Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of Holland. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century). It is the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe. The oldest stock exchange in the world, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, is located in the city center.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, just 14km outside Amsterdam, is Holland's main international airport. It is also one of the major European airport transit hubs efficiently handling over 40 million business and tourist passengers per year. The Dutch national airline, KLM, is based there. Over 100 other airlines fly into Schiphol. In 2012, Schiphol Group announced a big airport expansion featuring a new pier. When the new terminal is finished in 2023, Schiphol will be able to handle over 70 million passengers annually.
Rotterdam city & Brainport
The city of Eindhoven, in the south of Holland, lies in the heart of the innovative top technology region Brainport. Brainport defines Holland's competitiveness in finding solutions to the major challenges faced by society. Brainport’s strength lies in the combination of high-tech and design, and the unique Triple Helix model of collaboration between businesses, government and educational and research institutions.
It seizes the opportunities generated by the rapidly changing world around us and, as an accelerator for high-tech growth, help boost the economy and create a sustainable, healthy, safe and secure society.
Brainport has pushed the envelope to become the beating heart of high-tech Europe, developing strong specialisation in fields like mechatronics, robotics and advanced materials. Brainport is a major contributor of national export and dominates the top of Dutch R&D companies. This creates many new jobs both in and beyond the region.
The second largest city in Holland is Rotterdam, located geographically within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. Since the Middle Ages Rotterdam slowly grew into a major logistic and economic centre.
Port of Rotterdam
Nowadays it is home to Europe's largest port. Approximately 30,000 seagoing vessels and 110,000 inland vessels visit the port of Rotterdam every year.
The rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt give waterway access into the heart of Western Europe, including the highly industrialized Ruhr region in Germany. The extensive distribution system including rail, roads and waterways have earned Rotterdam the nickname "Gateway to Europe".