People who visit the Netherlands usually go to Amsterdam only. But there’s a lot more than that in the country. When you visit Holland, you discover a country with windmills, tulip fields, numerous museums and you discover the art and culture of the Netherlands. What to do in the Netherlands? Here’s a list of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands, all easily reachable from Amsterdam. Then I’ll share Netherlands travel tips.
Things to do in the Netherlands
Even though Amsterdam is the capital, you’ll find in the Hague the Dutch parliament (Binnenhof) and the seat of the government. It’s known as the Royal City by the Sea due to its Dutch Royal citizens. The Hague offers an interesting mix of old and new with its architecture, beautiful squares, museums, beaches and also skyscrapers. It’s one of the best cities to visit in the Netherlands.
You have to see Madurodam (the miniature city), the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis and Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (an art museum). Spend some time in Scheveningen if you go there in summer. You can relax along the sea. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Delft is located in Southwest Netherlands. Delft is known for its artwork and for its Renaissance architecture (go to the city hall, you’ll see by yourself!). Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch painter, comes from Delft. There’s a museum dedicated to him. Visit the Prinsenhof museum and have a walk in Nieuwe Kerk and Oud Kerk. Delft is known for its blue pottery, get some as a souvenir. Delft is definitely one the places to see in the Netherlands. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Rotterdam is definitely one of the places to see in Holland. That’s the only city in the Netherlands which was flattened during World War II. The population had to rebuild everything and the result is… particular! The architecture is really special! Go to the Cube Houses, Euromast, Erasmus bridge and Witte Huis.
You can even go to Efteling theme park, one hour away from the city! There’s also street art in the city. I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Rotterdam. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
I don’t even need to introduce Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Known for its cannabis and the red light district, there’s a lot more than that in Amsterdam. Canals, historic buildings, renowned museums, delicious restaurants… Go to the Anne Frank house, roam around Vondelpark, try the Heineken Experience and visit one of the numerous museums in the city. I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Amsterdam. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Maastricht offers an interesting mix of medieval architecture, and modern atmosphere at the same time. There are numerous cafés and hip bars, and even five Michelin-starred restaurants. You have to see Vrijthof square, the impressive Saint Servatius church and Vestigingswerkens (old fortifications). There’s also Bisschopsmolen, the oldest working windmill in the Netherlands. Maastricht is one of the places to go in the Netherlands. Click here to find your accommodation.
Kinderdijk is a village located not far from Rotterdam. People mostly go there to be amazed in front of the 19 windmills there. They were built to prevent floodings and keep soil dry. The windmills are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s possible to go biking, and you can even you can lace up some skates and enjoy the frozen canals in the winter. Another one of the places to visit in Holland. Click here to get to Kinderdijk.
Gouda is a town known all over the world for… its gouda, the famous cheese! But Gouda is also known for its candles, clay pipes, and its stroopwafels (syrup waffles). In Gouda, there are many old buildings and wonderful canals. Visit St Janskerk church and admire its incredible stained glass windows. Also visit Kaaswaag, the cheese museum. From to April to August, visit Gouda on a Thursday to see the famous cheese market. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
The largest country in the Netherlands is in Utrecht. But there’s more than that. You have to see the inner canal wharf system, designed to keep the Rhine from flooding the city. Don’t miss the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Martin, Dom Tower and the Rietveld Schroder House. There are also numerous museums such as the Central museum about the local history, art and fashion. Or the Speelklok and its musical instruments. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
De Hoge Veluwe National Park
It’s one of the top Netherlands tourist attractions. Get one of the 1,700 free bikes for rent, and discover this park covering an area of 5,400 hectares. You have to see the wildlife: red deers, wild boars, rare birds, sand dunes, dense woodlands, peat bogs… You can also go on a safari! In the park, you’ll find the Kröller-Müller museum which is home to the world’s largest Van Gogh collection! Click here to find your accommodation.
Volendam is not far from Amsterdam. It’s a small, charming village. You go there to admire its colorful wooden houses and its fishing boats. Volendam is mostly famous for its delicious seafood, especially eel and herring. People also love the cheese there. You have to try the local food in Volendam. Click here to find your accommodation.
There are two universities in Groningen, therefore you’ll see numerous students in the city and there’s a vibrant nightlife. Groningen offers a mix of history, culture and art. The canals are wonderful. Those who like museums won’t be disappointed. Among others there’s the Groningen museum, the graphic museum, the maritime museum, the tea museum and the strip museum. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Referred as “the Venice of the Netherlands” or “the village with no roads”, this charming hamlet can only be visited by boat, bike, or on foot. You mostly get around by boat actually, on the canals with calm and peacefulness. It’s really enjoyable. There are thatched cottages, great restaurants along the canals, and quirky shops. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to go there on a day trip from Amsterdam.
It’s actually a chain of about 50 islands located in the north of the country, on Wadden sea. Five of them are Dutch. Texel Island is the main one, where you’ll find dune sands, salt marshes and beaches lined with bungalows. There’s also Terschelling for bird-watching ou Vlieland to trek through the woods. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
These were the best places to visit in the Netherlands! Now here are a few Netherlands travel tips!
Netherlands travel budget
- Accommodation in the Netherlands is as expensive as our Western standards. One night in a hostel dorm costs between 25 and 40 euros ($28-45). It’s a bit more in Amsterdam. One night in a mid-range hotel costs between 70 and 120 euros ($80-135). To stay in a luxury hotel, prices start at 150 euros ($170) per night. Click here to book your accommodation.
- Food is also as expensive as our Western standards. A meal in a mid-range restaurant costs between 20 and 30 euros ($22.50-34). A fast food costs about 7 euros ($8), a pizza around 12 euros ($13.50) and a beer around one euro ($1).
- Regarding transportation, one-way fares in cities start at 4 euros ($4.50). There are day-passes at 8 euros ($9). To get around in the country, train rides cost between 5 and 25 euros ($5.50-28). It’s a small country!. Bus rides cost less than 10 euros ($11.50) with Flixbus. You can also rent a car, prices start at 30 euros ($34) per day. Or rent a bike, it costs around 8-15 euros ($9-17) per day.
- Regarding activities, entrance fees to the museums cost between 15 and 20 euros ($17-22.50).
Basically, if you’re traveling on a budget, you can get by with $55 per day. Otherwise you’ll spend about $150+ per day.
How to get around in the Netherlands
In major cities, there’s public transportation (bus, tramway…). To get around in the country, it’s better to take the train. You can also take the bus, rent a car or ride-share with other travelers.
Best time to visit the Netherlands
Travelers mostly go to the Netherlands between April and October. The peak season is July and August, there are more tourists and everything is more expensive. From November to March it’s cold, days are short and there’s fog. But travelers also go there during the Christmas season to see the markets. It’s better to go to the Netherlands from mid-April to mid-May. The weather is nice, it’s not too crowded and you’ll see the tulip fields in bloom.
Visa policy of the Netherlands
If you’re an European citizen or coming from a Western country, you don’t need a visa to get to the Netherlands. You can find all the details here.
Safety in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a safe country. Even for solo female travelers, there’s no problem. There are a few scams, like people who want to sell you a stolen bike or used public transit tickets. But nothing serious. Before traveling, don’t forget to get travel insurance. It will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. Click here to get one.
Packing list for the Netherlands
I’m not gonna list all the things to pack for the Netherlands. I don’t know how long you’re gonna stay there, where you’re going in the Netherlands, what you’re going to do and when you’ll visit. Take all the necessary clothes, toiletries, and also:
- hand sanitizer
- combination locks
- a money belt
- a security cable lock
- a travel plug adapter
- a stainless steel water bottle
- a lifestraw (a water bottle with a purifier)
- a menstrual cup (for the ladies)
Here’s a full list of travel accessories which can be useful!
What to eat in the Netherlands
The Netherlands isn’t knwon for its food. Oliebollen is a pastry mostly sold in winter, around Christmas. It’s a fried dumpling served with powdered sugar. Stroopwafels are waffles doused with syrup. You also have to taste edam and gouda, Dutch cheese.
You can now visit the Netherlands and enjoy your time there thanks to this Netherlands travel guide!
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page!
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- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it. Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.