To many people Holland conjures up images of clogs, tulips and windmills. However, the country is much more than these tired old tourist clichés. The Netherlands is a low-lying country with one third of it at, or below sea-level. Consequently many areas are protected from flooding by sea walls or dykes.
Amsterdam is the cosmopolitan capital with a laid back, hip and liberal reputation. It's an excellent place to walk or cycle round. Be prepared for an eclectic mix of neighbourhoods. From red light sleaze to the cobbled walkways and stately grandeur of the old parts of town. There are marvellous bridges and churches, and of course the canal.
Eindhoven is another stop off for the tourist. Known the world over for its football team, the city also has a university, which is at least partly responsible for the city's buzzing nightlife.
Rotterdam is one of Europe's major ports and has been extensively rebuilt after the damage caused by WW11. A popular draw is a boat tour of the harbour.
Delft is known as an historic town with many well preserved buildings. The town is also famous for its pottery. A notable attraction is Nieuwe Kerk (new church) which houses the tomb of William of Orange.
Maastricht is a fortified medieval town and is a nice place to visit. An interesting feature are the St. Pietersberg Caves that are under the city.
If you want to find out how the Dutch used to live there's the Open Air Museum in Arnhem with replicas of old farms, houses and windmills.
The Netherlands' main international airport is Schiphol, but buses and international trains are also popular methods for reaching the country. There are also extensive road connections with the surrounding European countries and ferries arrive from the UK.
The Netherlands enjoys a maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers. Frequent rainfall and fog tends to mark out the winter months.