Amsterdam is virtually unique in having all the advantages of a big city - culture, history, good food, entertainment, and extensive public transport - with relatively few of the disadvantages. It is physically small, relatively quiet, and, thanks largely to its canals, has relatively little traffic. Yet the city still has much to offer: a wide range of places of interest, historic monuments, and over 50 museums. Art and antiques are on sale in picturesque quarters, while the latest fashions and upmarket products abound in the chic shopping streets. For a relaxed evening out it is possible to visit one of the city’s many cinemas or cosy cafés. If clubbing is more your style, there is a large choice of dance venues and nightclubs. In Amsterdam it is not easy to become bored.
The Netherlands - also known as Holland - is a small country with approximately 16 million inhabitants, centrally located among the metropolitan centres of Paris, Berlin, and London. Despite its small size, the country has a large active economy. As an exporter, the Netherlands ranks sixth in the world and third for agricultural products. It also occupies sixth place on the list of global investors. In addition to its proximity to some of Europe’s major urban centres, the Netherlands’ location on Europe’s coastline has also had an enormous influence on the country’s economic development. The Port of Rotterdam is the second largest in the world, so it is no idle boast to describe the Netherlands as the ‘gateway to Europe’.