Planning your next trip to The Netherlands, you probably wonder where to go in the country. Of course, Amsterdam is on your itinerary, but you might wonder, what are the cities that you should visit in The Netherlands?
The best cities you should visit in The Netherlands are:
- The Hague
- Den Bosch
We wrote this extensive list, so we can help you have the best time in our country. This article contains a city list of best cities to visit in The Netherlands. We tell you about the fun and unique things to do in each city, recommended places to stay, and the best time to visit. Let’s read on and have fun planning your trip to The Netherlands!
The Netherlands City Guide
In this city guide, we first focus on the four major cities of The Netherlands. Followed by the other interesting cities of the country.
The capital of The Netherlands is probably our most famous city. Did you know many people think that Amsterdam is the country instead of The Netherlands?
Amsterdam is in the northwest part of The Netherlands, in the province of North-Holland (Noord Holland in Dutch). When you’re entering the country, there’s a good chance that you arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, located close to the city center.
The city is by far the most popular in The Netherlands, receiving around 17 million visitors a year. In the whole country, the yearly average is 19 million. So only a small part of the tourists visiting The Netherlands are not visiting Amsterdam.
You might think, why is Amsterdam so famous? And what are the highlights I should visit? Let’s find out.
The biggest city of The Netherlands is famous for its history, the Amsterdam canals, and a wide variety of internationally renowned museums.
When you’re visiting Amsterdam, make sure that you visit these highlights;
- Anne Frank House
Museum dedicated to Anne Frank, worldwide known for her diary, The Diary of Anne Frank, which she wrote during the Second World War when she was hiding for the Nazis. It gives a unique look inside the life of the people who needed to hide for the Germans during World War II because they were Jewish.
You can only buy tickets online via the website of the Anne Frank House Museum (link to the Museum’s website). You can buy your tickets two months in advance or on the day itself. Tickets are available in specific timeslots. The earlier you buy your tickets, the more timeslots available.
Rijksmuseum is the National Museum of The Netherlands. Dedicated to the art and history of Amsterdam and The Netherlands. The most famous painting which belongs to the collection of the Rijksmuseum is Rembrandt’s Night Watch (Nachtwacht in Dutch). Painted in 1642.
- Van Gogh Museum
Dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh. A Dutch painter who lived between 1853 and 1890. Internationally renowned for its artwork.
- Amsterdam Canals
Amsterdam is known for its canals. The city has over 100 kilometers of canals, and 1500 bridges. The canals were dug out during the Golden Era (Gouden Eeuw in Dutch). When The Netherlands was one of the biggest countries in maritime trade. The wealthiest people lived in big houses alongside the canals. The most important canals are known as The Canal Belt (Grachtengordel in Dutch), which is a Unesco World Heritage site since 2010.
It is great fun to take a boat tour around Amsterdam, and explore the city from the water.
- Jordaan Area
Probably one of the most famous neighborhoods in Amsterdam. It’s where you find the real Amsterdam culture. Originally this neighborhood was built for the working class in the 17th century. Many workers and immigrants needed housing when the city grew.
The Jordaan area was a poor neighborhood for a long time. The rich people from Amsterdam lived alongside the Canal Belt, and the working class and the poor in the Jordaan Area.
Today the Jordaan is renowned for its culture, local restaurants, and traditional houses. It developed into one of the most popular and expensive neighborhoods in the city.
- Albert Cuyp Market
When you want to experience the real Amsterdam culture, you need to visit the Albert Cuyp Market. It is a street market located in De Pijp area. It’s great to walk around and do some shopping. And to experience the laidback, full of humor, Amsterdam culture.
There’s much more to see and do in Amsterdam. You might be interested in this article we wrote; 25 best things to do in Amsterdam.
Best Places to Stay in Amsterdam:
There are many accommodations to find in Amsterdam, so we made a small selection of accommodations where we think you can feel at home. Use the links the check the latest prices on Booking.com.
Heritage Canal House Suites a small bed & breakfast located in the heart of the city, within walking distance of the major attractions in Amsterdam.
Apartments de Hallen A great place to stay when you’re looking to stay in an apartment instead of a hotel — ideally located close to the Vondelpark and all the major attractions in the city.
Budget choice: Hostel The Flying Pig Downtown Amsterdam is known to be expensive regarding hotels and accommodations, so if you want to save some money, a perfect choice will be booking a hostel where you sleep in a dormitory room. It’s not the most relax way to stay in the city, but you’ll definitely save some money.
The second-largest city in our country. Rotterdam is different than Amsterdam. And it’s only a one hour drive between the two cities.
The city is known as a port city. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and the 7th largest in the world.
Bombings during the Second World War destroyed a big part of Rotterdam. The bombing of the Germans completely destroyed the city center. After the war, the city was quickly rebuilt and started to grow economically again. Nowadays, it is the city with the most modern architecture in The Netherlands.
Rotterdam is one of the most multicultural cities in The Netherlands. Over 50% of the citizens are from a non-Dutch ethnic background. It gives Rotterdam a unique vibe, and it is truly a city of the world.
We both studied for a couple of years in Rotterdam, and spend a lot of time in the city. These are the highlights you can’t miss while visiting Rotterdam.
The city is famous for its modern architecture and the massive port.
- Cubic Houses
These renowned designs located in the center of Rotterdam, are probably one of the unique buildings in the city. The houses built in 1977, are designed to optimize living space inside.
Since a few years, the houses are a hostel, where you can stay while you’re visiting Rotterdam. The hostel offers only dormitory rooms.
Book your stay at StayOkay hostel Rotterdam to sleep in the cubic houses
- Market Hall
The biggest indoor market hall of The Netherlands is one of the newest buildings in Rotterdam. It offers a unique experience in the Rotterdam culture with the different fresh food market stalls.
The building is unique because it also offers office space and different apartments on top. A unique combination!
- Old Port
This small port is one of the oldest ports in Rotterdam. The first jetty dates back to 1350. Nowadays, the Old Port, decorated with historic ships, is known for its many restaurants and cafes. Great place to go for a drink in Rotterdam.
- SS Rotterdam (ship)
This former ocean cruise ship from the famous Holland America Line functions now as a hotel. The vessel had its first Atlantic journey in 1959, from Rotterdam to New York. It operated for different companies as a cruise ship until 2000. Since 2010 the ship is back in the harbor in Rotterdam, near the former port where it used to depart.
The SS Rotterdam functions as a museum and a hotel. A unique place to spent your nights while visiting Rotterdam.
Book your stay at SS Rotterdam via Booking.com
- Great St. Laurens Church
The church is the only building that remembers the Medieval city of Rotterdam. Originally built-in 1449. It functions as the central church of Rotterdam. Heavily damaged during the bombings in the Second World War. The church is the only medieval building that’s rebuilt.
- Erasmus Bridge
This important bridge connects the north en south area of Rotterdam. The Erasmus bridge, with a length of 802 meters, is the second-largest bridge in The Netherlands.
- Witte de With street
When you’re looking for a unique Rotterdam culture, the Witte de With area is the best place where you can go. The long street is known for its many restaurants, cafes, shops, and art galleries. Everything slightly different than the standard you’ll find in many cities. One of our favorite places to go when we’re visiting Rotterdam.
- Explore the old harbor in a Hottub-boat
It’s absolutely one the most fun thing to do in Rotterdam. It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside. Sailing in a hot tub boat through the old harbor and center of Rotterdam. A must-do experience while in Rotterdam.
You can rent a Hot Tug via the website of Vessel 11, the restaurant that organizes this experience.
A few years ago, Kirsten arranged this for my birthday in February. We had a great experience, see for yourselves 😉
Best Places to Stay in Rotterdam
Rotterdam is great to spend a night. Staying in Rotterdam, you must stay somewhere on the water. After all, the city has one of the largest ports in Europe. We already recommended a few places to stay in Rotterdam, but here’s a short list so you can easily make your choice.
Use the links to check the latest prices on Booking.com.
- SS Rotterdam
A unique experience to spend the night at a former ocean cruise ship
- Cubic Houses (budget option)
It’s not on the water, but close to the old harbor of Rotterdam, located in the heart of the center. These cubic houses are unique to stay for a night. They offer only dormitory rooms.
Every thought it was possible to make a house from paper? Wikkelhouses are cardboard tiny houses, a Dutch concept. Unique and sustainable housing. You can spend a night on a Wikkelhouse located on a flatbottom boat, which they call Wikkelboat.
It’s the most beautiful city in The Netherlands. Okay, this is our personal opinion, but still, The Hague is a great city to visit. We both lived in The Hague for several years before we sold our house, quit or office jobs, and decided to go traveling and change our lives.
When we’re back in The Netherlands, The Hague is still our favorite city to visit. What we love most about this city is that you have the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a busy modern city, with a historical center. And with 15 minutes, you’ll be able to reach Scheveningen Beach and enjoy a beautiful beach day.
When you’re in The Netherlands, visiting The Hague should be on your itinerary. Not only because we’re so enthusiastic about it 😉
The Hague is the city where our government resides. It is the International city of peace. And also our King and Queen are living in The Hague. Many highlights you can’t miss while visiting The Hague, let’s find out!
Highlights of The Hague
Binnenhof, in English Inner Court, are several buildings connected. It is where our government resides. Binnenhof is one of the oldest parliament buildings in the world. Built-in the 13th century for the counts of Holland and became the political center for the Dutch Republic, which originated in 1584.
You can visit Binnenhof for free. It is unique to walk around the court. On certain days a year, Binnenhof is closed for the public. Depending on the political events.
- Lange Voorhout
This street is one of the most beautiful streets in The Netherlands. You’ll find Lange Voorhout, located in the old city center of The Hague, close to Binnenhof. Almost every building on this street is declared a National Monument (Rijksmonument in Dutch). The most important buildings on this street are Kloosterkerk (built in the 14th Century), Pageshuis (built in the 17th century), Diligentia Theatre, Formal Royal Palace, and Supreme Court of The Netherlands.
- Escher in The formal Royal Palace
Escher in the Palace shows the masterpieces of the worldwide renowned artist MC Escher. Since 2002 you can enjoy this exhibition in the former royal palace of the Dutch Royal Family, located at Lange Voorhout. The Royal Family lived in the palace from 1896 until 1990.
- The Peace Palace
Built around 1903, and houses the international court of justice, the peace palace library, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This amazing palace is excellent for a visit, especially when you find international law interesting.
You’ll need to plan your visit, though, because opening times vary throughout the week. Check out their website for the latest information.
- Noordeinde Palace
Noordeinde Palace is a Royal Palace of the Dutch Royal Family. King Willem-Alexander uses this palace as its ‘work palace’. You’ll find the palace at Noordeinde, a street in the city center of The Hague.
- Royal Palace Gardens
The palace gardens belong to the Noordeinde Palace. A large part of these gardens is open for the public. It is a great place to spend some time on a beautiful summer day, and get to know the locals. When it is summer in The Hague, and you’re not going to Scheveningen Beach, visiting the Royal Gardens is another favorable thing to do.
- Panorama Mesdag
A museum in Scheveningen Beach, which offers a 360-degree painting of Scheveningen in 1881. The painting is the work of Jan Willem Mesdag, one of the most important painters of The Art School of The Hague (in Dutch: Haagse School).
This Museum, located next to Binnenhof, is – and I quote their website here; Home to the best of Dutch painting of the seventeenth century. The Museum has a collection with more than 200 works of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and many more Dutch and flemish painters of the 17th century.
The renowned miniature park, which offers tiny replicas of famous Dutch landmarks. The park is excellent for a day visit, especially when you’re traveling with children. Easy to combine with a visit to Scheveningen Beach. When you go to Scheveningen Beach with tramline 9, the tram stops at Madurodam halfway.
- Scheveningen Beach
Probably the most famous beach in The Netherlands. Where you find many beach bars, a sports beach, and a huge boulevard. It is great to walk around, go (kite)-surfing, bungee-jumping, or to jump in the sea! Scheveningen Beach has it all!
Officially Scheveningen belongs to The Hague. However, according to the local community, you either come from The Hague or Scheveningen. They’re both different. And in a kind of way, there’s a difference. The city of The Hague is busier, and people from Scheveningen are often more laidback.
Scheveningen can be very busy during the summer period when hundreds of thousands of people visiting the beach. When you’re visiting Scheveningen during this period, it is recommended to use public transport. Most trams and buses take around 20 minutes from The Hague city center to Scheveningen Beach.
Best Places to Stay in The Hague
The Hague offers many different accommodations. A few unique places to stay in the city are;
- B&B Valkenbos
This bed & breakfast is located in the neighborhood where we used to live. Valkenboskwartier is a lovely neighborhood located 10 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from the city center. Great place to stay and enjoy the local vibe!
- Hotel Des Indes
Probably the oldest hotel in The Hague, built-in 1858. If you are looking to stay in a luxury, classic hotel on the most beautiful street in The Netherlands (Lange Voorhout), this hotel is where you want to stay.
- Student Hotel (Budget choice)
This hostel is next to the station The Hague Holland Spoor. It’s the train station that connects the city with Amsterdam, Leiden, Rotterdam. So if your traveling around with public transport, this budget choice is ideally located. It’s also easy to reach the center as the hostel is within walking distance.
Located in the middle of The Netherlands, you’ll find Utrecht. The fourth-largest city in the country. The history of Utrecht dates back for a long time. The city was even the most important in the country before the start of the Golden Age. During that time, Amsterdam became the most important city in the country.
Highlights of Utrecht
Utrecht is a vibrant city with many historical sites and a lovely historical center.
- Dom Tower
The most famous building in Utrecht is the Dom Tower (Domtoren in Dutch). This church is 112 meters high, and if you want to climb the tower (which we recommend), you’ll need to climb over 400 steps. Followed by a magnificent view of the city of Utrecht.
- DomUnder Museum
When you’re interested in the history of Utrecht, the DomUnder museum is a perfect visit. Book a guided archaeological tour. You will learn about the history of the city and how Utrecht developed over time.
- DomChurch (St. Martins Cathedral)
The church and tower are probably the most important landmarks in Utrecht. The church was built-in 1254. A massive storm, what we now call a tornado, in 1674 destroyed a large part of the church, and the connection with the tower. The restoration of the church took a long time and finally finished in 1988.
- Utrecht Canals
The city has its own canal belt. Not as extensive as in Amsterdam. A fun thing to do is to hop on a boat and explore the city from the water. Oudegracht, which connects the city with the Rhine river, is the most important canal in the city.
- De Haar Castle
Located a bit out of the city, but still belongs to Utrecht municipality, you’ll find De Haar Castle. The biggest castle in The Netherlands. Built-in the 13th century. The castle, which is now a museum, was once of the private residence of the Van Zuylen family. A wealthy Dutch family. The Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers – Famous for its design of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – completely renovated the castle between 1892 and 1913.
These are only a few of the highlights in Utrecht. The city has a lot more to offer, and you can easily spend two or more days if you want to visit all the famous landmarks.
When you’re a first time visitor in Utrecht, we recommend to visit the landmarks we mentioned above and enjoy the unique vibe in the historical center. It’s fantastic to walk around and stop for a coffee at one of the cafes in the center.
Best Places to Stay in Utrecht
Staying in Utrecht is not only a great thing to do, but also practical. From Utrecht, you can easily reach other destinations in The Netherlands for a day trip. We selected a few accommodations in Utrecht. Use the links to check the latest prices on Booking.com
- Hotel Beijers
It is one of the oldest and most classic hotels in Utrecht. It is located ideally in the city center, so a great option if you only spend a night in the center.
- Loft 188 Apartments
Utrecht is perfect for staying a few more nights. You can easily combine different day trips and use Utrecht as the place where you’re staying — doing something like that we always want to feel like we’re at home. So that’s why we’re recommending to choose an apartment.
- Bunk Hotel Utrecht (Budget Option)
Saving money on accommodations can be a good choice. However, there aren’t many hostels to find with good customer reviews. Bunk Hotel scores on average an 8+ on Booking.com, which is excellent for a hostel with dormitory rooms.
When you travel to the most southern point of The Netherlands, you’ll arrive in the province of Limburg. The city of Maastricht is the most interesting city to visit in this province. Maastricht, one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands, is a Medieval city with a vibrant cultural vibe.
Highlights of Maastricht
Did you know we produce wine in The Netherlands? That’s something you didn’t expect 😉
Maastricht and its surroundings are known as the wine region of The Netherlands, perfect to taste some Dutch wines. Luckily this ancient city has much more to offer then wines, let’s find out;
The main square of the city is called Vrijthof. This square has always been famous for the city, and today it’s still the heart of the city center. You’ll find many restaurants and cafes along the square. Also, some medieval buildings which you can visit.
- St. Servatius Church
One of the most famous churches in The Netherlands, located alongside the Vrijthof square. The church, dedicated to the Armenian missionary, Servatius, is the oldest in The Netherlands. Servatius died in Maastricht around 384.
- Fort St. Pieter
This 300-year-old fortress is now a monument with a trendy restaurant. Originally built to defend the city against the French invasion. You can visit the fort with a guided tour, where you learn about the history of Maastricht and the use of the fort.
- St. Pieter Caves
Under Fort St. Pieter, you’ll find a tunnel system that’s over 80 kilometers long. The caves and tunnels are known as St. Pieters Caves, first excavations dating back 1000 years ago. The caves functioned as a hiding place for the people of Maastricht during the wars. Also, this was the hiding place for the world-famous painting Night Watch (Nachtwacht) from Rembrandt during World War II.
- City Hall
A classic building in the Dutch style, dating back to 1684. The famous Dutch architecture Pieter Post designed the building, which is still in use today.
- Bishops Watermill
The oldest working watermill in The Netherlands is the bishops Watermill, located in the center of Maastricht. Built-in the 7th century, and still in use today. Over the years, the Watermill had different functions. During the Middle Ages, it was used by the Brewers Guild to make beer. Since 2004 it is used by a local bakery, where you can find the best bread and pastries in Maastricht.
Best Places to Stay in Maastricht
Booking a place to stay in Maastricht, you can’t go wrong. A unique place to stay is Bed & Breakfast Kasteelhoeve, located at an old castle complex.
The list of accommodations in Maastricht is huge, check out the complete list with the most recent prices on Booking.com
In the Northern part of The Netherlands, we find the city of Groningen. This university city is known as a vibrant city with lots of bars, restaurants, and different events throughout the year. The old city of Groningen has some fantastic historical buildings you can visit. And the beautiful natural parks that are closeby makes it great for a visit!
Highlights of Groningen
- Martini tower
The highest building in Groningen is the Martini Tower, with a height of 97 meters. The church tower is 500 years old and survived many wars, storms, and other elements over time. It is one of the oldest buildings in The Netherlands.
You can visit the tower and climb the 250 steps until you reach a height of almost 40 meters, which is the highest point you can visit. A bit of work-out, but the magnificent views over the city are absolutely worth it!
- National Park Lauwerslake
In 1969 the Lauwersea was closed off with dikes to prevent massive floodings. Which resulted in the Lauwerslake. Many years later, and with almost no human interaction, the lake and its surroundings had time to flourish in a beautiful nature park.
Nowadays, the park is one of the most famous National Parks in The Netherlands regarding bio-diversity. It is possible to visit the park and enjoy some beautiful hikes, go birdwatching or go for a guided mudflat for a walk on the seabed of the Wadden Sea during low tide. Visiting the National park Lauwersmeer is an unforgettable experience.
When you go shopping in a big city, you often run into the same shops, part of a chain. How different is this in the Folkingestreet in Groningen. In this street, in the heart of the city center, there are almost only specialized shops to find. Great to experience some local products, and discover what Groningen is all about. A truly local experience!
Best places to stay in Groningen
There are over 100 hotels and accommodations listed on Booking.com, so there’s a lot you can choose from while looking for a stay in Groningen. Check out the complete list of accommodations in Groningen on Booking.com
A unique place to stay in Groningen is Hotel Prinsenhof located in a 15th-century building, in the heart of the city center. It’s a modern hotel but in a classical renaissance building.
The city of Haarlem is often overlooked by its neighboring city Amsterdam. However, when you’re looking for a truly Dutch city, which is less touristy then Amsterdam, Haarlem is the place you want to go. Haarlem has a fascinating history. You can visit some historical monuments that date back almost 800 years. It’s also the city with one of the best craft beer breweries of The Netherlands, the Jopenkerk, where you can taste many different beers.
Highlights of Haarlem
- Haarlem Cathedral
The large cathedral in the heart of Haarlem’s center is a must-visit. Dating back to the 14th century, it dominates the skyline of the city ever since. This massive cathedral is a fantastic place to start your sightseeing visit to Haarlem.
- Frans Hals Museum
During the Golden Age, The Netherlands had many renowned painters. Frans Hals, worldwide famous for its paintings, was coming from Haarlem. He produced some fantastic paintings which give a good representation of the Golden Age period. The Frans Hals museum is completely dedicated to his work and has the largest Frans Hals collection in the world.
- Teylers Museum
You can’t visit Haarlem without a visit to the oldest Museum in The Netherlands. Teylers Museum offers an extensive collection of arts, fossils, minerals, and books. The Museum opened its doors first in 1784. Some of the most exciting art pieces are works from Michelangelo and Raphael.
- Beer tasting at brewery Jopenkerk
Located in an old church in the city center, you’ll find Jopenkerk (Jopen Church). The craft beer Jopen is renowned in The Netherlands. Visiting the brewery and tasting room is an excellent experience in Haarlem. And trust me, this beer is a different experience than trying the world-famous Heineken.
Best Places to stay in Haarlem
If you don’t want to stay in Amsterdam, but looking for a place close to the most popular city, Haarlem is great to spend a few nights. It is perfectly located near Amsterdam, and well connected with public transport.
There are more than 130 places to stay listed on booking.com, and most of them are getting good customer reviews. Check out the complete list of accommodations in Haarlem on Booking.com
Located in between Amsterdam and The Hague, you’ll find the ancient city of Leiden. The city is excellent for a visit and learns more about the history of The Netherlands. Leiden was the birthplace of Rembrandt, one of the most famous Dutch painters ever lived.
You can easily reach the city by train or car. A train ride from Amsterdam to Leiden takes only 30 minutes. From The Hague, you can even reach the city within 15 minutes by train.
Highlights of Leiden
Leiden has many highlights; the city and its surroundings have more than 2800 monuments! A few ways to get to know the city and visit some of the important highlights are;
- Canal tour in Leiden
The city of Leiden is known for its many canals running through the city. Similar to in Amsterdam. It is a great way to explore the city via a canal tour, where you’ll cross many highlights.
- Visiting Windmill museum De Valk
There used to be over 19 windmills around the city of Leiden, today the only one still standing is Windmill museum, De Valk. It is one of the most remarkable windmills you can visit. Dating back from 1734
Many old cities in The Netherlands are known for their almshouses, called hofjes in Dutch. These small complexes, with squares, used to house the poor and elderly citizens.
The almshouses were often an initiative of charitable foundations. Today it feels like the time stood still at these places. It’s great for a visit and to explore how people lived together. However, it is not always possible to look inside the houses. The places became very popular and completely renovated inside. Today the houses are sold on the private market.
Best Places to Stay in Leiden
A visit to Leiden can easily be combined with a visit to The Hague or Amsterdam. However, staying the night in Leiden is also a fun thing to do. There are many bars where you can have a great time in this typical student city.
When you’re looking for a place to stay in Leiden, you can check out the complete list of accommodations in Leiden on Booking.com.
One of the hotels that we can recommend is the lovely Boutique hotel Steenhof Suites. Perfectly located in the city center and great value for money.
Close to Leiden, about 25 minutes by car, you’ll find the Lisse. This town is renowned for its flower fields and the biggest flower garden in the world, Keukenhof. The national flower of The Netherlands is the Tulip. These unique flower fields and Keukenhof are a must-visit when you’re in The Netherlands during the bloom-period between April and May.
Looking for more information about Keukenhof and the flower fields? We wrote several articles to help you, make sure to check them out;
You can, of course, book a stay in Lisse, and make sure you’ll visit the lovely flower fields early in the morning during sunrise. Which is a great time to visit, when it’s not so busy with many tourists. However, most hotels and accommodations you’ll find are nearby the city of Leiden.
Check out the complete list of accommodations in Lisse on Booking.com.
The famous city of Delft is perfect for a visit while in The Netherlands. The beautiful old and historical city center, worldwide renowned art ceramics Delfts Blue, and national park Delftse Hout, the vibrant city of Delft, has it all!
Delft is a typical university, which results in many small cafes and bars, events, and many more great things to do.
Highlights of Delft
- Royal Delft (Delfts Blue Ceramics)
The Delft Blue ceramic and pottery became popular in the 17th century. At a particular time, there were over 32 factories around Delft.
Royal Delft, also known as The Porceleyne Fles, is the only remaining factory left in Delft. Every pottery is hand-painted by a master painter. It’s great to visit the Royal Delft Experience and learn more about Delft Blue. You can also attend a workshop and try to paint some Delft Blue yourself!
- Museum Prinsenhof (House of William of Orange)
William of Orange (Willem van Oranje in Dutch) was the first King of The Kingdom of The Netherlands as we know it now. He lived in Delft at Prinsenhof. William of Orange defeated the Spanish army during the eighty-year war and declared the independent state of the lowlands (The Netherlands), with freedom of religion and freedom of expression. These are still the basic principles of The Netherlands.
In 1584 William of Orange was murdered. The Spanish king ordered the murder of William of Orange after he defeated his army. He survived several attacks on his life. On July 10th, 1584, he was killed in his house while walking up the stairs to his room. You can still see the bullet holes in the wall next to the stairs today.
You can also visit the grave of William of Orange in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church).
- The New Church
The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk in Dutch) is a unique building to visit. It is the second-highest church tower in The Netherlands (The Dom Tower in Utrecht is the highest). The building style of this church is known as the Gothic style, and it’s remarkable to visit the different artworks inside.
The New Church is also the church where the Royal Family is buried. You can visit the tomb of William of Orange. Also, other members of the royal family are buried in this church.
- Delft Central Station
The central station in Delft is a unique station that they built completely underground. This way, the old streets where some canals were back in the day, get a new chance to flourish again. The city extends this center in this way. The new central station is a unique form of architecture, which you should visit while in Delft.
When you’re traveling with public transport around the big cities, you probably arrive at this central station. Take your time to look around!
Best places to stay in Delft
Delft is excellent for spending a night. The many bars and restaurants are fun to spend an evening, and you might even run into some live music. The student city has many great musicians.
You can’t really go wrong while booking a stay in Delft. Just make sure to double-check the customer reviews. We always try to find an accommodation with a 9+ on the customer reviews. Use this link to booking.com to find the latest prices and the complete list of accommodations in Delft
The Dutch city that’s worldwide known for its cheese. The Gouda Cheese is a cheese you can find in every corner of the world. But there’s much more to discover in this city.
Gouda is a relatively small city located between Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the middle of the province of South Holland. Gouda is easily to reach by car and when you’re traveling by train. Trains to Gouda run several times an hour, departing from every major city.
A few highlights you don’t want to miss when visiting Gouda:
- St Janschurch
The 16th-century church in the middle of the center is known for its colorful glass windows. A unique church to visit!
- Cheese market
This city is known for its cheese, you can visit a large cheese market every Thursday in the city center. A great thing to do when you want to try some local Gouda Cheese.
During winter, Gouda is also known as the city of light. During the Christmas period the city transforms into a unique experience of candlelight. It is great to walk around the city and enjoy all the small lights in the streets. Make sure to visit the old market square, where you’ll find a large Christmas tree covered in beautiful lights.
The old city of Gouda is great for spending the night. Use this link the check the latest prices on Booking.com.
It is probably not the first city you think of while planning a visit to The Netherlands. However, Eindhoven, located in the province Noord Brabant, has a lot to offer.
Eindhoven is known as the Dutch Design city. The company Philips Electronics has its headquarters in Eindhoven. And the internationally renowned Design Academy is located in the city. Every year Eindhoven organizes Dutch Design Week is a world-famous event offering the latest gadgets, developments, and much more about design and electronic development.
The city is the fifth-largest city in The Netherlands. Did you know you can quickly fly to Eindhoven Airport from over 75 destinations in Europe? Make sure to read our booking recourses guide with the best booking tips!
Eindhoven is not a city with many historical buildings or a historic city center. It stands out to the other cities, a visit to Eindhoven is different. It’s a visit to a modern-day city, working on future development and design. Also, it gives you a chance to look back in time a bit with several museums. Eindhoven is also known as the city with the longest nightlife street in the Benelux area.
A few of Eindhoven’s highlights are:
The longest nightlife street in the Benelux area (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg). The street is over 200 meters long and offers many different bars, clubs, and restaurants. It is great to spend a night here and go party with the locals.
- van Abbemuseum
When you’re thinking of contemporary and modern art, you think of Picasso, Kadinsky, Appel, Mondriaan, and many more. van Abbemuseum is a museum that offers works of these artists and is one of the most important museums in Europe regarding modern and contemporary arts.
Best places to stay in Eindhoven
When you’re looking for a stay in Eindhoven, you can choose over 70 listings on Booking.com, check out the complete list here. Eindhoven and the province of Noord Brabant are known for their hospitality. You can’t really go wrong while booking a hotel or place to stay.
The accommodations listed on Booking.com are all getting high review scores on average. A place that stands out is Little Grand Apartments (use the link for the latest price on Booking.com) — located in the heart of the city center.
Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch)
The official name of this city is ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but everyone refers to it as Den Bosch. Which is much easier to say 😉 Did you try to say ‘s-Hertogenbosch? Weird Dutch language, right? When you’re curious about the things we’re commonly known for, make sure to read our blog, 14 weird things about the Dutch. Back to the city highlights.
Den Bosch is also part of the province North Brabant, located close to Eindhoven. It is easy to combine a visit.
The city is known as the heart of Burgundian culture, museums, and historic buildings.
Den Bosch Highlights
- St. Johans Cathedral
Den Bosch was a wealthy city during the middle ages, and the St. Johans Cathedral (built between 1391 and 1500) is still prove of that period. This massive cathedral shows the wealth of the city during that period. While visiting the cathedral, make sure to climb the tower. Which is 43 meters high and offers a fantastic look over the city.
- Noord Brabants Museum
To learn more about the rich history of Den Bosch, a visit to Noort Brabants Museum is a must. The Museum has a collection with over 30.000 art pieces. Several paintings, artworks, silver, archeological items, and much more. Around 15% of this collection is always on display in the Museum. They also have a wide collection of van Gogh paintings.
- Experience Burgundian lifestyle
It is not a highlight you can visit, but something you need to experience yourself. The Burgundian lifestyle is known for enjoying great food, drinks, and having fun. The best place in The Netherlands to experience this lifestyle is in Den Bosch. Make sure to visit one of the traditional restaurants and take your time to enjoy the local cuisine, beers, or wines and have some fun with the local people!
When you go for a Burgundian lifestyle experience, you might want to book a place to stay in the city of Den Bosch.
We must say everywhere in the province Noord Brabant, you can experience the Burgundian lifestyle. Brabanders (the people coming from this province) are known as Burgundies. The city is great to experience this lifestyle and enjoy the local cuisine, after sightseeing in the area.
Breda is a city with many bars and restaurants. But the city offers much more than the Burgundian Lifestyle.
- Castle of Breda
This castle, located in the heart of the city, is an important building in Dutch history. It was the castle where Hendrik van Nassau the 3rd lived and stayed in the Nassau family for many generations.
- Citypark Valkenburg
The large city park with many fountains is excellent for spending an afternoon enjoying and relaxing. During the summer months, this park is packed with locals enjoying the beautiful weather in a Burgundian way.
This inner square in the middle of the city center is a unique place to visit. It is not only a peaceful and quiet place to walk around, away from the bustling city.
It is hard to imagine that you’re in a city while walking around the square. The Begijnhof was a community that consisted of a group of single women who dedicated their lives to the catholic church.
We love the hospitality in Noord Brabant. Breda is also a great city to spend a few nights. Like with the other cities in this province, you can’t go wrong while booking a place to stay. Just make sure to check out the customer reviews before you complete a booking. Check out the latest prices in Breda on Booking.com
One of the most traditional places to visit in The Netherlands it the town Volendam. This old fisherman’s village Volendam. Wandering around this traditional town is like walking back in time. Volendam is easily to reach while traveling from Amsterdam. It’s around 30 minutes by car to reach the town.
A few things you can’t miss while visiting Volendam;
- De Dijk
As the most famous fisherman’s village in The Netherlands, it’s a must try to eat some fresh fish coming from Ijsselmeer Lake. The best place to enjoy fresh herring with onions or some other fish is at De Dijk. You’ll find many fish shops here, as well as other traditional souvenir shops. Great to spend some time walking around De Dijk and explore the local vibe in Volendam.
Marken is a small traditional village located next to Volendam. You can take the Marken Express to visit this village. The Marken Express is a boat that sails over Ijsselmeer Lake and takes 30 minutes to reach the town. A fantastic experience to see the villages from the water.
- Traditional clothing
Visiting Volendam is also taking a picture of traditional clothing. A must-do while in Volendam, and a great memory of your trip to this unique Dutch town.
Staying the night in the traditional town of Volendam is fun when you have enough time on your itinerary. We only recommend booking a place in Volendam (check the latest prices on Booking.com) when you can spend more than 10 days in The Netherlands.
As you might know, The Netherlands is, for a large part, located under sea-level. But did you know we have a village where the streets are canals? A village that you can’t enter by car, but only by boat? We’re talking about the town Giethoorn. Often referred to as The Venice of the North.
It is located in the middle of The Netherlands, close to the city of Zwolle.
Giethoorn is excellent for a short visit and renting a boat to sail along the streets of the village. The village is easy to reach from Amsterdam. Driving from Amsterdam to Giethoorn will take you up to 2 hours. You can’t enter the city by car, though, but there are several walking paths before entering a small boat.
The village is close to a beautiful national park Weerribben, the largest bog in North Europe. Great for hiking and exploring the waters.
When you’re visiting the unique village of Giethoorn and are planning to rent a boat and go around the city, make sure to get a reservation before visiting the village. This way, you don’t have to wait in line for a boat to become available. The village can be very busy year-round.
Giethoorn during Winter
Are you visiting The Netherlands in the winter period? When you’re lucky, and it’s freezing for many days, you might be able to go ice skating at the canals in Giethoorn. A fantastic thing to do, which is weather-related, of course. Are you still deciding when you want to visit The Netherlands? We wrote an article about The best time to visit The Netherlands, which you might find helpful.
We recommend combining a trip to Giethoorn and staying in another city, closeby. This way, you’ll use your time more effectively. However, when you have enough time and want to enjoy the town when it is quiet and not full with tourists, make sure to book a stay in Giethoorn (check out the latest prices on Booking.com)
This city is probably not the first to add to your itinerary in The Netherlands. However, Zwolle offers a lot of historical sites and is also a trendy city to visit. Great to spend some time in the city, and easy to combine with a visit to Giethoorn, for example.
The medieval center of Zwolle is an absolute highlight to visit. While entering the city, you’ll pass Sassenport; this city gate is over 600 years old!
Some other highlights in Zwolle are;
- Museum Fundatie
The Museum has two locations, one outside Zwolle. The Museum outside Zwolle is a sculpture garden with modern sculptures from renowned artists as Zadkine and van Pallandt.
The location of Fundatie inside the city center is a unique museum with works of Mondriaan, van Gogh, Chagall, Appel, and many more internationally renowned artists. The Museum also offers several changing exhibitions year-round, which are interesting to follow.
- St. Micheals Church
The 15th-century church is an eye-catcher in the medieval center of Zwolle. A gothic style architecture and as many churches from that time unique building to visit.
Zwolle is great to spend the night. You can easily combine a visit to Zwolle with visiting Giethoorn and the nature park Weerribben. Check out the complete list of accommodations and latest prices on Booking.com using this link
The city of Nijmegen is a city that is known for the Walk of the World. An annual four-day walking event around which take place around the city. It’s great to attend this event, even when you’re not participating. The city organizes many festivities around this event!
Did you know that Nijmegen is the oldest city in The Netherlands? Nijmegen was an important Roman city since the first century AD. The location of Nijmegen was ideal for the Romans. It’s interesting to plan a historical city walk in Nijmegen (Check the latest price at Get Your Guide).
Are you looking to spend the night in Nijmegen? It is a lovely thing to do when you have enough time. Make sure to check the customer reviews before you book a place to stay in Nijmegen (use the link for the latest prices on Booking.com)
When you love to explore the history of The Netherlands and wander around medieval cities, make sure to plan a visit to Amersfoort. Amersfoort is easily to reach and ideally located close to Utrecht.
You can either travel to Amersfoort by train or when you’re renting a car and drive around the country. Both ways of traveling are straightforward.
The city Amersfoort developed in the 13th century, and today you can still discover many medieval historical monuments. It is great to plan a guided tour through the historic city and learn how people lived in the middle ages in Amersfoort.
A few important highlights of the city are;
- Connecting Gate (Koppelpoort in Dutch)
This unique gate dates back to the 14th century. The gate is both land- and watergate. The only one in The Netherlands. If you want to enter the gate, you need to contact the guild of Amersfoort.
- The Monnikendam
A unique watergate with two round towers. Also dating back to the 14th century.
- Onze Lieve Vrouwe Tower
A unique church in the middle of Amersfoort, built in the 15th century. The tower is 98 meters high, which is one of the highest church towers in The Netherlands. It is possible to climb this medieval tower by contacting the guild of Amersfoort.
Staying in the medieval city of Amersfoort, it is something we recommend to do when you have enough time on your itinerary. You can use this link to find the latest prices on Booking.com
When you are into water sports, a visit to The Netherlands is fantastic. Okay, we’re not the best country for wave surfing, but there are many other sports you can do on the water. The city of Sneek, located in the province of Friesland, is known as the Water Capital of The Netherlands.
The city is next to the Sneek lake, which is a large lake ideal for sailing and other watersports. Sneek is best to visit during the annual Sneek Week, a watersport event that takes place every year in August.
When you visit Sneek during the annual event SneekWeek, make sure to book your accommodation before your visit. The event is top-rated, and hotels are often fully booked. Accommodations in Sneek (check out the latest prices on Booking.com)
Located in the northern part of The Netherlands in the province of Friesland, you’ll find the city of Leeuwarden. A unique historical city, which was the European Capital of Culture in 2018.
Spending a few days in Leeuwarden is a great thing to do, you’ll have enough time to explore the city highlights. When you’re short on time, you can also combine a visit to Leeuwarden with some other cities, like Sneek, for example.
Leeuwarden offers many highlights you don’t want to miss while visiting the city.
- Fries Museum
A museum dedicated to the history of Friesland and the Frisian people. Interesting if you want to learn more about this province in The Netherlands.
Oldehove is the Dutch version of the famous Tower of Pisa. The leaning tower of Oldehove is 39 meters high and has 183 steps, which you can climb while visiting the tower.
This unique business- and creative hub locates in a former prison. Today you’ll find many creative shops, restaurants, and bars in Blokhuispoort.
It is the place where you want to go to have a great time and some drinks. Also, a perfect location to spend the night when you decide to stay overnight in Leeuwarden (check out the latest prices on Booking.com)
The city located next to Rotterdam. And great for a day exploring the old city. The city of Dordrecht has over 1600 monumental buildings you can visit. Nearby the city, you’ll find one of the biggest national parks in The Netherlands, called Biesbosch.
Dordrecht is a unique city where you can walk around the historical center or hop on a boat for a roundtrip around the city.
While visiting Dordrecht make sure that you visit the following highlights;
- Historic harbors
The unique harbors are interesting to walk around. Did you know Dordrecht has many harbors but no canals in the city? Walking around the harbors, you’ll find many historic warehouses and trade centers.
- Dordrecht Museum
Established in 1842 and offers an extensive collection of the school of Rembrandt, with painters as Maes and Bol. Also, more modern art and 19th-century painters as Mesdag.
Staying overnight in Dordrecht? Use this link to see the complete list and latest prices of accommodations in Dordrecht on Booking.com
Located in Limburg, in the southern part of The Netherlands. Did you know that Roermond, a relatively small city, belonged to five countries since its existence? Of course, The Netherlands. But before this part belonged to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, it belonged to the Spanish, German, Austrians, and France.
Walking around Roermond, you’ll still find traces of each different country.
Roermond is excellent for a day visit and exploring the city and its surroundings by a bicycle tour. A typical way of transportation in The Netherlands.
You can easily spend a night in Roermond or its surroundings. The province of Limburg is also known for its fantastic hospitality!
Book your stay in Roermond (check the latest prices on Booking.com)
The city of Venlo is a must-visit while in The Netherlands. Located in the province of Limburg, and easy to combine with a visit to Roermond.
The river De Maas flows through Venlo, which gives the city a unique vibe. It is excellent to explore the city and walk around the old market square and visit the historic town hall.
Staying in the historic town of Venlo is perfect for spending one night (check out the latest prices on Booking.com)
Looking for beaches and boulevards? Vlissingen is the place to be. Located in the southern part of The Netherlands at the small island Westerschelde. Which is a part of the province Zeeland.
The city offers many beaches and the longest promenade next to the sea. Which is great to walk around and enjoy the beautiful Dutch summer.
A visit to Vlissingen is a visit to a harbor city that’s surrounded by nature. It is not the typical city to go when you’re looking for a vibrant and bustling environment. You go to Vlissingen when you want to explore its surrounding natural parks.
Vlissingen is also great to spend some time on the beaches and go kite- or windsurfing.
Spending a night in Vlissingen (check the latest price on Booking.com) is spending a night near the beach. Which is fantastic for beach lovers. You can also book a stay in the center of Vlissingen, but we recommend to find a place close to the beach, where you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets.
A place you can’t miss while visiting The Netherlands is the famous island of Texel. Texel is an island in the northern part of The Netherlands and belongs to the Wadden islands. A large part of Texel is a National Park. Fantastic place to visit for nature lovers. You don’t visit Texel if you are looking for vibrant and bustling city life. It is a unique experience entering the island; you’ll feel like visiting a different country.
Best places to stay at Texel
Texel is great to spend a few days, make sure to add a visit to Texel to your itinerary. However, only when you’re visiting The Netherlands during the spring or summer period. Visiting the island during winter, you’ll find there’s not much to do.
Texel is known for its hospitality and many places to stay. You can’t really go wrong while booking a place at Texel. Make sure to check the latest customer reviews of the place you want to book. There are over 200 listings you’ll find on Booking.com, you can check the complete list using this link.
When you’re planning your trip to The Netherlands, you might be interested in our other articles about the Netherlands.
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