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 What is this?
The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

Travel Guide for Netherlands

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Netherlands that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Netherlands Page.

Basic Facts

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The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated and geographically low-lying countries in the world and is famous for its dikes, windmills, wooden shoes, tulips and perceived social tolerance. Its liberal policies are often mentioned abroad. This country is also host to the International Court of Justice.

Official Country Name:
The Netherlands (Nederland in Dutch) is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a constitutional monarchy. The country is often — te ... more

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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Popular cities and towns for tourists:
1. Amsterdam
2. The Hague
3. Rotterdam
4. Maastricht
5. Haarlem
6. Groningen
7. Breda
8. Utrecht
9. Arnhem/Nijmegen
10. Leiden/Delft

Amsterdam
If you believe the Lonely Planet, Amsterdam is the world's best hangout, a mix of old and new: radical squatter art installations hang off 17th-centu ... more

Maps

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Here you can include references to maps that are somewhere on the internet. Two conditions apply: they cannot be protected by copyright, (or you have to make sure that we are allowed to use them), and you have to make sure that it is ok if we call them up from here. If that is a problem, you can also send us the image file and we will upload it to our server.

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Many tourists and travellers focus on the west of the country. This is the part we call Randstad, the urban part of the country. At the same time this is a part of the country that's under the sealevel. So probably not such a good choice?
In this area you can find the four biggest cities of the country: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Den Haag. These four cities are all very different, even though they are pretty close to each other. You'll find out that Amsterdam is really the tourist c ... more

Suggested Itineraries

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1 Day, 1 Week, 2 Weeks, 1 Month ...

Transport

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Getting there and away
If you arrive by airplane at Schiphol Airport, you can take the train from there to Amsterdam Central Station or any other city. Trains go guite fequently on the main linesin the West (about every 15 minutes). Intercity trains to other parts of the country usually go every 30 minutes. If you come from Brussels, take the international train that leaves every hour. Unless you're travelling during a holiday period it shouldn't be necessary to book your tickets i ... more

Accommodation

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If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest. Hostels Hotels Camping Other Options

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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You will find restaurants and supermarkets all over the country. price and quality depends from where you are. as always, touristic centres might be more expensive, student areas tend to be cheaper.
Local Specialties some special things are vla (a milk-based desert, available in many flavours), poffertjes (little pancake like food), snert (very filled pea soup, normally not suitable for vegetarians), stampot (mashed potatoes with vegetables) and haring (raw). Also nice are stroopwaf ... more

Money and Costs

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Currency Euro
Exchanging Money Schiphol Airport, GWK at some trainstations, general Post offices
Credit Cards Visa & Mastercard are most common
Tipping is completely optional.
Bargaining is generally frowned upon, except maybe for some markets...
Costs...

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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If you want to visit the Netherlands and you are a non-EU resident, you will have to apply for a visa. In general this will not be entirely easy to do, so please take your time to arrange your stay.

You may also consider to apply for a German (or other Schengen-) visa, which will be a lesser effort and will give you legal entrance to Holland just the same. In general, this may be a helpful site: www.schengenvisa.cc

For general information on visarequirements, you can look a ... more

Borders and Customs

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Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, The Netherlands maintains 'open borders' with it's neighbours, Belgium and Germany.
In practice this means that you can just keep on driving and if you're not careful will not even notice going into another country.
A side-effect of the open borders is that many Germans go to The Netherlands for an afternoon of smoking weed in coffee shops and a lot of Dutch living close to the border get t ... more

Post and Communications and Internet

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Post, Telephone, Fax, Internet Access ...

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospi ... more

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

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Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.

Photos

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Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

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Nightlife and Entertainment

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Bars, Cafes,

Population and People

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Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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Language and Useful Phrases

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hello

Events and Holidays

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Our most notable holiday is Koninginnedag aka Queen's Day.
It falls on April 30th, alternatively the 29th if the 30th is a sunday.
There will be parties and events all day and all night all around the country, but as usual, Amsterdam will draw the buggest crowds.

Many Dutch people will dress in national colors (lots of orange, some red/white/blue), and many of the kids will spend their mornings at small fairs trying to ... more

Climate and When to Go

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Geography

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Environment and Flora and Fauna

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Dangers and Warnings

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Tourist Traps

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Health

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History

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Government and Politics

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Economy

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GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...

Arts

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Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

Media

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Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...

Religion

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Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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Organized Tours

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What to Bring or Packing List

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Shopping

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Books and Further Reading

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Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

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The Netherlands are pretty famous for their drug policy, especially on softdrugs. But, is it as good as you think? Here are some facts:
Softdrugs are not legal in the netherlands. all drugs are forbidden to have, both softdrugs and harddrugs. It is tolerated to keep about 30 grams of softdrugs with you, for your own use. At the same time, you are allowed to buy a maximum of 5 grams of softdrugs in a coffeeshop per day. So you have to visit more coffeeshops if you want to ha ... more

External Links

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Official Country Website:
Only add really valuable resources here. Also, please ask the webmaster of the site you link here to add a link back to the Hospitality Club. If the link exists, please add (L) behind the URL of the link.

Offtopic Messages

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Here you can add messages that are not exactly related to the aims of the Hospitality Club (but related to the country). Do you need a visa invitation? Looking for an internship, job or a flat to rent? Just add this here, and if you are lucky other members will read it and contact you. Remember: do not send messages like this directly to members - after giving you this space here, we will fight spam even more strictly!
Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to www.hospitalityclub.org above the text.

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