When to Go

This part of Holland is at its best in late spring or early autumn. High summer means too many visitors, and touring in winter often puts you at the mercy of the weather (bring your umbrella year-round). For flora lovers, mid- to late April is ideal for a trip around Haarlem, as the fields are bright with spring bulbs. Many restaurants are closed Sunday (also Monday); museums tend to close Monday.

If you're into the arts, you might prefer to schedule your trip to catch the world-renowned International Film Festival Rotterdam, where 300 noncommercial films are screened in late January and early February If a jazz lover, time your arrival in Rotterdam to coincide with the North Sea Jazz Festival, which takes place over three days in mid-July.

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