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It is a fact —the Dutch know how to live well. Nowhere is this more evident than in the non-conformist identity of liberal Amsterdam, which mixes world-renowned painters, beautiful architecture, and popular museums with street-side artists, pavement cafés, the red-light district, and loads of attitude. Go past the famous windmills in Kinderdijk and fields of tulips in Keukenhof on your way to Maastricht. With its Roman ruins, Michelin-starred restaurants, and sophisticated air, you'd be right in thinking that Maastricht is just a little bit posh
Visit the seat of European politics at The Hague, the country's biggest port city at Rotterdam, or wander through the streets of Vermeer's hometown in Delft. If you're looking to get some exercise, hop on a bike and pedal away. Holland is one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world and you will feel like a local as you coast along the city streets and countryside lanes.
Stock up on Dutch cheese like Gouda and Edam or dip into a traditional stamppot. For a perfect end to your meal, order a poached pear or proffertjes while sipping on local witbier, bitters, or advocat.
Schipol (AMS) is one of Europe's busiest airports and also the main gateway to the Netherlands. Air Transat and KLM have direct flights from Canada's main airports to Amsterdam while other airlines such as Air Canada, Continental, Delta, US Airways, United, Lufthansa, and Swiss fly the same route with one or more stopovers. Although not as busy as Schipol, there are other international airports at Eindhoven (EIN), Maastricht (MST), Rotterdam (RTM), Groningen (GRQ), and Lelystad (LEY). It is also possible to get to the Netherlands via Brussels (BRU) or Dusseldorf (DUS).
There's no escaping the rain completely, but if you visit in March, you may have more hours of sun than at any other time of year. An all-weather coat will serve you well as the weather can change quite rapidly over the course of a single day. The peak tourist season runs from June to August when most Europeans are on holiday. This is a good time to avoid travelling to the Netherlands because besides the crowds, the weather is hot, sticky, and still very wet.
May to March or September to October are good shoulder seasons to visit in, when you can catch either the flower season, Koninginnedag (Queen's Day), or the last of the summer rays. Pass up on travel during the winter period from November to February. It may be cheaper, but most tourist spots will be closed, and you can depend on near freezing temperatures, snow, or at very least, lots of rain.