The struggle between the Netherlands and the impeding waters is an eternal one. Seeing as the country lies predominantly below sea level, keeping the water at bay remains a true achievement. How has this formed the Netherlands and its inhabitants as a result? Does the country still face the same challenges it did in the past? Read more and experience Holland's water world up close!
The eternal battle against water has made the Netherlands the resilient country it is today. Read more on how you can experience the Dutch water world first hand!
Multicultural thanks to international trade
Not only have the Dutch remained successfully resilient in its fight against water, it has managed to use it to its advantage as well. The waters empowered them in becoming a formidable player in global trade. This led to the development of several harbours and port cities throughout the country, Amsterdam and Rotterdam being the largest. Thanks to their locations close to the sea, both cities have benefitted from a rich exposure to different cultures that have formed their multicultural identity. This tremendous diversity is still seen in their shops, markets and restaurants. Explore the different worldly delicacies in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, or visit the Maritime Museum!
Waterways through the city
Water has also been effectively used in the inner cities. During construction of the canal system, roads were in very poor condition. It was thanks to these waterways that locals were able to trade and get their produce to town. These waterways and canal systems can still be admired today in Utrecht and Amsterdam. Take a popular canal cruise in Amsterdam or explore Utrecht by canoe!
The Dutch coast
The majority of the Netherlands shares its border with the North Sea. This means plenty of perfect spots for water sports or to escape the summer heat. Coastal hubs Scheveningen and Zandvoort are great for surfing, kite boarding or jet skiing! For those who live in the area, the dunes form a natural protective border against the sea and serve as an ideal backdrop during a stroll. Properly unwind with the sounds of waves lapping the beach and a cool breeze through you hair.
Next to heaps of fun the sea is also a rich source of Dutch delicacies. Fishermen have for centuries braved the rough waters to bring back herring, cod and sole. Should you find yourself somewhere along the coast then be sure to try one, two or all three! Herring is eaten raw, occasionally with pickles and onions. Cod is coated in a thick batter and deep fried to make 'kibbeling' which you can eat in combination with different sauces. A real Dutch treat!