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What to see in the Netherlands? Keukenhof; Hoge Veluwe National Park; windmills of the River Noord; Valkenburg Castle; marine life of the Grevelingen and Oosterschelde; the Vinkeveense Plassen.

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The Netherlands is a small country, lying mainly in Western Europe, but also including three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany, Belgium, and is washed by the North Sea. The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam.

The official language is Dutch, but English is also widely spread.

The national currency is the euro.

About a third of the Netherlands’ territory is below sea level. Most part of the country is flat, except some low hills in the center and in the far southeast.

The country has a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters.

This rather small country has a lot of touristic attractions. Though some tourists concentrate on seeing Amsterdam with its great amount of museums and art galleries, wonderful canals and amazing architecture; there are very many other breathtaking places in the Netherlands.

In a unique open-air museum "Openlyuhtmuzeume" you can get acquainted with the traditions of Netherlands' rural architecture. You will see original farm houses, windmills (an essential part of the Dutch landscape), cow farms and Dutch national costumes.

In Leiden you can visit the National Museum of Antiquities and the history of science, a wooden church DSE-Houhlan Kirk, the protestant church Piterskerk and the Ethnographic Museum.

In the center of Haarlem there is the picturesque Grote Markt, surrounded by medieval buildings, the Town Hall, and Saint Bavo Church. And near the city you can admire the endless flower fields.

The main tourist attractions in Maastricht are the city gates, philistine buildings of Old Town, the town hall, and gorgeous narrow streets and bridges of the city.

In Groninger, known for its churches, you can see the remains of a Roman settlement, the Nieuwe Kerk cathedral, the church of Saint Martin and the city library, where the New Testament, translated into Latin, is exhibited.

On the outskirts of Lisse there is the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof, the largest public garden in the world, which boasts more than seven hundred varieties of tulips. Another reign of natural beauty is Hoge Veluwe National Park (the largest national park of about twenty existing in the country). On the River Noord between Rotterdam and Dordrecht you can still see the eighteenth-century windmills. Connoisseurs of history will like Valkenburg Castle, Kasteel De Haar, the ruins of the twelth-century castle on Dwingelrots and the 14th-century Saint Nicolaaskerk Basilica. Those who are interested in engineering will want to see the Delta Works, basically hi-tech dams which control the amount of water entering from the North Sea.

The Netherlands are very popular among water sports enthusiasts. You will find here great opportunities for surfing. The most popular surf beach is Domburg, the surfing season lasts from May to September.

Hiking and cycling are a part of the image of the Netherlands, and cycling is the most popular form of recreation. Everywhere you can see bicycle lanes and parkings. Renting a bike is possible in any city of the Netherlands.


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Eindhoven Airport (EIN)

Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM)

Diving in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a lot of opportunities for recreational diving: a long coastline, interesting hydraulic waterworks, and lakes and rivers all over the country.

For wreck divers the Netherlands is a real treasury as there are over 10,000 shipwrecks from huge freight ships to war ships along the North Sea coast, though not all of them are within recreational diving limits. Moreover, North Sea diving suits only advanced divers because of its rough currents.

Divers can also explore the Grevelingen and Oosterschelde, estuaries separated from the sea by dams. It is said that the marine life is more abundant than in the Mediterranean Sea. Here you can meet lobsters, hermit crabs, flounders and even sea horse.

There are many little diveable lakes in the Netherlands, among which the Vinkeveense Plassen is probably the best known. This lake are up to 55 meters deep and consists of one water body with 12 sandy islands scattered around.

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