Although I'm a fervent traveler, having visited 43 countries so far, love doing city trips, traveling around Europe and as many international islands as I can, I also really appreciate my beautiful country Holland, also known as the Netherlands. I find myself being a tourist on many occasions, and as a photography enthusiast I take pictures of all the beauty it has to offer as much as I can.
Therefore I felt it was time to share my favourites with you, hopefully to inspire you to visit the Netherlands soon as well! If you like vibrant cities, culture, historic architecture combined with modern structures, friendly open-minded people, cycling, serene country side views and quiet endless beaches, Holland/the Netherlands is THE place to visit! But as there is so much to see in this small country, let me be your personal tour guide 🙂
In this blog post I will be sharing many pictures of the must visit sights in the 3 biggest cities and a selection of the most authentic heritage and nature sights I think you should see also to fully appreciate the beauty of Holland.
My ultimate guide and itinerary for visiting the Netherlands is marked with stars on below country map.
The 3 biggest cities are all situated quite close to each other, so if you visit Amsterdam, the biggest and most popular city, and have a few days it is easy to visit nearby The Hague and Rotterdam as well (red stars on below country map). These cities are only 45 minutes to 1 hour's drive away from Amsterdam.
Near Amsterdam and Rotterdam you will find a few authentic heritage sights (purple stars left on below country map), Zaanse Schans and Volendam, Monnickendam near Amsterdam and Kinderdijk near Rotterdam, which can be combined in a day trip.
The only exception is the Hoge Veluwe which is a bit further away (purple star on the right side of the map). But if you love nature and will visit the Netherlands for 1 week or more, you should definitely visit that area as well, great for cycling through nature and so serene!
Most of below pictures are taken by me, I'm not a professional photographer, but I aspire to be and love photography, so I hope you like my selection!
You can click on the pics to see the bigger version and description
Capital of Holland known for its world heritage canal area. My favourite area of the city is called the 9 streets, 9 shopping streets around the Keizers-, Heren-and Prinsengracht. And I am absolutely crazy about the Rijskmuseum as well, this state museum is both stunning on the in-as outside and beautifully lit at night!
Other must visit sights in Amsterdam are the Vondelpark, Palace on the Dam, and nearby Magna Plaza, among others…
And renting a (water) bike or doing a canal boat tour is of course something that can not be missed in this city!
Do combine Amsterdam with a day visit to nearby Zaanse Schans and the historical villages Volendam and Monnickendam to learn about Dutch Heritage.
2. Zaanse Schans
3. Volendam & Monnickendam
4. The Hague (Den Haag)
Rotterdam and The Hague are situated near each other, the second and third biggest cities of my country. I live in the Hague myself and love it because of its royal stature with the Binnenhof and many palaces, historic architecture and quiet dunes nearby.
In the old centre of The Hague you wil find the Binnenhof, where the Dutch government is seated. This is a big historical building surrounded by a beautiful pond and several museums nearby, such as the Mauritshuis.
A bit further from the city centre but well know for its international importance and fairy tale beauty is the Peace Palace.
Some people do not realize that the whole west side of Noord- and Zuid-Holland is bordered by the North Sea, and therefore lined with many endless and mostly quiet beaches. I prefer the ones in Kijkduin, just next to The Hague, for their nature and purity, much more quiet than nearby touristy Scheveningen.
This big city, only 20 minutes away from The Hague, offers a whole different experience. It is a real city of industry and modernism, with its important harbor, bridges and a lot of new architecture and innovating initiatives, such as the recently built Markthal. This indoor market place next to the Grote Markt has the perfect offering of restaurants, market stalls and small eateries.
In the area Kop van Zuid you will have the best views over the city and its iconic Erasmusbrug. Definitely advised to stay overnight or have lunch/dinner here in the historic Hotel New York!
On a 30 minutes drive from Rotterdam you will be surrounded by Dutch countryside and visit the windmills in a place called: Kinderdijk. Come early to avoid the crowds, to get the best light and be rewarded with views like this:
8. Hoge Veluwe
If you like cycling and nature like I do and have a few more days to spend, do visit the east side of Holland, with beautiful protected nature areas like the Hoge Veluwe. A very special and quiet area with many cycling paths through nature, perfect picnic places and small villages to experience real Dutch life and countryside.
But of course there are many more beautiful spots, towns and villages to find in my homeland! For more Holland inspiration you can also check my Netherlands page.
Have you even been to the Netherlands or are you planning to and have further questions or need help? I will be happy to advise you, just leave your questions in the comments!
If you need any more travel tips or want to ask me anything travel related feel free to contact me by mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or get social with me via the links to my social media accounts at the bottom of this page.