Embarking on a bicycle adventure is a delightful way to discover this country. With its flat terrain and an extensive network of over 32,000 km of cycle paths, cycling seamlessly intertwines with the cultural fabric of the Netherlands. This nation unfolds as a treasure trove, boasting landmarks, charming cafes, museums, and breathtaking gardens.
Below, we’ve curated a list of 20 must-visit landmarks, encompassing natural wonders, historical gems, and iconic sites in both Amsterdam and throughout The Netherlands.
The Dutch love affair with bicycles is unparalleled. With more bikes than people, the nation’s extensive network of brick-red bike lanes weaves through cities and countryside alike, making it a preferred mode of transport and a key contributor to the country’s healthy lifestyle.
Synonymous with cheese, the Netherlands boasts varieties like Gouda and Edam. The Dutch cheese legacy, dating back to 200 BC, is showcased in vibrant cheese markets and exported globally, with a significant impact on the culinary world.
Canals and Engineering Marvels:
The Netherlands, a canal-dotted wonderland, owes its strategic waterways to centuries of engineering prowess. The Dutch, masters of civil engineering, created an intricate system of canals, dikes, and windmills, preventing the country from being claimed by the sea.
For 800 years, windmills harnessed the power of the wind in the Netherlands. While modern technology replaced most, iconic windmill sites like Zaanse Schans and Kinderdijk continue to tell the tale of Dutch ingenuity.
The world’s tulip epicenter, the Netherlands produces and exports staggering quantities of tulips. The annual tulip bloom attracts global visitors, and Keukenhof Gardens stands as a testament to the nation’s floral grandeur.
Wooden Clogs Tradition:
Originating 800 years ago, wooden clogs symbolize Dutch practicality. While no longer practical footwear, these carved shoes persist as cultural novelties, available in souvenir shops.
Home to influential painters, the Dutch Golden Age birthed artistic legends like Rembrandt and later, Van Gogh. Museums dedicated to these masters showcase the country’s profound impact on art.
Despite its size, the Netherlands hosts global conglomerates, including Shell, Heineken, Philips, and ASML Holdings. The country’s business acumen extends to various sectors, making it an economic powerhouse.
With 20% of its land reclaimed, the Netherlands is remarkably flat, a result of its river delta geography. The “lowlands” offer vast agricultural expanses and a unique landscape shaped by innovative water management.
Boasting the tallest people globally, the Dutch are known for their height. With an average height of 6’0″ for men and over 5’6″ for women, the Dutch presence is literally head and shoulders above.
A nation fluent in English, with proficiency rates ranging from 90-93%, the Dutch communicate effortlessly in the global language. Even in small villages, basic English conversations are the norm.
A small country with colossal agricultural exports, the Netherlands employs innovative farming technologies. Greenhouses, vertical farming, and robotic milking showcase Dutch expertise in agriculture.
Renowned for progressive policies, the Netherlands embraces liberal attitudes towards marijuana and legalized prostitution. Marijuana dispensaries and red-light districts contribute to the nation’s open-minded reputation.
Red Light Districts:
Known for its vibrant red-light districts, Amsterdam and other cities offer glimpses into legalized prostitution. These areas, marked by neon lights, showcase a unique aspect of Dutch culture.
Recognized for their directness, the Dutch communicate openly. While some may interpret it as bluntness, it reflects a cultural norm of honest, straightforward dialogue.
The birthplace of electronic dance music (EDM), the Netherlands is a haven for DJs. Icons like Armin van Buuren and Tiësto have global influence, establishing the country as an EDM powerhouse.
Speed Skating Supremacy:
Exceling in speed skating, the Dutch dominate the Winter Olympics. Height, tradition, and government investments converge to make speed skating a national passion and an arena of Dutch triumph.
Building the second-highest volume of superyachts globally, the Netherlands excels in maritime craftsmanship. Dutch-built yachts, synonymous with quality, line the country’s waterways, a testament to nautical expertise.
A footballing powerhouse yet to secure a World Cup, the Netherlands consistently shines in international tournaments. Despite being the best football nation yet to clinch the title, Dutch football is revered for its skill and flair.
Tiny Beer, Big Flavor:
For beer enthusiasts, Dutch draft beers come in compact 250 mL glasses, offering a unique drinking experience. Despite their size, Dutch beers pack a punch, reflecting the country’s commitment to quality brewing.