15 Best Places to Visit in Netherlands
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Are you planning a trip to the Netherlands and wondering where to start? Look no further than this travel guide to the top 15 must-see destinations in the country. From iconic cities to hidden gems, the Netherlands offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences for any type of traveler.

Explore the picturesque streets of Amsterdam, known as the Venice of the North, and visit the famous Anne Frank House. Discover the political capital of the Netherlands, The Hague, and admire the historic architecture of the Binnenhof. Marvel at the modern architectural wonders of Rotterdam, and delve into the country’s rich maritime history at the Maritime Museum.

But that’s just the beginning. Take a bike ride through the Windmills of Kinderdijk, witness the stunning floral displays at the Keukenhof Gardens, and explore the charming city of Haarlem. Dive into the rich artistic heritage of Delft and visit the Royal Delft Factory, or experience the vibrant design scene of Eindhoven.

Whether you’re seeking historic sites, cultural experiences, or picturesque landscapes, the Netherlands has something for everyone. Plan your trip based on the best time to visit, seek out hidden gems off the beaten path, and make the most of your journey by experiencing the top things to do in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam – The Venice of the North

As the capital city, Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the top tourist attractions in the Netherlands. The city is known for not only its picturesque canals but also its rich Dutch culture and heritage.

Explore the famous Anne Frank House, where the young Jewish girl hid during World War II, now converted into a museum that tells the story of her life during the war. Take a boat tour along the canals, and marvel at the elegant gabled houses lining the waterways. Visit the Van Gogh Museum to admire the works of one of the most famous Dutch artists or explore the Rijksmuseum, home to iconic Dutch masterpieces including Rembrandt’s Night Watch.

Take a stroll through the historic neighborhoods of Jordaan and De Pijp, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this vibrant city. Sample local delicacies such as bitterballen, herring, and stroopwafels in the bustling street markets and quaint cafes.

You haven’t experienced Dutch culture until you’ve explored Amsterdam’s winding canals and soaked up the vibrant atmosphere of this charming city.

Amsterdam cityscape

Discover Dutch Culture and Heritage

Amsterdam is filled with experiences that showcase the unique Dutch culture and heritage. Visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, one of three palaces still in use by the Dutch royal family. The palace, located in the heart of the city, offers an insight into the city’s rich history as well as the country’s royal traditions.

Another historic landmark not to be missed is the Oude Kerk, the city’s oldest church dating back to the 1300s. The church stands tall in the heart of Amsterdam’s red-light district and provides a glimpse into the city’s religious past.

Experience Amsterdam’s Vibrant Nightlife

Amsterdam is known for its vibrant nightlife and offers a range of entertainment options to suit all tastes. From charming local bars to world-renowned nightclubs, the city has it all. Head to the Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein and soak in the lively atmosphere of the city’s nightlife.

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For a unique experience, visit the famous Heineken Experience, where you can learn about the history of the world-famous Dutch beer and even sample some of their brews. The building, a former brewery, has been converted into an interactive museum with exhibits and a tasting room.

Explore Amsterdam’s Surrounding Countryside

Amsterdam’s countryside is an often-overlooked aspect of the city, but it is well worth exploring. Take a bike tour through the nearby Zaanse Schans, a picturesque village with historic windmills and traditional Dutch architecture. Or visit the quaint village of Volendam, known for its fishing industry and traditional costumes.

With so much to explore, Amsterdam promises a perfect blend of culture, history, and entertainment. Make sure to add this city to your travel guide to the Netherlands.

The Hague – A Blend of History and Modernity

The Hague, located in the western part of the Netherlands, is a must-see destination for any traveler interested in exploring the country’s rich history and culture. As the seat of the Dutch government and the International Court of Justice, The Hague offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity.

One of the city’s most famous attractions is the Binnenhof, a complex of historic buildings that houses the Dutch Parliament. Take a guided tour to learn about the country’s political history and see the intricate architecture up close.

The Hague

The Hague is home to numerous other historic sites that are worth exploring. Visit the Mauritshuis museum, which showcases works by Dutch Masters such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, or the Prince William V Gallery, which houses an impressive collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age.

Top Historic Sites in The Hague

SiteDescription
BinnenhofThe center of Dutch politics and home to the Dutch Parliament.
MauritshuisA museum housing a collection of Dutch Masters paintings, including works by Vermeer and Rembrandt.
Prince William V GalleryA museum featuring paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, including works by Rembrandt and Rubens.
Panorama MesdagA panoramic painting of the seaside town of Scheveningen in the late 19th century.

Aside from its historic sites, The Hague also offers a modern and vibrant atmosphere. Explore the city’s many shops and restaurants, or take a stroll through the picturesque streets of the old town. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Scheveningen beach, where you can relax and soak up the sun.

Whether you’re interested in history, politics, or simply soaking up the local culture, The Hague is a must-visit destination in the Netherlands. Plan your trip today and discover all that this beautiful city has to offer.

Rotterdam – A Modern Architectural Marvel

If you’re looking for a city that perfectly combines modernity with Dutch culture and heritage, Rotterdam is the place to be. As the second-largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam is home to some of the top tourist attractions in the country.

Rotterdam

One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Erasmus Bridge, which spans the river Maas and offers spectacular views of the Rotterdam skyline. Another must-visit attraction is the Markthal, a futuristic indoor market with a colorful mural that covers the entire ceiling.

AttractionDescription
Maritime Museum RotterdamDiscover the city’s rich maritime history and explore its impressive collection of ships and harbor cranes.
EuromastGet a bird’s eye view of the city from the top of this 185-meter tall tower, complete with a restaurant and observation deck.
SS RotterdamStep aboard this historic ocean liner and explore its luxurious interiors, including the captain’s quarters and the grand ballroom.

Rotterdam’s modern architecture is also a major draw for visitors. The city is home to several iconic buildings designed by renowned architects, including the Cube Houses and the KPN Tower.

“Rotterdam is a city that is constantly reinventing itself, with new projects and initiatives that keep it on the cutting edge of innovation and design.”

– Your Travel Guide to the Netherlands

Whether you’re interested in architecture, history, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of a modern European city, Rotterdam is a must-see destination in the Netherlands.

Utrecht – A City of Canals and Charm

If you’re looking for a must-see destination in the Netherlands, Utrecht should be on your list. This beautiful city, located in the heart of the country, is known for its charming canals, historic buildings, and lively atmosphere.

One of the best ways to experience Utrecht’s charm is by taking a stroll along the picturesque Oudegracht, a canal lined with cafes, shops, and hidden gems. Take a break at one of the cafes, and indulge in a cup of coffee or a traditional Dutch meal, like stamppot or bitterballen.

No visit to Utrecht is complete without climbing the Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. The climb may be a bit daunting, but the breathtaking views of the city from the top are worth it.

Utrecht Canal
Top Things to Do in UtrechtLocation
Visit the Dom TowerDomplein 21, 3512 JC Utrecht
Explore the Museum CatharijneconventLange Nieuwstraat 38, 3512 PH Utrecht
Admire the Rietveld Schröder HousePrins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht
Take a boat tour along the canalsOudegracht 165, 3511 AL Utrecht

Utrecht is also home to the unique wharf cellars, which were originally used for commerce and storage. Today, you can explore these iconic structures and even dine in one of the cellar restaurants.

In addition to its historic attractions, Utrecht is also known for its vibrant café culture. Spend an afternoon at one of the many cafes, and watch the world go by as you sip on a delicious cappuccino or latte.

Utrecht is a city that truly captures the essence of Dutch culture and heritage. So, be sure to add it to your travel guide to the Netherlands, and discover all this charming city has to offer.

Maastricht – The Oldest City in the Netherlands

As the oldest city in the Netherlands, Maastricht is a popular destination for tourists seeking to explore the country’s rich history and culture. With its picturesque architecture and charming atmosphere, it’s no surprise that Maastricht is one of the top tourist attractions in the Netherlands.

One of the must-see historic sites in the Netherlands, Maastricht has a wealth of fascinating landmarks and attractions to explore. The Saint Servatius Basilica, dating back to the 4th century, is a stunning example of Romanesque architecture and a popular destination for visitors. The city’s medieval walls and fortifications, including the Helpoort Gate, also provide an insight into Maastricht’s rich and varied history.

Maastricht

In addition to its historic sites, Maastricht offers a range of cultural attractions and activities. The Bonnefanten Museum, located in a strikingly modern building, showcases contemporary art alongside older works. The city also hosts the annual TEFAF art fair, one of the world’s most prestigious events in the art calendar.

Whether you’re exploring the historic landmarks or immersing yourself in the city’s cultural scene, Maastricht is a city that will capture your heart and leave you wanting more.

The Windmills of Kinderdijk – A Timeless Icon

If you’re looking for a destination that encapsulates the beauty, charm, and history of the Netherlands, the Windmills of Kinderdijk should be at the top of your list of must-see destinations. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a testament to the country’s ingenuity and innovation in harnessing wind power to pump water, reclaiming land from the sea, and protecting against flooding.

Located in South Holland, just a short distance from Rotterdam and The Hague, Kinderdijk is a picturesque village that boasts 19 windmills, each with its own unique story and purpose. Built in the 18th century, these iconic structures are a symbol of Dutch culture and heritage, and a marvel of engineering and architecture.

Windmills of Kinderdijk

Exploring the Windmills of Kinderdijk

When you visit Kinderdijk, you can immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this timeless icon by:

  • Taking a boat tour: Enjoy a leisurely boat tour along the canals of Kinderdijk, and admire the windmills from a unique perspective.
  • Cycling or hiking: Take a scenic bike ride or hike through the countryside, and enjoy the fresh air and stunning views.
  • Visiting the Museum Windmill: Learn about the fascinating history of the windmills at the Museum Windmill, housed in one of the 19 windmills in Kinderdijk.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, the Windmills of Kinderdijk are a cultural and architectural gem that should not be missed.

Haarlem – A Picturesque Dutch Delight

Haarlem, a charming city located just a short distance from Amsterdam, is one of the top tourist attractions in the Netherlands. With its rich Dutch culture and heritage, Haarlem is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the country.

One of the main attractions in Haarlem is the Grote Markt, a historic square lined with beautiful buildings and home to the iconic St. Bavo Church. Take a stroll through the square and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, with street performers and local vendors offering a taste of Dutch culture.

Haarlem Cityscape

If you’re interested in art, don’t miss the chance to visit the Frans Hals Museum, one of the most prominent museums in the country. The museum showcases the works of Haarlem’s most famous artist, Frans Hals, as well as other Dutch masters.

For a glimpse into the city’s rich history, take a walk through the charming streets lined with historic buildings. You may also want to visit the Corrie ten Boom House, a museum dedicated to the life of a Dutch Christian who helped Jewish refugees during World War II.

Haarlem is also known for its delicious food and drink. Stop by the Jopenkerk Brewery, located in a converted church, to sample some of the city’s famous craft beer. And don’t forget to try some traditional Dutch snacks, such as stroopwafels and bitterballen.

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Haarlem is a top tourist attraction in the Netherlands. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply soaking up the vibrant Dutch culture, Haarlem is a must-visit destination.

Leiden – A City of Art, Science, and History

You simply cannot miss Leiden when visiting the Netherlands. This charming city is located in the South Holland province and is known for being the birthplace of the painter Rembrandt and the place where the famous Pilgrims Fathers left for America. Leiden is a city of art, science, and history, making it a must-see destination in the Netherlands.

One of the most impressive landmarks in the city is the Leiden University, which is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and even Europe. You can take a guided tour of the university’s historic buildings, such as the Academiegebouw and the Hortus Botanicus gardens. Speaking of gardens, Leiden is home to the beautiful Clusius Garden, a botanical garden featuring a wide variety of plants and flowers.

Historic Sites in LeidenDescription
Pilgrims’ Landing SiteLearn about the Pilgrims Fathers who arrived in Leiden in 1609, and their eventual departure to America.
Museum De LakenhalDiscover the city’s rich history and art at this museum, which houses a collection of masterpieces by Rembrandt and other famous artists
The Burcht van LeidenClimb to the top of this fortress, which offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

While in Leiden, take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque canals, and explore the charming streets and alleys lined with historic buildings. If you’re a fan of cheese, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Kaasmarkt, a cheese market featuring a wide variety of delicious Dutch cheese.

Leiden is a city that perfectly combines tradition and modernity. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or shopping, this city won’t disappoint. Make sure to include Leiden in your itinerary when visiting the Netherlands.

Leiden in the Netherlands

Groningen – A Vibrant University City

If you’re looking for a vibrant city with a bustling cultural scene, Groningen should be at the top of your list. Located in the north of the Netherlands, this bustling university town is brimming with energy and excitement. From historic landmarks to modern architecture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Groningen.

One of the top tourist attractions in the Netherlands, Groningen is known for its charming city center, which features stunning examples of Dutch culture and heritage. Take a stroll through the historic streets, marvel at the unique architecture, and discover hidden treasures throughout the city.

The Martinitoren

Groningen Martinitoren

Your visit to Groningen wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the iconic Martinitoren. This towering 96-meter monument is the tallest church tower in the city and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Climb the stairs to the top and enjoy panoramic vistas that stretch all the way to the sea.

Groninger Museum

If you’re looking for a cultural experience, head to the Groninger Museum. This modern art museum features a diverse collection of works ranging from medieval to contemporary, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. With over 100,000 pieces on display, there’s something for every art lover to enjoy.

Vismarkt

For a taste of local flavor, head to Vismarkt, Groningen’s bustling fish market. This charming square is home to a variety of vendors selling fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this lively local hotspot.

With its unique blend of history, culture, and modernity, Groningen offers a one-of-a-kind travel experience. Whether you’re exploring the city’s impressive landmarks, diving into its thriving cultural scene, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant Dutch city.

The Keukenhof Gardens – A Floral Paradise

If you love flowers, then a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens is an absolute must-see during your trip to the Netherlands. Also known as the Garden of Europe, the Keukenhof Gardens is the largest flower garden in the world. Located in Lisse, just a short drive from Amsterdam, the gardens are only open for a limited time each year, usually from mid-March to mid-May.

Keukenhof Gardens

The Keukenhof Gardens covers an area of 32 hectares, showcasing over 7 million flower bulbs. The gardens are home to a stunning variety of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other flowers, with each section carefully designed to showcase a different theme or color scheme.

Explore the meticulously designed gardens and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Witness the vibrant flower shows, including the famous flower parades, and learn about the history and significance of the Dutch flower industry.

Tips for Visiting the Keukenhof Gardens

  • Visit early in the day or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes
  • Take plenty of photos, but be respectful of other visitors and don’t block pathways
  • Bring a picnic or enjoy a meal at one of the on-site restaurants
  • Visit the Keukenhof Castle to learn about the history of the gardens and the local area

A trip to the Keukenhof Gardens is a truly unforgettable experience, and a must-see destination for anyone interested in Dutch culture and heritage.

Delft – The City of Delftware and Vermeer

Located in the western part of the Netherlands, Delft is a charming city with a rich cultural heritage. Known for its traditional blue and white pottery, Delftware, and its connection to the renowned painter Johannes Vermeer, this city offers a unique insight into Dutch history and art.

Visit the Royal Delft Factory, founded in 1653, to witness the production of the famous Delftware pottery. Take a tour of the factory to learn about the history and techniques behind this iconic art form. You can even paint your own piece to take home as a souvenir.

Explore the historic city center and marvel at the stunning architecture. Admire the 13th-century Old Church, the opulent City Hall, and the charming canals that run through the city.

Delft’s Top Tourist Attractions:

AttractionsDescription
Royal Delft FactoryThe birthplace of Delftware pottery, where you can witness the production process and even paint your own piece.
Old ChurchA stunning 13th-century Gothic church with an impressive tower that offers panoramic views of the city.
City HallA grand Renaissance building from the 17th century that houses the city government.
Johannes VermeerExplore the life and works of the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer at the Vermeer Centrum Delft.

Delft is a city steeped in Dutch culture and heritage, making it a must-see destination for any traveler to the Netherlands. And with its close proximity to The Hague and Rotterdam, it’s the perfect addition to any itinerary.

Delft Canal

Eindhoven – A Hub of Design and Innovation

Eindhoven is a must-see destination in the Netherlands, known as the technology and design capital of the country. The city is home to the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven and the Dutch Design Week, making it a hub for creative individuals and innovative ideas.

One of the top attractions in Eindhoven is the Van Abbemuseum, a modern art museum that showcases a diverse range of contemporary and modern art from both Dutch and international artists. The museum’s collection includes works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Chagall, and Mondrian, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Another fascinating destination is the Strijp-S district, a former Philips factory complex that has been transformed into a vibrant cultural and entertainment hub. Here, you can explore trendy shops, cafes, and bars, attend live music performances, and admire the innovative urban design of the area.

Eindhoven is also a city with a rich history and cultural heritage, evident in its numerous museums and historic landmarks. Visit the stunning St. Catherine’s Church, built in the Gothic style, or explore the DAF Museum, which showcases the history of the Dutch automobile industry.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s design and innovation scene or immersing yourself in Dutch culture and heritage, Eindhoven is a must-visit destination in the Netherlands.

Eindhoven, a hub of design and innovation

Conclusion

Now that you know the 15 best places to visit in the Netherlands, it’s time to plan your trip. The best time to visit the Netherlands is between mid-March and mid-May, when the famous tulip fields are in bloom. However, the country has much more to offer beyond tulips. From bustling cities to charming towns, there are hidden gems throughout the Netherlands that are waiting to be discovered.

Hidden Gems in the Netherlands

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, consider visiting the charming town of Gouda, known for its delicious cheese and historic center. Another hidden gem is the medieval town of Zutphen, with its picturesque canals and quaint streets.

Top Things to Do in the Netherlands

There are many things to do in the Netherlands, but some of the top activities include renting a bike and exploring the countryside, visiting the world-renowned museums such as Rijksmuseum and Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and experiencing the unique Dutch culture and heritage.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery, the Netherlands has something for everyone. So pack your bags, plan your trip, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of this amazing country.

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