Travel is only glamorous in retrospect.
— Paul Theroux, 1941 -




The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


Holland redirects here. For other places with the same name, see Holland (disambiguation)

The Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Netherlands in short, (Dutch: Nederland, also commonly called Holland in English) is a Benelux country and a founding member of the European Union. The Netherlands border Germany to the east and Belgium to the south. To the west, the country faces the North Sea and the United Kingdom. The people, language, and culture of the Netherlands are referred to as "Dutch".

Read more about Netherlands in our Netherlands travel guide »

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Featured hotels in


NetherlandsRadisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 

Boeing Avenue 2
Schiphol 1119 PB

Price (US$): $218 - $354 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is located in Schiphol's Schiphol Rijk neighborhood and close to Business Park Schiphol Rijk, Aalsmeer Flower Auction, and World Trade Center Schiphol Airport. Additional points of interest include Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol and Holland Casino Schiphol Airport. Hotel Features. Dining options at Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam Airport Schiphol include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is… more »

NetherlandsHotel Okura Amsterdam 

Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
Amsterdam 1072 LH

Price (US$): $296 - $592 / night

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Location. Hotel Okura Amsterdam is a business friendly hotel located in Amsterdam's Oud Zuid neighborhood, close to Albert Cuyp Market, RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre, and Amstel Business Park. Additional points of interest include Royal Palace and Heineken Experience. Hotel Features. Hotel Okura Amsterdam features a coffee shop/café and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include… more »

NetherlandsHotels Van Oranje 

Koningin Wilhelmina Boulevard 20-31
Noordwijk 2202 GV

Price (US$): $151 - $265 / night

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Location. Hotels Van Oranje is set on the beach in central Noordwijk and local attractions include Katwijk Aan Zee Beach, Keukenhof Gardens, and Molenmuseum de Valk. Another point of interest is National Museum of Ethnology. Hotel Features. Hotels Van Oranje features a coffee shop/café, a beach bar, and a poolside bar. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an… more »

NetherlandsCrowne Plaza Den Haag Promenade 

Van Stolkweg 1
The Hague 2585 JL

Price (US$): $168 - $3356 / night

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Location. Crowne Plaza Den Haag Promenade is a business friendly hotel located in The Hague, close to World Forum Convention Centre, Noordeinde Palace, and Binnenhof. Additional points of interest include Madurodam and Peace Palace. Hotel Features. Crowne Plaza Den Haag Promenade features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. This 5 star property has a business center and offers a meeting/conference room and business… more »

NetherlandsSofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam 

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197
Amsterdam 1012 EX

Price (US$): $450 - $4213 / night

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Location. Located in central Amsterdam, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of National Monument, Royal Palace, and Dam Square. Additional points of interest include Public Library and Nieuwmarkt Square. Hotel Features. Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in… more »

Browse more hotels in Netherlands »


Full name
Kingdom of the Netherlands

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

Geographic coordinates

52 30 N, 5 45 E

Area comparative

slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

Border countries

Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km


451 km


temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters


mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast

Lowest point

Zuidplaspolder -7 m

Highest point

Mount Scenery 862 m (on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, now considered an integral part of the Netherlands following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles)

Natural resources

natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land


16,783,092 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Dutch 80.7%, EU 5%, Indonesian 2.4%, Turkish 2.2%, Surinamese 2%, Moroccan 2%, Caribbean 0.8%, other 4.8% (2008 est.)


Roman Catholic 30%, Dutch Reformed 11%, Calvinist 6%, other Protestant 3%, Muslim 5.8%, other 2.2%, none 42% (2006)


Dutch (official), Frisian (official)

Government type

constitutional monarchy


23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581 they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)

National holiday

Queen's Day (Birthday of deceased Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)

Chief of state

Queen BEATRIX (since 30 April 1980); Heir Apparent WILLEM-ALEXANDER (born 27 April 1967), son of the monarch

Head of government

Prime Minister Mark RUTTE (since 14 October 2010); Deputy Prime Minister Maxime VERHAGEN (since 14 October 2010)

Internet country code


Internet users

14.872 million (2009)


27 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Amsterdam, IJmuiden, Moerdijk, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Vlissingen

Other countries in the region