Tourism Links

The Netherlands is a popular holiday destination. In 2005, about ten million tourists visited the Netherlands, from Europe and from farther afield (the United States and Canada, and emerging economies such as China and India). Foreign tourists spend about eight billion euros a year in the Netherlands - more than the annual earnings from the export of plants and flowers. Amsterdam is the most popular destination for foreign tourists. The museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Vincent van Gogh Museum, the ring of canals with their elegant town houses, the atmosphere of freedom and creativity - many foreigners want to see them with their own eyes.

But the Netherlands is also famous for its flowers: the bulb fields of North and South Holland, with their daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, particularly in April and May.

The Netherlands has a long coastline, with many interesting towns and villages and areas of natural beauty. The beaches and dunes are ideal for many forms of active recreation such as cycling, walking, sailing and swimming. There are also excellent conditions for water sports further inland on lakes, rivers and canals. The Dutch themselves like to explore the country by boat or bike, and many tourists do the same. The Netherlands is criss-crossed by thousands of kilometres of cycle track, making it possible to tour the country by bike. Cycling is easier there than in most other countries - as long as you're not cycling against the wind!