The Netherlands – The World’s Biggest Flower Garden


1 Keukenhof-650x519The Dutch adore flowers and they love sharing their passion with the rest of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: The earth laughs in flowers. The Netherlands boasts colorful flower fields where you can see the vibrancy of color in abundance; experience the delicate petals and smell the freshness. The coastal region between Haarlem and Leiden is the traditional bulb growing and one can drive through this area during spring (March) for an unforgettable flower-experience of endless fields of tulips, gladioluses, hyacinths, lilies and daffodils. Springtime in The Netherlands is filled with brilliant colors and attracts around 800,000 tourists in just an eight week time frame.
The Netherlands is located in north-western Europe and is bordered by Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the west and north and Germany to the east. The country consists of twelve provinces: Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, North Brabant, North Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland and South Holland.
Flevoland, South Holland, Utrecht and North Holland (the western region of the country) are commonly referred to as Randstad and is the heart of the Netherlands. The northern region of the country (Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen) is not often visited by foreigners, but is popular among the locals. Gelderland and Overijssel is the eastern region of this amazing country and home to Hoge Veluwe National Park. The Hanzesteden is located along the Ussel River and consists of seven beautiful medieval cities.

The Netherlands is Famous for its “Klompen”

The famous Dutch wooden shoes are surprisingly comfortable and will protect you feet from falling objects up to ten kilogram. These popular shoes or clogs, made of poplar, alder or willow wood, are wear-resistant, strong and can be painted, carved or plain.
2 Wooden-ShoesThe shoes date back to the middle Ages and gained popularity since the beginning of the sixteenth century. Today, wooden shoes are still worn by farmers, road workers, fisherman and gardeners and the shoe manufacturers are still active.
“Klompen” is an essential part of the traditional Dutch costume for Klompendanskunst. The dancers create a rhythm by tapping the heels and toes on a wooden floor. Welkoop and various shops in Friesland sell good quality wooden shoes.

Dutch Cheese

The Netherlands has long ranked among the top exporters of cheese in the world. Cheese is usually labeled by its age. “Andoverjarig” refers to the oldest cheese, aged 12 to 24 months. “Belegen” means the cheese is seven to eight months old, “jonge kaas” is cheese not older than four weeks and “graskaas” is the youngest cheese available. While traveling the Netherlands, the cheese markets such as Hoorn and Edam are worth seeing. The Reypenaer’s Tasting Room is located on one of Amsterdam’s old city canals, 182 Singel, and is well-known for its Gouda.
3 cheese The NetherlandsGood cheese is not hard to find in the Netherlands and some of the cheese varieties include:
• Boerenkaas: Raw-milk cheese made from the milk of cows living on the same farm.
• Maasdammer: Cheese with large holes and a sweet, nutty taste.
• Edam: A great cheese with a mellow, salty taste.
• Gouda: A semi-hard cheese and typically available in large or smaller wheels.
Gouda cheeses are often flavored with herbs, such as pepper, onion, chives or parsley.

Dutch Food and Treats

The Dutch are well-known for their delicious treats such as cold sweet pies (bitterbal) with fruit toppings and small pancakes with butter and powdered sugar (poffertjies). “Drop” (liquorices) is available in almost all shops and you can get it from salty to sweet, soft or hard. The most popular snack among the Dutch is “patat” or “friet.” The snack is French fries made of sweet potato.
A typical breakfast in the Netherlands consists of a bread roll or a slice of bread with ham or cheese. Meals are usually meat, potatoes and vegetables. Hotchpotch (huts pot) is a simple meal with mashed potatoes, carrots and onions served with sausage or meat. Smoked sausages (rook worst) are widely available at almost all supermarkets.

Popular Tourist Attractions in the Netherlands

Smartphone app for calling Netherlands.
Keukenhof, Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, (phone: +31 252 465 555) is certainly one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands. Keukenhof is also known as the Garden of Europe and is
home to many gardens and four grand pavilions that show the most magnificent flowers. You can also enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside and see fields of flowering tulips. You will be overwhelmed by the display of beautiful colors.
The most visited area of Amsterdam is the medieval center and is home to canals, shops and traditional architecture. The areas around Spui, Nieuwmarkt and the Red Light District are interesting places to visit. However, most of the city’s museums are gathered in Plantage, just beyond Waterlooplein, where you can find the Botanic Gardens, Herritage Amsterdam and Jewish Historical Museum. Make sure to visit De Gooyer, a windmill not far from the city center.
A museum that should not be missed in Amsterdam is definitely the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. This amazing museum is home to the largest collection of the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter’s drawings and paintings in the world.
The Rijksmuseum offers a large collection of paintings by artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals. The famous Milkmaid by Vermeer and Night Watch by Rembrandt are on display at the Rijksmuseum.
Explore the Netherlands Open-Air Museum and National Heritage Museum at Schelmseweg 89, Amhem (phone: 026 357 6111) and visit the Burgers Zoo, the shops, windmills and thatched cottages.
Epen is a tiny Dutch town and is located in the southern part of Limburg. Enjoy the rolling hills, majestic mansions, timbered houses and castles.

The Sprookjesbos (Fairy Tale Forest)

4 Eknibbelknabbel

The Sprookjesbos (Fairy Tale Forest) at Sibbergrubbe 2A, Off Gulpen Road, Valkenburg (phone: 043 301 2985), is absolutely worth a visit. Valkenburg is a biking city and a must for cyclers. Take your time and explore the castles and caves in this beautiful city.
The Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement at Steenweg 6, Utrecht (phone: 030 231 2789), is a true highlight with a huge collection of music instruments. Enjoy the music boxes, organs and a great exhibition of music from the twenties.

Visa for the Netherlands

The Netherlands is an amazing country to visit. The majority of foreign nationals wishing to stay in the Netherlands for up to three months require a short stay visa or tourist visa (toeristenvisum) or a Schengen visa (Schengenvisum).


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