|Area:||41,526 sq km (16,485 sq mi)|
|Government:||Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy|
|Languages:||The official language is Dutch, which is spoken by a majority of the inhabitants, except for some groups of immigrants. The other official language is West Frisian, which is spoken in the northern province of Friesland. Everybody speaks Dutch here, but the Frisians are so protective of the minority language that ordering a beer in it might just get you the next one free.|
Immigrant languages are prominent in urban areas. They include Turkish, Arabic, Sranan-Tongo (Surinam) and Papiamento (Netherlands Antilles).
There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 70% of the total population have good knowledge of English, 55â€“59% of German and 19% of French. Some Dutch secondary schools also teach Latin and Ancient Greek. Education from an early age in English and other European languages (mostly German and French) makes the Dutch some of the most fluent polyglots on the continent.
|Religions:||While 45% of the Dutch population is not members of any religious community, the other 55% are distributed over a diversity of religions. 43.4% of the Dutch population is affiliated with a Christian church. The largest group, 26.6%, is Roman Catholic. The rest is distributed over a multitude of Protestant churches. The remaining 10% of the population belong to other religions, including Islam (5.8%), Hinduism (1.3%) and Buddhism (1.0%).|
|Electricity:||230V / 50Hz (European plug)|
|Drives:||on the right|
|Tips:||Tipping is not mandatory, but rounding bills up is the polite and kind thing to do. Usually keep 10% in mind when you tip.|
|Visas:||The Netherlands is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement. That means that a visa to any other signatory state of the Schengen Agreement is valid in the Netherlands too. No visa is required for citizens of other EU member states, and those of some selected nations with whom the European Union or the Netherlands have special treaties. Among them are Australia, Canada, USA, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Korea.|
|Airports:||Schiphol Airport (AMS) near Amsterdam is one of the largest airports in Europe and functions as major international hub of the Netherlands. There are also several other international airports in the Netherlands, mostly receiving low cost airlines, and charter flights. The second largest airport in the Netherlands, Eindhoven Airport (EIN) offers connections with various cities in the continental Europe and the UK, as do Rotterdam Airport (RTM), Groningen-Eelde Airport (GRQ) and Maastricht Aachen Airport (MST).|
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