Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. With its many universities, academies, and research institutes, along with more than 40 museums, numerous theatres, and entertainment venues, Amsterdam is the country’s leading cultural centre. In addition, the city is famous for its historic homes. Many picturesque bridges link the city’s 90 islands, eight of them old wooden bascule bridges, including the Mager Bridge, one of the city’s most frequently photographed.
As the seat of the country’s parliament and residence of the Dutch royal family, exploring The Hague reveals a wealth of historic monuments, quaint neighbourhoods and hip hangouts. The Hague also offers both luxury and a laidback attitude: the city has some of the most stunning palaces and museums, but its location on the coast makes it a haven for beach lovers and people seeking a destination that’s perfect for taking some time out from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
The second largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam lies on both banks of the Nieuwe Maas, the tidal southern arm of the Rhine, where it’s joined by the little River Rotte. It’s also the world’s largest port, home to the massive Europoort facility. Although almost completely destroyed by German air attacks in 1940, central Rotterdam was energetically rebuilt after the war and re-planned with modern shopping streets, residential districts, and high-rises, making it one of the most modern and architecturally interesting cities in Europe.