The Netherlands is a small European country, but people from around the world flock to its cities to see the many famous attractions of the region. It's known for Amsterdam's canals, the massive fields of flower bulbs, wooden shoes, its cheese markets, and Delft Blue earthenware. These are just a few of the reasons people love to vacation in The Netherlands. If you're planning a trip to visit, there are some amazing things to do and places to see. There is so much going on in the Netherlands that you might not know where to begin. We've put together a list of the 20 best things to do in the Netherlands to include when you're planning your itinerary for the best trip of your life.
20. See the Windmills in Kindersdijk
The Netherlands is known for its windmills. No trip to the country is complete unless you've toured the famed windmills at Kindersdijk. You'll find them on the River Noord in between Dordrecht and Rotterdam in the small village of Kinderdijk. The site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including 19 windmills built between 1722 through 1761. They're a significant part of the history of the Netherlands. The site is open to visitors from April through October.
19. Tour the Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh is among the great masters of art and one of Holland's most famous historical figures in the world of art. The Van Gogh Museum is one of The Netherlands' biggest attractions drawing art lovers from across the globe to its location in Amsterdam. The annual tourist count to the museum averages 1.5 million. Here you will find letters shedding light on the life of the artist, 500 Van Goh drawings, and 200 of his paintings.
18. See the Zeeland Dikes
Another popular attraction in The Netherlands is the Zeeland Dikes. This network of dikes was built to keep the landmass in the region from flooding. The area is below sea level and the dike project named Delta Works consists of a network of dam systems that control North Sea waters to keep them at manageable levels. The Zeeland Dikes are a must-see as they're listed among the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It's a brilliant location for students of hydrology and engineering. The Dikes are built near the Rhine, Maas, and Schelde rivers.
17. Tour the Dutch National Museum
The Dutch National Museum is in Amsterdam. It's called The Rijksmuseum. The venue is home to a large collection of antiques and art going back to the year 1809. The museum contains more than five thousand paintings with seven million assorted items of interest, distributed throughout 250 rooms. The Rijksmuseum is so massive that you'll need to spend the entire day exploring its entire contents. You'll find everything from ancient sculptures and handicrafts from the medieval era to modern art and Dutch artifacts with a library containing over thirty-five thousand books.
16. Visit the Houseboat Museum
Amsterdam is the home of the Houseboat Museum. It's a must-see for all first-time visitors to The Netherlands. The houseboat Museum is a novel attraction that is situated on one of the canals on the water. It is also known as Hendrika Maria, providing visitors with a glimpse into the lifestyle of the people who lived on the houseboats, calling them home. It's a whimsical attraction that is also educational as many people lived in houseboats for most of their lives through the years.
15. Visit the Grote Kerk
The Grote Kerk is a massive church at The Hague It's a lovely building made of red bricks fashioned in Gothic style. The building has been refurbished from its 13th-century construction. The Grote Kerk was leveled in the year 1539 but rebuilt. The Grote Kerk has a rich and storied history. Many Kings were christened at the church, along with members of the Dutch royal family. The bell tower is also impressive with 51 bells. The architecture is splendid. It's an exceptional place to take pictures to remember your visit to Grote Kerk, to show your friends and family members.
14. Take a tour of Mauritshuis
Mauritshuis is an art gallery in The Hague. It's one of the most impressive art galleries in The Netherlands, drawing crowds from around the world to view its massive collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings. Mauritshuis is between the parliament buildings and Hofvijver Lake. The building was constructed in the 17th century. The architecture of the gallery is prized as a work of art in itself. You'll find more than 800 pieces of artwork, some dating back to the e17th century, and many examples from famed painter Johannes Vermeer. Visit the Mauritshuis website in advance of your visit to observe admittance fees and hours of operation.
13. Take a trip to the village of Marken
Marken is a small village that draws many tourists from around the world. It's located on Ijsselmeer Lake and is one of the most beautiful villages in The Netherlands. Although it's not a large village, tourists love to take pictures of the fishing boats and the wooden houses with their traditional paint. The summertime is the best time to visit Marken as it's filled with festivals and festivities. You will see many of the locals at the celebrations making wooden shoes and doing other traditional Dutch crafts, as well as dressing in period attire.
12. Step back into history in Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum not far from Amsterdam to the North. It's a traditional Dutch village that features items from the 17th and 18th centuries. Visiting Zaanse Schans is like stepping back into the ancient days of a traditional Dutch village. It's complete with examples of how the people lived and how the ancient craftsmen from yesteryear worked and produced goods for the community. At Zaanse Schans you'll find numerous green wooden houses, a few windmills, a pewter factory, a grocery store, and shipyards. You can also watch craftsmen working at clog-making stations, running an old oil mill and a sawmill.
11. Spend the day with the family at Efteling
If you're a fan of amusement parks, the largest one in The Netherlands is Efteling. It's in Kaatcheuvel. It's a unique park that is a collection of various zones for zooming in on various ancient myths and legends. It's one of the world's oldest theme parks, launching operations in 1952. There is something for everyone at this theme park with exciting midway rides. Some of the zones feature storytelling that takes you deep into the magical world of battles with evil monsters.
10. Journey to Valkenburg
Valkenburg is a historical town situated in the Geul Valley. It's a beautiful town that features a hilltop castle that was constructed in the 12th century. You can find the castle at Castle rock, also known as Dwingelrots. While you're there, take the time to visit the St. Nicolaaskerk Basilica. The church was constructed during the 14th century. Valkenburg is also the ruins of an ancient town with a series of caves and spas. If you're visiting Valkenburg during the wintertime you can get in on the Christmas Market between November through December. It's one of the best attractions in The Netherlands.
9. Spend the day at the Artis Royal Zoo
The Artis Royal Zoo is the oldest in Holland. It's in Amsterdam and has a history that goes back to 1838. Many of the structures are originals. The aquarium part of the zoo was built in 1882 and is home to many colorful tropical fish, eel, sharks, and other sea creatures. The zoo covers thirty-five acres of ground and is home to 900 species of animals. It's one of the most beautiful and unique zoos in the world today.
8. Visit the Hoge Veluwe National Park
No trip to The Netherlands is complete without touring the natural landscape. The Hoge Veluwe National Park is one of the largest in the country. You'll find the park between Arnhem and Apeldoorn. The majestic 13,800-acre park will take a day or more to see, but we highly recommend spendy at least come time. there. You'll find beautiful woodlands, see native wildlife including roe and red deer, a sculpture park, numerous birds, and sandy dunes.
7. Tour the Venustempel Sex Museum
This is an adult excursion because of the subject matter. Venustempel E=Se Museum is housed in a building constructed in the 17th century. The museum displays erotic photographs, sculptures, artwork, and memorabilia related to sex. You'll also find things like chastity belts and many other unique items. The goal of the museum is to point out the evolution of sexuality through the decades. This may not be the best choice for kids and teens, but it's interesting for adults to learn about human sexuality and its evolution.
6. Visit The Hall of Knights
The Hall of Knights is called Ridderszaal in the Dutch language. It is in The Hague as a part of a medieval era court complex. The Hall was built in the 13th century. The historical Hall of Knights is the workspace of modern-day Parliament when they conduct their opening ceremonies to get on with the business of politics. You can opt to visit the tour by yourself or sign up for a guided tour and hear about its history from knowledgeable tour guides.
5. Take a trip to Delft
Delft is a small town between Rotterdam and The Hague. It's a great trip to learn more about Dutch culture. We recommend starting with a tour of the Town Hall, then visiting the Nieuwe Kerk, translated as New Church with views that allow you to look across The Hague and Rotterdam. This city is an important historical site where Prince William of Orange's remains lie.
4. Tour the Heineken Experience and have a beer
If you're a beer drinker, you'll probably enjoy touring the old Heineken brewery to learn about the famous brand and how they make it. You can watch the brewing process and learn about the Heineken beermaking process. You will hear about the history of one of the most famous beer brands in the world. You will also learn about the family. You will also find out how the Heineken logo has changed over time. You can also get in on a tasting session and sample the brew. The Heineken brewery is in Amsterdam.
3. Visit Madurodam
Madurodam is a famous miniature scale version of The Netherlands on a 1:25 scale. It's in The Hague and gives you a view of many attractions in The Netherlands like bridges, landmarks, and windmills. Madurodam is a model city with a harbor, airport, and railway system.
2. Explore Kasteel De Haar
Kateel De Haar is Holland's largest fortification. It's not far from the city of Utrecht. It's the most impressive castle in the Netherlands. It sits on a 250-acre park with a building that goes back to the 14th century. Kasteel De Haar is the home of many collections of antiques, furniture, textiles, and paintings.
1. See the Anne Frank Museum
The Anne Frank Museum is one of the most famous attractions. Visitors may walk through the home of Anne Frank when she hid from the Nazis during the Second World War Era. It's one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Amsterdam. It tells the story of the girl who died just two months before the war's end.
You can also read:
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn