Located in western Europe, The Netherlands has always been one of my favorites countries. It features a rich history that dates back to roman times, incredible medieval and modern architecture, beautiful landscapes with cute little towns, an incredible nightlife scene and a lot of art, cheese and tulips. However, what I like the most is the friendly locals.
Celtic and Germanic tribes use to inhabit the region we call The Netherlands today. Further on, the Romans occupied the region, establishing a military post in what today is Nijmegen. Over the years, the Dutch have been occupied by the Spanish, the Austrians, the French and the Germans. Influences of all these cultures and times can be seen just by walking around its historic cities.
ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING:
Dutch have played an important role in the architecture of the world. The country boots a fascinating architecture mixture of 17th century buildings with modern, futuristic and innovative structures.
The Netherlands has an extensive party scene, with clubs, pubs, coffee shops, irish bars and much more. Dutch like to have fun, and are known for its open-minded approach, creating an environment of relaxation and enjoyment (might surprise some first visitors). I would highlight the “Red light district” in Amsterdam and the electro music scene in Rotterdam, as it has been called the “Capital of the Electro music”.
For a relatively small country, The Netherlands offers a rich variety of landscapes. Famous for its flower fields, windmills and massive water bodies, the country also boasts national parks and reserves, beaches, hills, dunes and more to explore
The Dutch are among the coolest locals I have met. They are warm, hospitable and extremely friendly. Thanks to their educational system, they also speak a great deal of English! Among other languages like German, and/or a little bit of Spanish and French, as they are required in school. They are the most proficient English speakers in the world.
What to expect
Dutch is the official language. However, between 90% and 93% of the Dutch population speaks English fluently, becoming the most proficient English speakers in the world outside the Anglosphere. They also teach German and French or Spanish in school. The majority of dutch (especially younger generations) would speak at least 3 languages.
In The Netherlands the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. That’s the standard voltage in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa; If you are traveling from the US you will need an adaptor.
Euro is the official currency in The Netherlands. Other foreign currencies, like dollars, might be accepted at tourist attractions and hotels, but they won’t be accepted in other establishments. Credit cards are widely accepted, and you can exchange your money at any bank or withdraw it directly from the ATM.
The Netherlands is very safe, with low crime rates overall, although the crime right might shift a little if you visit larger cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing anf and bicycle theft are the most common offense with rare occurrences of violent crime. Be cautious and use your common sense.
Nationals of the following countries do not need a visa to enter The Netherlands for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, USA, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
Citizens from all other countries (except, of course, european citizens) need to request a visa in advance through the embassy.
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