Written by Bryan Dearsley
Mar 10, 2020

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The Netherlands is understood in all places as a land of windmills, canals, and tulips, and at the moment’s guests definitely will discover these amongst its many vacationer points of interest. However together with the nation’s many breathtaking gardens and picturesque villages, these sightseeing right here will even discover the colourful capital metropolis of Amsterdam full of museums showcasing a wealthy heritage of artists (suppose Rembrandt and Van Gogh). Different locations to go to embody quite a few medieval castles and cityscapes, together with a 13,800-acre nationwide park, and a tide management system that is been named one of many Seven Wonders of the Trendy World.

Given the comparatively small measurement of The Netherlands, all these points of interest and enjoyable issues to do are inside a comparatively compact space, and the panorama is sort of flat (the very best elevation is barely a thousand toes above sea stage). Consequently, it is extraordinarily straightforward to do not less than somewhat of your sightseeing the Dutch manner: by bicycle. Many communities actively encourage the usage of pedal-power and supply free bikes to discover the sights.

Nonetheless you select to see the Netherlands, you are assured a good time in one of many friendliest and most liberal cultures in Europe. Make sure you plan your journey itinerary with our checklist of the top-rated vacationer points of interest in The Netherlands.

1. Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals

Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals

Canals are as vital part of Amsterdam’s cityscape as they’re to town of Venice, and a few of the most enduring recollections for any customer are the time spent exploring town’s fantastic waterways. Whereas lots of Amsterdam’s finest vacationer points of interest can simply be accessed by boat tour or water taxi – together with many of the main museums and artwork galleries – nothing beats strolling alongside the smaller, quieter streets that line the waterways.

Significantly charming is the Jordaan, a neighborhood constructed within the early 1600s to deal with employees and immigrants drawn right here for town’s non secular tolerance. Together with its small canal-side homes, search for the neighborhood’s many “hofjes,” the quaint interior courtyards hidden behind the buildings.

One other photo-worthy neighborhood is the Grachtengordel, with its many small bridges and quaint 17th-century houses. You will be rewarded as you discover these 400-year-old streets with examples of gorgeous structure, small boutique retailers, cafés, and gardens. Make sure you look out for the various houseboats moored alongside the canals.

Only a 10-minute stroll away is Dam Sq., a must-visit when in Amsterdam. Along with its quite a few eating places, cafés, and retailers this huge public sq. is residence to a few of the metropolis’s most-visited vacationer points of interest, together with the spectacular Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace); the engaging New Church (Nieuwe Kerk); and the nation’s most vital battle memorial, the Nationwide Memorial Statue.

Lodging: The place to Keep in Amsterdam: Greatest Areas & Resorts

2. Keukenhof

Keukenhof

Consider the Netherlands, and you may inevitably consider tulips, the nation’s hottest flower. And one of the crucial stunning locations to go to within the Netherlands showcases these and different spring bulbs in spectacular abundance.

Keukenhof, in any other case referred to as the “Backyard of Europe,” is situated on the outskirts of the city of Lisse in what’s broadly thought-about the “bulb belt” of the Netherlands. The biggest public backyard on the planet, encompassing greater than 70 acres of what was as soon as the previous kitchen (or “keuken”) backyard of a big nation property, Keukenhof shows greater than 700 types of tulips, that are at their top in April and Might.

However due to its huge business sizzling homes, the show continues nearly year-round. In these, you will see infinite rows of flowering tulips, together with 1000’s of hyacinths, crocuses, and daffodils.

Handle: Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse

Official website: www.keukenhof.nl

3. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The spectacular Rijksmuseum – aka the Nationwide Museum – in Amsterdam’s Museumplein (Museum Sq.) has been accumulating uncommon artwork and antiquities since 1809. Not surprisingly, its in depth assortment at the moment quantities to almost seven million artworks, together with 5,000 work in additional than 250 rooms, in addition to an unlimited library with some 35,000 books.

Other than its distinctive assortment of previous masters, this spectacular museum gives an exhaustive account of the event of artwork and tradition within the Netherlands and is very wealthy in conventional Dutch handicrafts, medieval sculpture, and trendy artwork. Be ready to spend the most effective a part of a day – or longer – exploring this museum’s infinite treasures.

If you happen to’ve time to squeeze somewhat extra Rembrandt into your Amsterdam journey itinerary, here is a must-visit for you: the Rembrandt Home Museum, situated within the metropolis’s historic Jewish Quarter. Lots of his finest identified works had been painted through the 20 years the nice artist spent right here, with some nonetheless recognizable scenes from the neighborhood. The home stays a lot as it will have been throughout Rembrandt’s life (guided excursions can be found).

Handle: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam

Official website: www.rijksmuseum.nl/en

4. Anne Frank Home, Amsterdam

Anne Frank Home, Amsterdam

The Anne Frank Home is a must-see when in Amsterdam. On Prinsengracht, within the residence the place Anne’s household hid for a lot of WWII (they had been Jewish refugees from Frankfurt), is the place this outstanding lady wrote her well-known diary. Though she died simply two months earlier than the battle ended, her legacy lives on by way of her phrases, which have since been translated into 51 languages.

The again of the fully-restored home the place the Frank household had their hiding place has been saved in its unique state as a lot as doable and is a poignant monument to a tragic slice of world historical past and a courageous younger lady who continues to encourage individuals across the globe. A phrase of warning: tickets for this must-see attraction do promote out, so you’ll want to reserve yours on-line nicely forward of time.

Handle: Prinsengracht 263-267, Amsterdam

Official website: www.annefrank.org/en

5. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam | Marcelo Campi / photograph modified

As befits one of many world’s best artists, the spectacular Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is ranked a powerful #2 in a number one checklist of the highest artwork museums globally, attracting nearly 1.5 million guests annually.

Residence to the world’s largest assortment of Van Gogh work – many donated by the artist’s household – this spectacular gallery and museum was specifically constructed to showcase the greater than 200 work, 500 drawings, and 700 letters in its huge assortment.

Works by his contemporaries are additionally on show. A spotlight is taking part within the museum’s new “Meet Vincent Van Gogh Expertise,” which gives an enchanting, high-tech, interactive have a look at the artist’s life and occasions, in addition to his finest identified work.

Handle: Museumplein 6, Amsterdam

Official website: www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en

6. The Windmills of Kinderdijk

The Windmills of Kinderdijk

On the River Noord between Rotterdam and Dordrecht is the well-known village of Kinderdijk (“Youngsters’s Dike”), which takes its identify from an incident through the St. Elizabeth’s Day flood of 1421 after a toddler’s cradle had been stranded on the dike.

The massive draw lately are the fantastically preserved 18th-century windmills. Now UNESCO World Heritage Websites, the 19 Kinderdijk windmills, constructed between 1722 and 1761, are the biggest surviving focus of windmills within the Netherlands. Initially used to empty the fenlands, these majestic buildings with their spectacular 92-foot sails are open to the general public from April to October, together with particular Mill Days when the sails are set in movement.

Lodging: The place to Keep in Rotterdam

7. De Hoge Veluwe Nationwide Park

De Hoge Veluwe Nationwide Park

Chances are you’ll be shocked to study that the Netherlands, a comparatively small nation, boasts one of many world’s most numerous nationwide park packages. The biggest is De Hoge Veluwe Nationwide Park (Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe), between Arnhem and Apeldoorn. Masking practically 13,800 acres, this nationwide park is the biggest steady nature reserve within the nation, in addition to being one of the crucial common day journey locations for locals and guests alike.

That includes dense woodlands within the north, in addition to an enchanting sculpture park, the realm was as soon as a rustic property and searching reserve, and to today is residence to many pink and roe deer. The most effective-preserved a part of the park encompasses an space of dramatic dunes interspersed with heath and woodland and interrupted within the south and east by moraines as much as 100 meters excessive. It is also a preferred space for bird-watching, in addition to mountaineering and biking (use of bikes is free to guests).

The spotlight of this stunning park for a lot of – and the rationale many individuals select to return right here – is the excellent Kröller-Müller Museum (Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller), housing the world’s second-largest assortment of works by Van Gogh. As well as, the collections embody Impressionist and Expressionist work by Cézanne, Manet, Monet, and Renoir. Open air, one among Europe’s largest sculpture gardens reveals works by Rodin, Hepworth, Dubuffet, and others.

Handle: Houtkampweg 6, Otterlo

8. The Ijsselmeer (Zuiderzee)

The Ijsselmeer (Zuiderzee)

Among the many most stunning villages within the Netherlands are the small hamlets alongside the Ijsselmeer (Lake Ijssel), the freshwater lake that resulted from the closing of the ocean entrance to the Zuider Zee. These cities flourished throughout Amsterdam’s Golden Age, after they had entry to the Atlantic and prospered as fishing and commerce facilities, however misplaced significance because the harbors silted up.

Time appears to have stood nonetheless for the fishing village of Marken and the seaports of Volendam and Enkhuizen, the place most of the colourful homes have develop into museums and retailers. Enkhuizen has preserved lots of its buildings and seafaring industries within the open-air Zuiderzee Museum, the place the cultural heritage and maritime historical past of the previous Zuiderzee area is preserved. Right here, you may see craftsmen at work studying previous maritime abilities. In Volendam’s harbor, you may see a group of colourful previous wood boats.

Handle: Wierdijk 12 – 22, Enkhuizen

Official website: http://www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl/en/10/residence/

9. Delta Works: Zeeland’s Spectacular Dikes

Delta Works

Incorporating the deltas of the Rhine, the Maas, and the Schelde Rivers, Zeeland consists of the quite a few islands and peninsulas of the southwestern part of the Netherlands. A lot of this space of lately fashioned land is beneath sea stage and subsequently reliant upon spectacular dikes, in addition to trendy flood prevention strategies.

As you journey the realm, you will see proof of the mega-engineering venture referred to as the Delta Works. These huge buildings – mainly hi-tech dams – can management how a lot water enters the realm’s key estuaries from the North Sea. Consisting of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, and storm-surge obstacles, this awe-inspiring US$7 billion venture has been declared one of many Seven Wonders of the Trendy World.

10. Historic Valkenburg

Historic Valkenburg

For these searching for somewhat historical historical past, the Netherlands is just not with out its personal medieval (and earlier) points of interest. Romantic little Valkenburg, within the picturesque Geul Valley, boasts the nation’s solely hilltop fortress. Lengthy a preferred vacation resort, the city’s different huge attracts are its many caves and the spa amenities at Thermae 2000, one of many largest such institutions within the Netherlands.

Along with the ruins of the 12th-century fortress on Dwingelrots (Citadel Rock), there’s additionally the fascinating 14th-century St. Nicolaaskerk Basilica. One other spotlight is the city’s well-known Christmas Market (mid-November to December 23rd) held within the Velvet Caves, the maze of previous passageways resulting in and from the fortress.

11. De Haar Citadel

Kasteel De Haar

Close to the stunning previous metropolis of Utrecht, the fourth largest within the Netherlands, De Haar Citadel (Kasteel De Haar) is the biggest fortification within the nation. This spectacular fortress, constructed by the well-known Dutch architect PJH Cuypers, required a lot land (it sits on a spectacular 250-acre park) that your complete village of Haarzuilens needed to be relocated to accommodate it. Whereas the unique fortress website was established within the 14th century, this newer construction dates from 1892 and is nicely price taking the time to discover.

Inside, you will be rewarded with spectacular collections of antiques, furnishings, work, and tapestries, nevertheless it’s the gardens that actually draw the crowds – together with the fortress’s fairy-tale appears.

Greatest Time to Go to the Netherlands

Basic spring scene within the Netherlands

As one of the crucial visited international locations in Europe, the Netherlands – specifically Amsterdam – can get fairly busy through the peak summer time months, particularly in July when the faculties break up. The spring shoulder months of April and Might are a good time to go to, with most of the nation’s finest parks and gardens bursting into life with an abundance of greenery and flowers (tulips are in all places within the Netherlands!).

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