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Netherlands Holiday Package

The Netherlands is a European country with territories in the Caribbean, is a constituent European country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with some islands in the Carribean.

Amsterdam, the cultural capital of the Netherlands, is located in North Holland in the west of the country. It became an important port and a leading centre for diamonds.  Regarded as an alpha city, it ranks high as a city with quality of living located above the sea level,  whereas to its south-west is a man-made forest while there are several parks and nature reserves with fields of tulips, adding to its charistmatic beauty! 

Tourist Attractions:

Take the Netherlands Holiday Package to experience this sparkling European city.   It has several monuments and notable landmarks, including Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, Rijksmuseum, specially honouring Rembrandt, Hermitage Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Diamond Museum and Van Gogh Museum that have millions of tourists lining up to visit them each year. 

The House of Bols is a jenever (Dutch gin) museum run by the Bols distillery and a guided tour here would include a sniff test, a company history and a cocktail made by one of the bartenders who train at the academy upstairs. You must be aged eighteen or over to take this orientation. The Van Gogh Museum is one of Amsterdam’s must-sees, housing the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. Through his paintings, the museum chronicles his journey from Holland, where his work was dark and sombre, to Paris, where, under the influence of the impressionists, he discovered vivid colour, and thereafter moved to Arles where he completed a canvas a day. Next to the Van Gogh museum stands the Stedelijk museum, the largest area concerning modern art. The Begijnhof, is referred to as an enclosed former convent, a surreal oasis of peace, with tiny houses and postage-stamp gardens around a well-kept courtyard. Go through the dogleg entrance of the Begijnhof Kapel, ` clandestine’ chapel to find marble columns, wooden pews, paintings and stained-glass windows, an exemplification of reneissance baroque and gothic architecture!

The Anne Frank Huis Museum (Annie Frank House) is the Western Canal Belt’s ubersight, drawing almost a million visitors annually. With its reconstruction of Anne’s melancholy bedroom and her actual diary, sitting alone in its glass case, filled with sunnily optimistic writing tempered by quiet despair, it’s a powerful experience. The focus of the museum is the achterhuis (rear house), also known as the secret annexe, a dark and airless space where the Franks and others observed complete silence during the daytimes, outgrew their clothes, pasted photos of Hollywood stars on the walls and read Dickens!

As vital to Amsterdam as Rembrandt, canals and coffee shops, on a sunny day there’s no place better than the Vondelpark. As people from all walks of life descend on this sprawling Park, a party atmosphere ensues. Some kick back by reading a book, others hook up with friends to share a spliff or cradle a beer at one of the cafes, while others trade songs on beat-up guitars. The Vondelpark offers an abundance of ponds, lawns, gardens and winding footpaths that encourage visitors to get out and explore. . For bicycle rentals, the outlet of MacBike at Weteringschans is relatively close to the park’s main entrance. The very grand, multiturreted Waag (Weigh House) dates back to the era when it was part of the city’s fortifications.  It looked more like a castle in those days, fronted by a moat-like canal and built into the old city walls, after which it was the main weigh house, and then more recently served as a fire station and a vault for the city’s archives. The district’s other draw is the Heineken Experience.  You may take a self-guided tour that’s tantamount to brew-worship and learn the history of the Heineken family, watch Heinie commercials from around the world, visit the horse stables and make your own music video.  In the experience’s crowning glory, there is  a multimedia exhibit where you actually ‘become’ a beer  and you’ll get shaken up, sprayed with water and subjected to heat  after which you get to down a couple of cold ones. Museumplein or the Museum Square was laid out to host the World Exhibitions, but gained its lasting title only when the Rijks Museum was opened towards the north-west of the square and possessing the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art.. The square is also a popular spot for sun worshippers. There is a large supermarket, Albert Heijn, concealed below and the place has been used for concerts, special events and political demonstrations. At other times it’s a relaxing joint to hang out, play hacky-sack, skateboard (ramp provided), toss a frisbee or enjoy a picnic. In winter, the long concrete pond is transformed into a festive skating rink. Hortus Botanicus became a repository for tropical seeds and plants and from here, coffee, pineapple, cinnamon and palm-oil plants were distributed throughout the world. These species are kept in wonderful structures, including the colonial-era seed house and a three-climate glasshouse. The ancient cycad is possibly the world’s oldest potted plant and the butterfly house is a hit with kids and stoned adults. The oldest zoo on the European continent Artis has an alphabet soup of wildlife such as alligators, birds, chimps and zebras.  The layout is full of delightful ponds, statues, and leafy, winding pathways.  Themed habitats such as African savannah and tropical rainforests are pretty convincing and for many, the aquarium complex is the highlight, featuring coral reefs, shark tanks and an Amsterdam canal displayed from a fish’s point of view. There is also a planetarium and a kid’s petting zoo.

Madame Tussauds  is a delight for kids, who will be filled with wonderment when they realise there is absolutely no difference between the wax David Beckham and the real thing, as the place is kind of a bellwether of who’s hot and spicy in Holland! The Diamond Museum explores the trade’s history and Amsterdam’s shining role in it. The museum is fairly low-tech, and those who are economically minded might want just to go next door to Coster Diamonds and take a free factory tour, where you can see gem cutters at work and learn about the process. Hop on to the ferry behind Central Station and set sail for a different world. NDSM-Werf looks like the set from a postapocalyptic film, as abandoned boats and trams rust by the water’s edge, graffiti scrawls across every surface, smoke stacks belch in the distance, and huge carved wooden tiki heads gaze over it all. The area is actually a city-sponsored art community called Kinetisch Noord that has taken over a derelict shipyard. Participants converted a mondo old warehouse to hold studios, theatres and a skateboard hall, and it has quickly become a centre for underground culture and events. You almost expect to find the master himself at the Museum het Rembrandthuis, where Rembrandt van Rijn ran the Netherlands’ largest painting studio. The museum has almost every etching he made and there is also a mind-boggling collection of his possessions such as seashells, weaponry and military helmets. Run by the University of Amsterdam, the Allard Pierson Museum shows a rich archaeological collection, including an actual mummy, ancient Greek and Mesopotamian vases, a wagon from the royal tombs at Salamis (Cyprus), and galleries stuffed to the wainscoting with other fascinating items. The Sarphati Park is a mix of ponds, gently Rolling Meadows and wooded fringes. In the centre you can see the Sarphati memorial and a bombastic temple with a fountain.

On this Netherlands Holiday Package, tourists could feast their eyes with some other museums throughout the city and they range from the small Verzets Museum (Resistance Museum) to the very large Tropen Museum (Museum of the Tropics), Amsterdam Museum (formerly known as "Amsterdams Historisch Museum", Amsterdam Historical Museum), Hermitage Amsterdam (a dependency of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg) and the Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum).  The modern-styled NEMO museum is dedicated to child-friendly science exhibitions.

Amsterdam’s refurbished city centre is another ‘must see’ place and many of its beautiful canals, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, part of the Grachtengordel, are World Heritage Sites.  Vondelpark named after the Dutch writer, Joost van den Vondel, and the Zoo are within the Grachtengordel.  The Renaissance-styled splendid Westertoren with the highest church tower is worth a view, as are the Oude Kerk Church and Church of St. Nicholas. The Royal Palace on Dam Square is another beautiful landmark. 

The best of the iconic canals of Amsterdam would be like a soothing balm for the travellers on the Netherlands Holiday Package, and a visit is not complete without enjoying the canals as they are a symbol of its great cultural and historical value.  The entire 17th century canal ring area has been handed over to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Though every canal is beautiful and unique in itself, there are some absolute must-views! The Golden Bend is the canal from ‘Leidsestraat’ to ‘Vijzelstraat’ and has the most beautiful and magnificent stretch of canal houses.  The bridge on the corner of ‘Reguliersgracht’ and ‘Herengracht’ has a unique view over fifteen bridges and is known as one view, fifteen bridges.  Make sure you stand on the side of the street with the odd numbers. The‘Magere Brug’ (Skinny Bridge) is one of the most picturesque bridges and at night is romantically illuminated. Delve in these glitzy canals and canal houses from the water with a canal tour as their enigma gives enough reasons to tourists to discover the Venice of the North.

The Singel is a canal which is famous for its vividly colourful flower market which is unique, because all the merchandise is displayed on floating barges. This is a relic from the days when the flowers and plants sold at this market were shipped in by barges, however today they are transported by vans. Merchandise ranges from the traditional Dutch tulips and geraniums to indoor cypresses and plants.  Along this part of the canal, you will also find a lot of souvenirs shops and if you are visiting the city in December, you would notice that the Singel market colours green with masses of Christmas trees in all shapes and sizes.

Go ahead and savour the flavour of some scintillating entertainment in Amsterdam! The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is a world-class orchestra, performing regularly throughout the year. Modern classical music, jazz, pop, rock, electronic music and a unique cabaret are all an integral part of life here.  There are several large outdoor dance parties during the summers, as well as many discotheques where you can dance away the night!  Several festivals and events take place in this city each year and the popular ones include: the Queen’s Day, Holland Festival for the Performing Arts, the annual Prinsengracht Concert and the ‘Stille Omgang’ which is a silent procession by Roman Catholics and Cannabis Cup.  There are tours to see Holland’s iconic windmills, the Alkmaar Cheese market, and tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens.

Look forward to the beachland! The Netherlands Holiday Package takes you to some stupendous beaches to rejuvenate and frolic around such as the Strand Zuid which has the image of being a luxury beach, as in the summer, the upper class of the cultural capital love to come here to lounge, sip cocktails, and see and be seen.  This trendy image also offers countless hammocks and lounge chairs and even a volleyball court. Although there are no swimming facilities, there are showers available if you need to cool off and there are a variety of activities geared towards kids. Strand West, another resort, offers a fantastic, relaxed atmosphere at the beach! Feel free to lounge around in one of the many hammocks or bean bag chairs, play a game of beach volleyball, or enjoy tapas and cocktails at the bar. A DJ provides music so you can dance while watching the sun go down. Strand IJburg beach is where water sports enthusiasts can rent windsurfing equipment. The Blijburg beach restaurant here serves food and drinks, and also plays music, and in the evening, they often build a campfire.

Besides the Friday Night Skate, there are many other moments and places where you can explore this Capital and its surroundings on skates. If you like to skate through nature, the paved paths in Vondel Park, Spaarnwoude and the Amsterdam Wood are perfect for you. In summer, in particular, many other lovers of this sport will join you. In autumn and in winter these locations are less busy, while still offering great scenic beauty!

Visitors would be rolled over when they make a trip to the ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ or Amsterdam Forest to relax and unwind. The forest has footpaths, cycle paths and bridges, which make it one of the largest city parks of Europe. There are loads of activities you can do on a day as nature lovers will be pleased with the indigenous species of trees and birds of the forest, which is ideal for running and cycling. The ‘Bosbaan’, a rowing course that hosted several world championships, attracts rowers, canoeists and fishermen and the forest also includes a hockey-, tennis-, cricket- and football club, a pool and riding school. It offers a variety of activities for children, as they can climb to their heart’s content in the Klimpark Fun Forest, run around in the fields and play islands, take a dip in the paddling pools, or pet goats and feed lambs at the Ridammerhoeve petting zoo, and when the kids have worked up a healthy appetite, there’s the Boerderij Meerzicht, a scrumptious pancake restaurant to burst their stomachs! Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

The next destination could be `The Hague’ where you can choose between spending a day at Scheveningen beach, and the theme park Duinrell,  which is famous for showing the whole of Holland in miniature and offers amusement  that attracts people of all ages, for all kinds of reasons. Small children enjoy the huge playground, Rick’s Adventure Castle, dozens of smaller attractions and children’s shows. Daredevils in search of adrenaline ride the rollercoaster and swing, somersault and race down in other sensational attractions. Water lovers might prefer to splash and slide into the Tiki Pool. Waterfalls, rapids, light effect, turbo slides and water funnels make this tropically heated pool one of the best in Europe. A good reason to book one of the ‘Duingalows’, a bungalow on Duinrell grounds near the beach of Wassenaar. Young and old are guaranteed a wonderful time in this park just outside The Hague. The family park Drievliet of Madurodam offers an amusement theme that focuses on the entire family, having attractions such as children activities, adventurous rides and magical shows. You can make your visit as adventurous as you want, as there are many spectacular rides and slides that make you fly through the air, free fall dive into the water, spin and rock around and blast away with daring speed!

Watch the sea, beach, dunes and fishing village Scheveningen, while being in the city as the largest circular canvas in Europe, Panorama Mesdag, makes it possible. It is a 46-feet-high illusion with a circumference that was painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, his wife and a few friends and one of the world’s finest, and largest, surviving panoramas. The beach is full of activity as fishing ships are pulled onto the beach, a military practice is taking place and people are enjoying the sun and the water. This is an experience in space and time, a spectacular image that seems to become reality. The museum is not expensive and a visit only takes half an hour. Move on to the most enjoyable and picturesque squares which lie in the Royal Residence, home to many historic and beautiful areas. ‘Het Binnenhof’ has been the political heart of the Netherlands for centuries. The buildings such as the ‘Ridderzaal’ (Hall of Knights), the First and Second Chamber of Parliament and the Prime Minister’s ‘little tower’ are well worth your time. ‘Het Buitenhof’ is situated next to ‘Het Binnenhof’ and is a great place to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. In summertime you can sit outside at one of the many outdoor cafés. There is also a cinema, in case you are in for a movie. ‘Het Plein’ is a historic square that offers grand buildings and many lunchrooms and restaurants during the daytime. At night, however, the same venues transform in cafes and clubs and the main nightlife hotspots! ‘De Plaats’ is one of the smaller squares located opposite the ‘Hofvijver’ and is a mixture of restaurants, lunchrooms and shops. Many historical events took place on this square as it is next to the former Gate Prison. You can make dozens of great pictures throughout the year at the ‘Het Lange Voorhout’. The most characteristic features are the linden trees, the majestic Hotel Des Indes and the former royal palace, which is home to the Escher collection these days. In spring thousands, of crocuses bring colour to the square. Throughout the centuries the market square has transformed into a grand outdoor café surrounded by bars and clubs. From early in the morning, until late at night you can find people having a good time here. In the summertime, the ‘De Grote Markt’ or De Grote Market is often home to musical events!

Scheveningen is without doubt the most popular seaside resort in the Netherlands. The beach is ideal for sunbathers and water sports fans and offers many forms of entertainment, such as a cinema, theatre, casino, museums, a bowling alley, shopping promenade, surf schools, sports events and numerous restaurants, beach pavilions, beachclubs and beachparties.

Whether it is sunny or not, these are some highlights that are always worth your while on a visit! The Pier of Scheveningen has a viewing point from which you can look out over the sea, the beach, the boulevard and the magnificent Kurhaus. Discover the marine world at Sea Life and in case you are looking for a cultural experience, one of the most amazing sculpture gardens in the world.  Sculptures by the Sea are situated in the dunes. Last but definitely not the least, this arena have great waves and are also the surf city of Holland.  It is a place where sunbathers, water sport fanatics, nature lovers and people who want to party or relax come together. If you want to have some fun, the possibilities in Scheveningen are endless!  Pleasure and leisure bounty on the Netherlands Holiday Package!

Saba and St. Eustatius (the latter is also known as Statia) are islands of the northern region of the Netherlands Antilles.  Though the islands are very small, they offer unspoiled landscapes, historic heritage and numerous activities.  Saba is a dormant volcano that rises steeply from the ocean with Mount Scenery being officially the highest point of the Netherlands.  The opportunities for scuba diving are endless and the hiking trails through the rainforest and to the top of Mount Scenery are spectacular!

Shopping:

There are large department stores, De Bijenkorf and the Parisian-styled Maison de Bonneterie, and the upscale shops are close to the Vondelpark.  Negen Straatjes or nine streets within the Grachtengordel are a busy shopping district with a variety of shops catering to the fashionistas.  Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk have innumerable shops and sell clothing, including wedding apparels, lingerie, sneakers, skate-wear, racing and mountain bikes, books, and, candy and other food products.  The city also has many open-air markets including the Dappermarkt and Albert Cuypmarkt, held daily, and the Westerstraat-markt, which is a weekly market. Amsterdam has a garment centre in its World Fashion Centre.  Fashion designers including Frans Molenaar, Marlies Dekkers, Sheila de Vries, Mart Visser and Viktor and Rolf are based here, as well as brands such as BlueBlood, Iris van Herpen, 10 feet, Warmenhoven and Venderbos, G-star and Gsus. The market acquired a reputation for selling unique and exotic goods.  Plenty of stalls are built up under all weather conditions, offering a huge variety of exotic fruit, flowers, clothes, computer products, confectionary, shoes, materials, fish and more.  You can also enjoy all sorts of juices and foods.

Cuisine:

The Netherlands Tour Package will lead you to many restaurants serving a variety of cuisine including International, Asian, American, Continental, European, Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern.  There are bars, pubs, cafes and bakeries where you can get beer, wines, soups, sandwiches, salads, coffee, tea and, sumptuous pastries and cakes.  Restaurants serve seafood, sushi, tapas, as well as popular Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine, besides a vast variety of non-vegetarian dishes. There are some vegetarian restaurants also.  Indian restaurants include Balti House, butter chicken, tandoori and biryani, Riaz, vegetables, spinach and rotis and, Koh-I-Noor, curries, biryani and tandoori.  Burger King, McDonalds and Wot to Walk are all there besides Febo’s Kroket – Amsterdam’s own fast food. Rows of croquettes, hamburgers and minced-meat hotdogs behind tiny glass windows, just waiting for a hungry passerby. The outdoor patio at De Kompaszaal offers a similar view, but the location has a historic accent. Hannekes Boom is known for its very relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy great food and drinks here, and in the evenings, you can dance while watching the sun go down over Amsterdam. Café de Jaren (Nieuwe Doelenstraat) is famous for having one of the best patios in the city. Starting at in the afternoon, you can bask in the sun and enjoy watching the people as they pass by.  Finally, you can eat dinner at the Blue restaurant in the Kalvertoren shopping mall. There are no way the Dutch invented pancakes, independent of everyone else, as variations of these can be found in nearly every corner of the world.  Still, pancakes are special here, partly due to the fact that they are served both sweet and savoury, and usually not for breakfast. There are a few good pancake restaurants in the city center that are worth checking out.

Climate:

An oceanic climate prevails mostly in Netherlands, and particularly in Amsterdam, with mild winters and though the summers are warm, they are rarely hot.  There is a lot of light rain, which is more common during October-March, when the weather is cooler.  Amsterdam experiences frost, but rarely snow!


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