"Where is the Netherlands?"
Translation:Var ligger Nederländerna?
The is or are regarding the Netherlands is about as complicated as a tween's Facebook relationship status. Neither is really wrong, and it depends on what you mean. I would personally go with "Where are the Netherlands", too, and switch it up e.g. for "The Netherlands is a country in Europe" - just like you say. But the inverse isn't technically wrong, either.
Appelsapientje (great name btw!), I fully agree with you! 'Vechten tegen de bierkaai', as the Dutch proverb goes.
There is an awesome video on YouTube explaining the difference between Holland and The Netherlands. It is made by CGP Grey and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE_IUPInEuc