Total area: 41.528 km²
Total population: > 16,5 million
Gouvernmental seat: The Hague
Official languages: Dutch, Frisian
Average temperature in July: 17.4 °C
Average temperature in January: 2.8 °C
Important Dutch cities are: Rotterdam, with one of the largest harbors of the world, Utrecht, the main traffic intersection, Groningen, student city and important in the North and finally Eindhoven, the fifth biggest city in The Netherlands. The oldest cities of the Netherlands are Maastricht and Nijmegen, both founded by the Romans more than two thousand years ago.
The Netherlands is known as a tolerant and liberal country. The use of soft drugs is allowed - but only small amounts and for personal use!
There are some national dishes that are considered uniquely Dutch. The “Dutch pot” (Hollandse pot) is traditional and consists of three components: boiled potatoes, boiled vegetables and meat with gravy. The gravy is typically poured over the potatoes, which are then sometimes mashed on the plate with a fork. If that’s not unsophisticated enough for you, perhaps try eating the first herring of the season, simply called “Dutch new” (Hollandse nieuwe). These herring are salted and eaten raw – the trick is to simply hold the tail and lift the herring up, then bring the herring slowly to your mouth! Other well-known dishes are a stew with carrots (hutspot), a stew with curly kale (boerenkoolstamppot) or sauerkraut (zuurkoolstamppot), accompanied by smoked sausage (rookworst) and diced bacon. The rookworst can be bought at the supermarket, but many Dutch swear the Hema rookworst is the best!
Popular sports in The Netherlands are football, hockey, tennis, cycling, golf, volleyball, korfball, handball, swimming and ice skating.