Discover Netherlands: Must-Visit Spots


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The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a small country located in Northwestern Europe. It is famous for its picturesque landscapes, windmills, tulip fields, and of course, its capital city Amsterdam. While Amsterdam is undoubtedly a must-visit destination, there is so much more to explore in the Netherlands beyond its capital. From the beautiful canals of Utrecht to the modern city of Rotterdam, the charming village of Giethoorn to the historic Muiderslot Castle, there are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of these attractions and why it is important to explore beyond Amsterdam.

Key Takeaways

  • Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and is known for its beautiful canals, historic architecture, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Utrecht is a charming city with picturesque canals and a rich cultural heritage, making it a popular destination for tourists.
  • Rotterdam is a modern city with a fascinating history, featuring impressive architecture, museums, and a bustling port.
  • Kinderdijk is home to a collection of picturesque windmills, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.
  • Giethoorn is a charming village known for its idyllic canals, quaint houses, and peaceful atmosphere, making it a perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.

Amsterdam: The Capital City of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands. Known for its beautiful canals, historic buildings, and vibrant culture, the city offers a wide range of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Some of the must-visit attractions in Amsterdam include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. These museums offer a glimpse into the rich history and art of the Netherlands.

In addition to its museums, Amsterdam also offers unique experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. One such experience is exploring the city by bike. Amsterdam is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, with dedicated bike lanes and bike rental shops available throughout the city. Renting a bike and exploring Amsterdam’s streets and canals is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and see the city from a different perspective.

The Beautiful Canals of Utrecht

Located just 30 minutes south of Amsterdam by train, Utrecht is a charming city that is often overlooked by tourists. However, it is well worth a visit for its beautiful canals and historic architecture. Utrecht’s canals are lined with picturesque buildings and unique shops, making it a perfect place for a leisurely stroll. One of the highlights of Utrecht is the Oudegracht, a unique canal that runs through the city center and is lined with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.

Exploring the canals of Utrecht can be done by taking a boat tour or renting a paddleboard or kayak. This allows visitors to see the city from a different perspective and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the canals. Utrecht also has several museums and historic sites worth visiting, such as the Dom Tower, which offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck.

Rotterdam: The Modern City with a Rich History

Category Metric
Population 651,446
Area 319.35 km²
History Founded in 1270
Architecture Home to the Cube Houses and the Erasmus Bridge
Economy Major port city and hub for international trade
Culture Hosts the Rotterdam International Film Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival
Tourism Popular attractions include the Markthal and the Maritime Museum

Rotterdam is often referred to as the “Gateway to Europe” due to its large port and international connections. Unlike Amsterdam, which is known for its historic buildings, Rotterdam is a modern city with a rich history. The city was heavily bombed during World War II, resulting in the destruction of much of its historic architecture. However, Rotterdam has since been rebuilt and is now known for its innovative architecture and vibrant cultural scene.

One of the must-visit attractions in Rotterdam is the Markthal, a unique food market housed in a stunning arch-shaped building. The Markthal offers a wide range of fresh produce, local delicacies, and international cuisine, making it a food lover’s paradise. Another popular attraction in Rotterdam is the Euromast, an observation tower that offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

The Picturesque Windmills of Kinderdijk

Located just 15 kilometers east of Rotterdam, Kinderdijk is home to one of the most iconic sights in the Netherlands – its windmills. The village is known for its 19 well-preserved windmills, which were built in the 18th century to drain excess water from the surrounding polders. These windmills have become a symbol of the Netherlands and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Exploring the windmills of Kinderdijk can be done by taking a boat tour or walking along the designated paths. Visitors can learn about the history and operation of the windmills at the visitor center, and even go inside one of the windmills to see how they work. The best time to visit Kinderdijk is during the spring when the surrounding fields are filled with colorful tulips, creating a truly picturesque scene.

The Charming Village of Giethoorn

Known as the “Venice of the Netherlands,” Giethoorn is a charming village located in the province of Overijssel. The village is famous for its canals, which are lined with thatched-roof houses and connected by small bridges. Unlike Venice, however, Giethoorn is a car-free village, with transportation mainly done by boat or on foot.

Exploring Giethoorn can be done by renting a boat or joining a guided tour. Navigating the canals and admiring the picturesque houses and gardens is a truly unique experience. The village also has several museums and art galleries worth visiting, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes where visitors can enjoy local cuisine.

The Colorful Keukenhof Gardens

Located in Lisse, just a short drive from Amsterdam, Keukenhof Gardens is one of the most beautiful flower gardens in the world. Spanning over 79 acres, the gardens are home to millions of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other spring flowers. Each year, Keukenhof attracts thousands of visitors from around the world who come to admire its colorful displays.

The best time to visit Keukenhof Gardens is during the spring when the flowers are in full bloom. The gardens are open from late March to mid-May, and during this time, visitors can explore the various themed gardens, take a boat tour through the surrounding flower fields, and attend flower arranging demonstrations and other events. Keukenhof Gardens is a true paradise for flower lovers and a must-visit attraction in the Netherlands.

The Historic Castle of Muiderslot

Located just outside of Amsterdam, Muiderslot Castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the Netherlands. Built in the 13th century, the castle offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a moat. Visitors can explore the castle’s various rooms, including the knight’s hall, the kitchen, and the bedrooms, which are furnished with period furniture and decorations.

In addition to its historic significance, Muiderslot Castle also hosts various events and activities throughout the year, such as medieval festivals, falconry demonstrations, and guided tours. The castle’s location on the banks of the Vecht River also makes it a great starting point for boat trips to explore the surrounding area.

The Artistic Hub of The Hague

The Hague, also known as Den Haag, is the political capital of the Netherlands and home to many international organizations and embassies. However, it is also a vibrant artistic hub with a rich cultural scene. The city is known for its museums, art galleries, and theaters, making it a great destination for art lovers.

One of the must-visit attractions in The Hague is the Mauritshuis Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings, including Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Rembrandt’s “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.” The museum is located in a beautiful 17th-century building and offers a unique opportunity to see some of the most famous works of art in the world.

The Peaceful Beaches of Zandvoort

Located just a short train ride from Amsterdam, Zandvoort is a popular beach destination in the Netherlands. The town is known for its long sandy beaches, dunes, and beach clubs, making it a great place to relax and soak up the sun. Zandvoort also offers a variety of water sports activities, such as surfing, kiteboarding, and sailing.

One of the best beaches to visit in Zandvoort is the Bloemendaal aan Zee, which is known for its vibrant beach clubs and lively atmosphere. The beach clubs offer a range of facilities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, restaurants, and bars, making it a great place to spend a day by the sea. Zandvoort is also home to the Circuit Park Zandvoort, which hosts various motorsport events throughout the year.

The Quaint Town of Edam, Famous for its Cheese

Located just 20 kilometers north of Amsterdam, Edam is a quaint town that is famous for its cheese. The town’s historic center is filled with beautiful buildings and canals, making it a great place to explore on foot. Edam is also home to the Edams Museum, which offers insights into the town’s history and cheese-making traditions.

One of the unique experiences in Edam is visiting a cheese market. The town has a long history of cheese production and trade, and visitors can witness the traditional cheese weighing and trading process at the weekly cheese market. In addition to the cheese market, Edam also has several cheese shops where visitors can sample and purchase different varieties of cheese.

While Amsterdam is undoubtedly a must-visit destination in the Netherlands, there is so much more to explore in this beautiful country. From the picturesque canals of Utrecht to the modern architecture of Rotterdam, the windmills of Kinderdijk to the charming village of Giethoorn, there are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you are interested in history, art, nature, or simply want to relax on the beach, the Netherlands has something for everyone. So, next time you plan a trip to the Netherlands, make sure to explore beyond Amsterdam and discover the beauty and diversity that this country has to offer.

If you’re planning a trip to the Netherlands, there are countless amazing places to explore. From the iconic canals of Amsterdam to the stunning tulip fields in Keukenhof, there’s something for everyone. But if you’re looking to expand your horizons and discover more of Europe’s hidden gems, why not consider a journey through Denmark? In this article from EU Wellbeing, you can learn about the charming cities and scenic countryside that Denmark has to offer. It’s a great way to add another unforgettable destination to your travel itinerary. Check out the article here and start planning your next adventure!


What are some popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands?

Some popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Keukenhof Gardens, and the canals of Amsterdam.

What are some must-visit cities in the Netherlands?

Some must-visit cities in the Netherlands include Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, and Maastricht.

What are some unique experiences to have in the Netherlands?

Some unique experiences to have in the Netherlands include visiting the windmills at Kinderdijk, exploring the tulip fields in Lisse, and cycling through the countryside.

What is the best time of year to visit the Netherlands?

The best time of year to visit the Netherlands is during the spring (April and May) when the tulips are in bloom, or during the summer (June to August) when the weather is warm and sunny.

What is the currency used in the Netherlands?

The currency used in the Netherlands is the Euro (EUR).

What is the official language of the Netherlands?

The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, but many people also speak English.

What is the transportation system like in the Netherlands?

The transportation system in the Netherlands is very efficient and includes trains, buses, trams, and bicycles. The country is also known for its extensive network of bike paths.


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