The Netherlands are so small, I seriously doubt there's a point in creating regional/provincial subpages. -- Nils 06:08, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Yes, it is small, but it's packed with things to see and do. IMO, putting all that in a single country page is not very realistic. Akubra 06:44, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Well, that's what city pages are for... I am just not sure the intermediary step of regions is needed. But, don't let me stop you. -- Nils 07:09, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Right now I tend to agree that the province pages aren't necessary, but just wait until we start filling in more of the Netherlands. I live in what is by all means a small, dull town in the Netherlands (Barneveld; an agricultural town of approximately 28000 inhabitants) and I could easily write a pretty large page on it alone. Heck, we've got four musea! (It's said that, not counting city-states, the Netherlands have the highest ratio of musea per square mile of all countries in the world. Just wait until we've listed 'em all :-)) Gorath99 13:11, 2004 Jul 8 (EDT)
I added them to the disamb page. Reasons to simply let Utrecht and Groningen point to the cities is that most travellers won't even notice that the provinces are called the same. :) Many will probably only be confused if they arrive on a disambiguation page. Guaka 07:08, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I tend to agree. I'm thinking the same about Switzerland, there Swiss Cantons which share their names with Cities, but the Cities are dominant for travelling. For the traveller the official political region is often barely noticlable, so it makes more sense to use travel-oriented regions here, perhaps with notes on political sub-divisions within the ==Understand== sections of the individual places. -- Mark 07:13, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I think that Utrecht and Basel would, say, pass the way-way-way-more-famous test, compared to their surrounding countryside. Note that travellers aren't supposed to see disambig pages -- those are just there to help us make our links better. --Evan 13:03, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
ALSO: Dutch People talk very much, its very socialistic and that is one of the negative points of this country. They live according 'consencus' that means lots of debats, meetings etc. not really fast forward socieity.
I notice the Cities list is becomming very large here. I reverted the page after some helpful anonymous users pruned it severely, possibly as an act of vandalism or malicious disinforming. While the list does need to be pruned, before that is done can someone decide what cities should be listed here and what ones should be pushed down onto the regional or provincial pages. Some of the places listed here do not show on their provincial pages and need to be added there first to avoid creating orphan pages. -- Huttite 06:54, 27 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Per request and in accordance with The 72 rule I reduced the long list of cities down to 9. The previous list was: Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Almere, Assen, Arnhem, Breda, Delft, Eindhoven, Groningen, Haarlem, The Hague, 's-Hertogenbosch, Leiden, Leeuwarden, Lelystad, Maastricht, Middelburg, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Zutphen, Zwolle. I reduced the list down to: Amsterdam, Delft, Groningen, The Hague, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Utrecht. I tried to pick a representative sample of popular/important tourist destinations. Is my choice OK? Please discuss. (Also, please discuss here before making any changes to the list). --hopha 14:58, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
FYI, I added a small paragraph on softdrugs policy. It is a major legal tourist attraction in many cities. Maybe we should even give some average prices? --188.8.131.52 19:42, 24 Nov 2005 (EST)
Sorry, but no we can't give average prices. "Soft drugs" aka Pot and Hash are in fact still illegal in the Netherlands even though the police have a policy of looking the other way. We have a Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy which covers this. We don't list prices or anything else which would encourage such behaviour. Also we don't have a "Smoke" section in the template. To the extent that we want to talk about this subject at all we should do so in "Drink", or "Understand". -- Mark 23:06, 24 Nov 2005 (EST)
I'd posit that smoking is a sufficient important part of the Netherlands (or at least Amsterdam) experience that it deserves its own section, if only to clear up the legal status etc. The templates aren't carved in stone: Japan has a "Bathe" section and Indonesia has a "Smoke" section already.
But I agree that average prices are perhaps a bit too much (and rather unnecessary at that). Jpatokal 23:42, 24 Nov 2005 (EST)
Lets not get into the legal-illegal discussion here - We (the Dutch) have an official policy of ehm gedogen (look through fingers) which makes smoking and buying small amounts (less than 5g) of pot defacto legal. Its not in the law, but it is in the instruction as set out by the public prosecutor that there will no one prosecuted when trading is related to a coffeeshops with a license and when the amounts are small. --184.108.40.206 06:02, 25 Nov 2005 (EST)
Only now I review the changes made. I think Marks work is rather week. You wont get prosecuted with small doses of coke either. You know how much work the authorities would have? To put it like that is *realy* false information. But it is true that coke is formally illegal. As said above, Hashiesh arent. Also the pejorative judgment from his Culture paragraph doesn't feel right. While your at it, please at homosexuality, which in some countries is also considered as an offense, and euthanasia. That would make proper sense from a culture perspective. I think I 'll just re-add Smoke, because its about consuming, not about culture. Mark, could you please in the future give some more motivation for your copyedits? Thank you. --220.127.116.11 06:11, 25 Nov 2005 (EST)
Folks, let's not make this personal. Mr. 18.104.22.168, you added the Smoke section, so it's your job to justify it. What part of the current text in "Culture" do you think is pejorative? Jpatokal 07:45, 25 Nov 2005 (EST)
I already corrected it. Normal people in Amsterdam as well as other tourists were according to Mark's Culture bothered by the youngsters doing holland for its wide abundance of drugs. That didnt have anything to do with Dutch culture. But why did you remove smoke now altogether? I think the subject can do with some more detailed description. --22.214.171.124 08:06, 25 Nov 2005 (EST)
D00d! I didn't write that. I copied it in from Amsterdam. The other culture stuff was already there. I don't know who wrote it, so feel free to do whatever to it. -- Mark 08:37, 25 Nov 2005 (EST)
So? Can or Can't I add the Smoke paragraph? And if yes, what am I allowed to write there? 126.96.36.199 14:49, 28 Nov 2005 (+0100)
What is wrong with Understand#Culture? What more do you want to right? Jpatokal 08:56, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
I want to right ;) a smoke paragraph where i explain that a lot of tourist visit the neterlands for softdrugs, and that they cant buy them drugs on any street corner, but that only in a coffeeshop they can get stoned, and coffeeshops are not allowed to sell beer there, and that in small towns there is something like a weed-cab which was a sort of mobile coffeeshop, but that this was still illegal. So a bit more specific on this subject than just summing it up with euthanasia, abortion and homosexuality (very! nasty sum-up). I think the topic is worth it. Just like the article on France is worth an article on frog-legs. --188.8.131.52 17:06, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
* Where an illegal activity is an important or integral part of the reason people visit the destination, such as destinations famed for their drug supply.
In this last case, Wikitravel needs to tread a fine line about giving information. The test is that information should be provided for a traveller's safety, rather than solely to promote illegal activities. When writing about safety issues with illegal activities, Wikitravel articles must always emphasise that that activity is a crime when mentioning safety issues. For example: "X activity, in addition to being illegal, is dangerous because of Y."
I am only bringing this to the forefront for consideration... I will place no opinion on this subject. -- Ilkirk 20:04, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
OK, plunge forward and add the section, and if necessary we'll tweak it to fit the policy. Thanks for your persistence :) Jpatokal 20:07, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
OK, thanks. I just want that the legal rights we have as Dutch are not watered down because of unfamiliarity with our law system by outsiders. We have difficulty enogh understanding it ourselves :) Thanks Ilkirk for pointing out Wikitravel's policy. I like to stress again that although it is technical illegal to smoke marijuana in the Netherlands, that there is no risk at all for Wikitravel being sued bu the prosecutor for explaining travelrs how to pick the fruits of the Dutch liberal drug policy. The prosecutor is under explicit orders not to press charges against (the visitos of) legal coffeeshops or small time users. I'll see what I can do. --184.108.40.206 10:40, 29 Nov 2005 (+0100)
I don't understand how the respect section could have been construed to have been a "rant," despite that I agree the section could have been summed up better (I attempted that). That said, completely deleting/rewriting the section is not helpful to business travellers, who may find the information useful. Even deleting the section to read something as brief as "Dutch people are among the most informal and easy-going in Europe, and there are few social norms to speak of. Dutch people are infamously 'direct'." doesn't help anyone. A lot of cultures could be considered informal and "direct," but not to the extent that a Dutch middle manager tells the CEO Microsoft that the Windows OS is a 'piece of crap.' I found the information useful and I'll ask everyone to leave it in the article. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 07:25, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
The Amsterdam and Netherlands pages attract rants, touting, and other unhelpful additions. I have deleted some of that in the past. Both of them still need further cleanup. This bit of useless information, for instance "Fire trucks are red... ".
Wesopa 07:42, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
I don't have a problem with deleting "Fire trucks are red" or any other clear-cut vandalism, however, I do disagree with deletion sections like this, which, could be useful to someone. The information that you deleted will be useful to me in the coming months if I get a job with a Cincinnati company with a branch in Netherlands. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 07:46, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
Anyone else notice the irony here? A section explaining how the people of the Netherlands can be very direct and seemingly rude without meaning to, was abruptly removed and dismissively called a "rant". Wesopa, your efforts to remove material that doesn't belong in Wikitravel are great. Really. But keep in mind that this famous Dutch directness (which is also part of my culture: my surname is Ver Beek and Western Michigan is littered with towns named Holland, Zeeland, Vriesland, etc.) does come across as rude to other people, and "respect" here on Wikitravel means trying first to fix things before deleting them. That applies to a commentary about Dutch social standards that goes on too long, a "Buy" or "Drink" section with nothing in it, or hotel recommendations that don't include addresses. It may not be fully in keeping with the virtue of tidiness that I learned from my grootmoeder, but in the long run it makes for a richer, more useful travel guide. - Todd VerBeek 10:05, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
I deleted this information, which was left over from a longer rant
They may actively interrogate you about your country's most painful episodes in history, but do so out of genuine interest. In business, the Dutch will have no problem telling the CEO of their company (or of your company), regardless of their own position on the corporate ladder, that a product or plan "sucks" or is "too expensive". They may be very vocal with respect to the quality of your product, but they are professional enough to sell any "piece of crap" at the price the market will bear.
Most of this is simply wrong. Most Dutch people have no interest in other countries history, and would not be able to make any comment on it. Employees in Dutch companies can not talk to their CEO like this, if they ever got to meet him (it would rarely be a woman). In any case info on Dutch business culture would at best belong in the Work section.
The Amsterdam and Netherlands articles attract a lot of nonsense and vandalism. Compare this one to the Germany article to see how it can be improved. Deletions and copy-editing will however be needed.
Wesopa 16:12, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
A while ago I added this paragraph to get around - by train, but I cant fnd who or when or why it was deleted. Someone explains to me what's wrong with it? Are budgettravellers not welcome in Wikitravel? 
Another way to travel cheaper is to find a student with a OV-kaart, or someone who possesses a Voordeel-urenkaart who is going in the same direction as you. They are allowed to take up to three fellow travelers (this would be you) who can enjoy a 40% discount. You have to buy the discounted ticket in advance, but it won't be a problem to find someone accompanying you. This deal only works during weekends, or during weekdays after 9:00 am, on national holidays and in the summer months July and August. --220.127.116.11 04:22, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
I did not delete or change this paragraph, but this is considered slightly on the edge of legal traveling. Although it is not uncommon it will not be appreciated by Dutch students. Besides that, even on platforms you can be asked for your ticket, (happens regularly in Nijmegen for example) and if you are not accompanied by the student you may be fined. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) 4 September 2006
It is indeed a bit strange to advise travellers to 'illegaly' use discounted tickets. It is true that it is not appreciated by most others, and the only reason people might be accepting you to travel on 'their' card can be out of courtesy. (Of course, some genuinly don't mind.) Besides, the argument above about the platforms is correct.
I would like to see this part deleted. Stijn 09:22, 31 August 2009 (EDT)
Totally agree, it's illegal and not appreciated by many locals. Globe-trotter 12:55, 6 September 2009 (EDT)
I just removed the following section based on the consensus above on traveling using someone else's discount card.
Slightly more adventurous is to make use of the extra advantages of 'Off-peak Discount Passes' or people who have a 'Year Pass' (most students or some civil servants). It is possible, but some people may be offended when asked by strangers. There is a way to travel cheaper without having a pass yourselves: find a student with an 'O.V.-kaart' (Year Pass for Public Transportation), or someone who possesses a 'Voordeel-urenkaart' who travels on the same traject (or part of it) as you do. They are allowed to take up to three fellow travellers (this would be you) who can enjoy a 40% discount. You have to buy the discounted railway-ticket in advance (no need to show your Pass at the desk or buy it from an automatic ticket machine), but it won't be a problem to find someone accompanying you. This deal only works during weekends, or during weekdays after 9:00AM, on national holidays and in the summer months July and August. When the conductor asks for your 'cheaper' railway-ticket, the fellow who is accompanying you must show his 'Discount' or 'Year Pass'. It doesn't matter who it is as long as someone helps you out during your travel (when they come to check the tickets). Please note that both passengers should travel the same route--WallyTheWalrus 07:47, 4 December 2011 (EST)
Not to accuse the author of ignorance, but calling the Netherlands "Holland" is far from inaccurate. It is quite common & popular among the Dutch themselves to use the term when speaking of their country in English. I live here, & have family here, though when I first arrived several months ago I made the same [incorrect] assumptions about the name. Holland is perfectly acceptable, & I will make the appropriate edit.
It's not as acceptable as you may think. In the western part of the Netherlands "Holland" and the adjective "Hollands" are common indeed, but the people of the southern regions (fe Limburg) and of course Frisia do have quite a different attitude. A "Limburger" may find it really offensive to be seen as an inhabitant of "Holland". It's better to keep consequence in using the country's official name.Plaas 10:14, 7 November 2007 (EST)
The Netherlands have many cities and towns of interest to travelers. Below is a list of the most notable (i.e. selection because of amount of inhabitans, capital of a province or historic reasons):
Amsterdam - Capital city of the Netherlands with impressive architecture, lovely canals ("grachten") that criss-cross the city (a bit like a spiderweb) and great shopping. There is something for every traveler's taste here, whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city.
Alkmaar - This city, north of Amsterdam in the so calles 'West-Frisian region', preserves the 17th-century pattern of canals and narrow streets, and has many historic buildings. Inland is a historic agricultural landscape, with 17th century polders: one (De Beemster) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Almere - Country's newest and fast growest city. It is expected to become the fifth largest city in a few years time. Founded in 1981 and built below sea-level on the polderland in the province of Flevoland.
Breda - historic city in south of Netherlands, with beautiful historic buildings but also pretty modern architecture.
Delft - Historic city between The Hague and Rotterdam. It's a beautiful, unspoiled town with traditional architecture, canals, bikes, and the world famous blue and white ceramics.
Eindhoven - This city has grown from a little village in 1232 to one of the largest cities in the Netherlands with over 210,000 inhabitants in 2005. Much of its growth is due to Philips and DAF Trucks. In 1891, brothers Gerard and Anton Philips founded a small light bulb factory that would grow into one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Nowadays Eindhoven is a mix of old industrial factories and modern architecture. It sloagan nowadays is 'Leading in Technology' and 'Brainport of the Netherlands'.
Groningen - Capital of the province of Groningen. One of the older cities in the North of the Netherlands: Groningen was founded around 1100 and has a rich history, which can clearly be told from the old medieval buildings in the downtown area. Groningen won the award of 'best city center' in the category of 'large cities' for 2006.
Haarlem - Historic city and capital of the province of North-Holland. Haarlem is the center of a flower-growing district and the export point for flower bulbs. The famous Keukenhof gardens is nearby.
The Hague/'s-Gravenhage(Den Haag) - Seat of the Dutch government, place of residence of the Queen, Juridical Capital of the World due to the seat of the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, Peace Palace and some other International Institutions. Also capital of the province of South-Holland and the third largest city of the country. The Hague offers great architecture, some of it picturesque, such as the medieval government complex of the Binnenhof, some grand and stately, like the mansions on Lange Voorhout. The museums in the city rank among the best in the country.
Lelystad - Capital of the country's newest province: Flevoland, a part of the Noordoostpolder in the IJsselmeer, created on the bottom of the formerly Zuiderzee ('Southern Sea').
Maastricht - Historic city in the very south of the country and capital of the province of Limburg. Great shopping areas and many pubs in the city centre. Said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands. Maastricht, however, is quite different in style and architecture than traditional Dutch cities. Most 'Burgundic' city, founded by the Romains and second eldest city of the country. Nowadays it hosts a large amount of European and international institutions.
Nijmegen - Oldest city of the Netherlands (dates back to Roman times; said to be founded in the year 6 after Christ), known internationally for its '4 Day Marches' (120-200 km's) including '7day Summer-festivities', it's often left-wing politics, and it's large student population.
Rotterdam - The city was known for having the world's largest harbor, but lost the title in 2004 to Shanghai. Still it is the countries second largest city. It may feel difficult to get in touch with the heart of Rotterdam; its natural center was bombed away during WW2 in 1940, forcing the city to renew itself completely. The result is a lot of modern architecture.
Utrecht - Capital of the province of Utrecht. Utrecht is a central Dutch city with a long history. With 290,000 inhabitants it's the fourth largest city in the Netherlands. The history of the city goes back to 47 AD when the Roman emperor Claudius ordered his general Corbulo to build a defense line along the river Rhine whitch was the northern most border of the empire.
Zutphen - Ancient medieval city in the central-eastern part of the country, very well preserved center. The city was voted as having the best city center of The Netherlands in the category of small cities in 2006. Together with some other cities it formed in the past the union of 'Hanzesteden' (Hanze-cities).
- Some cities do not have their own lemma in wikitravel, so a lit bit more space to mention and describe them under the lemma Netherlands. And they also do not correspond with the map used for the Netherlands, so some improvements may be neccessary - (Brabo 23:03, 1 September 2007 (EDT))
Horrible that muslim/coloured racism is growing. The Netherlands used to be a great country before the immigrants started pouring in. I was very serious when i wrote this on the article-page.
--Violent tensions between different ethnic groups are rising in the local Dutch cities. Be carefull with whom you speak and stay away from muslim/coloured neigbourhoods. Asiatic and European people are usually respected by the Dutch but not by the local muslim/coloured majority.-- 22.214.171.124 23:05, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
I can accept that you are serious in your opinion, but your comments are opinionated, and should be removed unless there is a broad consensus behind your opinions. Thus I have removed your comment. You claim that "The Netherlands used to be a great country before the immigrants started pouring in". Can you substantiate the numbers of immigrants that are implied? Are they all Muslim or coloured, as you imply?
Your edit also implies that Muslims and coloured residents are a majority in the Netherlands. Surely not true? I also doubt very much that the majority of Muslims and coloured people disrespect "Asiatic and European people", if that is what you meant to say.
Finally, to say "Be carefull with whom you speak and stay away from muslim/coloured neigbourhoods" is just scare-mongering, as thousands of travellers can testify. Jnich99 11:20, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
Why do we still have these province pages? I think they're fairly useless. There is barely any information on them, and the information travellers need to know can also be found on the Netherlands page. For important tourist destinations, city pages can be created (like for Amsterdam). Globe-trotter 10:35, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
I changed the listing of regions to be more in line with France and Germany. However, I am left with this and don't know where to put it. For later reference, or if someone else know where to stick it, here is the text I removed:
The western part is the most urban, with the four largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht), Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the Port of Rotterdam. The Randstad is a collective name for this conurbation.
Map of the Netherlands and its provinces; the red dots mark the capitals of the provinces and the black dots are other notable cities or towns.
North-Holland North-Holland is probably the most important province for tourists. This province is dominated by Amsterdam, the country's largest city, and has the largest airport. The north however, is also interesting for tourists who are interested in the old heritage of the Netherlands. Other notable old towns are Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Alkmaar. The west coast offers nice beaches. You can also take an island trip to Texel.
South-Holland The most densely populated province of the Netherlands. Rotterdam is the largest city and home to one of the world's largest harbours. The Hague has a number of touristic sights, like the governmental square and Madurodam. The west coast beaches, like in Scheveningen, are considered the best of the country. Leiden and Delft are historic student towns, while Kinderdijk offers traditional Dutch windmills.
Utrecht The historic city of Utrecht is a good introduction to the Netherlands. It is one of the big cities in the Netherlands, but still has a bit the feeling of a village. It has a compelling atmosphere, a proper nightlife and the shopping mall Hoog Catharijne. Outside of Utrecht, you can visit the historic city of Amersfoort.
Flevoland Flevoland is the newest province. Its land is created on the formerly Southern Sea. Due to a large commuter population from Almere to Amsterdam, this province is often counted as belonging to the west side of the country. For tourists however, probably the only good reason to get here is the theme park Walibi World.
The northern part is the least densely populated region. It is mostly an interesting region for tourists who are interested in the cultural heterogenity of the Netherlands. These provinces all have their own distinct dialects and languages. Nature and beaches can be enjoyed on the West Frisian Islands.
Friesland Friesland is a distinct region in the Netherlands, in which many people speak the Frisian language. Signs are double-posted in two languages (just like in Wales). Frisia's culture is mostly characterized by speed skating, sailing, seafood and traditional farm life.
Groningen Groningen can be an interesting spot for curious tourists. The city of Groningen is an ambivalent city in which old-fashioned and modern blend. The city is historic, with the Martinitower as most important building. On the other hand, it is quite a large city dominated by students. If you want, you can rock the night till the sun gets up.
Drenthe Drenthe offers left-overs of the 'Hunnebedden'-civilization. It is also home to the largest zoo of the Netherlands in Emmen.
The east offers ancient historic cities in rural and wooded landscapes. You can head out to the forest for a weekend or experience the earliest Dutch towns the way they were in the middle ages.
Overijssel A rural hinterland located behind the IJssel-river. The west side is dominated by its capital Zwolle. The east side is known as Twente and mostly dominated by the city of Enschede.
Gelderland Gelderland is an experience into the historic Netherlands. Although Arnhem is its capital, Nijmegen is the oldest city of the Netherlands (dates back to Roman times; said to be founded in the year 6 after Christ). Another ancient town is Zutphen, which has a well-preserved city center. Nature can also be found here, it can be nice to head back into the Veluweforest for a weekend.
All provinces in the south are separated from the north by three large rivers, the Rhine and its main distributary Waal, as well as the Meuse. These rivers function as a natural barrier between earlier fiefdoms, and hence created traditionally a cultural divide, as is evident in some phonetic traits that are recognisable north and south of these "Large Rivers" (de Grote Rivieren). In addition to this, until quite recently there was a clear religious dominance of Catholics in the south and of Calvinists in the north.
North-Brabant North-Brabant has plenty of historic large towns. Notable towns are Breda, Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch. Its largest city is Eindhoven, a town mostly shaped by technological companies Philips and DAF Trucks. The Efteling, the largest theme park of the Netherlands, is also located in this province.
Limburg The most interesting destination is its capital Maastricht. The historic city has great shopping areas and many pubs in the city centre. The city is however, quite different in style and architecture than traditional Dutch cities. It is mostly a 'Burgundic' city, founded by the Romans and second oldest city of the country. If you want to head out, Valkenburg is the way to go.
Zeeland Zeeland consists of a couple of islands and a coastal area bordering Belgium. In history, this province had a big struggle with the water which led to the Zeeland flooding disaster in 1953. To defeat water once and for all, the Deltawerken were created, a huge technological project to protect the dykes from breaking down. For tourists and youth, there are nice towns with beaches and nightlife, like Renesse.
As well as:
Amsterdam — Capital city of the Netherlands with impressive architecture, lovely canals ("grachten") that criss-cross the city (a bit like a spiderweb) and great shopping. There is something for every traveler's taste here, whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city.
Delft — Historic city between The Hague and Rotterdam. It is a beautiful, unspoiled town with traditional architecture, canals, bikes, and the world famous blue and white ceramics.
Groningen — Capital of the province of Groningen. One of the older cities in the North of the Netherlands: Groningen was founded around 1100 and has a rich history, which can clearly be told from the old medieval buildings in the downtown area. Groningen won the award of 'best city center' in the category of 'large cities' for 2006.
The Hague/'s-Gravenhage (Den Haag) — Seat of the Dutch government, place of residence of the Queen, Judical Capital of the World due to the seat of the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, Peace Palace and some other International Institutions. Also capital of the province of South-Holland and the third largest city of the country. The Hague offers great architecture, some of it picturesque, such as the medieval government complex of the Binnenhof, and some grand and stately, like the mansions on Lange Voorhout. The museums in the city rank among the best in the country.
Leiden — Between Amsterdam and The Hague. Known for the oldest university in the country, the birthplace of Rembrandt and for its beautiful, old city center which is the second biggest after Amsterdam and has a plethora of pubs and three national museums.
Maastricht — Historic city in the very south of the country and capital of the province of Limburg. Great shopping areas and many pubs in the city centre. Said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands. Maastricht, however, is quite different in style and architecture than traditional Dutch cities. Most 'Burgundic' city, founded by the Romans and second eldest city of the country. Nowadays it hosts a large amount of European and international institutions.
Nijmegen — Oldest city of the Netherlands (dates back to Roman times; said to be founded in the year 6 after Christ), known internationally for its '4 Day Marches' (120-200 km's) including '7day Summer-festivities', its often left-wing politics, and its large student population.
Rotterdam — The city was known for having the world's largest port, but lost the title in 2004 to Shanghai. Still it is the country's second largest city. It may feel difficult to get in touch with the heart of Rotterdam; its natural center was bombed away during WW2 in 1940, forcing the city to renew itself completely. The result is a lot of modern architecture.
Utrecht — Capital of the province of Utrecht. Utrecht is a central Dutch city with a long history. With 290,000 inhabitants it is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands. The history of the city goes back to AD 47 when the Roman emperor Claudius ordered his general Corbulo to build a defense line along the river Rhine which was the northern most border of the empire.
I am not sure about Zeeland in the "Southern Netherlands", as it's actually incorrect. Of course geographically it's in the south, but culturally it's not part of it as it's not mainly catholic (as North-Brabant and Limburg are). And it has always been closer to Holland than to Brabant.
Maybe Zeeland should therefore be moved to Western Netherlands, as it's also located in the west.
Then I think Flevoland could be moved to the Eastern Netherlands, as most touristic sights (Schokland, Urk) are in the Noordoostpolder, which used to be part of Overijssel. Theme Park Walibi World can pretty much only be accessed via Harderwijk in Gelderland. The only reason Flevoland could be considered "western" is because of the large traffic flow from Almere to Amsterdam. But as Almere is not an important tourist destination, I think this does not apply to Wikitravel.
I also noticed the DK Eyewitness Guide does it like this.
What do others think of this?
Western Netherlands (North-Holland, South-Holland, Utrecht, Zeeland)
Northern Netherlands (Drenthe, Friesland, Groningen, West Frisian Islands)
Also, maybe we shouldn't use the Western Netherlands as an actual article, but just make them bold, as like the Chicago article. It's better I think, because these four subpages are probably not going to contain very interesting information.
The Western Netherlands page currently reports that Western Netherlands is the Randstad. Randstad redirects to that page. Of course Zeeland is not part of the Randstad so I am not comfortable with putting Zeeland on the West Netherlands page.
What about forgetting the 'Western Netherlands' as a region and change it to the name of Randstad, and moving Zeeland to Southern Netherlands?
Your statement about Zeeland being closer to Holland is true for the northern part of the province (Schouwen-Duiveland), but Tholen is mainly focussed on Bergen op Zoom (North-Brabant). Middelburg and Vlissingen, and Goes, are the economic heart of middle-Zeeland with probably a less important connection to other provinces.
The history of Zeeland (being isolated because of the islands) makes it difficult to place the province in a region.--WallyTheWalrus 10:17, 19 September 2009 (EDT)
I agree that you have a point... Especially as Zeeland is geographically in the south. Zeeland is really hard to fit in a category, but due to it's small size, it wouldn't be correct to let it be it's own region. It's rather different from Brabant and Limburg as they have a catholic culture with Carnival and everything. But you're right that from the eye, it seems more logical in the south. I'll change the map soon. Globe-trotter 14:39, 24 November 2009 (EST)
The border between Catholic & Carnival / Protestant & no Carnival goes through Zeeland: All of it except Zeeuws Vlaanderen do more resemble Holland, while 'Zeeuws Vlaanderen' is Catholic, does have Carnival, and is more like Brabant and Limburg. Tholen BTW is orthodox Protestant, therefore it can hardly be considered part of the 'Southern Netherlands'. Also, historically, Zeeland did belong to the 'Seven Netherlanths' while Brabant and Limburg didn't. Zeeuws Vlaanderen belonged to France (Western Flemish is spoken) and a few months to Northern Brabant before it was added to 'Zeeland'. If one wants to group regions with the same religion / culture / history, Zeews Vlaanderen should belong to Southern Netherlands, the rest of Zeeland should belong to Western Netherlands. In the same way, Flevoland might be separated: The largest island with Lelystad / Almere is in majority populated people who moved from Holland, while the "Noordoostpolder" (and Urk) have a different culture. I don't know if it makes sense to divide provinces, but when grouping according to culture / history it makes sense. Apart from that, even the Dutch Government thinks about re-dividing the provinces and redrawing borders, showing some of the present borders are quite arbitrary. If Zeeland can't be added to the 'Western' region because it doesn't belong to the Randstad, the same goes for the Northern part of North Holland. - hkwint 126.96.36.199 19:21, 20 June 2010 (EDT)
What shall we do with Volendam and Scheveningen? They are included in "other destinations", but they are towns, so should either be included in the cities list or be omitted altogether. Globe-trotter 07:19, 4 September 2009 (EDT)
Scheveningen looks to be a rather small town; Volendam is already well linked to via the Hague link in the cities list. I recommend we simply remove them. --PeterTalk 10:12, 4 September 2009 (EDT)
Peter it's the anther way round. Scheveningen is in fact a district of The Hague at the Northsee, Volendam is an island northeast of Amsterdam near Edam. --Rein N. 01:00, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Under the "respect" part of the article, it is said that the dutch hold a grudge against Germans for WW2, but speaking as a Dutch person, I'd say that this generally isn't true, and Germans are generally regarded like other foreigners. Perhaps this information can be removed? Also, to avoid getting intentionally bad directions, ask adults.188.8.131.52 09:47, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
I agree. Grudges being held toward Germans are in my experience a thing of the past. Dutch people tend to get along with Germans nicely and the relationship between the two nations is very good indeed.
I also agree, the information should be removed. My experience is that the Dutch and Germans get along very good, this is especially the case in the province of Zeeland, a popular destination of German tourists. --WallyTheWalrus 12:18, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
It's preferable to have a little more plunging, and a little less talking. I've removed it. --PeterTalk 13:17, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
I've read that travelers may be limited with their stay in Europe, requiring a residence permit to stay longer than 3 months, however some exemptions are made for English-speaking natives outside of Europe (Australians and Americans). Is this true? Should it be integrated somewhere on the page? I think students would like to know this (and there is a learn section...) -- 184.108.40.206 17:55, 7 November 2009 (EST)
I've gone ahead and added a stay section and given an official source for further expansion. This is what I've heard, I'm not sure exactly how it applies to European citizens. -- 220.127.116.11 02:46, 8 November 2009 (EST)
Info about visas and working belongs in "Get in" and "Work" respectively. Jpatokal 10:54, 8 November 2009 (EST)
I removed the following from the 'driving in the Netherlands' part in the Get in - by car section. Zebra crossings are common. Giving way to pedestrians is not worth mentioning as a special rule in the Netherlands since this is the rule in most countries. It is however true that some local drivers do not give way to pedestrians at zebra crossings, especially when pedestrians wait at the curb.
Zebra crossings are uncommon and locals may look bewildered if you stop and let them cross however (just like in all other European countries) one should always give way to pedestrians as failure to do so may result in large fines and/or dangerous situations."
I noticed that in the 'get around' section there is also information about driving. I am not sure where this information belongs, in the Get in or Get around section? --WallyTheWalrus 07:58, 7 March 2010 (EST)
Hi! I recently saw a rqther hot debate about the mutual intelligibility between Swedish, Norwegian, German and Dutch. I am Swedish and have been to Berlin (5 times), Frankfurt (once), Munich (once), Zürich (4 times), Vienna (4 times), Amsterdam (once) and Brugge (once) and NOWHERE had I any trouble whatsoever to make myself understood in Swedish (of course I spoke slowly). As this anonymous Swede says, they probably won't understand every word you say, but the worst that has ever happened to me is that I have been asked to repeat, or that they need to register my sentence for a few seconds, but afterwards I do get an answer in German/Dutch (generally in the standard languages, which are the easiest) and it is NOT to say that they do not understand what I am saying. Even though I cannot speak for Germans or Dutch in general, I have spoken to a lot of people in the above mentioned places, and I cannot recall being forced to switch to English ever.
And Norwegian is even more similar to German and Dutch, so if they understand Swedish, Norwegian must be a pece of cake. --MySweden 18:08, 10 September 2010 (EST)
The Scandinavian languages are quite different from Dutch, and there are almost no Dutch people who speak one of these languages. Norwegian, Swedish and Danish are mutually intelligible, but Dutch certainly doesn't belong here. I know quite some Swedish people, and to be frankly, I have no idea what they are talking about, especially if they talk fast. Sure, maybe if they'd talk really slow and articulate, but in general, Dutch and Swedish and not mutually intelligible. Dutch is not even mutually intelligible with German, even while that is the closest related language. I'd say speaking English, German and even French and Spanish would bring you further. --globe-trotter 05:40, 11 September 2010 (EDT)
I live in Brugge and speak perfect Dutch (my native language being West Flemish). And, to tell you the truth, I agree with MySweden that if spoken slowly Swedish, Norwegian and Dutch are largely (but of course not totally) mutually intelligible. I also agree with globe-trotter that is spoken fastly things are pronounced quite differently making it a lot harder (but not impossible) to understand them. But if you read the article, I do think it says "might be able to get along at least partially if spoken slowly" and this is true to 100%. I have encountered many Swedes at the Markt in summer (since there is a cruise route Stockholm - Istanbul stopping at Brugge among others) and when they speak English I recognize the accent and respond in slowly spoken Dutch (since Flemish is more distant from Swedish than Dutch) and they are absolutely stunned to find that they do understand me perfectly (perfectly here means well enough to understand my message --[[User:18.104.22.168
|22.214.171.124]] 14:26, 15 September 2010 (EDT)
to anon user 126.96.36.199: You use the same IP as user killerduh so i suspect you are the same person. I asked some Dutch colleagues and they confirmed that they don't understand Scandinavian languages intuively and you restart an old discussion where you were obviously in the minority. Don't start the discussion under a new login. jan 10:49, 15 September 2010 (EDT)
i didn't know there was someone called Killerduh, but I assure you that our IP similarity has to be a pure coincidence. From what I recently read he is Swiss, but I am Flemish, and even though your colleagues may not understand Scandinavian languages, the article still says MIGHT be able to get along at least PARTIALLY. --188.8.131.52 14:26, 15 September 2010 (EDT)
In case anyone wants to know the source of my edits to include information about the visa exemption for 'Annex II' nationals to work during their 90 day visa-free entry, see this European Union document - . 184.108.40.206 17:41, 30 May 2011 (EDT)
Yesterday, in the section on other destinations, Volendam was replaced by the Waterland en Zaanregion of which it is a part. A good choice, in my eyes, but I now went ahead and removed Zaanse Schans in Zaandam too, as it is one of the main destinations in that same region. That leaves a place for another destination. I know that it doesn't /have/ to be filled, but I think there's a bunch of places that would deserve to be up there. I could see the cheese market of Alkmaar there (which is cheesy but popular with foreign tourists), or better yet the Friese Meren (Frysian Lakes), which is a popular tourist destination with lots of sailing and water sports opportunities. Westerbork concentration camp, where over a 100.000 people were brought during WW2 (only 5200 of whom survived), is an experience that's hard to forget too, even though it's not a pleasant one. I just can't remember if there's English language facilities there. Justme 15:58, 18 August 2011 (EDT)
The Zaanse Schans is widely popular, it has 900,000 visitors a year, that's why I included it. But it can be omitted, as long as the description at Waterland and Zaan Region makes a mention of it. I agree that the section could use more regional variety, but frankly, there is not that much to do in the North. Wadlopen is a popular activity, but it's hardly an "other destination". Frisian Lakes sounds interesting, but I wouldn't know the boundaries of that article. --globe-trotter 17:21, 18 August 2011 (EDT)
Zaanse Schans definitely is a popular destination, it's just essentially the same destination as Waterland en Zaanregion (which we should develop a bit too). I'm not even sure if the Frysian lakes would need an article of their own, technically. Could it be covered in a section of the Friesland-article, which still is very underdeveloped, with a link here to the relevant sub-heading? We could always split it off when that Friesland article gets overcrowded. In any case, Wikipedia has a (rather limited) article on the touristy lakes-region, to give a rough idea of the borders. Justme 19:01, 18 August 2011 (EDT)
Hi! I've been working on The Netherlands and its main destinations a bit and I was wondering what you think are the main priorities for that guide? I thought it would be nice if we could bring it at least to usable level? Looking at the guidelines, I would say we're getting close, but I'm not quite sure. Cheers, Justme 09:09, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
At a quick glance I would say that the 9 linked cities and 9 linked ODs should all be usable, and then the country guide definitely would be. The rest is all there.--Burmesedays 10:41, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
The Country guide status page states the following to make it usable: "Has links to the country's major cities and other destinations (usable status or better), a valid regional structure, and a Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there. Information about the country's currency, language, cuisine, and culture is included. At least the most prominent attraction is identified with directions."
We made it ourselves a lot harder to include regions in the "Other destinations" list, as that means we'll have to get all those regions up to usable status instead of just the destinations! ;-). To get a region usable, it states it "Has links to the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better), and a Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there. The most prominent attractions are identified with directions." I don't know what we'd do with the Frisian Lakes, but I guess it should also be a region someday. So to get the Netherlands usable, we must get the following destinations to usable:
So still quite some work left I guess. --globe-trotter 10:52, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Crikey..... you have whole regions as Other destinations? Not sure that is desirable. It does happen a bit in countries where a region is also an island, but you might want to look at that again for the Netherlands--Burmesedays 10:59, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Wow, quite an extensive reply, thanks :-) However, now I'm confused. If I look at other countries that have usable status, say Belgium for example, many have a bunch of "other destinations" that aren't even close to usable. That led me to the conclusion that the main ones should be usable, not all. I wouldn't want to define the Frysian Lakes as a region in that sense, especially not if that would keep the main article further from usable status. I suggested it as a tourist destination for its water sports facilities, and it does have a few interesting towns. However, it doesn't make sense to me that full articles for places like Sloten (650 inhabitants) or Workum (4000), which might not even be mentioned in other guides due to their limited importance for travelers, should be a condition for a usable article for the Netherlands?
As for the regions, in principle I'm in favor here, as in our small country regions like South Limburg or the Zaanstreek really are commonly considered as "one destination" and tourist information materials are structured in that way. With Hoge Veluwe as an exception, national parks are not even known to the general public. Justme 11:11, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
If you find mistakes like Belgium, please change the status of the article, leaving an edit note explaining why.
On regions, I thought we had a guidelines that a top level region should not also be listed as an Other destination in a country article? I might be dreaming though as I can't find it....--Burmesedays 11:17, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Regions as ODs makes sense for the Netherlands I think, and there are many countries where this happens as well (like Krabi Province is an OD in Thailand and the Loire Valley in France). The difference between an island and a region is in a way artifical, as an island is also a region. None of the regions listed under OD in the Netherlands are top-level regions.
About the Frisian Lakes, that was just my interpretation of it, I am not sure how else to define it. The Frisian Lakes region in a sense is similar to South Limburg, except that the latter region is much better developed on Wikitravel. We could also maybe cramp the Frisian Lakes into one destination article, though it sounds like it could have a lot of content and span a very large area.
Oh, and about Belgium, that one is just wrong. It should be downgraded to outline. It does not even have 9 ODs listed, and many of those listed are outline destinations. --globe-trotter 11:23, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
All good on the regions then. Just one important point to understand - no country has to show 9 ODs. The wording at Wikitravel:Country article template is pretty clear on that: Sometimes a country has destinations that aren't really cities; for example, large national parks like the Grand Canyon, or archaeological sites like Angkor Wat. These should usually be listed on the region page for the region they're in, but for especially prominent ones you can also list them separately here, with descriptions, if they exist. Otherwise, leave out this section. --Burmesedays 11:30, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
I understand they are not necessarily required. But Belgium has 11 million inhabitants, it should easily be able to boast 9 ODs. --globe-trotter 11:37, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Right. I suggest we leave the Frysian lakes out of the equation then, for now. I'll add its sports activities under the Do-section, does that make sense? Then we can always look into the need/desirability of that region later. I don't think it compares to South Limburg very well, as that is an official and much referred to region, highly more developed in terms of tourism. As far as I know, the Frysian Lakes in daily life are rather used in senses like: "i'm going sailing on the Frysian Lakes this week". But I'm not 100% sure either.
As for the Belgian mistake: that explains then, but it does mean we have a bunch of other countries with usable status that don't meet those criteria. A quick survey of the first 5  shows me that Andorra, Bulgaria, Bosnia, China can't meet the criteria you would set for the Netherland above.. Justme 11:44, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Yes, all those countries should all be downgraded to outline. The Netherlands is quite far in development, except for regions listed as ODs. We could turn the Frisian Lakes into an article, but then we'd still have to develop the most important destinations in the Waterland and Zaan Region (which would at least include those villages I mentioned, although Purmerend probably could be left out). --globe-trotter 11:53, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Anyone who notices an incorrect article status should just please just change it. Little attention is paid to these until we get to the top of the status list.--Burmesedays 12:04, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
I will downgrade some of those countries that don't fit the criteria. About the Frisian Lakes, there are three options:
Describe them in the Do section of Friesland, this means that all "important" destinations in Friesland would need to be usable, which would be a hard task to complete.
Make them a region, which means we'd need to make the "important" destinations in that region usable (I selected a few large towns and the towns of the Elfstedentocht in the table above, but it'd be up for debate I guess). Probably even harder to complete.
We could turn the Frisian Lakes into an article. Easier to do though its a bit odd as at least some towns deserve their own articles I think (notably Sneek).
I'm not sure what the best option is. The cheese market in Alkmaar might be much more popular, especially with foreigners, but personally I'd prefer a sailing trip in Friesland over it. Again though, I think we should not be creating situations in which the guidelines lead to unlogical or unreasonable criteria. Personally, I'd prefer a consensus that something like the Frysian Lakes don't have to meet the full usuable criteria for the Netherlands guide to be usable. It just doesn't make any sense to demand full guides for villages I, as a Dutch person, have never even heard of, for the country article to be just usable. If we can't make an exception, then I think we should either make a simple article out of it or replace it with another "other destination". In any cast, perhaps I should have put my question on the talk page of the article. Feel free to move it there, if you want. A copy of the table would be useful there in any cast. I'll try to find some more statistics and info later. Justme 13:07, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
I moved the discussion to the Netherlands talk page. I agree with you in principle, as it does sound a bit like a drastic measure. I think the cheese market in Alkmaar cannot qualify as an OD as it is an attraction of Alkmaar (which, if important enough, should be in the cities list). And at least one OD should be from the Northern region, and I don't know a better one than the Frisian Lakes. I think the best solution would be to create a Frisian Lakes article and see how it evolves. We could make it usable quite easily I think. It doesn't have to be a "region" in the traditional sense straight away, it could be a normal destination article, an extra-hierarchical region or even a travel topic. --globe-trotter 13:45, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
As to that last choice: I'm not familiar enough with common practise here to choose between those. A normal destination article, would that be something like Wijdemeren, where you have also combined a number of villages in one article? That would work I guess, the other two options I'm not sure what the differences are. In any case, I've now removed the villages from the checklist above, as well as Purmerend (which I agree is really not a place you want to send people to). That leaves us with quite some work still, but at least there's a clear overview. Any interest in a collaboration? ;-) What are your thoughts about that template on Zaanse Schans, suggesting it should be merged into Zaandam? I'm not sure. You can spend the night there, if that's the rule of thumb. Justme 15:02, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Yes, an article would be similar to Wijdemeren, an extra-hierarchical region would be similar to French Riviera or the West Frisian Islands (a region that overlaps with the traditional region hierarchy) and a travel topic could be similar to Cycling in Scotland. Spending the night is not the only rule for establishing an article, there must also be enough content available to fill it. But as Zaanse Schans is often visited separately from Zaandam, I think a separate article is warranted. Getting the Netherlands up to usable status sounds like a great idea. I'm not too familiar with the outline destinations though. I could work on Zaanse Schans and maybe Kinderdijk, Noordoostpolder and Texel, but the others would be a challenge. --globe-trotter 15:41, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
Alright, I've plunged ahead and put your name to Kinderdijk, Zaanse Schans & Zaandam and Texel. I've changed Emmeloord into Noordoostpolder and filled that one up to usable level (forgot that you volunteered, so please check/add). Marken and Broek in Waterland are now usable too, and I'll work on Edam, Monnickendam and Volendam next. That should get us a good deal further, and then we just have those Frysian lakes to tackle. How to do that, still not sure :-) Justme 08:26, 23 August 2011 (EDT)
We're almost done, just one left. I'm starting to think we should drop the Frisian Lakes though. It's not a typical "other destination", more a region, and it will take long to properly develop. I don't have a good alternative though. I think the Delta Works could make a good replacement, a classic "other destination", but that means we wouldn't have any ODs from the north. Although is must be said that Zeeland is not represented at all, the Delta Works could balance that out, and it would represent the "struggle against the sea" part of the See section. Do you have any alternatives to suggest? --globe-trotter 20:13, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
:-) Firstly, I'm not sure what the preference is: popular places, or the ones we think are most interesting? In that last case, I think the Frisian Lakes have a lot more added value. In terms of popularity, the Deltaworks/Deltapark Neeltje Jans is a good option, although I do think they're more of a "see"/day-trip thing than a destination where you'd stay overnight. The same however goes for Madurodam, which is another foreigners favourite, I think? The Biesbosch is probably the second most popular National Park. I'm not that worried about the North: I would be if we'd be making a guide or star article, but we're only aiming for usable, so plenty of room for improvements later. Texel is already there, too.
All in all I think it would be best (in terms of diversity) if the Frisian Lakes (as a region or as something else) will be included at some point. It's a lovely area and booming in terms of tourism, due to an 300+ million euro investment in the area, improving tourist facilities. However, I'm perfectly fine with choosing a more straight forward one as an other destination now, and allowing the Frisian Lakes to develop properly and at their own pace, before forcing them in. Justme 07:55, 30 August 2011 (EDT)
Yes, things like Madurodam are considered attractions, as they are already covered in The Hague in the cities list. The Delta Works I thought is somewhere in the middle of an attraction and a destination, as there is no common place to visit it from (just like Schokland). The vfd nomination has made me reluctant to develop it further though. I agree the Frisian Lakes still sound like the best one, but I am having a hard time developing it further. It's a big geographic area with many towns and villages. And the article overlaps with those underlying articles — so I don't really know which things to add and which to leave out. --globe-trotter 10:57, 30 August 2011 (EDT)