Thinking about visiting the Netherlands this year and been searching for good Netherlands travel guides? Keep reading our Netherlands travel guide and find all your essential information before you make your next getaways in Holland a reality!
Located in northwestern Europe, the Netherlands is best known for its interconnected canals, fields of tulips, and iconic windmills. This flat and low-elevation country borders Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea, and everything you’ll stumble upon is bound to be picturesque…the famous cities, the quaint towns, and even the beaches! Approximately 15 million tourists visit the Netherlands each year, yearning to be immersed in its modern culture and relaxed way of life.
Useful facts before visiting the Netherlands in 2021: good to know
Netherlands travel guide: how to get there and arriving in Amsterdam in 2021
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main international airport in the Netherlands and the third-largest in Europe. If you’re planning on traveling to the Netherlands from outside of Europe, this airport puts you just 6 kilometers away from the busy capital of Amsterdam: getaways here are equally exciting for glamping enthusiasts.
Conveniently accessed by train, Dutch Railways has a service that goes directly to Amsterdam Central Station, allowing you to access all that the city has to offer in just 15 minutes.
Public transport in the Netherlands and what you need to know about city travel in 2021
Visiting the Netherlands is made all the more appealing when you consider the amazing transport systems in place here. The public transportation is second to none—ranked fourth in the world—making Netherlands travel incredibly easy both inside the cities and across the country. Alternatively, you can rent a bike and experience the Netherlands’ cycling culture instead!
Public transport in the Netherlands is a luxury and biking around the city is truly the best mode of travel, not only for viewing the city, but also to skirt around quickly. You are sure to see thousands of them on your trip, but be sure to keep an eye out when crossing the roads, as it’s likely a bike will be coming your way instead of a car! A bike can be rented for anywhere from 10€ to 40€ per day, depending on how long you’re renting for and from which shop.
Photo from SmarterTravel.
Netherlands travel: cross country getaways in Holland in 2021
Netherlands travel is made easy, thanks to Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the national railway, which connects almost every town in the nation and boasts over 400 stations, making the Netherlands travel easy and accessible.
To cover long distances, high-speed trains are recommended, as they allow you to get to a different city or town very quickly and enjoy your getaways in Holland without too many obstacles. The prices are dependent upon how far you’re traveling—the further you go, the more expensive! Be sure to snag a window seat to enjoy the serene views of the Dutch countryside.
The most effective way to travel on trains is to buy a 7.50€ OV-chipkaart that you can use for all trains in the Netherlands. The card acts as the ticket and can be topped up at the machines that are conveniently located at every station. As you start your journeys in Holland, swipe in at the barriers and swipe out when you arrive at your destination; this calculates your route and deducts the correct amount from your card. When visiting the Netherlands, make sure you have this on your person for your own convenience
Photo from EuRail.
Useful phrases to know when visiting the Netherlands in 2021
Take a look at the phrases you can whip out during your time visiting the Netherlands in 2021: impress the locals during your next holidays near Hoorn, Netherlands!
Dutch culture: food and drink to keep in mind during 2021 holidays in the Netherlands
One of the best experiences of visiting the Netherlands and a new country, in general, is tasting all the different foods and drinks it has to offer. The Netherlands has a very traditional way of cooking and serving food, and every dish you try is guaranteed to be hearty and wholesome, with ingredients grown by skillful farmers or freshly caught on the coast.
Stamppot is the traditional dish usually eaten on a cold winter’s day and a staple of Dutch culture here: a mix of mashed potatoes, kale, carrots, sauerkraut, and rookworst sausage. Try some during your next 2021 holidays in the Netherlands!
The biggest and best events in the Netherlands in 2021: experience the Tulip Festival
The Tulip festival in Amsterdam is one of the best events in the Netherlands and sees the streets being filled with vibrant colors every which way you glance. The tulip is the symbol of the Netherlands dating back to the 17th century and the Ottoman empire, withstanding economic impact for the country, both historically and in the present day.
Amsterdam celebrates this through the thousands of tulips throughout the city, diverse in both color and variation. The motto of the annual Tulip Festival is “A tulip for every citizen,” and there are 85 locations around the city that boast over 500,000 flowers total. The unique sea of colors creates a natural beauty in the middle of a built-up city and is not a sight to be missed.
The tulip festival Amsterdam. Photo from TulipsinHolland.
More of the best places to visit in Holland in 2021: The Hague awaits
Most people visiting the Netherlands head straight for Amsterdam. While it’s definitely a city you’ll want to check off your bucket list, make sure to hit up other cities and more of the best places to visit in Holland to experience even more of the Dutch culture, architecture, and artistic jewels.
Visiting the Netherlands in 2021 should definitely include a trip to The Hague, the third-largest city in the Netherlands, for a number of sites rich in history and politics. If you’re heading there in summer, even better, as you’ll get to relax on the serene beaches lining the coast of the North Sea.
Where to go in Holland: visiting Rotterdam for your next stop in 2021
Thinking of other destinations and where to go in Holland in 2021?
Rotterdam is far from a traditional Dutch city. After being destroyed in WWII, it was rebuilt with totally unique architecture. You can check out the unconventional cubed houses and the city’s art scene, both on the street and in the museums. This is sure to be different from anything else you will visit on your travels in the Netherlands!
Traveling Holland outside of the city: visit Hoge Veluwe National Park in 2021
If big cities aren’t your forte, make sure to check out the incredible natural sites scattered throughout the Netherlands, ensuring a more tranquil sightseeing experience.
Become acquainted with nature in the largest continuous nature reserve the country has to offer. The landscape is so diverse that you can choose to either hike or cycle, all while looking out for the abundant wildlife the park holds. Visit Hoge Veluwe National Park and enjoy some of the best national park camping on offer here!
Photo from Planetware.
Located in the wetlands of Dordrecht—the oldest city in Holland—these windmills were built in 1740 to help control flooding. Now declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the long-standing windmills are one of the most photographed places in the whole country.
Photo from Holland.com.
Nicked named “The Garden of Europe,” Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden. The garden holds more than 7 million flowers all diverse in color, lining streams, and waterfalls. A peaceful meander of this vibrant landscape sounds heavenly for a little bit of relaxation.
Safety while abroad traveling in Amsterdam and other top destinations in the Netherlands: visas
Luckily, the Netherlands is one of the safest destinations for vacations in Europe. You can never be too careful, though, and adequately preparing before visiting a new country makes travel plans a lot smoother.
The worry of traveling to different countries can be the long-winded visa processes and documentation. The Netherlands, however, is a Schengen country, which means traveling there is made straightforward for most.
Due to the Netherlands forming part of this agreement, the country is completely visa-free. This means American, Australian, and Canadian citizens can visit without obtaining a visa, as long as their stay does not exceed 90 days. EU citizens also have the freedom of travel without the hassle of any visa processes.
What you need to travel legally in Amsterdam: travel guide
- Valid Passport
- Documentation with the purpose of stay and proof of sufficient financial means
Any citizens traveling from one of the other 25 Schengen countries are granted free movement, with no internal borders in the whole of this area!
These are our top tips, but don’t forget to consult your home country’s government websites for updates on travel and more information:
- U.S.: https://travel.state.gov/
- Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/
- Europe: https://ec.europa.eu/consularprotection/traveladvice/
- Australia: https://dfat.gov.au/travel/Pages/travel.aspx
Health and safety tips when traveling and visiting the Netherlands for the first time
- The European emergency number is 112 and will connect anyone to the police, fire department, or to an ambulance.
- There is safe and drinkable tap water throughout the country.
- No vaccines are required in order to travel to the Netherlands.