The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland) is a tiny yet beautiful nation located in northwest Europe’s low-lying river delta. Its notably flat terrain, most of which has been reclaimed from the sea, is studded with windmills, blossoming tulip fields, and beautiful towns. This is a highly populated contemporary European nation, with approximately 16 million people living in an area nearly twice the size of the American state of New Jersey. Even yet, even its biggest cities maintain a fairly laid-back small-town feel, and many are densely packed with ancient landmarks.
Although the nation is often referred to as Holland, the term officially applies to just two of the country’s twelve provinces and is unpopular with the rest of the people.
Following the conclusion of the Eighty Years’ War in 1581 (accepted de jure by Spain in 1648), the Netherlands developed into a major maritime force and one of the world’s most powerful countries during a period known as the Dutch Golden Age. Due to its naval past, this tiny nation is endowed with an abundance of cultural legacy, which is evident in many cities across the country. This era was also a cultural high point, producing famous artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. Their paintings, together with those of many others, adorn the finest Dutch museums, which draw hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
The Netherlands has developed a reputation for tolerance and progressivism through the centuries: the nation was the first in the world to allow same-sex marriage, and the Dutch typically have an open attitude about cannabis and prostitution. The Netherlands is at the forefront of international cooperation as a founding member of the EU and NATO and as the home of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
The Netherlands is easily accessible from everywhere in the globe, thanks to its international airport Schiphol and its sophisticated network of highways and international high-speed rail lines. Due to its compact size, friendly attitude, and fascinating attractions, it is a unique and easy-to-discover location that complements any European vacation.