The country is situated at the heart of Northwestern Europe, with much of its territory being below sea levels; it’s no wonder people talk of The Netherlands as a country with amazing canals. This is only one of the numerous attractions. All over, you’ll also see picturesque windmills, beautiful flowers, idyllic towns, and lively cities that are rich in art, heritage, and culture.
Here are the best 15 spots to visit in the Netherlands, including delightful cheese markets to gorgeous parks to the ever-so-sexy Amsterdam
Amsterdam is likely to be the first stop on any journey to the Netherlands with valid reasons. However, there’s more to this tiny country (about 1/3 the dimensions of Pennsylvania) than the capital city. Imagine rows of windmills, fields of blooming tulips, and cities filled with charm and culture. It’s just a short drive or train ride from the main city center. Here’s a checklist to help you get to get started.
A stunning group of canals along the Amstel River in the province of North-Holland, Amsterdam is the biggest and most attractive city within the Netherlands. A vibrant city that is cosmopolitan, lively, and rich in culture welcomes visitors with stunning nightlife, fascinating museums, and distinctive cafe culture.
For an unforgettable experience in The Dutch capital, make sure you visit the famed Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. Make sure to add long walks around Grachtengordel – – the central region that houses the city’s main canals, bridges, and the charming 17th-century canal houses are located; as well as a trip into the infamous Red Light District – once popular for its cannabis cafes and brothel windows that were lit up with neon, today brimming with art studios as well as cool hipster nightclubs.
2. The Hoge Veluwe National Park
Over 5,400 hectares of the Province in Gelderland, Hoge Veluwe National Park is among the biggest and most diverse natural reserves of the Netherlands. The park is home to intriguing geological formations and wildlife that range from rolling dunes to dense forests. This park is an excellent illustration of what happens when art, sport, and culture mix with undisturbed nature.
The most popular attractions of Hoge Veluwe National Park. The most popular attractions in Hoge Veluwe National Park include the Kroller-Muller Museum that houses one of the largest collections in the private collection of Van Gogh; The Museonder (Underground Museum), which is among the most beautiful garden sculptures in Europe as well as the magnificent Jachthuis Sint Hubertus Hunting Lodge.
3. Keukenhof Gardens
One of the nation’s most popular tourist attractions, The Keukenhof Gardens, often referred to as “The Garden of Europe,” is the second-largest floral garden in the world, second only to the Dubai Miracle Garden, and an area that should be visited by everyone when visiting the Netherlands. The gardens are located within the Bulb region between Amsterdam and The Hague, Keukenhof, with more than 7 million bulbs planted each fall is a stunning display of color and fragrance.
Alongside admiring the stunning flowering landscape, Visitors can also participate in the various flower shows, markets, and parades held all through the year. Take an unforgettable trip on a bike, flight, or boat tour through the fields of bulbs and eat lunch at one of the nearby restaurants.
Amsterdam’s biggest opponent, Rotterdam, is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and is among the world’s biggest and largest ports. It is located in the Western Netherlands, in South Holland; the city is distinguished by its stunning waterfront location, innovative design, and significant commercial significance.
But its lively nightlife, crowded schedule of cultural events, and youthful student culture are what make Rotterdam an extremely vibrant and attractive city of Europe.
Delft is one of the most charming typical Dutch cities located in South Holland, between Rotterdam and The Hague.
The city is famous for its white and blue pottery (Delftware) as well as being the home of Vermeer, the artist who was the one who created the Girl With a Pearl Earring; Delft is bursting with activities to do and see, including lovely bars and cafes to charming churches, fascinating museums, and gorgeous historical buildings that line beautiful canals and stunning parks.
Maastricht is the capital city of Limburg Province; Maastricht is located in the southern part of the Netherlands and is near Belgium and Germany.
The city was once a Roman colony; this charming multicultural city has mastered mixing the traditional with the contemporary. You can expect rich culture and history and lush parks, fascinating art galleries, and an enchanting medieval old town with charming plazas and cobblestone streets filled with cafes and restaurants.
7. The Old Windmills of Kinderdijk
Many elements make the Netherlands a distinctive place; however, none complements its traditional Dutch landscape more than its beautiful windmills. The country is brimming with windmills, but the 19 windmills that UNESCO protects in Kinderdijk are, in no doubt, among the most famous attractions within the Netherlands.
The windmills were built in 1740 to remove the Alblasserwaard polders and prevent floods; these windmills have been perfectly preserved since. Today, visitors worldwide travel to take in this unique landscape and discover the fascinating Dutch control of the water. Additionally, from April until the close of the month, one of these old generators is accessible to the public for exploration and appreciation.
About 20 kilometers to the west of Amsterdam, located along the banks of the River Spaarne, Haarlem is the capital of North Holland and the city with the largest concentration of art galleries throughout the Netherlands.
The city is centered around a charming Marketplace (Grote Markt) in which the city’s most famous landmarks are situated; Haarlem is a great destination to explore, whether you’re into the history, culture shopping, or would like to take in the relaxing Dutch vibe while sipping the best beer in one of the numerous sidewalk cafes.
9. The Hague
It is known as “The judicial capital of the world,” The Hague is among the biggest and most significant cities within the Netherlands in the Netherlands, following Amsterdam as well as Rotterdam.
Modern and elegant The cosmopolitan city of the western part of the nation entices tourists with its stunning architecture, gorgeous squares, and fine art galleries; however, it also has its gorgeous beaches, chic areas, glittering skyscrapers, and a wide array of shopping.
10. Alkmaar Cheese Market
It is held every year in the Waagplein place in Alkmaar, the Alkmaar region; this cheese market is one of the most popular places to go to throughout the Netherlands. Because of its long-standing history, which dates from 1593, there’s no reason to wonder why the market has become an integral part of the region and an important part of Dutch culture.
Usually, in the year typically, the Alkmaar Cheese Market season begins on the first Friday in April and runs until the first Friday in September. The spectacles, fares, and demonstrations occur on Fridays from 10 AM until 12.30 at night.
11. The Efteling
In 1952, it was established in the small village in Kaatsheuvel, Southern Netherlands; Efteling is one of the most storied themes parks worldwide. It is also the largest with its kind of attraction in the nation.
More than twice the size of the famous California Disneyland, The parks are divided up into four distinct zones, Each with its theme and offers plenty of things that will entertain everyone in the family with everything from open green spaces concert venues to theatrical spectacles to bars, restaurants as well as the four-star hotel.
12. The New Dutch Water Line
The Dutch have always been known for their fierce battle against the nation’s most formidable enemy, water. One of the best examples of that is The New Dutch Water Line, a massive 135-kilometer fortification over 45 strongholds, which surrounds two cities: Amsterdam and Utrecht.
The stunning landscapes of this region and dotted with charming villages, gorgeous streams, lakes, museums, and castles are an absolute delight to discover, whether on walking, by boat, or bicycle.
The home of millions of birds that migrate and all types of fish species, as well as seal colonies. Waddenzee is one of the most unique and significant Nature reserves within the Netherlands and is one of the largest wetlands ecosystems.
In The province of Groningen, located along the Dutch coast, this unique natural habitat covers more than 2500 square kilometers. It is maintained twice daily by its dry land appearance, and then it is joined by the ocean twice a day.
A fairytale comes into reality; giethoorn lures visitors with its idyllic tranquility, dreamlike canals, and beautiful thatched-roof farmhouses surrounded by lush greenery. The village is situated in the northern part of the Dutch Province of Overijssel, located about 75 miles away from Amsterdam. The village comprises tiny peat islands with more than 55 miles of canals and hundreds of foot arch bridges, and there are no roads for cars.
The fairytale-like setting is a reason to go; Giethoorn also hosts several fascinating museums, in addition to delightful canalside eateries, quirky shops, and beautiful cycling routes. A nearby De Weerribben Wieden National Park offers rich wetlands, Reed beds, and wildlife if you are a nature lover.
The town is often referred to as the “Dutch Venice,” this charming hamlet is best explored by bike, boat, or walking.
The part fortress that is living Part open-air museum, the small fortified town of Bourtange located in the Westerwald region, is among the most special locations within the Netherlands. Built-in 1593 as part of the Dutch Revolt against Spain, the fort with a star-shaped design close to the frontier with Germany is an exceptional instance of the 16th-century’s military architecture and cobbled medieval streets as well as charming brick houses as well as restored barracks for military use and all protected by thick defense barriers with marshy moats.
A well-preserved synagogue, number of museums that focus on the history of the region as well as a few celebrations during the season (including a Christmas Market) count among its highlights; however, the main attraction of a trip to this area is a stroll along its lovely streets that are lined with crafts shops, or perhaps taking a stroll around its walls in the evening followed by an ice-cold drink on the tree-shaded central plaza.