The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. A Bicameral Parliament benignly governs the country and sits in The Hague. Though it is a small, flat country with an area of only 41,500 km2 and a population of only 16.5 million, the Netherlands offers a diversity of views as you traverse it from the North to the South and from the West to the East.
The name Netherlands stands for below lying earth and unsurprisingly, 40% of the country’s surface area is located below sea level. Unofficial name of the Netherlands is Holland. It usually used in stead of the Netherlands. More than 40% of the population lives in an agglomeration of cities comprised of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht.
The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam. Known as much for art as for commerce, Amsterdam grew into a global trade centre, growing hugely rich, its riches reflected in its architectural masterpieces that even today entice the whole world. Today Amsterdam is home to over 780000 people from 180 different countries—a true melting pot of the world’s cultures.
Dutch is the official language and English is commonly spoken since the country promotes communication in two languages.
Holland has one of the most open economies in the world and ranks fifth as a global exporter. Stork, Heineken, Shell, Akzo Nobel, Uniliver, ING Group and Philips are a few of the giant Dutch companies with a global presence. While Rotterdam is famed for being the largest seaport, Amsterdam proudly has Schiphol, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.
Climate in the Netherlands is moderate, averaging 1 to 3 degrees C in January and 18 to 19 deg. C. in July. Travel is always a soul lifting experience, whether it is in modern well laid out cities or the rolling, verdant countryside, often carpeted with a landscape of vivid flowers.