Posts on The Netherlands by Kyle the Vagabond:
Simply put, there is more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam. While the world’s most notoriously hedonistic city certainly makes its sinful presence felt when walking around the Red Light
District at night, even in greater Amsterdam the Dutch culture and history surrounds the overwhelmed traveler. Cruise the canals of Amsterdam’s charming dowtown and tour the many museums and art centers that the city has on tap. Listen to street performers hawk their talents in the city, or head on out in to the country for Dutch country living at its finest. With offshore islands, miles of coastline, a number of bustling cities, and rolling green pasturelands, for a nation set largely below sea level the Netherlands stands tall amongst the greater countries of Europe
Euro; Exchange Rate: 1 Euro = $1.32 (August 5, 2010) For currency conversion info visit xe.com
When to Go:
Like the rest of Europe, July and August have the most tourists and warmest weather, though it can be wet during these months. Set in a maritime climate, rain and cool temperatures off of the water are possible any time of the year. March is the driest month overall, and October can still see warm temperatures and drier weather after the crowds have thinned. Winter time from December-February is characterized by few tourists and wet snow, though really, there is really no bad time to be in Amsterdam.
The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks:
1. Bike along the Amstel River
Starting in Amsterdam’s bike-crazy downtown, follow the river out into the country past windmills and pastures into the true Dutch countryside
2. Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam
Touristy or not, definitely one of the more powerful sites in all of Europe. Standing in the upstairs rooms literally makes people weep. Well worth the visit.
3. Stroll the Red Light District, Amsterdam
Even if you’re not into the whole prostitute and drug thing, simply walking around the area and scoping out the scene is an…interesting experience, to say the least.
4. Tour a clog and cheese factory
Nothing goes together like clogs and cheese. Many factories set out in the country offer both items at their finest, and nothing says good cheese like a new pair of clogs.