Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Tourism in the Netherlands

Tourism is an important economic sector in the Netherlands. The country receives some 10 million foreign visitors every year, primarily from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel and Belgium.

The Netherlands is a densely populated country. Amsterdam is the capital and largest city known for its many canals, historic buildings, red light district (De Wallen) and cannabis coffee shops. One can purchase and use cannabis without fear of prosecution in the Netherlands, which is rare for most western countries, and has led to a large number of "drug tourists" from abroad. Amsterdam is also a city of rich culture and history with popular attractions like the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (national museum), Rembrandt House Museum and Anne Frank House.

Windmills on the KinderdijkOther tourist destinations in the Netherlands are cities like the royal seat, The Hague, with its city centre, beaches and Madurodam (miniature city). Modern Rotterdam is known for its harbour, shopping and skyline. Delft and Utrecht are former rich trading cities. In the south, Maastricht is one of the oldest Roman cities, and a very old village called Valkenburg lying in a landscape with old castles and hills.

Typically Dutch are the tulips and windmills of the Keukenhof flower gardens, the Zaanse Schans and Kinderdijk, and the traditional fishing villages of Volendam and Marken. Popular souvenirs from the Netherlands are flower bulbs, delftware and wooden shoes.

The Netherlands also has to a coastline along the North Sea. The IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea are resorts for sailing. Elburg or Harderwijk lie on the coast.

The fishing village of Marken with its traditional wooden houses.