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Word Cup Travel Face-Off: Chile vs. the Netherlands

SmarterTravel

We’ll soon see how the Netherlands and Chile do on the field, but in the meantime, let’s find out which country wins in a travel destination face-off.

Food

Chile: With Spanish and Latin American influences, Chilean food boasts beef empanadas, an array of seafood dishes, spicy causes, stews, and now wines from its rapidly expanding vineyards.

Must try dish: Curanto, a seafood, meat, and vegetable dish that requires five people and a five-foot hole in the ground to make.

Netherlands: While the Dutch brought us fluffy pancakes and deep-fried meat balls, their national dish, stamppot (kale, mashed potatoes, and rookworst) is definitely an acquired taste.

Must try dish: Oliebollen, the Dutch version of pancakes.

Winner: Chile. Five people may not be enough to win a match, but it definitely makes a culinary statement.

Capital City  

Chile: Santiago has 32 districts, each with their unique flavor and sights—from hot springs to cathedrals “the City of Island Hills” will not disappoint. However, while beautiful, the city is often hit by earthquakes and little of the original Spanish architecture remains.

Must see spot: La Moneda Palace and the newly built Plaza de la Ciudadanía.

Netherlands: Amsterdam has undergone major economic and social changes since the 1980s, creating a safer, cleaner, and squatter-free city.

 Must see spot: The Rijksmuseum, home to many of the world’s Rembrandts, Vermeers, and Steens.

Winner: Netherlands. Even if Vermeer hadn’t painted centuries before Netherland’s first football team, we’re still pretty sure he wouldn’t have made the cut.

Main Attraction

Chile: Geography. From the Andes to the Lake District, the jagged coast is a hiker’s paradise with endless inlets, mountains, glaciers, and volcanic islands.

Netherlands: The Keukenhof tulip gardens. Only open in April and May, the park is home to over 7 million flower bulbs planted in a pristine collection.

Winner: Chile. A hike up Ojos del Salado Volcano is sure to be a great workout for the Roja.

Best Kept Secret  

Chile: Easter Island. Somewhere off in the Pacific, this Chilean island is both a historical wonder and an archeological masterpiece.

Netherlands: Holland’s seaside. Home to Europe’s tallest lighthouse, fishing communities, and popular beach resorts, the Dutch travel here on summer weekends.

Winner: Chile. Clearly born out of a love of soccer (imagine the headers), Easter Island wins this match.

Claim to Fame

Chile: Coastline. The country refers to itself as the “longest country in the world,” and while its coastline is impressive, Canada, the U.S., Russia, and Indonesia all lay similar claim.

Netherlands: Coffee shops and the Red Light District. Need we say more…

Winner: Netherlands. The liberal laws make them a hometown (and worldwide) favorite.  

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