The country of clogs and tulips has a rich cultural heritage waiting to be discovered. Whether its the 17th century Dutch Masters or Amsterdam's cannabis cafes which interest you, there is something for everyone in the Netherlands. Well known for its windmills, which have been depicted by so many artists over the years, the Netherlands has many ancient windmills which are still in working order, and many of these are open to the public.
The Netherlands is a liberal place, known for its legalisation of cannabis, and of prostitution in its famous red light districts. Cheese is a Dutch speciality, with Edam and Gouda being the most famous varieties.
As the land is very flat, it lends itself to certain sports, such as cycling, and ice-skating which is very popular in winter.
Dutch painting throughout the years tells a fascinating story, from the works of Rembrandt and Vermeer to those of Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian. The capital, Amsterdam, is the centre of Dutch cultural life and its museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are well worth a visit. Famous for its picturesque canals, this city is best navigated by bicycle.
The Hague, in the west, is a more spacious city of leafy avenues and its residents enjoy a great quality of life. To escape the crowds, the nearby Scheveningen beach resort is a real breath of fresh air: its long sandy beach is particularly suitable for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
De gare à gare