The Netherlands has a population of around 17 million and
its capital and largest city is Amsterdam, however the seat of government is in the Hague
in South Holland. The Hague is also the location for the
International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which
gives it great importance in the United Nations and is the source of
references to it being the world's legal capital. Rotterdam is the
second largest city and the windmills of Kinderdijk are nearby.
The Netherlands participates in the Schengen
Zone and Schengen Visa requirements. That means there
are no border controls between members and no border inspections by
rail or vehicle when traveling from the Netherlands to Belgium or Germany. Some countries that are not
members of the Schengen Zone require a Schengen Visa to enter Europe. More
than 40 countries outside the Schengen Zone do not require a visa. Exemptions include citizens of Australia,
Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United
States. Check your specific country of the Goverment
of the Netherlands site or at VisaHQ.
For a list of exempt countries, visit Project
The Netherlands uses the Euro. Cash machines are
common and credit cards are widely used and accepted. Be aware that
banking machines may not accept more than a 4 digit pin.
The climate of the Netherlands is greatly influenced by
constant breezes from the North Sea. This results in cool summers,
but also means that temperatures infrequently drop below freezing in
winter. Rainfall is evenly spread throughout the year. May -
August are probably the best months for good weather during a visit.
If you want to see the tulips, you need to time your visit to the last week
in April or the first week in May.
View Netherlands map