The Netherlands is famous for its flatness, its windmills, its canals and its tulip fields. It is also known for its relaxed and liberal views. Being so close to Britain, it is a great choice for a short break. The capital, Amsterdam, is a very popular city break destination. Its famous canal system, and the narrow houses with elaborate gable ends, hail from the seventeenth century which was the city's golden age. Other important cities are the Hague, which is the seat of parliament; Maastricht, a lovely medieval city; Utrecht, where the ancient and modern sit comfortably side by side; Rotterdam, a vibrant city that is, by far, the busiest port in Europe. The topography of the land makes it ideal cycling and walking country. In the west of the Netherlands is the lovely town of Delft, famous for the blue and white pottery and being the birthplace of the artist Vermeer. The historic centre is filled with churches, convents and monastries as well as plenty of coffee shops and cafes where you can rest awhile. To the east of Amsterdam is Amerfoort on the Eem river. It has a well-presserved medieval centre and several tourist attractions.
Although holidays can be taken at any time of year, there are some seasons that should not be missed. Late spring, when the tulip fields are awash with colour, is just such a season. It is a truly splendid sight. At the end of November, if you want to get into the festive spirit, visit the Amsterdam Christmas Market. You'll be surrounded by twinkling fairy lights and Christmas carols; the smell of traditional spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, and stalls selling local crafts and goodies that make ideal gifts. A perfect way to brighten the dark days of winter. The summer season, is the best time to visit Netherland's cities. Amsterdam is a photogenic city, both romantic and beautiful, it has a rich culture and a lively night scene. The major attractions in the city are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the house where Anne Frank was hidden during the war, the floating flower market, the red light district.....the list goes on and on.
The Netherlands has a wide variety of accommodation which provides for all budgets. Obviously the cost of hotels in the capital and in the other large cities will be more expensive, but it is usually possible to find a good deal. The Dutch are a friendly, tolerant people and you'll always receive a warm welcome and good service. When it comes to eating, the choice of menu is vast. With restaurants, bistros, cafes, pubs, pizzarias and fast food outlets, there are dishes and prices catering for all. Depending on where you are, nightlife can be relaxed or lively, cultural or hedonistic; the choice is yours.