Although not a very large country, the Netherlands resembles a cosy and very neat garden. The large Windmills and the abundance of flowers give an air of originality. The Netherlands is located in Western Europe, in the North Sea coast, between Belgium and Germany. The country has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. In terms of topography, the country is dominated by low plains. The Renan Massif occupies a small portion of the country. In a burst of colours, glittering rows of blooming tulips flood the plains, creating a floral spectacle that attracts tourists from all over the world. For most visitors, these delicate flowers are well known as a typical Dutch landscape.
A visit in the Netherlands is not complete without passing through the capital Amsterdam. In any case, this tulip country abounds in stunning locations that are more than appealing to tourists. From magnificent classic windmills and endless fields of flowers to the historic town centres and museums, this fantastic country will surely impress you. This is a destination that offers a variety of interesting activities. The list below includes 10 places that we consider a must visit in the Netherlands.
Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht are the three main canals of Amsterdam, forming a circle around the city. This is the place where many interesting events take place. With over 150 fabulous monumental buildings and as many bridges, Amsterdam offers tourists the opportunity to spend a great deal of time exploring the fantastic eccentricities and museums spread on nearly 100 kilometres of canals in the city. Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum are the most popular attractions, while the Prinsengracht is one of the best locations for shopping and exploring coffee shops in Amsterdam.
Moreover, while visiting the city, you can check out Nauerna Marina which is situated just 7 kilometres away from the city centre. The harbour is famous for its lovely natural landscape, stunning scenery and high quality environment. The restaurant Brasserie DoKG features delicious classics such as Satéschotel, club sandwiches and salads.
Gouda is a typical Dutch city, with many beautiful old buildings and canals. It’s a destination targeted for a day trip, thanks to excellent rail and motorway connections. The city is famous for its cheese, for Stroopwafels (waffles with syrup), candles and clay pipe. Among the many attractions, Gouda town hall is a must visit.
Once a fishing village, Rotterdam is one of the most modern cities in the Netherlands today. Very “friendly” with cyclists, Rotterdam boasts several historic districts that await to be explored by tourists. The popular Delfshaven, where pilgrims started sailing in 1620 and the festivals and carnivals held here attract thousands of visitors every year. Erasmus Bridge is unique and impressive, often regarded as a masterpiece as it rises over the largest ports in Europe.
This university town is small but boasts two colleges that make it the most visited place in the north of the Netherlands, especially in the arts, business and education department. Car enthusiasts should be even more interested in visiting Groningen, as Groninger Museum is one of the most innovative and modern car museums in the Netherlands. Music and theatre abound in Groningen, where many cafes offer live performances. Due predominantly to the student population, nightclubs and bars attract many customers. The most popular entertaining locations are Grote Markt and Vismarkt Peperstraat.
The city of Haarlem is known as the Bloemenstad, which means ‘The city of flowers’. The Bloemencorso annual parade is organized here. Haarlem sits on the river Spaarne and boasts its many medieval structures preserved intact over time. Those who come here will love to shop and admire the fascinating architecture and the downtown museums. Among the most popular ones we point out the Teylers Museum, the oldest in the country, specialized in natural history, art and scientific exhibitions and the Franz Hals Museum, which exhibits many works of Dutch art.
Utrecht’s rich medieval history makes its presence felt in the architecture of the city with an aligned canal system designed to bend the river Rhine which was threatening to flood the city. In Utrecht stands the largest higher education institution in the country: the University of Utrecht, and the Gothic cathedral St. Martin – a 200 year old structure. Museums and architecture enthusiasts should not miss the Duomo, Rietveld Schroder House and Museum Speelklok where an impressive collection of clocks, music boxes and musical instruments is on display.
Best known for its dynamic market, the city of Maastricht is positioned in the south of the Netherlands. This is the place where the impressive church of St. Servatius, The Cathedral of St. Jan and the old fortifications of Vestigingswerkens open their gates to curious tourists. Many festivals are held every year in Maastricht. Other popular locations in Maastricht are the caves of St. Pietersberg and Helpoort, which display the oldest city gate in the Netherlands.
Renowned for its exhibitions of contemporary art like the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Royal Painting Gallery Mauritshuis, Hague is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Netherlands. Also known as the Royal seaside town, thanks to the Royal Dutch girls who live here, the tourists who come to Hague spend a lot of time in the summer months visiting the North Sea which spreads its shores in Scheveningen. Many notable monuments and historical districts are easy to find in Hague and, in addition to that, here you can visit a luxury shopping centre, many elegant shops and art galleries.
From the Renaissance building of the City Hall and Market Square to the Dutch architecture and its energy, Delft is a prosperous city which has worked fervently to restore the appearance of its edifices. This place is an ideal destination for a day trip or a vacation if you want to avoid the crowds in Amsterdam. Popular attractions here include Prinsenhof, where one can still see the holes left by the shells fired from the death of William of Orange. This museum tells the story of 80 years of war and exposes many valuable works of art.
The picturesque town Leiden is a spectacular place to visit for its magnificent canals which are aligned with the numerous surrounding trees. The large plains are invaded by windmills, wooden bridges and parks with abundant vegetation. A trip on the canals aboard a boat is extraordinary for everyone who decides to come here and mark an unforgettable experience. Leiden attractions include museums like The Science and Natural History Museum dedicated to the windmills and Egyptian antiquities. In Hortus Botanicus you can find a superb botanical garden and the oldest academic observatory in the world. Tourists can admire the beautiful architecture of St. Peter’s Church which dates back to the 16th century.