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the netherlands

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1. Posted by raincoat (Budding Member 14 posts) 12y

hi all,

i don't know much about the netherlands and was hoping for any information at all, particularly which towns/cities/sights to visit. i'll be going in february 2005 and at the moment the only city on our list is amsterdam.

thanks
kylie

2. Posted by blurry (Budding Member 8 posts) 12y

February is a great time to visit The Netherlands. It is cold enough to keep most tourists away making visits to popular attractions like The Rikesmuseum and Ann Frank's House easier but it's not so cold that you can't walk around for a while before ducking into a coffeeshop for a bit of a warm up.

One of my favorite places is the Kroller-Muller Museum in Hoge Veluwe Park, about six miles from the Dutch city of Arnhem and easily accessible by bus and train from Amsterdam. Its stellar Vincent Van Gogh collection, with 93 paintings and 183 drawings, plus superb works by Seurat, Monet, Gauguin, Picasso, Gris, Courbet, Corot, Millet, Mondrian, and more will give you everything you came for, but you’ll be surprised at everything else. The sculpture garden is a pleasure to stroll around and a perfectly situated cafe allows you to enjoy the sculptures in a nice warm atmosphere.

I thought that The Hague would be very stuffy what with all the government and buracracy located there but I was surprised to find a lively little city with friendly inhabitants and a vibrant art scene. I saw one of the most beautiful houses in The Hague, a wonderful Art Noveau glass and metal canal house that had me entralled.

The Netheralands is so easy to get around, distances are short and train rides are comfortable so getting out of Amsterdam is highly recommended. I have just mentioned a couple of places but there are so many more.

http://www.blurrytravel.com

3. Posted by kelster (Full Member 51 posts) 12y

Hi Kylie!

We went all round. Harlingen was great for lazy days & watching the sun go down. There are lots of cafe's in the little centre & it's just a nice place to visit. Depends what you're after though I spose
We met plenty of nice people on the trains & english is well spoken. I also thought The Hague would be stuffy, but liked it. Rotterdam if you want to visit the strange cube houses, & just stand in aww at the number of bikes parked up outside Amsterdam train station!

Kel

4. Posted by SurfDude (Budding Member 17 posts) 12y

Hey there,

Im Dutch myself, so should be able to shine some light here..Amsterdam, just go there, don't like it too much myself, but would recommand it to anyone who hasn't seen it before. Holland has a lot of beauty to offer, BUT you got to know where to find it! I recommand the cities of Rotterdam, Leiden (!) and Maastricht. But again...look for the hotspots in these places carefully! Prepare! These towns are beautifull but, there not like paris or something, where every neighberhood is gorgious. So do some research before you go. If you've got any questions about specifics just ask me, I'll see what I can do. February is quite cold by the way haha. Ofcourse there are less tourist then, but on the other hand you miss some good things, like the summer vibe in Amsterdam, lying in the famous Vondel-park and all that. And the seaside is actually quite nice too! Anyway, for more advice just contact me, Have fun! Cheers, Jasper

5. Posted by raincoat (Budding Member 14 posts) 12y

thanks to everyone for the responses. surfdude, its especially good to hear from a local! i'm sure i'll msg you with some questions in the near future.

kylie

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 12y

Jasper's 3 recomendations plus the Hague are all good. I'd also add Delft (but am admitedly biased) to the list. The Coast and Frisian islands can be good, but probably not so much in feb. I admit to liking Harlem (15mins from Amsterdam), and of course the area around Arnhem can be interesting if you have any interest etc in WW2.

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 5813 posts) 12y

Note that the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum are both undergoing serious renovations at the moment. The top pieces (nightwatch, etc.) are still on display though in a separate wing at hte Rijksmuseum though, which actually is a lot more convenient than spending a whole day walking around!! Also I totally agree about the Kroller Muller museum - it is a very nice place to go to - unfortunately not so easy to get to though and you do have to like art to enjoy it!

If you enjoy architecture and design you should also visit Rotterdam - there are some spectacular modern buildings there (the whole place was virtually flattened during WW2, so has been totally rebuilt) that are well worth seeing.

Holland is very small too, so it doesn't take very long to get from one place to the next. Only problem is that train tickets for relatively short distances aren't exactly cheap.

Cheers, Peter

8. Posted by passenger (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y

hi Raincoat,

Well, i'm from Holland as well. It depends a little on what you like to see in a country, but the cities I can really recommend are Amsterdam, Maastricht and Groningen.

The latter is where i live and the good thing about Groningen is that is has the feeling of a city, but also a laidback and relaxed atmosphere. You'll see a lot of young people there, because there relatively much students. Groningen has (unique even for Holland) a nightlife that never stops, if you want there are cafes open for 24 hours per day. And i think it doesn't matter what kind of place you like for going out, because Gr. has it all.

Another great thing are the many hidden places in Groningen, public gardens where you don't expect them. If you go there, just visit the Nothern Plantsoen (which is great especially if the weather is good), you can find a lot of places where you can eat decently for a good price in the centre of town, the Groninger Museam, the rebuilt hall of the rail station (looks great!).

Well, have fun, bye!
Ger;)

9. Posted by janzw (Full Member 39 posts) 12y

hi

most tourist only visit amsterdam which is indeed a great city. However there is more to be seen in the netherlands. Cities to visit could be Utrecht with the highest tower in the netherlands and a cozy city centre. More modern is Rotterdam with one of the largest harbours in the world where you can do a harbour tour by boat.

In the east and south you find some smaller cities. Many tourist visit Volendam, a traditional fishersvillage.

In the east you find smaller cities like Arnhem, Zwolle, Deventer, Zutphen all with a small historical centre. If you wanna see more outside cities try hiring a bike, and have a look at the countryside. As for nature there isn't too much forest in Holland but there are some beaches like Zandvoort, close to Amsterdam where you can walk in the dunes.

As for musea, in Amsterdam are several: the Rijksmuseum, van Goghmuseum, Tropenmuseum.

In the province of Friesland you find several lakes where you can practice watersports as surfing and sailing. All the way in the south is the city of Maastricht worth a visit.