Holland Travel Guide
The Dutch are a perplexing race. Where else in Europe would someone spend a night smoking hash, drinking beer, having sex with a hooker then dancing to the early hours and still get to work early and spend the day being polite and efficient. Only in Holland. The liberal attitude of the Dutch seems somewhat at odds with their organised lifestyles but lets not complain as it all adds up to one of the most desirable holiday destinations in Europe. Home to many of the great masters of the art world - Bosch, Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Escher - Holland’s cultural heritage is unquestionable. For those seeking intellectual stimulation and creative enlightenment, the Netherlands is equalled only by France and Spain. For those wanting a knockout good time it remains unrivalled.
For the majority of visitors, Holland means Amsterdam and who can blame them? It really is a cornucopia of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (though preferably not Dutch rock ‘n’ roll). The government’s liberal approach to soft drugs means that although not strictly legal, hash is readily available in licensed coffeeshops. Prostitution is legal and the Red Light Area is one of the most charming and relaxed in all Europe. History-wise you have a vast choice The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s house are amongst the top attractions. Rotterdam still suffers slightly from the stigma of its past transgressions but has really cleaned up it's act over the past couple of decades, setting new standards in architectural art in the form of the Weena Building, the Cube Houses and Erasmusburg and creating a social scene second only to Amsterdam. Hey this is one of the few cities in the world where bars are actually open 24 seven. Holland's oldest city, Maastricht is also it's most cosmopolitan and charming where 2000 years of history and culture combine with an attitude to life that demands more bars per capita rating than anywhere else in the country. Utrecht remains a centre of sophistication where huge edifices are converted into bars, where the basement of the town hall is a nightclub and the canals are flanked with picturesque wharfs lined with restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.
Above all Holland is a very friendly nation. Good manners and tolerance are ingrained in the population’s collective psyche and visitors are welcomed with proverbial open arms. Strict laws enforced at the behest of the people and a strong awareness of the value of individuals has created a society where problems are never swept under the carpet and progressiveness is intrinsic. It is a relaxing country which is easy to travel around and rest assured wherever you choose to visit, kindness, good sense and hospitality are always top of the list.
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