Tradition and innovation mingle together in the Netherlands: the artistic masterpieces, the windmills, and tulips coexist as part of a revolutionary architecture, a state-of-the-art design, and an amazing nightlife.
It is fascinating to see visionary architecture along with vintage style, all of that combined with a contemporary design trend. It is an amazing sight to see street markets selling rainbows made of fresh flowers, raw herrings, or strophwels filled with caramel (caramelized syrup waffles).
The cafés on the canal side are all reasons why you will love the Netherlands. But you will appreciate even more the spirit of this country. If something does not exist, the Dutch will invent it, build it, manufacture it, place it on the market (the country being one of the main initiating centres in the world) and recycle it - it will become real. There is a general feeling that everything is possible.
Geography plays a key role in the iconic landscapes of the Netherlands. Over half the flat country is below the sea level and 20% of it was gained from the sea. That’s why polders are all over the place.
The continuous winds of the North Sea have allowed the operation of windmills ever since the 13th century. They pump water from the dykes and are used to make flour, for example. About two thirds of the country's total land area are devoted to agriculture, including the fields of tulips.
The legacy of Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Hieronymus Bosch, Piet Mondrian and MC Escher, hangs on the walls of world-famous museums.
The amazingly picturesque flat landscape makes cycling an incomparable pleasure. Cycling is an integral part of the life of inhabitants: more than a quarter of all journeys across the country are by bicycle, a figure that reaches more than one third in the big cities, of which Amsterdam is the capital.