One of the most fabulous holiday destinations across the world, the Netherlands is the crown jewel of Europe. A heart-stealer, this country is a heaven of rich history, art, heritage, and culture. From beautiful, expansive flower fields and towering windmills to magnificent water canals and picturesque architecture, places to visit in the Netherlands is a promise of splendour and marvel. With medieval castles and cityscapes, this land has an immensely captivating aura.
- Best time to visit the Netherlands
- Places to visit in the Netherlands
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best time to visit the Netherlands
The best time to visit the Netherlands is between mid-April and mid-October.
Did you know?
The tallest men in the world are the Dutchmen!
The Netherlands even houses a fantastic tide control system that has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The best way to explore the beauty that this country is by bicycle. For some of the most memorable times of your life, do not miss out on the best places to visit in the Netherlands and experience the Dutch ways of life.Here is a list of some of the most beautiful Netherland tourist places –
- Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals
- The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam
- The Windmills of Kinderdijk
- Hoge Veluwe National Park
- Towns of the Ijsselmeer (Zuiderzee)
- The Spectacular Dikes of Zeeland
- Historic Valkenburg
- Kasteel De Haar
Suggested Read : Nightlife in Amsterdam
Places to visit in the Netherlands
1. Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals
A significant part of the cityscapes of Amsterdam, the canals are some of the best places to see in the Netherlands. The best tourist attractions of Amsterdam can be accessed easily on a boat tour or a water taxi. Even the most excellent museums and art galleries can be toured this way.
Jordaan is particularly enchanting as a neighbourhood that was built in the early 1600s for house workers and immigrants who had come here in search of the religious tolerance that the city held. In addition to its small houses by the canal-side, take time to notice the many “hofjes” of the neighbourhood which are inner courtyards that rest behind the buildings. Grachtengordel is a famous photo-worthy neighbourhood with several small bridges and quaint homes that belong to the 17th century.
Keep an eye out for elegant houseboats moored along the canals. Ranked top in the list places to visit in the Netherlands tour, the canals of Jordaan and Amsterdam cannot be missed!
Fun Fact: Amsterdam has about 165 canals!
Address – Stationsweg 166A, Lisse
When the image of Netherlands floats through your mind, tulips are sure to abound in it. Known as the “Garden of Europe”, Keukenhof is home to one of the most beautiful places to see in the Netherlands. It houses tulips and several other spring bulbs in enchanting abundance. Situated on the outskirts of Lisse, it is what is mostly considered as the “bulb belt” of the country. It is extremely popular as the largest public garden in the world and is rightly a key Netherland point of interest.
It covers over 70 acres of what was earlier the former kitchen or “keuken” garden of an expansive country estate. It holds a display of more than 700 tulip varieties which are at their peak during April and May. However, due to the establishment of huge commercial hothouses, the tulip display now continues throughout the year. The sight of endless rows of blooming tulips along with many crocuses, hyacinths, and daffodils are sure to give you an experience of a lifetime.
Did you know?
The mayor of Lisse in 1949 organized the first-ever Keukenhof exhibit.
3. The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Address – Museumstraat 1, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The enchanting Rijksmuseum, also known as the Dutch National Museum of Amsterdam, has become famous for collecting rare art and antiquities since as early as 1809. The vast collection seen today amounts up to nearly seven million works of art which include about 5,000 paintings that are housed in more than 250 rooms. There is also an enormous library that holds about 35,000 books. In addition to the highlight of its unique collection of old masters, it also has a fabulous account of the development of culture and art in the country.
As a significant Netherland point of interest, the Rijksmuseum is very rich in traditional Dutch handicrafts, modern art, and medieval sculptures. The many treasures of this museum are worth exploring for a day or two. It is one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands.
Did you know?
One of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings, the Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn, is on display in the Rijksmuseum.
4. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Address – Museumplein 6, Amsterdam
Ranked 35th in the top art museums of the world, the Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam is a fantastic Netherland tourist attraction. As it befits one of the finest artists in the world, it attracts about 1.5 million visitors every year. It houses the most extensive collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the world, several of which were donated by the family of the artist.
This compelling museum and gallery were built to showcase over 500 drawings, 200 paintings, and 700 letters. The works of famous contemporaries of Van Gogh can also be seen in the Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam. Placed high among the best places to visit in the Netherlands, an exploration of this museum is the guarantee of a profound experience.
Did you know?
The Van Gogh Museum had about 2.1 million visitors in 2016!
5. Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam
Address – Prinsengracht 263 – 267, Amsterdam
Another one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands, the Anne Frank Museum of Amsterdam cannot be missed. In the home where the family of Anne Frank hid for most of the Second World War, Anne Frank wrote her very famous diary. They were Jewish refugees from Frankfurt. Though she passed away only two months before the war ended, she left her legacy behind through the power of her words which have been translated into about 51 languages.
The back of the home where they were hiding has been fully restored and kept in its original state as much as was possible. It is an exquisite museum that represents a tragic part of the history of the world and the bravery of a little girl who continually inspires people from all over the world.
Did you know?
In the Anne Frank Museum, you can see the original red-checked diary that Anne Frank received on her 13th birthday.
6. The Windmills of Kinderdijk
The famous village of Kinderdijk or “Children’s Dike” lies between Rotterdam and Dordrecht on the River Noord. It derives its name from an incident during the flood that occurred on St. Elizabeth’s Day in 1421. This was a result of a child’s cradle being stranded on the dyke. In recent times, the beautifully preserved windmills that belong to the 18th century are a prime highlight of the village.
Also placed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the 19 windmills of Kinderdijk are the largest surviving concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. Built between the years of 1722 and 1761, they were initially used to drain the fenlands. These magnificent buildings, with their captivating 92-foot sails, are accessible to the public between April and October. This includes the special Mill Days during which the sails are set in motion.
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7. Hoge Veluwe National Park
Address – Houtkampweg 6, Otterlo, Netherlands
One of the most diverse national park programs, the Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest of its kind in the Netherlands that stretches between Arnhem and Apeldoorn. Spread across an expansive 13, 800 acres, this national park is the largest continuous reserve and finds its place among the finest places to visit in the Netherlands. It is a much-preferred spot for locals and visitors looking for a one-day trip. Housing dense woodlands in the north and an impressive sculpture park, this area was once a country estate and a hunting reserve.
Even to this day, the Hoge Veluwe National Park has been home to several red and roe deer. The active part of the park holds an area of dramatic dunes that are woven with woodland and heath. You can also notice moraines in the south and east that tower up to a height of 100 metres. A very famous area for bird watching, this national park is known for biking and hiking as well. The use of bikes here is free for visitors.
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The key attraction of the Hoge Veluwe National Park is the fabulous Kröller-Müller Museum (Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller). It is home to the world’s second-largest collection of artwork by Van Gogh. You will also find several impressionist and expressionist paintings by Cézanne, Manet, Monet, and Renoir. You will also come across the most extensive sculpture gardens in Europe that displays works of Rodin, Hepworth, Dubuffet, and many others.
Did you know?
You can spot the mouflon, a rare breed of wild sheep, in the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
8. Towns of the Ijsselmeer (Zuiderzee)
Address – Wierdijk 12 – 22, Enkhuizen
Ijsselmeer, a freshwater lake that came to be because of the closing of the sea entrance to the Zuider Zee, is a sight to see. The towns that line the lake make it to the list of the most beautiful places to visit in the Netherlands. These towns are the ones that flourished during the Golden Age of Amsterdam when they could access the Atlantic. They were very prosperous as trade and fishing centres, but they lost their importance as the harbours began silting up.
Time has stood still for Marken, the fishing village, and Volendam and Enkhuizen, the seaports, where several vibrant houses have become shops and museums. The seaports have preserved their buildings and maritime industries in the open-air Zuiderzee Museum. This is a fabulous portrayal of the maritime history and cultural heritage of the old Zuiderzee region. Here, you will see many dedicated artisans at work earning early maritime skills. In the harbour of Volendam, you can also catch the sight of the collection of colourful old wooden boats.
Fun Fact: The idea to bring a dam to Ijsselmeer is over 350 years old!
9. The Spectacular Dikes of Zeeland
Zeeland includes several islands and peninsulas of the southwestern segment of the Netherlands. It incorporates the deltas of the Rhine, the Maas, and the Schelde Rivers. A significant part of this area is land that has been recently formed and is below sea level. The location of Zeeland makes it a necessity for the land to be reliant on impressive dykes in addition to techniques of new flood prevention.
Make sure that you do not miss out on witnessing the Delta Works, an engineering project. These huge structures, which are highly technological dams, can control the amount of water that enters the prime estuaries of the area from the North Sea. Rightly declared as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this mind-blowing project consists of dams, sluices, dykes, and storm-surge barriers.
Did you know?
“Zeeland” has the meaning “sea-land”. It derives its name from the fact that it has many islands!
10. Historic Valkenburg
If you are passionate about history, Valkenburg is the place for you to be at. With its medieval attractions, the tiny but Romantic Valkenburg guarantees an experience like no other. Situated in the scenic Guel Valley, it holds the only hilltop castle of the Netherlands. Along with being a popular holiday resort, the town of Valkenburg has many caves and spa facilities at one of the largest establishments of the country, Thermae 2000.
Another famous attraction here is the fascinating 14th century St. Nicolaaskerk Basilica in addition to the ruins of the 12th-century castle on Dwingelrots (Castle Rock). Do not miss out on visiting the famous Christmas Market of the town between mid-November and December 23rd. The market can be seen in the maze of the old passageways that lead to and from the castle, known as the Velvet Caves.
11. Kasteel De Haar
The largest fortification in the Netherlands, Kasteel De Haar, is located near the lovely old city of Utrecht. This famous castle that was built by the well-known Dutch architect, PJH Cuypers, rests on an expansive park covering an area of a striking 250 acres. The whole village of Haarzuilens was relocated to accommodate it. Though the original site of the castle was established in the 14th century, the current structure dates back to 1892.
Kasteel De Haar is a structure that is deserving of taking the time to explore. You will find, on the inside, splendid collections of antiques, paintings, furniture, and tapestry. What is sure to keep you spellbound are the gardens that lie along with the fairy tale looks of the castle. As one of the top places to visit in the Netherlands, Kasteel De Haar is a place that is sure to rest in your memory.
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Tip: You must relish a meal in the Koetshuis in Kasteel De Haar.
A perfect offbeat destination, Leeuwarden is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Netherlands. Its proximity to Amsterdam makes it a great getaway destination from the capital. This place has several great places to eat and drink at and is also home to a few galleries and museums that display great artwork. Situated in Friesland of the Netherlands, Leeuwarden has some stunning highlights such as the Fries Museum, Aqua Zoo Friesland, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, and Natuurmuseum. You can spend some time discovering the 11 fountains of the place and bask in the nightlife it has to offer.
Did you know?
Fries is one of the very few languages that has been officially recognized.
As the oldest town of the country, Middelburg is a great Netherland tourist attraction. It also finds a position among the best places to visit in the Netherlands. A trip to this town rich in culture and architecture is an experience you do not want to miss out on! Mini Mundi, Zeeuws Museum, and Vleeshal Middelburg are some of the most spectacular attractions here. You could dine at fabulous restaurants, go on bicycle tours, and shop in Town Hall. A place that offers you many exciting activities, a visit to Middelburg is highly recommended.
Did you know?
Middelburg was called Nasareth until 1872.
Are you a passionate Instagrammer or photographer? Then, Thorn is a place that is sure to leave you mesmerized. The charm and prettiness of this place cannot be described in mere words. With cobbled streets, whitewashed buildings made of brick, and some exotic scenery, Thorn is almost dreamlike. It is even called the “white town”. Situated in Limburg, it lies near the Belgium border. Thorn has many attractions, such as Gemeentemuseum Land van Thorn, Abdijkerk Thorn, and Begijnhof. The 10th-century abbey church in the town centre is a highlight that cannot be missed. You can even go on guided tours and spend a day at the museum.
Did you know?
Thorn received its distinct white colour with the arrival of the French in 1794.
Famed for the world-renowned cheese, Gouda is a fascinating places to visit in the Netherlands. A region that has been manufacturing this cheese for centuries now, cheese and food lovers must visit here. Especially on Thursdays, from April to August, Gouda comes to life with the presence of age-old cheese markets for tourists to enjoy and relish. You can engage in various activities like cheese making, weighing, auctioning, and many more. Visit the historical Museum and Cheese Museum. Gouda is also famous for wine and beer tasting and canal cruises. You can even go on a guided walking tour.
Did you know?
The making of the Gouda Cheese dates back to a time as early as the 12th century!
A personal destination among tourists, Edam is trendy for being the host of its Wednesday cheese market. It is also the producer of the world-famous cheese known as the Edam Cheese that it exports to countries around the globe. Edam is also popular for being a historically significant site and is rightly placed in the list of the most beautiful places to visit in the Netherlands. Some of the major attractions here are Volendam Museum, Paard Van Marken, and Edams Museum. You can indulge in a cheese tasting and go on an exploration of this historic town with windmills in its countryside.
Fun Fact: In the earlier times, Edam Cheese was made in forms like helmets to be worn during a riot. This is where the Dutch get the name “cheese-heads”!
The one thing that you cannot miss to do while you are in the Netherlands is visiting Maastricht. As a historic city, it is a top tourist attraction in the country. A trip to this region will allow you to witness the impressive combination of medieval architecture and modern environment it provides. Some of the best places to visit in Maastricht include Bonnefanten Museum, Mount Saint Peter and the St. Pietersberg Caves, The Old Town Walls and Hell Gate, and the Natural History Museum. Taking a walk down the lanes of Maastricht is one of the most relaxing things to do while you are here. This is the one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands
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Did you know?
Maastricht has a touch of Spanish influence!
For a deep experience like no other, head to the best places to visit in the Netherlands and find the best of bliss.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the Netherlands known for?
A: The Netherlands is known for its canals, windmills, and tulips.
2. Is the Netherlands a safe country?
A: The Netherlands is a very safe country to travel to.
3. What countries make up the Netherlands?
A: The countries that make up the Netherlands are – the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.
4. Is the Netherlands worth visiting?
A: Yes, the Netherlands must be visited and is worth every penny.
5. Which is the most beautiful city in the Netherlands?
A: Without a doubt, Amsterdam is the most beautiful city in the Netherlands with its quaint museums, canal-side houses, churches, and hidden gems.
6. What is the essential thing in the Netherlands?
A: Canals, tulips, cheese, and windmills are some of the essential things in the Netherlands.
Did you know?
The Netherlands is considered to be the healthiest country in the world for its diet.