes the entrance to the Museum of Prostitution where you can take a look behind the scenes and listen to the secrets of the women themselves.Your safety is guaranteed during this excursion into Amsterdam's darker side, as a reliable and trustworthy guide will be accompanying you.

$126.10 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum Skip the Line Tour, Canal Cruise

Your full-day tour starts in Amsterdam’s Museum District in the morning. Your guide will first take you to the Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national museum dedicated to the arts and history of the Netherlands. Enjoy skip-the-line entry and head straight inside for a small-group tour. This recently renovated museum has a magnificent collection of artwork, crafts and historical pieces dating back from the year 1200 to today. Admire and learn about masterpieces such as Vermeer’s Milkmaid and Rembrandt’s Night Watch. The entire collection of the Rijksmuseum is an incredible one million items, with 8,000 on display in 80 galleries.After the tour, you have free time to browse the museum shop. This is where you will also enjoy a light lunch at the Rijksmuseum. Next it's time to admire Amsterdam's outdoor beauty with a 75 minute boat tour along the city's picturesque canals. Relax as you cruise along the elaborate ring of UNESCO World Heritage-listed canals, passing charming bridges, canal houses, classic Dutch gables, churches, towers and other wonderful waterfront highlights.Following the canal cruise, your guide will take you to the Van Gogh Museum.The Van Gogh Museum is home to the world's largest collection of paintings by Van Gogh, with more than 200 paintings as well as many letters and drawings. You can also see the work of those who inspired Van Gogh throughout various displays of art by other 19th-century painters. Your art historian guide will teach you about select paintings and about Van Gogh’s life, plus answer any questions you have. After your Van Gogh Museum tour, your guide will take you to Coster Diamonds -- one of the oldest still-operating diamond polishing factories -- where you will receive an entrance ticket to the Diamond Museum. The guided portion of your tour ends here, and you're free to continue exploring independently.

$45.12 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Amsterdam Dutch Wine and Cheese Candlelight Cruise

Head to central Amsterdam at night to board the boat and begin your romantic cruise of the city's historic canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No matter where you sit aboard the glass-enclosed vessel, you'll enjoy great views of the canals and the waterfront. Sit back, relax and soak up the sultry atmosphere created by candlelight as you glide along Amsterdam's canals. Winding your way through the Canal Belt of the Amstel river, pass under bridges adorned in festive lights, see charming waterfront houses and buzzing cafes, and watch reflections of light shimmer across the water. During your cruise, you and your loved one will enjoy a glass of wine and cheese tasting. You'll be served a variety of fine wines and a selection of typical Dutch cheeses, as well as nuts, pickled cucumbers and other snacks. Spend 1,5 hours soaking up the romantic ambiance of the illuminated canals. Savor the last of this special moment before making your way back to central Amsterdam to conclude your candlelight cruise.