Thanks to its seafaring and colonial past, Holland is now a vibrant cultural melting pot. Most visitors will spend a few days in Amsterdam, strolling along canals lined with merchant houses and admiring the Vermeers in the Rijksmuseum. Outside the city, the country abounds with castles, cobblestoned villages, lighthouses and flower farms.
Many tourists visit the Netherlands just to witness the astonishing views over the bulb fields. The season begins in March with crocuses, followed by daffodils and yellow narcissi. Hyacinths and tulips bloom from April to mid-May. Aalsmeer, close to Amsterdam, is the home of the world’s biggest flower auction. The spectacular Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek is held at the end of April every year.
Expect mild winters and cool summers with showers. Spring (tulip time) is the most beautiful season, but also one of the most crowded. Indeed, Amsterdam suffers from overtourism in high season, with most visitors to the Netherlands ignoring the country’s other destinations. If possible, make time to see The Hague, a charming and underrated city with easy access to canal-laced Delft.
To phone hotels and restaurants in Holland, dial 011 (international access) + 31 (Netherlands code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Six hours ahead of New York (EST).
Expect mild winters and cool summers with showers. Spring (tulip time) is the most beautiful season.
Euro (€). Fluctuating rate valued at €1.00 = US$1.10 as of October 2019.
The Hague, Tel. (31) 70-310-2209. Consulate: Amsterdam, Tel. (31) 20-575-5309.