Discover More, the Netherlands by Kitty de Jong in the Netherlands

We sent Kitty a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Netherlands to get her perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in her hometown.

Although I didn’t intent to, I couldn’t help but take photos of typical Dutch things such as windmills, cows, dunes and the Amsterdam canals. They are a big part of the landscape in this part of the country, and these are the things that make Holland unique.

Name:Kitty de Jong

Place you live? Amsterdam, the Netherlands

How would you describe the Netherlands? The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country. Much of its land has been reclaimed from the sea. About 25% of the country lies below sea level and is protected by dunes, dikes and seawalls. Water is everywhere in Holland and you‘ll always find lots of people enjoying themselves on or along the rivers, lakes and sea.

Can you sum up the people of the Netherlands?  It’s hard to describe the Dutch in a few words; the people are so diverse. It’s a culturally diverse country, especially in the large cities. I think that one of the characteristics of Dutch people is that they are very down-to-earth and don’t like showoffs. There is a Dutch saying, “doe maar gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg”. This loosely translates to: “just act normal, then you’re acting crazy enough as it is!” But when we celebrate King’s Day or a Dutch soccer team win, the whole country turns orange (the color of the Dutch royal family) and parties together.

What was it like looking through a DK Eyewitness travel guide of your hometown? It was very interesting – familiar and new at the same time. Places I normally take for granted became so much more interesting with the information from the guide.

Did you find anything new or inspiring about your city in the book? I loved the foldout pages of the canal houses! The drawings are great and the information about the houses is a welcome extra. I pass these houses all the time. The book made me pay more attention to them. I felt like a tourist in my own city.

How did the guide influence the photos you took of Amsterdam? After looking through the guide I wanted to visit so many places! It was hard narrowing it down. I chose to explore the area around Amsterdam to show you don’t have to go far from the city to see some typical Dutch landscapes. I wasn’t the only one inspired by DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Netherlands. When my children looked through the guide they wanted to see a lot of places! Together we visited Muiden and took the ferry to Forteiland Pampu. We also went to the Veluwe in Gelderland and visited the Kröller-Müller Museum.

Occupation: Self employed

What is a perfect day in the Netherlands? A perfect day starts with a sunny morning. I would head to the center of Amsterdam for lunch with a friend on the terrace of one of the many nice, small cafes where we can watch people pass. The day would end with a walk on the beach with my husband, kids and dog. We’d sit down in one of the beach restaurants and watch the sky change colors while the sun sets into the sea.

What do you love about the Netherlands? It’s a small country and from where I live I can easily visit beaches, woods, lakes, and other cities. Going everywhere in Amsterdam by bike gives me a sense of freedom.

What do you dislike? Wherever you go on your bike, it always seems you have headwind. Also, because the country is small we don’t have endless woods or unspoiled nature.

What would be surprising about the Netherlands to an outsider? We don’t walk on wooden shoes (all the time.) Also, the Netherlands’ highest point is 323 meters (about 1059 feet) high and is therefore considered a “mountain.”

If your city was a person or character who would they be? An orchestra – when working together we can create something beautiful!

What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: The Netherlands? I loved the illustrations, and the photos of the sights with explanations. This makes the guide easy to read and you really get a feeling of the place in one glance. I also liked the lovely drawn maps of the city and regions with recommended routes for getting around.


We have teamed up with our friends at DK Eyewitness Travel to bring you a VERY exciting giveaway. 20 DK Eyewitness Travel Guides and 2 big Global Yodel prints are up for grabs! Who wants them? Jump over HERE to win! 




Name:Kitty de Jong



Best place to eat?

De Bakkerswinkel for a great breakfast or lunch.

Best place to drink?

Café de Jaren. When the weather is nice have a drink on the lovely terrace.

Best place to shop?

De 9 Straatjes is a nice area of small streets with shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants.

Local tip?

Take the ferry behind Central Station to the north part of Amsterdam; it’s free and the locals use it to cross the IJ lake. There are three ferries. You can go to Eye Film Museum and have a drink there while looking at all the boats passing by. Or take the ferry to NDSM-Warf; it’s an up-and-coming creative place with festivals and exhibitions. There are some unique spots here where you can drink, shop, eat and sleep. There’s even a city beach!

If someone was visiting what must they do?

Hire a bike and explore the city and the surroundings. The locals are not always pleased with the large number of tourists on bikes so be prepared for irritated looks coming your way. It’s nothing personal!