Our Guide of Things to do in Holland
Famous as much for its cool, hip city culture as it is its windmills and tulips, Holland is a fascinating place to visit. Full of surprises, like magnificent, unspoilt beaches, legendary art collections, mind-bending museums and some of Europe's best water rides, this is a country made for exploring. And yes, because it is so flat, you'll never get out of breath pedalling around its rich and colourful, canal-carved countryside.
There's more to the `low country' than bicycles, clogs, Edam cheese, tulips and windmills. In fact, you'll be amazed at the unique variety of things there are to do in Holland for all the family.
For sure the country is flat - 7 metres below sea level in parts, but that is a major part of its appeal. Criss-crossed by an ingenious canal and dyke system, the land is a multi-coloured patchwork of blazing colour, cities bursting with individual character and long, untrampled beaches. No wonder it has been a source of inspiration for so many of the world's greatest artists and designers, whose enthralling works are all around.
No visit to Holland, of course, would be complete without a thorough investigation of its cosmopolitan, sometimes controversial capital. Amsterdam is a tightly packed pudding of character and culture. You'll find countless galleries crammed with staggering masterpieces, from the likes of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Bosch. There are over 40 museums, covering everything from handbags to beer to diamonds. The canal-side cafes are the last word in laid-back chic, the architecture (ancient and modern) will take your breath away, and the canal tour by silent cruiser is a must, passing as it does the beautiful, floating flower market.
If you're really into flowers, there are no less than 7 million bulbs planted each year at Keukenhof Gardens, only 16 miles from the Duinrell Al Fresco family holiday park in Holland at Wassenaar. If you're lucky, you'll catch the flower parade too.
When it's time to take the little ones out for the day, they¿ll be open-mouthed at the 1:25 scale Madurodam miniature village at The Hague. This incredible piece of work includes every famous Dutch landmark in stunning detail. And once you've dragged the kids around The Hague's various historical sights and exclusive shops, when it's time for another treat, take them to Drievliet, a fast and furious amusement park with space loops, ferris wheel, twirling tea cup rides and mini farm.
On the ever-growing list of wonderful things to do in Holland, for even more unusual sights and experiences, the maritime city of Rotterdam too merits attention. Here the many museums `come to life', the old inner city harbours are an absolute picture and the famous `cube houses' will leave you mystified.
Teens will love its fashion and funky lifestyle, tots will love its soft sand dunes and super pools, in-betweens will love its gentle sports, adventure trails and brilliant bike tracks, just made for racing along, skidding and sliding all in safety, away from the road. Amongst a host of other things, like crazy theme parks, magical woods and zoos, there is an amazing miniature village to wonder at too.