The Netherlands, or The Kingdom of the Netherlands officially, is a country in northwestern Europe. Known for its windmills, canals, tulips, and cycling, it makes for a great vacation. Fans of art will love the Van Gogh Museum, while the tulip gardens and historic canals offer breathtaking views. Add in vibrant cities like Amsterdam and it has something for everyone. There are many things to see and do here.
This Netherlands travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
- Power voltage is 230 V at 50 Hz. Type C and F.
- The official currency is the euro and 1 euro is equal to 1.10 USD.
- The best way to get around is by car.
- To enter, you will need a U.S. passport valid for 3 months after your stay ends. You do not need a visa if your stay is under 90 days.
- KPN, Vodafone Nederland, and T-Mobile (merged with Tele2) are the main mobile provider and a prepaid SIM card can be purchased through any of them by visiting the company’s official stores or local supermarkets.
- The Netherlands has three separate value-added tax (VAT) rates: 0%, 6%, and 21%, with the 9% rate being used for common goods and services. For more information, click here: https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/business/vat/vat_in_the_netherlands/calculating_vat/vat_tariffs
Budget: You can find prices for hostels in the range of 18-50 euros per night. Enjoy dorm-styled or private rooms, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, security lockers, and great central locations.
Mid-Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay between 70-135 euros. Enjoy private rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, a hotel restaurant and bar, a pool, and good locations to nearby attractions and public transport.
High-End: Upscale hotels can range from 140-275 euros per night. Take in the best with top-of-the-line service, polished private rooms with rainfall showers and whirlpool tubs, indoor and outdoor pools, spas, hotel restaurants with fine dining and chandeliers, and a hotel bar.
Food: The cuisine of the Netherlands favors vegetables, meat, bread, cheese, and potatoes. Hollandse Nieuwe (raw herring with onions and pickled cucumbers) is one of the most popular dishes. When out and about, try a stroopwafel, a waffle with syrup filling, or try a kroket, which is a deep-fried roll stuffed with meat ragout. The Netherlands has many restaurants where you can try more of their cuisine, with a typical meal costing 15 euros.
Getting to the Netherlands: The main airport is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, located 13.6 miles from Amsterdam’s city center. Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, and Maastricht also have their own airports.
Flights: You can check for the best flights to The Netherlands on Skyscanner.
Train: Trains are a good way to go between cities and the Netherlands has 400 stations that travel throughout the day, and sometimes at night. Go from Amsterdam to Rotterdam in 70 minutes for just 18 euros one-way.
Tram: The tram is another excellent way to travel and runs from 6 AM to midnight.
Bus: Buses are a cheap way to get around and bus lines are available in most areas. A typical fare is 3.20 euros for one hour of traveling.
Taxis: Taxis are a good way to get around. Taxis have a starting fee of 7.50 euros and increase up to 2.20 euros per kilometer. A taxi ride from Amsterdam airport to downtown Amsterdam, for example, will cost around 39 euros.
Uber: Uber is available in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Haarlem, and The Gooi.
Bicycle: Bicycling is a very popular form of transportation in the Netherlands, and due to this you can find many cycling paths throughout the country. You can find rentals priced at 10-40 euros per day.
Rent a car: Renting a car requires you to be at least 19 years old and have a U.S. license that is at least a year old. Prices start at 36 euros per day for drivers 25 and older.
You can also compare prices here
Places to Stay
Rotterdam Marriott Hotel: Check in to this 5-star hotel and stay in the trendy cool district, which features designer boutiques, popular restaurants, and the De Doelen concert hall. The hotel comes private rooms and suites featuring marble bathrooms and minibars, free breakfast, room service, a cocktail bar, a café in the lobby, and a 24-hour gym.
Carlton Beach: When in The Hague, stay at this great beachside hotel. Accessible by tram and just a 6-minute walk from the Scheveningen Pier, the hotel comes with private rooms with balconies and TVs, a hotel restaurant, a bar and grill, a spa with 3 saunas, and an indoor pool.
American Hotel Amsterdam: Stay in the heart of Amsterdam at this four-star hotel.Enjoy nearby restaurants, shopping centers, and bars. Once you’re done exploring, come back to the hotel for private rooms and suites featuring coffeemakers and minibars, room service, massage services, a hotel bar and café, and a sauna. The Anne Frank House and Dam Square are both just a short walk away.
- Power Adapter: As the voltage is higher than the US, bring a power adapter to charge your electronics.
- Walking Shoes: With so many outdoor activities, bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes to keep your feet comfortable.
- Raincoat: Keep yourself dry by bringing a raincoat.
See our packing tips: packing tips
When to Go
The best time to visit is between March and May and September to November, where you can find better deals on hotels and avoid the peak tourist season of July-August. April in particular is a great month for those who want to see the flowers after they have bloomed. Temperatures average to 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit during these seasons. If you are looking for the hottest weather, go in August, where temperatures can increase up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Things to Do
Canals of Amsterdam: Amsterdam has 165 beautiful canals, perfect for a great relaxing morning or afternoon. Take a boat tour or walk along the canal banks to enjoy a beautiful city and water views.
Anne Frank House: Come visit the historic house of Anne Frank. One of the most popular museums in the Netherlands, learn more about the history of Anne Frank by browsing through audio, photos, videos, and artifacts.
Van Gogh Museum: Fans of Van Gogh or art will love this museum. Featuring the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh paintings,book a private tour or browse through at your own pace.
Zaanse Schans: Travel to this open-air museum to explore a village modeled after Holland in the 18th and 19th centuries. See the windmills, walk through the shops and houses, go to the interactive exhibit to see chocolate being made, and more.
Keukenhof: Come smell and see the flowers at this public garden. Open from March to May, the garden features 7 million spring-bulb flowers in bloom, including colorful tulips.
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.
We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation.
Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world's largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
World Nomads Insurance: When traveling you should always have travel insurance. We do.