The Netherlands has a maritime climate - cool summers and mild winters. Rain falls year round, with spring and autumn getting slightly more than the rest of the year. Summer is the best time to visit, even though tourist crowds might scare you away. The country’s famous tulips start blooming in May.
When to fly to Netherlands
The summer months, when most tourists step off their flights to the Netherlands and throng the cities, are high season. Other peak times are school holidays, early April to mid-May (tulip season) and Christmas and New Year.
Winter is, in general, the low season especially the weeks between early January and March.
Getting around Netherlands
Domestic Netherlands flights connect Amsterdam Schiphol with Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht and Rotterdam airports. The major car-rental companies are represented at the airports. There is a good, efficient and affordable bus and rail network, but for getting around the Netherlands the Dutch way, take to the bicycle. There is an excellent bicycle network.
There are also ferries for “Wad hopping” or island hopping among the Dutch Wadden islands, which lie to the north of the country. It is a popular pastime during the summer months. It is possible to sail from island to island, and you can bring your bike on most ferries.
Netherlands insider information
- Hoge Veluwe National Park is the Netherlands’ largest national park. It boasts marshlands, forests and sand dunes and the Kröller-Müller Museum, which is world-famous for its large collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh.
- The Keukenhof Gardens, south of Haarlem, is the largest garden in the world. Almost one million people visit it each year. Go for the riot of colour that is the tulips and daffodils in full bloom.
- Even though the Rijksmuseum is undergoing a major renovation programme until 2009, it is worth a visit. The “facelift” will restore the building to its original state.
- The Van Gogh Museum has about 200 paintings including The Potato Eaters and The Yellow House in Arles as well as paintings by Monet and Gauguin.
- Visit the Euromast in the port city of Rotterdam. Its observation area offers panoramic views over Rotterdam.