Netherlands is a small, yet densely populated country in Western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the south and Germany to the east, with the North Sea lying to its northwest. A highly industrialized and prosperous country, Netherlands is known for its windmills, tulips, canals, and cheese. Amsterdam, its capital city, is home to a lively arts scene and a notorious red-light district. Other major Dutch cities include The Hague and Rotterdam. With its well-developed infrastructure and high standard of living, Netherlands is a popular tourist destination.
What is Netherlands known for? Visitors to the Netherlands will find a country with a rich culture and history. The Netherlands is known for its bicycle-friendly streets, canals, tulips, and windmills. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a popular tourist destination with its lively nightlife and historical sights. There are also many other interesting places to visit in the Netherlands.
Here are 15 things that Netherlands is known for.
Amsterdam, the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, is well known for its liberal attitude and red-light district. A cultural hub, Amsterdam is home to many art galleries and museums, including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum. The city is also home to the Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to the Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II. Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination for its canals, narrow streets, and lively nightlife.
2. The Hague
The Hague is the third largest city and capital of the Netherlands. It is known as the home of international justice, as it is the place where International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court are located. The Hague hosted peace talks on Iran’s nuclear program between 2013–14. The city has a multicultural vibe with architecture from different eras, modern art galleries, and boutique shops. In addition to its historic sights, the Hague offers cycling routes along old dikes and through parks and other natural areas.
One of Amsterdam’s most famous museums, the Rijksmuseum holds a large collection of paintings from classical Dutch artists including Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer. Other highlights include the Girl with a Pearl Earring and Night Watch. The Rijksmuseum is housed in an 1885 building with stunning architecture and art nouveau details.
Rotterdam is a major port city and one of Europe’s largest commercial ports. It is also known as “Gateway to Europe” for its role as an international hub, linking mainland Europe to Africa, South America, North America, and Asia by high-capacity freight rail links and ferry services. This cosmopolitan city has modern architecture that makes it popular among tourists visiting the Netherlands. Other attractions include great shopping facilities, world-class museums such as Museum Boijmans Van Beun, and Rotown Theatre for performing arts.
Bicycles are a popular form of transportation in the Netherlands. Nearly half of all trips in the Netherlands are made by bicycle, and there are more than 18 million bicycles in the country. There are nearly 8,000 kilometers of bicycle paths in the Netherlands, and cyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk if there is no bike path. Amsterdam is known for its many cyclists and its narrow streets.
Cheese is an important part of Dutch cuisine. The Netherlands produces approximately 500 types of cheese, including Gouda and Edam. Dutch cheeses are typically yellow in color, which comes from adding annatto to the milk during cheese-making process. Some popular ways to eat Dutch cheese include eating it with fruit jam or honey for breakfast, eating it in sandwiches or panini for lunch, or eating them as snacks by themselves.
The Netherlands is home to many windmills, especially along the gentle slopes of its river areas. These windmills were used to pump water out of canals, drain land beneath the level of the sea, and thresh crops before modern farming techniques were developed. There are more than 2,000 windmills in the Netherlands today, many of which still retain their original function and sell flour and other products. Some windmills can also be visited by tourists.
Genever is a traditional Dutch liquor usually made from malt wine and flavored with juniper berries. It was originally developed as an attempt to make use of the surplus grains after the destruction of the plague in the 16th century. French monks started producing genever, which they used for medicinal purposes as well as alcoholic beverages. The term “genever” first appeared in records dating back to 1570s. There are more than 100 brands of genever today, and it is one of the most popular liquors in the Netherlands, especially among older generations.
Tulip fields can be found in multiple locations across the Netherlands each year during tulip season (April-May). More than 50% of Dutch flower exports are tulips from Limburg in South-Limburg and Noordoostpolder in Flevoland.
11. Riding boots
The Netherlands exports about 70 million pairs of riding boots per year, mostly for women’s use. The country’s biggest market is Europe (especially Germany), followed by the US and China. Most Dutch riders wear custom-made riding boots designed specifically for their feet, but they also sell these boots in smaller sizes suitable for children or people with shorter legs.
12 . Canals
canals are popular attractions in many cities in the Netherlands because these waterways played an important role in developing trade and travel routes over time. Plaatsenlanden Canal in the Southern Netherlands, for example, is a flourishing canal and inland port that dates back to 13th century.
Delftware is a style of tin-glazed earthenware known for its blue and white pottery tracery designs. The ornamental design was inspired by Chinese porcelain traceries and became popular in the 16th century throughout western Europe and England for its bright colors and even glaze that were disease resistant. Delftware reached its peak during the 17th century but eventually died out as production costs increased compared to those of porcelain with similar design qualities.
14. Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh is a famous Dutch painter whose work had a significant influence on 20th century art. He produced all of his works during a 10-year period between 1886 and 1887, with the most famous being Starry Night Over the Rhone, The Bedroom, Sunflowers, and several self-portraits. Van Gogh also wrote letters to his brother describing his experiences painting in different environments. Many of these paintings are now part of museum collections across the world today.
15. Languages in Netherlands
There are 12 official and widely-recognized languages in Netherlands. Dutch is the national language of the country, but Frisian is an official regional language within Friesland Province. Other recognized languages include English, German, Limburgish, Low Saxon, Romani, Sign Language (Dutch variant), West Frisian (official regional language), along with 7 unrecognized dialects.
Read more: What Is Finland Known For?
Wrap it up
So there you have it – some of the most notable things that Netherlands is known for around the world. From its windmills and tulips to its riding boots and Delftware, the country has a rich history and culture that is celebrated in many different ways. Whether you’re visiting Netherlands or just interested in learning more about it, these are some of the facets that make up its unique identity.