Written by Mike
Mar 21th, 2014
Best cities to visit in the land of the tulips by car rental
Living in Holland for five years gave me a great taste of what Dutch life has to offer to any tourist that wishes to visit.
The Dutch may be famous for their liberal attitude and the nightlife of Amsterdam, but there is the culture in every town and city and always something to do whether you stay for a day, week, or a month, or in my case five years. Amsterdam is, of course, their brightest beacon that lures tourists in from all over the world. Offering magnificent architecture, canal cruises, history of great art and of course, museum’s like the Anne Frank.
A small city in the area it is easy to walk from one side to other on the cobbled streets if slightly taking your own life into your hands by tram dodging. Amsterdam is a very multi-cultural city with its huge expat community of every nationality you can think of. There is no place on earth I think I would rather sit with a cold Heineken and watch the world go by.
Another city I would highly recommend is Haarlem. Historians will tell you that in fact it was the Dutch that discovered America. New York was originally called New Amsterdam and Harlem a borough of New York followed suit as is Haarlem a borough of Amsterdam. Just ten minutes by car or train from Amsterdam, Haarlem is where I would spend most my time.
With the canals and cafe’s it is called ‘little Amsterdam’ for a reason. The similarities are countless; the only difference being that Haarlem offers you a taste of local life. You can see how the real Dutch like to live away from the hustle and bustle. Boasting a church with the biggest organ in Europe, Haarlem must be on your list of cities to visit; only a short drive or cycle to the coast adds to its charm.
Utrecht, Den Haag, Leiden and Eindhoven are all very nice cities with a lot to offer. Rotterdam I would say not so much. With an ugly port and a less friendly feel, in general, I found it to be best driven through than visited. You will be hard pushed to find a Dutch person who does not speak perfect English. Being brought up with English music and film, TV shows etc has allowed them to speak better than many native English speakers. They do however very much appreciate it when others attempt to speak their language; they find it to be complementary as they are very proud to speak Dutch also.
A simply Dank je Wel (Thank you) or an Alstublieft (Please/Your welcome) goes a long way and may even get you some extra mayonnaise for your chips (Potat). Also, a little tip, milk (Melk) in tea(Thee) is weird in Holland.
To conclude, I would very much recommend anyone visiting this wonderful country. It may be flat in the landscape, but it is mountainous in enjoyment and good feeling.
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Mike @ Enjoy Car Hire