Information about the Netherlands, a collection of some important points that may come in handy if you are planning to travel to the Netherlands or are already there. General interesting facts about living and working in the country. If you’re wondering what to keep in mind when planning to visit the Netherlands, read the article below for some basic information about the country of tulips.
The Netherlands – general information
Holland, or in fact the Netherlands, is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy located in Western Europe, on the North Sea, with its capital in Amsterdam. It borders Germany and Belgium. The most populous and largest cities in the Netherlands apart from the capital are Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. The country is a member of the European Union and the Schengen area. Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, but most residents also speak English, which makes it much easier to communicate here.
Location and climate
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a colourful country located on plains covered by a network of artificial canals, rich with picturesque cities and landscapes. The Vaalserberg, the highest elevation in the country, is located at the junction of the borders of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany and is 321 metres above sea level. The country’s location in a warm temperate maritime climate zone means that summers are chilly and winters are mild. The average temperature in winter reaches 2-3 degrees Celsius, and in summer, it’s a maximum of 17 degrees. However, the considerable humidity makes the perceived temperature higher. Strong winds and fog are common in spring and autumn. It should be pointed out that the weather in the Netherlands is windy and rainy but above all very changeable. When going to the Netherlands, remember to take proper footwear, a rain jacket or an umbrella in case of rain.
The cities, towns, and villages of the Netherlands are inhabited by people representing over 190 diverse cultures and nationalities. For years, this open and very tolerant country has been attracting foreigners from different parts of the world, who can always expect a friendly and warm welcome. It’s an ideal place not only to work but also to live, which is why so many visitors choose to stay here permanently. When going to the Netherlands, it’s worth checking out what Dutch cuisine has to offer, i.e. what you must be prepared for and what you should definitely try.
A basic character trait of a Dutch person is the desire to be independent and try to overcome all problems on their own. What’s more, the people of the Netherlands are open-minded, they can express their opinions and are sincere in doing so. Also, they aren’t easily offended. Life expectancy for men is around 75 years, and it’s 81 for women, one of the highest in the world. Furthermore, it’s interesting to note that the Dutch are the tallest nation in the world. The average height of an adult man is 185 cm, while that of a woman reaches an impressive 170 cm. Another noteworthy characteristic of the Dutch is that they are the healthiest nation in the world, which is probably due to the plenty of exercises and fresh air they get. More than 50% of Dutch citizens do at least one sport once a week.
The Netherlands’ very restrictive approach to compliance with traffic regulations in the shape of high fines results in considerable adherence to speed limits. A means of transport that’s extremely popular here, also the cheapest and the most convenient one, is the bicycle. The Dutch own more than 16 million of these, which means that every citizen owns one at least. The Dutch choose the bicycle regardless of their social status or profession. Cyclists are treated as the most important road users and are always given the right of way. Public transport – the metro, trains, or buses – is a possible alternative. Moreover, thanks to the extensive canal network, pedal boats are quite a popular option, particularly in cities. The proximity to central and eastern Europe is an advantage when it comes to both work and tourist trips. All major European capitals can be reached by car or plane from here within a few hours.
Dutch employers are amenable to workers from abroad. In particular, they value strong skills and qualifications among employees. The labour market in the Netherlands is constantly growing, so job offers in various industries are published throughout the year. Employment agencies look for workers for both seasonal and permanent jobs. Good wages and excellent working conditions, as well as the stability of employment, make the Netherlands a perfect destination for the economic emigration of the residents of central and eastern Europe.
Taking up a job in sectors such as agriculture or horticulture won’t require language skills or experience in most cases. Employers in the Netherlands also look for skilled professionals, which is connected with the fact that the Dutch embrace new technologies, which are very popular in the Netherlands. Openness towards foreign workers provides opportunities for professional development and upskilling. Working with an employment agency offers several benefits and a guarantee of safe and legal work.
The Netherlands is also a country rich in history and culture, with numerous monuments of architecture, museums, and theme parks. Amsterdam, famous for its 100 canals, 100 artificial islands, and some 1,200 bridges, making it known as the Venice of the North, is well worth a visit. Also, a visit to the Van Gogh Museum is recommendable. Other cities of interest are Rotterdam, with its modern buildings and harbour, Delft, known for its distinctive ceramics, and Utrecht, where St. Martin’s Cathedral is located. There are also many picturesque towns and villages scattered throughout the country, offering beautiful views and traditional architecture. The Netherlands is also known for its agriculture, particularly the cultivation of flowers including tulips. Blooming fields of tulips, a common sight in spring, are a great tourist attraction.
The Netherlands is a friendly and tolerant country, offering many opportunities both in terms of work and leisure. It’s a perfect place for people in taking a short tourist trip, as well as for those who plan to live there for a longer time or perhaps even permanently.