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Destination Netherlands, a virtual travel guide to this Benelux country also often (not quite correct) called Holland.
This page aims to give you a broad overview of Netherlands' art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, the page contains links to sources which provide you with all the information you need to know about this European nation, e.g.: official web sites of the Netherlands, addresses of Netherlands' and foreign embassies, domestic airlines, city- and country guides with extensive travel and tourism information on accommodation, tourist attractions, events and more like weather information, maps, statistics and local newspapers from the Netherlands.

Royal Palace Amsterdam
Royal Palace on Dam Square Amsterdam

Netherlands | Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

Country Profile

Flag of Netherlands
Flag of the Netherlands

After centuries of foreign rules by the Romans, Franks, Burgunds, Habsburgs, and Spaniards in 1648 the Dutch Republic became a free and sovereign state. During the 17th century, also called the 'Golden Age', the Republic became increasingly prosperous and a major colonial power, thanks largely to the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
In 1815, the northern and southern Netherlands – today's Netherlands and Belgium – were combined to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I but was invaded in World War II by Germany in May 1940 and occupied for five years.
Today the Netherlands is a modern, industrialized nation and the third largest exporter of food. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EU, and participated in the introduction of the Euro in 1999.

border countries: Belgium, Germany
related countries: France, Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, United Kingdom
dependencies: Aruba, Netherlands Antilles
where in Europe are the Netherlands

Official Name:
Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
short form: Nederland
alternative name: Holland
int'l short form: Netherlands
int'l long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands

ISO Country Code: nl

Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)

Actual Time: Fri-Oct-9  21:59
Standard Time Zone = UTC +1h
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October UTC +2)

Country Calling Code: +31

Capital City: Amsterdam (pop. 743 000)
Den Haag (475 000)
The Hague (seat of government)

Other Cities:
Groningen, Haarlem, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Utrecht

Type: Constitutional monarchy
Head of State: Queen Beatrix

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany.
Area: 41,543 kmĀ² (16,040 sq. mi.).
Terrain: Coastal lowland; land below sea level 24%

Climate: Temperate maritime.

Nationality: Noun--Dutchmen and Dutchwomen. Adjective--Dutch.
Population: 16.7 million (2012)
Ethnic groups: Predominantly Dutch; largest minority communities are Moroccans, Turks, Surinamese.
Religions: Roman Catholic (31%), Protestant (21%), Muslim (5,5%), other (2,5%), none (40%).
Language: Dutch; English widely spoken
Literacy: 99%.

Natural resources: Natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land.

Agriculture products: Grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock.

Industries: Agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing.

Exports partners: Germany 25.3%, Belgium 12.6%, France 10.2%, UK 10.1%, Italy 6%, USA 4.5% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 18.2%, Belgium 10%, USA 8%, UK 7.3%, China 6.2%, France 5% (2003)

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Netherlands

royal Het Koninklijk Huis
The Dutch Royal House.

Het Parlement
Staten Generaal -- the Dutch Parliament with the
Senate and the
House of Representatives
The Dutch government directory.

Netherlands Board of Tourism (N.B.T.)
Comprehensive guide to the country - Official Holland Site with 59,000 pages of useful content to people who will travel to holland.

Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs with general information about the Netherlands.

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN
Netherlands representation to the United Nations.
Royal Netherlands Embassy
USA, Washington D.C.
Dutch Missions Abroad
Addresses of Dutch missions by country.
Foreign Missions in the Netherlands
Addresses of foreign diplomatic missions in the Netherlands.

CBS - Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek
Statistics Netherlands presents latest statistics regarding all aspects of the Netherlands.

Het Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI)
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.


profile Map of the Netherlands
Political Map of the Netherlands.
Google Earth Google Earth Netherlands
Searchable satellite view and map of The Netherlands.
Google Earth Google Earth Amsterdam
Searchable map and satellite view of Netherlands' capital.
Google Earth Google Earth Den Haag
Searchable satellite view and map of Den Haag.
Google Earth GoogleEarth Rotterdam
Searchable satellite view and map of Rotterdam.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.

Netherlands News

Algemeen Dagblad
Dutch Newspaper covers national and international news (in Dutch)
Dagblad van het Noorden
The biggest newspaper of the Northern Provences, widely respected (in Dutch) Dutch News
Expatriate site with a daily coverage of the main stories in the Dutch media.
Het Parool
Dutch Newspaper, national and international news (in Dutch)
English language news on and about the Netherlands
De Telegraaf
Dutch Newspaper, national and international news (in Dutch)
De Volkskrant
Dutch Newspaper, national and international news (in Dutch)
Radio Netherlands (RN)
News, current affairs and dutch press reviews.
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Arts & Culture

Arts & Architecture
A guide to events, attractions and activities.
Dutch Pop and Rock Music Institute
The "Nationaal Pop Instituut"
cultural reference Holland Museums
All Dutch Museums
Kunsthal Rotterdam
Culture in the widest sense of the word, art exhibitions
A Milestone in the European Hippie Culture
The birthplace of the painter Piet Mondrian with a permanent collection of its art
De Museumserver
Netherlands museums on the WWW (in Dutch)
Another Milestone in the European Hippie Culture
Rembrandthuis Museum
House of Rembrandt van Rijn and permanent collection of almost all of Rembrandt's etchings
Stedelijk Museum
Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam
The Van Gogh Museum
web culture XS4ALL
Notorious Internet Directory ;-)
Tulips at Keukenhof
Holland beachOn the Beach © NBTC/

Business & Economy

De Nederlandsche Bank
Central Bank of the Netherlands

Amsterdam Exchanges
is now part of Euronext.

BuVoHa - Bureau Voor Handelsinlichtingen
The Trade Information Office is a Dutch association which is specialized in supplying trade information and establishing business contacts between the Netherlands and countries everywhere in the world.

CBI – Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries
The Netherlands Foreign Trade Agency (EVD)

Kamer van Koophandel
Netherland's Chamber of Commerce.
Netherland's telephone directory. (in Dutch)

Dutch Products
Amstel Beer.
Dutch Chocolate.
Douwe Egberts
Heineken Beer.
Spring Garden of Europe.
Children's and Women's clothing.
Wooden Shoes
Dutch clogs.

Gouden Gids
Netherlands yellow pages (in Dutch)

Royal Dutch Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Schiphol Airport
Official site of Netherlands' principal airport.
Rotterdam Airport
Regional airport.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen
The Dutch Railroad (in Dutch)

Rotterdam Port Authority
Official site of the Rotterdam port and industry complex.

Rotterdam - South-Holland
© Photo: Eduard Bergman - NBTC

Destination Netherlands - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Holland: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, North-Holland, South Holland,the West Frisian Islands.
Accommodation, attractions, festivals, events, tours and much more.

Tourism Offices of the Netherlands
Netherlands Board of Tourism (NBTC)
Official site with comprehensive tourism information to the Netherlands.

Noord Holland
The official tourism site of North-Holland, the most important bulb province in the Netherlands.
Official visitors guide to South Holland province.
Zuid-Holland Zuid
Travel and tourism guide for the southern part of South Holland province.

Geography of the Netherlands
Geography of a flat world.
A guide to "Whats on in the Netherlands".
Tourism webportal of the Netherlands (in Dutch).

City Guides
Official site of the City of Amsterdam with tourism and event information.
Amsterdam Hotspots
A guide to all the local favorites.
The Internet Guide to Amsterdam
Amsterdam city guide ready to be printed out and taken with you.

Den Haag
The Hague is theseat of the Dutch government.

The biggest city of the Netherlands after Amsterdam, with the largest port of the world.
Rotterdam Tourism
The official Rotterdam city guide.

The City of Groningen.
The City of Haarlem.
The oldest city of The Netherlands.
The City of Utrecht.  

West Frisian Islands
Official website of the municipality as well as of the island of Texel.
Official tourism information about the island.
Official tourist office website of the municipality and the island.
Official tourism website of the island.
Official tourism website of the Dutch Frisian islands (in Dutch and German).

Hotels in the Netherlands
Find Hotels in the Netherlands.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Cyclists at Kinderdijk Windmills

Amsterdam Canal Houses
Amsterdam Canal Houses



Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschappen (OCW)
The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
The Stateuniversity of Groningen, founded in 1614, one of the oldest universities in Europe.
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Established in 1956, one of the leading Universities of Technology in Europe.
Universiteit of Amsterdam
Universiteit Leiden
Universiteit Maastricht
Universiteit Tilburg
Best Law Faculty of Europe (1998)
Universiteit Utrecht
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Environment - Environmental organizations Netherlands

Government environmental agencies
VROM - Internationaal
The Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment.
Provinciale Milieufederaties
Site about the 12 regional governmental environment organizations.

De Kleine Aarde
Organization for ecological lifestyle.
Greenpeace Nederland
The Dutch section of Greenpeace.
GroenFront! is the Dutch branch of EarthFirst!
Hier (Dutch for ‘Here‘) is the name of a large Dutch climate program whose fundamental idea it is to stress the immediate necessity to implement adaptation projects and initiatives to climate change.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands.
Stichting Natuur en Milieu
The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment.
Links to Dutch environmental organizations. (in Dutch)


Cyndi's list of Genealogy Sites in the Netherlands.

The Holl@nd Page
Dutch Genealogy information and resources.

The national Dutch database containing information for use in genealogical research.


A concise history of the Netherlands
created by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Batavia Yard, National Centre for Maritime History
Dutch History Resources on the Internet
by the University Leiden, History Department.
Dutch Portuguese Colonial History
Dutch Colonial History.
Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (1602-1660)
A site about the history of the Dutch East India Company.
Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis
The ING promotes, through faculty research and its own independant research, the disclosure of source material in the subject area of the history of the Netherlands. (in Dutch)
The Low Countries
Timeline and reigns of the "Low Countries" in historical chronology.
culture highlight Koninklijke Bibliotheek
The National Library of the Netherlands.
De hoofdlijn van de Nederlandse geschiedenis
Netherlands history (in Dutch).
Nationaal Archief
The largest public archive in the Netherlands.
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Largest museum with the largest collection of art and history in the Netherlands.
WWW VL Dutch History Index
Dutch History internet resources.

Science & Research

Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen
One of the biggest academic hospitals in The Netherlands. (in Dutch)
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT)
The Royal Tropical Institute is a knowledge institute specialized in international cooperation and intercultural communication.
The Royal Dutch Geographical Society
Geographers working in the field of spatial planning; research and development.
Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
Home page of the academy. (in Dutch)
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
National research and information centre for climate, climatic change and seismology.
Space Expo Noordwijk
Space related exhibition, you even will find a peace of the moon there. (in Dutch)

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