The Netherlands is a country in Western Europe facing the North Sea and the United Kingdom, and bordered on land by Germany and Belgium. The people, language and culture of the Netherlands are referred to as “Dutch.” The Netherlands is administratively divided into 12 provinces (provincies). The western part (Holland) is the most industrialized and about half of the population lives in and around this area.
The Netherlands is popularly known for its windmills, cheese, clogs, delftware and Gouda pottery, dikes, tulips, bicycles and social tolerance. A Parliamentary democracy, the country is also known for its somewhat liberal policies toward drugs, prostitution and gay rights.
The Netherlands has many cities and towns of interest to travelers. Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands with impressive architecture, lovely canals and great shopping. There is something for every traveler’s taste here, whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying or just the relaxing charm of an old European city. Other notable places include Almere, Delft, Haarlem, The Hague and Rotterdam.