Small, but densely populated, the Netherlands is a country which projects a lot of stereotypes. The reality is both less and more than might be expected. You can be sure though that SITU has great serviced apartments all across the Netherlands to assist business travel.
‘The Netherlands’ means ‘lower countries’, as about a quarter of the land in this small, but seventeen million populated continental country is below sea-level. Around 15 million tourists visited the country last year, a 5% increase compared to the previous year, which has contributed to such national diversity. Around 40% of all foreign visitors visited Amsterdam last year. Possessing the legacy of the 17th century Golden Age, Amsterdam holds all the keys for the Netherlands economic success but is also, as a result, the fourth most densely populous European city.
Germany and Belgium border in the east and south respectively, whilst its long coastline to the North Sea made overseas access popular for colonisation from empires, such as the Vikings. The country’s most significant example of foreign dispute was the Dutch Revolt. This stretched over eighty years between 1568 and 1648, as Dutch rebelled against the Roman Catholic Habsburg empire who possessed the state at the time. The revolt was a success, and the Union of Utrecht was formed, leading to the Independence of the Dutch Republic in 1581. Despite remaining natural throughout the World Wars, its inevitable impacts still forced the country into a twentieth-century period of reconstruction. However, modern-day rapid economic growth has meant the Netherlands is now one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, popular for business travel.
GDP per capita in the Netherlands is over €40,000, making the Dutch economy one of the richest in the world. It’s a European trade hub, consisting of Europe's largest port and specialises in exports such as foodstuffs, electricals, natural gas and medicine. Economic surplus is plentiful thanks to profitable trade relations and the country’s consumers are willing to spend more on the increasing amount on offer. All of these economic improvements have paved the way for the country to be the sixth happiest place to live on earth, consequently increasing the demand for serviced accommodation construction.
The country’s open attitude towards global trade, foreign investment and the judicial system’s strong protection over property rights helped Netherlands rank as the 17th freest in the world on the Business Freedom Index. International businesses are welcome, with 50% of Dutch GDP deriving internationally. Therefore, the Dutch government has introduced policies over recent years to help improve the business climate for international companies. An example of this is the top-draw infrastructure, ranking third in the world for overall logistic performance, which enables visitors easy movement throughout the country and its borders. In fact, 22% of all EU road transport passes through the Netherlands. It has never been easier for expats to conduct business in the Netherlands, and our Netherlands serviced apartments make the venture even easier.
The Dutch drive on the right side of the road, and wide use of speed cameras and speed traps suppress chances of road accidents. You’ll most likely avoid paying tolls though unless travelling through the tunnels Westerschelde and Kil, charging up to €5. No excessive documentation is necessary for driving. You only require your national license and typical vehicle documentation. On the whole, driving in the Netherlands is safe and straightforward, but it is important to keep your wits about you.
The business traveller coming to an aparthotel in the Netherlands may consider a push bike though as a way of getting around. It is the safest country in the world to ride a bike in, and the number of bikes in the Netherlands is more than its population. The Netherlands also has a reputation for being clean, tidy and well-maintained. Whilst not illegal, littering is frowned upon. Otherwise, Netherlands local law is not too unusual and belongs as you respect the culture and public freedoms, your trip should be hassle-free.
Dutch visa requirements state that nationals of the EU and Switzerland are exempt from all visa requirements. Citizens of Australia, Canada and the US are just some of the dozens of countries eligible to spend up to 90 days in the Netherlands without a tourist visa. A full list of visa-exempt countries and Schengen specifications can be found at www.netherlandsandyou.nl.
The corporate traveller coming to serviced apartments in the Netherlands may well have certain images in their minds; clogs, tulips and windmills. True, there are over 1,000 traditional windmills still standing in the Netherlands, and yes, there are about six million clogs produced in the country each year, but tulips aren’t even native to the Netherlands. If you are insistent though on seeing tulips, be sure to visit the ‘Garden of Europe’ on the outskirts of Lisse. Keukenhof is the world’s largest public garden, spreading seventy acres and showcases over seven hundred different types of tulips.
Full of art and culture, Amsterdam’s museums are a must visit. The Rijksmuseum caters to the art enthusiasts. Its extensive collection amounts to over seven million works of arts obtained since 1809, showcasing traditional Dutch medieval sculpture, handicrafts and recent artistic flair. The Anne Frank Museum portrays a different sense of nationalism. Telling the incredible story of Anne, whose family hid for much of WWII in a house in Prinsengracht, this museum brings the young girl’s diary to life. Anne’s iconic legacy lives proudly today through this museum’s amazing representation of her story. Amsterdam and its amazing museums are easily accessible when booking serviced apartments through SITU.
The Netherlands holds a handful of unique traits. Its history, culture, capital and economic prosperity is like no other nation in Europe or the world. This exclusivity attracts corporates to conduct business here every year, and SITU has a range of serviced accommodation in the Netherlands to assist these business ventures.
The main international airport of the Netherlands is the third busiest in Europe, serving nearly seventy million passengers each year. Schiphol is rated by business travellers as the best airport in Europe.
Schiphol is located only nine miles south-west of Amsterdam’s city centre. The airport has a train station that serves way beyond Amsterdam, and taxis, buses and shuttles provide, swift travel close to Amsterdam’s serviced apartments. For short trips on any of this transportation, you will most likely spend less than 20 Euros.
However, there are no domestic flights in the Netherlands.
All of Netherland's rail lines go through this company, and they cover virtually every town and city in the country. The network covers 2,000 miles of track.
The high-speed NS trains run services through Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda. A two-day unlimited travel ticket across Amsterdam costs only € 21.
Both buses and trams are the most efficient ways of travelling regionally and through the Netherlands. Tram and bus networks are extensive and connect travellers to most locations in the country.
Definitely worthwhile purchasing is the OV-chipkaart smartcard. These can be used for all forms of public transport. These can be purchased at any bus station and enable people to top up their card in order to benefit from cheaper tickets compared to the standard one-use tickets.
Tram Line 2 in Amsterdam is regarded as one of the world’s best tram rides in terms of sightseeing.