While Amsterdam remains the most visited place in the Netherlands, it is not the only attraction that this country has to offer. From exploring the canals to visiting the iconic windmills and museums, there is a lot to do in the Netherlands — often referred to as Holland. In this blog, we will list 10 attractions that should surely feature in your list when visiting this northern European nation.
- Kastel de Haar
The Kastel de Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands. It is located close to the city of Utrecht and is perfect for a day trip. The original castle at this site dates back to 1391, although the present Neo Gothic restored structure was built in 1892 by Dutch architect P J H Cuypers. The castle is set amidst a huge garden, one of the main attractions of the site. The interior of the castle is a sight to behold, with 200 rooms decorated with rich woodcarvings.
Located in western Netherlands, the Hague is one of the most important cities of this country. It is home to the Peace Palace which houses the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The city is dotted with many historic architecture and is best for a weekend visit. Some of the other attractions of the city include the Binenhof — the seat of the Dutch government, the Royal Picture Gallery — housed in a 17th century palace, the Paleis Noordeinde, the 15th century town hall, the Municipal Museum, and the Madurodam miniature city, to name just a few.
- Keukenhof Gardens
Located in Lisse, the Keukenhof Gardens is one of the major attractions in Netherlands. Spread over 32 hectares, it is claimed to be the largest flower garden in the world. Nicknamed the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof is home to nearly 7 million flower bulbs. The garden was was once a part of the hunting grounds of the Keukenhof castle complex. The castle remains as one of the attractions of the gardens. The gardens are open to the public from mid March to mid May, with April being the best time to see the flowers in full bloom.
- Hoge Veluwe National Park
The Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest continuous natural reserve in the Netherlands, covering an area of nearly 13,800 acres. Dramatic dunes, endemic wildlife, lush woodlands, and an innovative sculpture park have made it one of the most popular day trip destinations of the country. The park is also very popular with bird watchers. There are several biking and hiking trails for those who love adventure and the outdoors. Netherlands is one of the most bicycle friendly nations in the world, and you can actually access bikes for free to explore the park.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and home to the largest port in Europe. It is known for its modern architecture as well as its innumerable museums. You need at least 2 to 3 days to explore this city so it is best suited for a weekend visit. The Euromast, Erasmus Bridge, Old Harbor, and Chinatown are some its most popular attractions. The city also has many beautiful churches, a century-old city hall, and a wide variety of museums. You can also visit any of the 7 windmills if they are running. For the adrenaline junkies, Rotterdam offers tandem skydiving, abseiling, and the fastest zip wiring in Europe.
- Windmills of Kinderdijk
One of the first images that we have of the Netherlands is its windmills and there is no other place to best experience this image than Kinderdijk. Located in southern Netherlands, about 15 km east of Rotterdam, Kinderdijk is home to 19 windmills, the oldest of which date back to 1740! These national monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most well known symbols of the Netherlands. Day trips are available from various parts of the Netherlands to this site.
The Rijksmuseum is the largest art museum and the most visited museum in the Netherlands, with over 2 million visitors every year. It was originally founded in 1800 in The Hague but was moved to Amsterdam 8 years later. The current building, however, was built in 1885. The museum has over a million artifacts including artworks by Rembrandt and Vermeer.
The town of Delft is located in southern Netherlands and is one of the best places to enjoy the traditional charm of the Netherlands which many locals believe is lost in Amsterdam due to the onslaught of tourist activities. This town was founded more than 750 years ago and developed around the Old Canal — Oude Delft. You can take Tram 1 from The Hague to get to Delft in just 20 minutes. Explore the attractions of Delft, most of which can be easily covered on foot. Some of its major attractions include the 13th century Old Church, the 15th century New Church, the Vermeer Centrum, and the Town Hall. Delft is also renowned for being the birthplace of Vermeer and for its Delftware — a typical blue ceramic pottery.
Located just minutes from the border of Belgium, Maastricht is the southernmost city of Netherlands. It claims to be the oldest city in the country. Maastricht has a staggering 1677 national heritage sites, so it is no wonder that there will be enough attractions for any visiting tourist. The major attraction is its historic old center which can effortlessly transport you to the medieval days with its narrow cobblestone streets and stone structures.
- Canals of Amsterdam
No trip to Netherlands or Amsterdam is complete without exploring its world famous canals. These canals were first built during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. Presently, there is a network of over 100 km of canals with about 1500 bridges. There are 3 main canals — Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht, and Herengracht — which form concentric belts around Amsterdam. Many of these canals have water taxi services which can be a good way to explore the heritage and charm of traditional Amsterdam.
Originally posted 2017-04-03 06:22:16.