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The Netherlands

Photo of The Netherlands

If you've gotten over the notion of the country's largest airport being below rising sea levels, the liberal politics in practice here may fail to startle you, though they'll certainly try. Assuming you know all about Holland's herbal reputation, it might be an education to learn that in 2001 same-sex marriages were made legal, making Holland the most "gay-friendly" country in the world.

Windmills and clogs are not as commonplace as the cliché leads you to believe, though bicycles and tulips are, and renting a bike for a tour of the tulip fields is a must in spring. Taking a canal tour is a relaxing, educational way to see Amsterdam, and miles of windy beaches and cascading dunes give kids an opportunity to let off some steam.

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We know a total of 79 attractions in the Netherlands. See all the Netherlands attractions.

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Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

North Sea Bike Guide

To say that Holland has bike paths is begin talking about Pope's being catholic or Bears using the woods on a regular basis.

The use of the bike is built into the culture of the Netherlands. Bike parks are not just draughty sheds but well designed, large and close to all major sites. There are even bike paths near major roads so people can meet colleagues on the way to the office and cadge a lift (leaving their bikes in safe and secure clear plastic covered areas).

I've been visiting the country since I was 15 and now at 50 I like showing it to my partner. I also think people should take bike holidays in the country as it starts to make the mind change to a biking-culture.

Apart from the all the many routes throughout the country there is a great bike path called the North Sea Route that passes follows the edge of the Sea from Scotland to Norway passing through Holland. It is a great path and can be enjoyed in some detail by following the links at

Interesting point "liberal politics in practice here may fail to startle you, though they'll certainly try".

I guess it depends on where you come from, how much various books have trained your mind and how fairy figures are part of your culture. I see Holland as a very straight laced calm country which has made the best of some difficult situations with a very pragmatic approach.

If banning drug-taking merely funds criminal organisations why would you do it? You would do it if you were a lawyer and you wanted to make lots of money out of defending criminals. Strange how so many lawyers end up in politics.... Still rant over.

What I do like is that the law assumes that in a crash between a car and bike the car driver is assumed to be at fault. I also like a country where the bikes get there own traffic lights.

Any cheese lover should visit a cheese farm where they make and sell their own cheese and sometimes even walk you through the process.

Not just for legal goods

Many travellers going to The Netherlands are drawn by their laws surrounding prostitution and drug use. Although these are interesting because they contribute to the culture it is not all this area is about.

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