This low-lying nation is known for its colourful tulip fields, long, straight lanes and relaxed attitude towards foreign visitors. The Netherlands is also famous for its artists such as Piet Mondrian and Vincent van Gogh as well as visitor attractions such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which attracts visitors from all over the world every year.
Taking a stroll through Amsterdam and its many parks is an ideal way to spend an afternoon, but there’s more to do. You could go shopping, go on a boat ride around the canals of Rotterdam; watch a football match in somewhere like Eindhoven or perhaps go on a bike ride into the countryside and see the tulip fields up close.
What are the roads like in the Netherlands?
A lot of roads here are pretty smooth and straight, making it pretty easy to navigate and find your way around. A grid system is in place in many of the major towns and cities. Some roads in rural areas are prone to flooding from time to time, especially in the north where some of them are actually below sea level.
How will I find the drivers in the Netherlands?
You’ll find that many drivers in the Netherlands polite and courteous. Road rage isn’t quite as big a problem as it is in, say, the UK, partly owing to the way in which roads are laid out in many towns. Effective policing of traffic helps to keep arguments between drivers to a minimum, even in the heaviest of traffic jams.
What are the best times to drive?
In the morning, the best thing to do in the major cities and towns like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag is to wait until after 9am when the rush hour traffic dies down. As for the evenings, waiting until 6.30pm at the earliest to drive is ideal to avoid being caught in a jam. Saturdays tend to be a little busier than Sundays, especially towards Christmas.
What are the driving laws?
All drivers must have a valid UK driving licence including paperwork, a GB sticker on the back of your car (unless your car has Euro-plates), your motor insurance certificate and VS registration document/hire car paperwork. Drivers must also travel with a warning triangle in the vehicle at all times. It is compulsory to wear seatbelts in both the front and rear seats of the vehicle. Children under 12 and/or shorter than 4ft 5in should be seated in an appropriate restraint.
In the Netherlands, you don’t have to pay motorway tolls, so don’t worry about needing a little spare change in case.
Children aged three or under are required by law to sit in the back using a suitable seat restraint.
Trams have priority over cars so you must give way to trams at all times.
In urban areas, you’re only allowed to sound your horn in extreme circumstances.