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The Netherlands is a country of colourful tulips and canals, amazing forward thinking people and cities, all filled with architecture of a bygone golden age one minute then ultra striking moden the next… but always keep an eye out for those bikes, owned by 85% of the population which ride them regularly, as the country is as flat as a pancake.
Still to this day, a constitutional monarchy reigns, and if you are lucky enough to be in the country in April, make sure to stay for Kings day… where the party is amazing, and everyone is dressed in orange. Their palaces dominate the larger cities like The Hague and the capital Amsterdam central Dam Square. The latter, well known for their gabled homes, bikes, coffee shops and a slowly dwindleing Red Light district all bisected by a UNESCO listed network of canals and waterways.
A short side trip from Amsterdam, and you will be rewarded greatly with some beautful treats. As you venture less then an hour away, you pass by the quintessintal Dutch landscape of windmills and fields of farms, before arriving in the small town of Edam famous for its cheese, or Volendam, a great little fishing village. Or maybe get up early an head to Aalsmeer, and see the worlds largest flower auction, which takes place 5 days a week.
To the south, Rotterdam one of the worlds busiest ports has seen a makeover over the last 20 years, now home to some great museums and amazing ultra-modern architecture.
On the southern tip of the country lies Maastricht, which is one of those cities you dont hear much about, but once you have been and explored, you wonder why more people dont visit. Its cobbled streets in the old town, gothic Sint Janskerk church and medieval architecture make it a gem.