Ultimate Netherlands Travel Guide
Filled with unique museums, beautiful architecture, windmills, flower fields, canals, and delicious cuisine, the Netherlands should definitely make it on any travel bucket list. In this Netherlands travel guide, I will cover all the essentials for planning a vacation in the Netherlands, along with additional in-depth Netherlands itineraries!
The Netherlands is located in Northwestern Europe. Bordering countries include Germany and Belgium.
Additional nearby countries to the Netherlands include Great Britain, Denmark, and Luxembourg – making it a great country for a Euro-trip!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Ultimate Netherlands Travel Guide
- The Netherlands Travel Guide Tips
- The Netherlands Language:
- The Netherlands Population:
- Amsterdam Population:
- The Netherlands Currency:
- Credit Cards and ATMs in the Netherlands:
- The Netherlands Airports:
- The Netherlands Safety:
- Getting Around The Netherlands:
- Accommodations in The Netherlands:
- Power Outlets in The Netherlands:
- Popular Places in The Netherlands:
- Famous Dishes Across The Netherlands:
- Visa in The Netherlands:
- Cell Service in the Netherlands:
- Weather in The Netherlands
- Brief Netherlands History
- Popular Things to Do in The Netherlands
- The Netherlands Travel Guides and Itineraries
- 25+ HELPFUL Travel Tips for Visiting Amsterdam (First-Time Visitors Guide)
- EPIC 3 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary (+Day Trips & Travel Tips)
- The Best Time to Visit The Netherlands
- Dutch Words to Help You Get Around The Netherlands
- Suggested Netherlands Itineraries – How Many Days to Spend in the Netherlands
The Netherlands Travel Guide Tips
Before going in-depth about this Netherlands travel guide, here is the short version for useful information and travel tips to know when traveling in the Netherlands. This includes popular cities, favorite eats, safety, and more for visiting the Netherlands!
The Netherlands Language:
The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch. With that being said, English is widely spoken, and Google Translate is seldom needed.
The Netherlands Population:
The Netherlands Population has around 17.59 million people.
Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands. The population is estimated to be over 1.1 million people.
The Netherlands Currency:
The currency used in The Netherlands is the Euro.
Credit Cards and ATMs in the Netherlands:
Credit cards are widely accepted in the Netherlands – especially in major cities. Cash is rarely used, but it is a good idea to have some Euros available.
The Netherlands Airports:
There are multiple airports across the Netherlands. The largest airport (and the third largest airport in the world) is the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Smaller airports include the Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM), Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ), and the Eindhoven Airport (EIN). The most popular airline in The Netherlands is KLM, followed closely by EasyJet. Find the best flight prices here.
The Netherlands Safety:
The Netherlands is considered a fairly safe country to visit. Crime levels are usually low however, you should be cautious of petty crimes such as pickpocketing, especially in central Amsterdam.
Getting Around The Netherlands:
The most popular form of transport in the Netherlands is using the train. For local transportation, buses and trams are often used. Bikes are also popular in certain areas, including Amsterdam as a mode of transportation.
You can choose to rent a car if you plan on staying in the outskirts of cities and want to visit multiple areas within the country. Find cars here!
Accommodations in The Netherlands:
When traveling to the Netherlands, you will find tons of hotels and B&Bs across the Country. Our favorite way to book hotels is on Bookingdotcom. They have flexible cancellations and competitive rates.
Power Outlets in The Netherlands:
The primary plug type in The Netherlands is Type F. This type of plug has two round pins. This plug type is used in many places around Europe. The Netherlands operates on 230V and 50Hz. This is the Travel Converter I use that works across the Globe.
Popular Places in The Netherlands:
There are so many great places to visit in the Netherlands, however, some of the most popular cities to visit include Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Haarlem. All have the infrastructure to support tourists.
Famous Dishes Across The Netherlands:
When visiting The Netherlands, make sure to try some of the most famous cuisines across the country. This includes:
- Proffertjes – Dutch mini pancake balls served with melted butter and icing sugar.
- Stamppot – A hearty dish of mashed potatoes, root vegetables, smoked sausage, and leafy green.
- Oliebollen (Dutch Donuts) – Dumpling batter fried in hot oil and sprinkled with icing sugar.
- Bitterballen – Deep-fried balls of finely chopped beef or veal with added spicy seasonings.
Visa in The Netherlands:
If you are a national of the European Union, you do not need a visa to enter The Netherlands unless your stay is over 90 days.
If you are not, you may need to acquire a short-stay Schengen visa. This visa will allow you to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.
Starting in 2024, most visitors, including US Citizens, will need to apply for ETIAS when visiting 30 different European Countries. Learn more about the application at ETIAS. This must be done before your trip and costs 7 euros.
Cell Service in the Netherlands:
Cell phone service is very good in the Netherlands, especially around the major cities, and tourist attractions. You can buy a local sim card or go with an Esim if you have a smartphone. I use an Esim through Holafly, and it worked great in the Netherlands. Check Holafly esim here, and use FINDLOVEANDTRAVEL at check out for 5% off.
Weather in The Netherlands
The weather in the Netherlands is diverse and experiences all four seasons. Many Dutchie’s joke and say you can experience all seasons in just one day, which is pretty true. Therefore, dressing in layers and having weather proof clothing like trench coats is very popular.
Spring in the Netherlands is still rather cold and rainy, but the days start to get longer during the spring, and you can expect the flower fields to start blooming, including tulips. The temperature usually remains around 46°F (8°C). Towards May through June, the temperature does rise.
Summer can actually be the rainiest season, although you can always expect rain in the Netherlands. The temperatures can range from 66°F (19°C) to around 70°F (21°C).
The Fall season in the Netherlands see’s cooler temperatures than summer but still nothing extremely cold. The Netherlands usually becomes quite cloudy and foggy during this time. The temperatures are around 39°F (4°C).
The Winter season in the Netherlands is mild and snowy. The temperatures decrease, but still manageable if you’re used to winter weather. You can expect frost in the morning and evenings. The temperature ranges from 36°F (2°C) to 39°F (4°C). However, temperatures could lower.
Netherlands Fun Fact: Winter’s first frost is important for tulip cultivation.
Brief Netherlands History
The history of the Netherlands began over 40,000 years ago, however, the Netherland’s most prominent history starts several centuries later during the Iron Age when the Romans took over in 57 B.C.
The Romans ruled over the Netherlands for a total of 450 years. During this time, much of the architecture was built, and the culture in The Netherlands was formed.
The Netherlands’ history continues through many years of reformation and golden ages before they declared independence from France in 1814 and joined the Kingdom of Netherlands with Belgium and Luxembourg. Then in 1839, The Netherlands declared independence.
During WWII, the Netherlands was taken over by the Germans, and much of the country had to be rebuilt. Amsterdam, in particular, is famous for housing Anne Frank and offers tours of the house she hid in.
Present day, the Netherlands is a country known for tulips, windmills, art, canals, bikes, eco-tourism, and more. Additionally, they are also known for their lax tolerance towards drugs and the Red Light District.
Popular Things to Do in The Netherlands
For a rather small country, the Netherlands is packed with things to do. Some of the most popular things to do in The Netherlands include:
- Visiting the Van Gogh Museum
- Visiting the Rijksmuseum Museum
- Canal cruises
- Visiting the Anne Frank Home
- Zaanse Schans Windmills
- Seeing the Canals in Giethoorn
- Exploring the tulip fields at Keukenhof and Lisse
The Netherlands Travel Guides and Itineraries
The Best Time to Visit The Netherlands
A popular time to visit the Netherlands is during April and May. During these months the tulips are most prevalent, which is a popular attraction for tourists to experience.
That being said, Summer is also an extremely popular time to visit as this is when the weather is warmer. Keep in mind that hotel prices tend to skyrocket in the summer, so booking in advance is essential.
September and October are also lovely times to visit as the fall weather starts to show, prices are lower, and there will be fewer tourists.
Dutch Words to Help You Get Around The Netherlands
You may be able to find English-speaking people in The Netherlands, however, it never hurts to learn some Dutch words before visiting. Locals always appreciate it when you try to speak their language. Additionally, having offline Google translate will also be very helpful if you do experience any language barriers.
Common Dutch Phrases:
- Hallo – Hello
- Tot Ziens – Goodbye
- Ja – Yes
- Nee – No
- Bendankt – Thank you
- Graag Gedaan – You’re welcome
- Pardon – Excuse me
Suggested Netherlands Itineraries – How Many Days to Spend in the Netherlands
You may be wondering how many days you should spend in the Netherlands. This, of course, depends on budget and how many vacation days you can allot. However, at least 3 days or a weekend in the Netherlands is necessary to explore one city.
Usually, spending 3-4 days in Amsterdam will allow you to explore the city and take a day trip to nearby cities. If you want to see a lot of the Netherlands, spending 7-10 days will allow you to see a lot of the Netherlands.
Basing yourself in Amsterdam can be helpful for day trips to other cities. You can easily take a train to nearby cities, including Haarlem, Delft, Zannse Schans, Rotterdam, and The Hauge.
Or, you can spend a couple of nights in Rotterdam to explore the southern area of the Netherlands and Amsterdam for the central and more Northern parts.
The options to explore the Netherlands are endless with such a convenient railway system.
Netherlands Travel Guide Books:
If you are looking for additional reading, you can check out the below Netherland travel guide.
- Lonely Planet The Netherlands 8 (Travel Guide)
- Rick Steves Amsterdam & the Netherlands (2023 Travel Guide)
- Lonely Planet Amsterdam 13