Useful information on the Netherlands, commonly called Holland, named after the two main provinces, North Holland and South Holland, with all the things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation.
Holland in a nutshell
- Capital: Amsterdam
- Area in sq km: 41,864
- Number of inhabitants: 16,387,773 (first half of 2006)
- Religion: Catholic, Protestant, Islamic.
Where is it
The Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, is bathed in the north and northwest by the North Sea.
The Caribbean islands of the Netherlands Antilles and the island of Aruba are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, usually called Holland.
The name Holland would indicate only the two provinces of North Holland (Noord-Holland) and South Holland (Zuid-Holland).
The Dutch territory is flat, the highest point is Vaalserberg (321 m above sea level) in the southeastern end of the country.
Much of the land is located at a level close to that of the sea and must be defended by barriers, in fact vast expanses of land have been torn from the sea through a system of embankments, dams and canals (the polders) and have been used for cultivation .
The main rivers that cross the Netherlands: Scheldt, Meuse and Rhine form a branched delta, whose main branches are: Waal, IJssel, Lek, Amstel.Recommended readings
- Amsterdam (Netherlands): what to see in the capital of Holland
- Netherlands (Holland): useful information
- Rotterdam (Holland): what to see in the city of Erasmus
These water courses cross the center of the country from east to west and together with numerous navigable canals divide the country into two parts, also influencing its cultural aspect, in fact in the population there are dialectal and religious differences between those who live in the northern part and the southern one of the country.
In the northern and western parts of the country there are numerous small lakes.
The climate of the Netherlands is temperate oceanic.
The average temperature in winter remains a few degrees above 0; frosts and mists are frequent. Summer is cool and rainy.
The average summer temperature fluctuates around 18 ° / 20 ° C.
The majority of the population is made up of Dutch people whose main nucleus is made up of Flemings (they derive from a Celtic group settled in the territory in the 4th century) and Friesians (they are the descendants of the first inhabitants of the country) who live in Friesland.
Ethnic minorities living in Holland come from: Turkey, Morocco, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles, Italy and Germany.
The Netherlands have the same time as Italy throughout the year.
The official language is Dutch. In Friesland, in addition to Dutch, Frisian (a language officially recognized in all the Netherlands) is also spoken.
In addition there are numerous Saxon and Francophone dialects such as Nedersaksisch and Limburgs. The majority of the population knows English and has knowledge of French and German.
The Netherlands has a very advanced economy.
Most of the national income comes from the service sector (transport, distribution, banks, insurance companies) followed by industry and agriculture.
The most developed industrial sectors are the chemical industry, oil refineries, the electrical and electronics industry, the food industry.
Mechanized agriculture, while using a minimal part of the workforce, supplies large quantities of products and allows the country to be at the top of the world agricultural export rankings.
When to go
The best time to visit Holland is summer. Spring is also very beautiful with blooming tulip fields.
In order to enter Holland, Italian citizens need an identity card valid for travel abroad or a passport.
The country is part of the European Union and adheres to the Schengen agreement.
The international prefix to call from Italy to Holland is: 0031 followed by the prefix of the city without the zero and the subscriber number.
The international code to call from Holland to Italy is: 0039 followed by the city code with the zero and the subscriber number.
GSM phones work regularly.
The electric current is 220 V 50 Hz.
The official currency is the euro. Credit cards are accepted and it is possible to make cash withdrawals at bank ATMs, especially in larger cities.
How to get
Shiphol (Amsterdam) is the main Dutch airport.
The Dutch flag carrier Klm, Alitalia and the low cost airlines EasyJet, Ryanair and Transavia fly from various Italian airports to Holland.
From Italy it is possible to reach Holland by crossing the Brenner Pass, Austria and Germany or through the Gotthard Pass, Switzerland and Germany.
There are no direct connections between Italy and Holland. Starting from Milan you have to change in Brussels or Cologne.
Eurolines connects Amsterdam to the main Italian cities.