Holland or the Netherlands?

The country’s formal name is Kingdom of the Netherlands, but it is also referred to as Holland or the Netherlands. Netherlands means 'low countries'. Much of the land is at or below sea level. The lowest altitude is 6.76 metres below sea level.

The Netherlands, a kingdom

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament. The current king is King Willem-Alexander. His wife Máxima is the Dutch queen. They have three daughters: Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.

Capital: Amsterdam

Amsterdam, one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe, is known for its tolerance and diversity. It has all the advantages of a big city: culture, nightlife, international restaurants, good transport - but is quiet, and largely thanks to its extensive canals, has little road traffic. In Amsterdam your destination is never far away, but you should really get a bike for an authentic local experience.

Water, wind and cows

The country of the Netherlands is extremely flat; you can see for miles around. While looking around, you will see a broad, unbroken expanse of sky, bright green meadows with hundreds of cows and water everywhere. That is characteristic of the Dutch landscape.

Typical Dutch: ice skating

Although there has been a figure skating champion, Sjoukje Dijkstra, the Dutch prefer long-distance skating. Famous in the Netherlands and abroad is the 'Elfstedentocht', a tour of almost 200 kilometres along 11 cities.

More about Holland

More about Holland, Dutch, Dutch society and Dutch facts can be found on: