When most people think of the Netherlands, they picture windmills, tulips, and canals – and they would be right. This small country in northwestern Europe is home to an astonishing number of picturesque villages, medieval towns, and vibrant cities. From the lively capital of Amsterdam to the historic university town of Leiden and the charming seaside resort of Scheveningen, there is much to see in the Netherlands.
Here are the top attractions that should not be missed on a visit to this fascinating country.
The capital of the Netherlands is renowned for its canals, museums, and nightlife and is a great starting point from which to explore the rest of the country. Don’t miss the canals – there is more than 100 km of them in Amsterdam! Get around on one of the many canal boats or take a stroll along one of the many bridges. Take in some culture by visiting one of many museums such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, or Rijksmuseum.
Additionally, Amsterdam is home to a range of excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars. Be sure to sample the local delicacies such as herring or raw-sausage sandwiches. If you’re lucky enough to be in this city during tulip season (April), then make sure you visit the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens!
Rotterdam and The Hague
These two cities are located close to each other and make for great day trips from Amsterdam. Rotterdam is known for its modern architecture and bustling port, while The Hague is the seat of government in the Netherlands as well as home to many wonderful parks and palaces. To get a sense of Dutch history, take a tour of one of the many castles or windmills located in this area.
On the other hand, if you’d like to experience some of the country’s modern attractions, visit the Euromast tower in Rotterdam to get an amazing view of the city and the surrounding area. Additionally, take a stroll through the picturesque towns and villages near The Hague, such as Noordwijk or Scheveningen – one of the Netherlands’ most popular beach resorts.
This city is located in the center of the Netherlands and offers an amazing mix of culture and history. Don’t miss the Dom Tower – a beautiful medieval bell tower that overlooks the city, as well as its many historical churches, bridges, and canals. Additionally, Utrecht is home to some of the best museums in the country, such as the Centraal Museum and the Rietveld Schroder House.
You can also take a boat tour along the nearby canals or take a stroll through one of the city’s many parks, such as Oog in Al Park. For an amazing view of this beautiful medieval city, take a ride on Upperton – the world’s oldest operational passenger cable car!
Of course, no visit to Utrecht would be complete without sampling its famous local beer – don’t forget to try a glass before you leave!
This small but charming university town is located near The Hague and makes for an interesting day trip. Leiden has been home to many famous Dutch painters, writers, and scientists, including Rembrandt and Huygens. Its many canals, cobbled streets, and narrow alleys make Leiden one of the most picturesque towns in the Netherlands.
However, don’t miss the incredible museums such as Naturalis – a natural history museum with an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils – or De Lakenhal, which houses some of the most important works of Dutch and Flemish painters. For a unique experience, take a guided tour of Leiden’s sewer system – one of the oldest in Europe!
This tiny town is located in the province of South Holland and is renowned for its pottery, particularly Delftware. It is also home to some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, such as Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the City Hall. But don’t miss out on visiting the Royal Delft Factory, which produces traditional blue-and-white pottery and offers guided tours.
For a unique experience, take a boat tour of the canals, or take a walk through the old alleys and cobbled streets. Additionally, don’t forget to sample some of the delicious local food – try the traditional Dutch pancakes!
Of course, no visit to Delft would be complete without a stop at the famous Delfshaven – one of the oldest and most important ports in the Netherlands.
This small town is located in the province of North Holland and is one of the most ancient settlements in the Netherlands. Its cobbled streets and canals are lined with wonderful old buildings, and it’s also home to some incredible museums, such as the Edam Cheese Museum – a must for cheese lovers!
Don’t forget to visit the Edam Town Hall – a stunning example of Dutch baroque architecture. Additionally, take a stroll along the picturesque canals or cycle through some of the ancient villages located in the surrounding countryside. There’s also an amazing variety of shops and restaurants located around the harbor – make sure you try some delicious local seafood!
Finally, take a tour of the nearby windmills – some of which date back to the 17th century.
Maastricht is located in the province of Limburg and is known for its beautiful architecture, shops, and restaurants. Don’t miss out on a visit to Vrijthof – one of the oldest squares in the Netherlands, surrounded by impressive churches and buildings. History buffs can explore Maastricht’s many museums, such as the Natural History Museum or the Maastricht City Museum, which offers a fascinating insight into the city’s past.
Additionally, take a tour of Fort Sint Pieter – one of the oldest fortifications in Europe. For an incredible view of Maastricht and its many monuments, take a cable car ride up to the top of the nearby mountain.
No visit to the Netherlands is complete without seeing some of its most beautiful and historic cities. This list of top attractions includes Utrecht, Leiden, Delft, Edam, and Maastricht – all must-see destinations for any traveler.
Whether you’re exploring the cobbled streets and canals of Leiden or learning about Dutch cheese in Edam, these cities offer something for everyone. Don’t forget to take a break from your sightseeing and sample some delicious local food and beer!
Above all, explore with an open heart and enjoy the beauty of the Netherlands.