Netherlands

Netherlands: The Hague, Delft, Utrecht, more

In 6 words: Land of tulips, windmills and canals.
For your first visit you need a couple of days of touring or of day-tripping from Amsterdam to see the most interesting places.
Don’t miss: Tulip gardens during their blossoming season (mid-March to mid-May).
Worthy destinations: Zaanse Schans; Delft; Utrecht; The Hague; Keukenhof Gardens.
Left for another visit: Zuiderzee; Alkmaar; Haarlem; Leiden; Rotterdam; Giethoorn; Paleis Het Loo; Den Bosch; Maastricht.
Last visit: April 2008.
    
Destination appeal
 
Our verdict

Netherlands is not a big country, so you can reach many of its interesting locations on day-trips from Amsterdam, even if you do not have the luxury of actually touring the country. Amsterdam notes are found here.
 

Windmills in Zaanse Schans

 
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Amsterdam

In 6 words: Beautiful and serene city on canals.
For your first visit you need no less than 4 full days to be able to fully appreciate the city and all of its major sights while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace.
Distances are walkable in the city center, you are unlikely to need use of public transport much, except for going further afield.
Love its canal-side architecture, the unique look.
Don’t miss: paddling along the canals on a canal bike; catching the flower market.
On the other hand: The canals are flushed nightly and the city streets are cleaned, but all of the rubbish floating in the water and strewn on the sidewalks during the day makes for a slightly off-putting impression.
    
Destination appeal
 
Our verdict
Worthy attractions: Rembrandtshuis, with many paintings by the master; Anne Frankhuis; Van Gogh museum; Westerkerk and its bell tower; Willet-Holthuysen museum; Bloemenmarkt, which will bowl you over with its variety of tulip bulbs on sale; Vondelpark, a wonderful place to kick back; the Red Lights District.
Left for another visit: Rijksmuseum; Oude Kerk; Joods Historisch Museum; Koninklijk Paleis; Madame Tussaud’s Scenerama; Amsterdams Historisch Museum; Coster Diamonds; Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum [further afield]; NEMO [further afield]; Natura Artis Magistra zoo [further afield].
No intention of trying: Drugs.
Last visit: May 2007.

Kaisergracht

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