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For future reference the Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Netherlands/CIA World Factbook 2002 import.

City vs Province

Shall we let Utrecht and Groningen point to the cities or to the provinces? I think most travellers will be happy when we let them point to the cities. So then we need Utrecht (province) and Groningen (province)... Guaka 22:03, 17 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Seems reasonable. If you go this way then list the pages at Famous Places. -- Huttite 22:43, 17 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I think it would have been clearer if you had left it like Wikitravel:Disambiguation_page_index#Famous_Places. I think Utrecht is famous enough for that, and Groningen isn't. Guaka 07:03, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I don't have strong feelings about one or the other, but I don't think you can compare Utrecht and Groningen with famous places such as Paris or London. I'd go for Utrecht (city), Utrecht (province), Groningen (city) and Groningen (province). Just my 2 eurocents. Akubra 05:10, 18 Apr 2004 (EDT)
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.

Visit Holland Visit at the bottom of the page apears to be a death link. --bartvanslobbe

Cities list

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)

Port of Rotterdam

Rotterdam may not be the largest seaport in the world, but Singapore centainly isn't either. This should be Shanghai, China


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? -- 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. -- 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. -- 06:11, 25 Nov 2005 (EST)
Folks, let's not make this personal. Mr., 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. -- 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? 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. -- 17:06, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
While I haven't looked at any of the pending/reverted edits, I would like to quote this part from the Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy:
* 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. -- 10:40, 29 Nov 2005 (+0100)

The "rant" deletion.

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)

Respect section

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? [1]

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. -- 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 (talkcontribs) 4 September 2006

Netherlands vs. Holland

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)
Map of Netherlands


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.
  • Assen - Capital of the province of Drenthe
  • Arnhem - Capital of the province of Gelderland
  • 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.
  • 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch)- Capital of the province of North-Brabant.
  • Leiden - Known for the oldest university in the country, the birthplace of Rembrandt and for it's beautiful, old city center which is the second biggest after Amsterdam and a plethora of pubs.
  • Leeuwarden - Capital of the province of Friesland.
  • 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.
  • Middelburg - Capital of the province of Zeeland
  • 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).
  • Zwolle - Capital of the province of Overijssel.

- 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))


but also Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian are thaught in some schools)(of course ancient languages like Latin and Greek can be learned in secondary school aswell)

I removed this sentence. These languages are barely teached in high schools. The usefulness of Latin and Greek during travel is none. Globe-trotter 19:35, 21 February 2008 (EST)