Travel highlights Amsterdam and the Netherlands
Built on stilts, with a rich heritage of the Golden Age of trading in the 16th and 17th century, Amsterdam never sleeps. It is beautiful, has stunning museums, architecture, and a rich social scene, with so many restaurants and bars, that one really can't visit them all in a year. The Netherlands have a terrace culture, like Paris, so come rain or shine, you can always have a nice cup of coffee and watch the world go by. The city centre is small, so easy to walk along the cobbled streets, or take a boat and peddle through this amazing cityMust see attractions include - Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank house, Rijksmusuem, Albert Cuyp market and the Jordaan.
Founded around 1100, it is a lovely city to visit, and very popular as well. The houses are old and beautiful, and canals are everywhere. It houses the wonderful Johan Vermeer museum, well worth a visit.
Den Haag - The Hague
When you visit Den Haag, the words stately, palatial, royal and of course beautiful, come to mind. The government rules from The Binnenhof, located right in the centre, near the Maurits House Musuem, and is simply stunning. It also offers Scheveningen, the Las Vegas of The Netherlands and long stretches of beach.
Giethoorn is often called the Venice of the North. Mostly divided by canals, many houses are built on small islands. It is very nice to visit either with nice weather or cold weather. If you are lucky, you can see some serious ice skating here.
Marken & Volendam
Marken used to be an island, earning a living by fishing, just like Volendam. Now, these very quaint villages, are a huge tourist attraction. Dotted with wooden houses, you'll find many of the old people still dressed in the old Dutch costumes. Volendam must put something in the water too, because the village produces many singing artists, who are hugely popular.
The Crown Jewel of the south and home of Andre Rieu, the famous violin player, Maastricht is a place you shouldn't miss, when you plan a group to the Netherlands. It combines the best of German, Belgium and Dutch food, which makes for exquisite dining and has a relaxed style of living, with pavement cafes, cobbled streets and wonderful shops. Even the landscape is not flat, you'll find hilly streets and what passes for mountains surrounding the centre.
Rotterdam, a WWII victim, was bombed flat. As a result, the heart of the city was rebuilt, and you'll find many different styles of architecture. It houses the largest port in Europe, and has restored the docklands to a trendy area worth a visit. The city has a vibrant nightlife and a multicultural community.
A natural area of beauty, the Veluwe was originally surrounded by a string of swamp. Now attempts are made to restore these wetlands. The Netherlands aim to have it declared a National Park, and this beautiful area is well worth a visit.