Dutch Design Week 2023 Central Station
© Almicheal Fraay

In the spotlight

The Netherlands is so much more than tulips and windmills. It’s a country that is driven by a strong will to innovate, meaning it has been at the forefront of many new developments in the fields of architec-ture, design and fashion. Socially, the Netherlands have always been progressive, too – there is a strong LGBTQ+ culture and the country was the first in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The Netherlands is also a pioneer when it comes to sustainability initiatives and green policies. Find out more in the arti-cles linked below.

Texel beachcombing on the beach

Did you know that Dutch fashion has a strong reputation internationally for high-tech sustainability in-novations and bold designs? And Dutch Design is well-known all over the world, not just when it comes to fashion. Ever since the days of Gerrit Rietveld and the De Stijl movement, Dutch designers have taken the world by surprise with their bold, fresh and at times quirky ideas. But Dutch Design stands for more than that. The aim to make life more practical and fairer has always played a big role, and today, there is a strong focus on creating a sustainable and equal future.

Sustainability is also an important consideration to many travelers when planning their vacation. To keep their impact on the environment as low as possible, visitors have access to a huge selection of sustainable, beautiful and exciting accommodation options across the Netherlands, from elegant eco-hotels to yurts and lodges that bring you close to nature. Read our tips for a sustainable vacation in the Netherlands.

How about sustainable transport in the Netherlands? That’s an easy one: get on a bike. Cycling is in the country’s DNA, but do you know why? Read all about the Dutch love of cycling, including tips for planning your own cycling vacation and bike tours. We also share stories about how even the modest bike is subject to innovation here – because there’s nothing more Dutch than figuring out how things can be improved.

World Heritage in the Netherlands

But in fact, this is the one thing where there is nothing new: just visit the Dutch UNESCO World Heritage Sites and you will see a huge range of innovations from bygone times. Take the famous windmills of Kinderdijk: they might look picturesque and old-timey now, but at the time they were built, they were high-tech water management innovations. The same goes for less famous sites, which are also certainly worth a visit: Schokland in Flevoland, for example, or the Wouda pumping station, which is the largest steam-powered pumping station ever built, and is still operational. Used to prevent flooding during heavy storms, it’s been running on HVO renewable diesel since 2023.

Another domain in which the Dutch have always been reinventing their field is painting, from Rem-brandt and the other Dutch masters to Vincent van Gogh. On your vacation, you can discover many of the places and landscapes that inspired one of the greatest painters of all time. In rural areas, you can still see and feel how they influenced him.

Canal Parade Utrecht 2023 lady with bubbles

The Netherlands has also long been a pioneer when it comes to acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community (something that is becoming less unusual these days, thankfully). The country was the first to legalize same-sex marriage, and its larger cities are still great spots for LGBTQ+ culture – certainly during Pride, but it’s not limited to that. Discover the wide range of venues for yourself, from amazing night clubs to specialized bookstores.

Wander through the inspiring stories of the Netherlands

Girl works in atelier in Arnhem Modekwartier district
Category: Story

Dutch fashion: sustainable and innovative

Discover the innovative, sustainable fashion of the Netherlands. Get inspiration from the pioneers of Dutch fashion who are shaping the future of clothing with new technologies and a circular approach.

The word Slow written in front of Cabiner
Category: Story

How to enjoy a sustainable holiday in the Netherlands!

Tops tips for a fantastic green holiday in the Netherlands.

Van Gogh Huis Nieuw-Amsterdam Veenoord, Drenthe
Category: Story

Vincent van Gogh: shaped by the Dutch countryside

Explore the beautiful Dutch landscape that led Vincent van Gogh to become one of the greatest painters of all time. Follow in his footsteps and experience the natural beauty of Brabant and Drenthe.

Young woman cycles on a windy road in the Netherlands, wind turbines in the background
Category: Story

Cycling Lifestyle – How the Dutch spend their lives on bikes

Everyone cycles in the Netherlands – everywhere and all the time. Read our special cycling stories, meet cycling pioneers, and hop on a bike yourself to experience the Netherlands like a local.

Dutch Design Week Van Abbemuseum October 2022
Category: Story

Dutch Design – Innovating for a better world

Want to know more about that curious phenomenon of Dutch Design? We can tell you everything you need to know and all the best places to go for the best Dutch Design experiences during your visit to the Netherlands.

Utrecht Pride boat through canal with confetti
Category: Story

Pride in the Netherlands: experience and celebrate our vibrant LGBTIQ+ culture

Pride in the Netherlands: how to experience our vibrant LGBTIQ+ culture.

Aerial shot of Fort Everdingen part of Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie
Category: Story

Join us as we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Netherlands

We crisscross the Netherlands, past all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These places tell the unique story of our society and our eventful relationship with water.