The first time I visited was in March 1984. I had two very small children in tow, one in a pushchair and one in a babysling. I was amazed and delighted by the Dutch response: they liked small children. In restaurants, instead of frowning or saying 'we don't admit children', they would ask 'May we give the little boy an ice cream?' (yes!) I did a lot of travelling on trams and buses, and not once did I carry the pushchair onto the bus: if there was no one else waiting beside me to pick it up and carry it carefully aboard, a passenger would leap off the tram to do the office, grinning at the suspicious toddler and trying to talk to him. It was no wonder, I thought, that the Dutch grow up so sensible and well-adjusted.
1) bicycles! They seem to outnumber cars ten to one. All the civic amenities that other countries build only for cars the Dutch build for cycles as well: parking at station and in city centres, tracks and roads, etc.
2) public transport. Trains and buses are frequent, cheap, and reliable.
4) the way everybody speaks perfect English. It's uncanny. I don't speak perfect Dutch. I speak some French, a bit of German and modern Greek--but nothing of it as well as everybody spoke English.
5) how livable it all seems. In fact, the question I'm always left with after I return from the Netherlands is why other countries aren't more like them.