10 places you must visit when in the Netherlands

Tulips and Windmills in the Netherlands

Whoever wants to travel to Holland, instantly thinks to pay a visit to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and is mainly famous for its Red-light district and Coffee shops where it is legal to buy soft-drugs. However, Amsterdam is also full of canals where one can experience unforgettable canal-tours around the city waters. For those who love art and history, a visit to the Anne Frank museum, Rijksmuseum, or van Gogh museum is a must. On the other hand, for those who like open air, Vondelpark, is a park in the middle of Amsterdam where the locals lounge, make a barbecue or watch one of the open-air theatre shows. For the Party Gurus under us, you must experience these massive events. Kings Day on the 27th of April., dress in orange and just go wild with the rest. Gay Parade in August, fantastic. Last but not least, Amsterdam has a sparkling nightlife which every visitor must experience.

As you might have guessed, Amsterdam is our number 1 city in Holland known for its diverse highlights.

2. Giethoorn

Affectionately referred to as the “Venice of the Netherlands,” this village’s thatched-roof farmhouses and wooden arch bridges can be explored via bike lanes or canals—either by boat or by ice skating during the frozen winter months. You can rent a so-called “whisper boat” driven on an electric engine, to explore the 90km track or beautiful water-streets including all the fantastic surrounding gardens. The loudest sound you can normally hear in Giethoorn is the quacking of a duck.

3. Volendam

The most authentic place in Holland is Volendam where some people still wear their traditional clothing and one can take some pictures wearing one too. Volendam and the neighboring villages Edam and Marken are famous fishing villages and they are just 30 minutes away by car, from Amsterdam. You find a few small museums and a cheese factory. Many Dutch famous singers come from Volendam like Jan Smit, Nick and Simon, BZN, the 3JS, Piet Veerman and many more which you all find at the ‘Palingsound Museum’. To visit Marken, you can hop on a ferry directly from the ‘Visafslag’ in Volendam.

4. Texel

Texel is one of the Dutch Wadden Islands, off  the coast of the Netherlands. There is a 20-minute ferry trip from Den Helder to Texel. The island has long sandy beaches, a few villages, and a unique nature reserve. You can visit the Ecomare, and learn everything about the Wadden Sea, the north sea, and seals who are being nursed after being injured in the seas. Texel is famous for its sheep and wool. Something completely different to do is Mudhiking on the Wadden. During the low-tide, you can walk over the bottom of the sea. There are special tours and the guide will explain everything about the plants, birds, and fish that you will encounter during your  walk. From the area next to the lighthouse, you can take a ferry to the next island Vlieland.

5. Delft

A canal-ringed city in the western Netherlands is known as the manufacturing base for Delftware, hand-painted blue-and-white pottery which is called ‘Royal Delft’ and is famous for the University of Delft. Delft has a rich history in architecture. Just look around and dream away with all these fantastic buildings, churches and court-yards or take a visit to one of its museums such as the “Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles”. This superb attraction provides a fascinating look at the history and production process of Blue Delftware, which is hand painted to strict, centuries-old standards.

6. Thorn

The little white town of Thorn, is located in the south of Holland and is a must for a visit when you are on holiday in the Netherlands. Once the smallest principality of the Holy Roman Empire, it was the domain of vorstendom – rich independent women who wanted to live free of men. All houses and monumental buildings have been painted white since the 1790s. The story behind this is phenomenal. You must also pay a visit to the Abdijkerk Thorn (monastery church). Close by cities are Roermond and Sittard.

7. Maastricht

A university city on the southern tip of the Netherlands welcomes you with open arms and is distinguished by its medieval-era architecture and vibrant cultural scene. In this cobbled old town, you will find the Gothic-style church Sint Janskerk, and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius houses, with a significant collection of religious art. On the banks of the Maas River, bisecting the city, lies the futuristic-looking Bonnefanten art museum. Maastricht is the hometown city of Andre Rieu and it is also renowned for its Christmas market, boutique shops, restaurants with their amazing dishes , where you can also enjoy  the Limburgse-Vlaai together with a coffee. Maastricht has several secret places to explore and it’s worth exploring them.

8. Gouda

Say Cheese! The first thing that comes up to your mind when you think of the city of Gouda is….. cheese! Contrary to what you might think, Gouda cheese is not actually made in the city of Gouda, but rather, it is traditionally bought and sold in Gouda. Way back in the Middle Ages, towns could earn the right to trade certain commodities. The town of Gouda had the right to trade cheese, so that’s where people went to buy and sell cheese! The beautiful historic city is full of trendy hotspots. Old meets new and blends in very well…from the market to lovely restaurants. Not to mention the tasty stroopwafels (syrup waffles).

9. Lisse

You can’t visit the Netherlands and not expect to see the colorful tulips. There are many places around the country to view these beautiful flowers, but the Keukenhof Gardens (open from March to May) and the sprawling fields around the town of Lisse are a sure thing. The Keukenhof Gardens, one of the country’s greatest attractions, , is often referred to as “The Garden of Europe“. It is the second-largest flower garden in the world after Dubai Miracle Garden. Lisse is one of the Dutch towns that was built on top of an old beach dike and has a long history. In the past, Lisse was a small place that survived on agriculture. Its favorable location and fertile soil on the coast meant that thanks to its flower bulbs, the town attracted prosperity and trade in the Golden Age. Today, Lisse is famous for its beautiful flower fields and flower bulbs that are exported around the world.

10. Vlissingen

The city was historically known as “Flushing” in English. Vlissingen’s harbor was so significant throughout history that the city received its own English name. In fact, the Flushing neighborhood in New York (USA) was named after Vlissingen. Vlissingen is a city and municipality in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, in the province of Zeeland, and is located on the former Walcheren isle. The history dates back to 620AD. Michiel de Ruyter, (Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter) was a Dutch admiral. Widely celebrated and regarded as one of the most skilled admirals in history, De Ruyter is arguably most famous for his achievements with the Dutch Navy during the Anglo-Dutch Wars and was born in Vlissingen. As you can see, Vlissingen has a lot of history, but modern times blend in fine. Shopping, bars, restaurants (try the Zeeuwse Mussels), events, and lovely sandy beaches will make your visit one to remember. Close by cities and villages are Zoutelande, Middelburg, Westkapelle, Veere.


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