Exploring

Netherlands

Netherlands? Holland? Netherlands! If it weren’t for Google, I wouldn’t have known why the country is simultaneously called Holland. But the accurate name of the country is the Netherlands, and it is known for tulips and windmills. The country is very flat, so mountain lovers will be disappointed. However, the canals in virtually all the cities and the accessible beaches are quite worth the trip. The mashed-up culture and English proficiency of the locals are also in my book of positivity about life in the Netherlands. I even so much as enjoy the amount of cyclists and bike-friendly lane, for if you are a local, you will surely know how to ride a bicycle.

English-speakers should find the Netherlands very easy to live in. While most flock to Amsterdam, I found myself leaning towards other cities such as Utrecht and Rotterdam. Take the time to visit them since they are all in close proximities with Amsterdam, and I think you will see why.

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Trip Budgeting

Expenses in the Netherlands can be moderate. The country is a haven for hostels, some of them rated best in the world, although it can also be on the slightly expensive side. You can find cheap eats if not splurging on restaurants. Public transport between cities however can be expensive, so make the most out of day trips if you take any to other cities. After that, renting a bicycle might be the best way to get around if journeying further than your feet can carry.

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Staying Safe

The Netherlands is relatively safe for female solo travellers. However, there are parts of the cities that are deemed unsafe at night and sometimes even in the daylight, and should thus be avoided. The general concerns in the cities otherwise are pickpockets and bicycle thefts, so always keep your belongings close to you and lock your bicycle, even if it is rented.

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Packing Light

Be prepared for the warmth and the chill of four seasons. Depending on the months and locations, you should pack what you need to cater to the weather. Summer is the easiest with light dressing, but you will need your jumper and coat for the dead midst of winter. The weather is very unpredictable with rain, so make sure to at least have raingear to avoid getting caught in a shower.

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Travel REstrictions

As of March 2022, there is still an effective ban on travellers arriving from countries not belonging to the European Union or Schengen area, else there is a quarantine required. Those allowed must be fully vaccinated. Most local measures have been lifted. For more information, I use Safety Wing's Borderless.

Stories from Netherlands

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