What is the difference between Holland and the Netherlands?
Much like the previous question, people often confuse the two by failing to understand their distinctions. Essentially, Holland comprises only a small portion of the Netherlands. In fact, there are actually two Hollands: north and south. It was once an independent country ruled by a count with its own system for money, measurement, time, etc. that by virtue of wars against the Spanish in the 16th century became incorporated into what is now known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
At one time, Holland included key cities like Amsterdam, Haarlem, and The Hague. The tourist should also note that referring to the Netherlands as Holland with some Dutch citizens can be construed as an insult/faux pas depending on what region the individual might be from. See www.holland.com