country code: NL
languages: Dutch, Frisian
EU membership: yes
NATO membership: yes
GPS: 52 30 N, 5 45 E
European Union Euro: EUR
1EUR = 1.2656 USD
Travel advices and warnings Netherlands
||Tourism is an important economic sector in the Netherlands. The country receives some 10 million foreign visitors every year, primarily from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Belgium. 
The Netherlands is a densely populated country. Amsterdam is the capital and largest city known for its many canals, historic buildings, red light district (De Wallen) and cannabis coffee shops. One can purchase and use cannabis without fear of prosecution in the Netherlands, which is rare for most western countries, and has led to a large number of "drug tourists" from abroad. Amsterdam is also a city of rich culture and history with popular attractions like the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (national museum), Rembrandt House Museum and Anne Frank House.
||The Netherlands has a maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. The average temperature is 2° C (36° F ) in January and 19° C (66° F ) in July, with an annual average of about 10° C (50° F ). Clouds generally appear every day, and in the winter months fog often abounds, while rainfall occurs frequently. Average annual rainfall is about 76. 5 cm (30 in). The mild, damp climate is ideal for dairying and livestock raising, but the limited sunshine restricts the growing of food crops.
Read more: Climate - Netherlands - average, crops, annual, temperature http://www. nationsencyclopedia. com/Europe/Netherlands-CLIMATE. html#ixzz1ZKnFIv3H
||Dutch culture, or the culture of the Netherlands, is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the foreign influences thanks to the merchant and exploring spirit of the Dutch and the influx of immigrants. The Netherlands and Dutch people have played an important role for centuries as a culturally liberal and tolerant centre, with the Dutch Golden Age regarded as the zenith.
||Dutch cuisine is shaped by the agricultural produce and history of the Netherlands. It is characterized by its somewhat limited diversity in dishes, the high consumption of vegetables when compared to the consumption of meat, and the wholesomeness of the dishes.
Because of the Dutch colonial past, there has been a considerable Asian influence on Dutch cuisine. From the 16th century onwards all sorts of spices mainly from the Dutch Indies were introduced into Dutch cuisine. Hence many traditional Dutch dishes are (heavily) flavoured with Southeast Asian herbs and spices. Later Indonesian dishes such as nasi goreng, rice with chicken or pork, became part of Dutch cuisine. Because of this, local Chinese takeaway restaurants in the Netherlands also have considerable Indonesian influences, leading many restaurants to style themselves "Chinese-Indonesian".
||The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost all people in the Netherlands. Dutch is also spoken in Flanders and Suriname. It is a West Germanic, Low Franconian language that originated in the Early Middle Ages (c. 470) and was standardized in the 16th century.
||Shopping in The Netherlands can be one of the more enjoyable activies in the country. There are multiple areas for great shopping in The Netherlands, with many of them being concentrated in Amsterdam. Whether you plan to do your shopping in The Netherlands or shopping in Amsterdam, you will find that Netherlands currency is the same across the board. Shopping in small villages outside the larger city limits can also be a lot of fun.
||Along with many other European Union countries, the Netherlands adopted the Euro (€) as its monetary unit in 2002. If coming from another country where the Euro is in use, therefore, there is no longer a need for travellers or expats to exchange their currency on arrival in the Netherlands. Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros, while coins are in denominations of 1 and 2 Euros and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents (100 cents = 1 Euro).
Money in other currencies can be changed into Euros at banks, post offices or at the GWK exchange bureaus which can be found at the airports, major railways stations and in other tourist areas. There is no informal currency exchange market operating legally in the Netherlands, and all of the banks and exchange bureaus are required to use prevailing exchange rates, which should be publicly displayed. There is usually a charge for changing currency, although this may be discounted for students on provision of an international student card.