Amsterdam is a cool and vibrant city that doesn't really need a description: there's a whole lot to see and to do, including the world-famous Red Light District with its coffee shops and live attractions. Take a boat ride on the canals for nice views of the main sights.

Close to Amsterdam, in Noordwijk, you'll find ESTEC, one of the most important centres of the European Space Agency. ESTEC hosts an open day event once a year with lots of cool space stuff on display. My visit included models of ESA's most important missions (including the Rosetta mission and its Philae lander that landed on a comet); a view of ESTEC operations including a centrifuge experiment and the assembly of the actual BepiColombo mission launched to Mercury in 2017, a model of the IXV space plane and a cool experiment that showed cosmic rays in action.

If you can't make it to ESTEC's open day, you'll find the Space Expo nearby which is open year round and hosts more cool stuff, including a mockup of ESA's Columbus module on the ISS, models of missions and other assorted space gear.

The Netherlands is small and easy to explore. My recommendations outside of Amsterdam are the cities of Utrecht, Eindhoven and the Hague. Go for a scenic drive in the countryside as well, and visit the country's trademark windmills (Kinderdijk is a good spot).

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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