Most travellers visiting the Netherlands make the mistake of not going beyond Amsterdam and missing out on the beautiful countryside. The vast flower fields, old windmills and bustling market towns make it a fascinating place to explore and relax.

The cities of Delft, Alkmaar and the Hague all have their own distinctive charms and are less frenetic than the Dutch capital. Growing in popularity with visitors is the town of Maastricht in the far south. The picturesque town is more than just a place where the European treaty was signed, its pleasant and unusual character will appeal to most Netherlands visitors.

Amsterdam, though, is clearly the Netherlands main tourist destination. Think of Amsterdam and think Dutch Masters, quaint canals and great museums. Although most visitors going to the city think red light district and a liberal attitude towards drugs - this delightful city has far more to offer than mere titillation. The Rijksmuseum, packed with priceless paintings, will appeal to culture vultures, while it is impossible to visit Anne Frank's House without being deeply moved.

The Netherlands has a lot to offer to those wanting to get away from the daily grind. The Wadden Islands of the north are a hotspot for yachting enthusiasts, while the flat landscape makes touring on bike easy and - importantly - fun.

So, if you thought the Netherlands was all windmills and tulips, you'd better think again...



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