While many people think of the Netherlands for its liberal views, especially in its biggest city, the country also has a culture and landscape rivalled by few other places in the world.
The first stop for many travellers to the Netherlands is Amsterdam. This is a city that has it all, from its debaucherous red light district and laid-back coffee shops to its vibrant arts scene and intriguing museums, including Anne Frank's former house. Just outside Amsterdam are some of the country's famous tulip fields, which are best visited in April.
Holland's second largest city is Rotterdam, slightly less than a one-hour drive from Amsterdam. As well as its charming old harbour, the city is a foodie's heaven, especially in Markthal.
A smaller place worth visiting is Giethoorn. Nicknamed the Venice of the north, this town has no streets and instead opts for a series of canals and footpaths for transport. The tranquil town is the perfect place to go for a relaxing break.
Another city to consider is Eindhoven. Its architecture is a lot more modern than many places in the north of Europe, and one of the highlights is the Van Gogh inspired bicycle path. At night, this lights up like the artist's famous painting, The Starry Night.
The area of Zeeland – the old counterpart to the country of New Zealand – is another popular place to visit, especially in the summer when its beaches add extra appeal. The province is mostly located beneath sea level, and the Watersnoodmuseum shows off its history wonderfully.
Best time to visit the Netherlands
Because of its northern location, the Netherlands is chillier than most of Europe. Winters can get uncomfortably cold, but visitor numbers don't peak as wildly in the summer as they do in other European destinations.
Flights to the Netherlands
There are no direct flights between New Zealand and the Netherlands, as all airlines that make this trip take a stop along the way. As a general rule, the cheapest time to book flights to Europe is likely to be around six months before you intend to fly.
Like most of Europe, the Netherlands uses the euro for its transactions. This was brought in at the start of 2002 and replaced the guilder as the country's only legal tender in 2005.
New Zealand passport holders can acquire a visa on arrival into the Netherlands. This gives a traveller up to 90 days in the country.
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Please note: all information is correct as of December, 2016.
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