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20 Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands & Things to Do

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“Where should I go?” That’s one of travelers’ most common questions when visiting a new country. However, given the Netherlands’ small size (but big culture), the question changes to, “Where shouldn’t I go?” These are the best places to visit and things to do in the Netherlands.

I’ve lived in the Netherlands for several years now. One of the things I love about the Netherlands is that it is very easy to get to any location, city, landmark, or destination within the country in one day.

There are so many great places to explore outside the capital city of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is an excellent city, of course, but living here allows me to experience the capital to its fullest extent for my daily routine while also enjoying everything this beautiful country provides for weekend getaways and day trips.

The Netherlands is generally an underrated country to visit in Europe, and I believe so because it offers charming towns such as Delft, sprawling Metropolis cities like Rotterdam, UNESCO World Heritage sites like Kinderdijk, and even impressive national parks like Texel Dunes National Park.

With many fascinating museums, lively cities, famous landmarks, canal cruises, classic, modern, and contemporary art, tulips, and world-famous cheese, the Netherlands has plenty of places to enjoy the full Dutch experience.

After living in the Netherlands for the past few years, these are some of my favorite places to visit.

Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands

1. Keukenhof

Tulip bloom at Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands

The Keukenhof is a stunning botanical garden in the picturesque city of Lisse. A trip to the Netherlands is incomplete without checking out the Keukenhof, which contains millions of flowers and plants.

It’s an incredible botanical garden in Lisse, the Netherlands’ garden city. The Keukenhof is often called the Garden of Europe or the Flower City, the world’s most extensive flower gardens.

The spectacular flowers of Keukenhof are displayed on a vast expanse of land measuring 32 hectares. It is only open when the tulips bloom in spring, making it an attractive and colorful experience. Still, it’s only available to visitors during peak blooming season (usually March to May at the latest).

When you visit, expect to be welcomed by approximately 7 million flowers. Aside from admiring the scent and beauty of its blooms, capturing amazing landscapes is one of the finest things to do while in Flower City. You can also watch and even participate in the garden’s flower shows!

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2. Binnenhof

Ridderzaal Inside the Binnenhof, The Hague
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 2513 AA The Hague, Netherlands

The magnificent Binnenhof complex in the Royal City of The Hague is a beautiful old building and one of the most famous landmarks in the country’s South Holland region. It’s also called Het Binnenhof or Inner Court – Hall of Knights.

Visiting the site is an adventure because it is a tour of beautiful architecture and a lesson in Dutch history and politics. The Binnenhof has served as the country’s political nerve center for ages.

It is a well-known town hall for members of the Dutch parliament, government, and leaders. It also houses the Office of the Prime Minister.

It’s worth visiting as the site of many significant historical events and political developments in the Netherlands. Visitors can tour the town hall facility and experience its beauty by selecting from a few itineraries, including a walk through the ancient structure and a tour of the House of Representatives.

See Related: Things to Do in Zandvoort

3. Castle De Haar

Castle De Haar in serene Dutch landscape, neo-Gothic architecture, gardens
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Kasteellaan 1, 3455 RR Utrecht, Netherlands

Castle De Haar is a fantastic place to start your journey across the Netherlands if you’re searching for a beautiful holiday in the country.

It’s a remarkable historical monument and tourist attraction that you shouldn’t miss. The castle ruins are possibly the Netherlands’ largest castle and among the country’s most picturesque places.

Castle De Haar, also known as Kasteel de Haar, has various exciting things to do. You may walk through its beautiful park and learn about its fascinating history or browse the collections displayed in its rooms. It’s also a fantastic option for couples wanting a beautiful, romantic wedding ceremony.

The castle was previously the private home of the Van Zuylen family. The current inhabitants reside on-site and take care of the fortress. The renowned Hendrik Copijn designed a beautiful park that surrounds the castle and serves as a green refuge.

The park is a lovely place to spend a leisurely day unpacking your mind and taking in the sights and sounds of nature while walking its paths.

See Related: Best Hotels in the Netherlands

4. Hoge Veluwe National Park

Red Deer in Hoge Veluwe National Park

Address: (The Marchantsquare in the center of the park is home to the park’s visitor center, a restaurant, a bike repair shop, and park toilets) Park Paviljoen, Houtkampweg 9b, 6731 AV Otterlo, Netherlands

Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Hoge Veluwe National Park is a beautiful attraction in the Netherlands that provides an outstanding outdoor experience. It’s a destination for people of all ages, particularly those who like to explore the wilderness independently.

The Hoge Veluwe National Park, better known as the National Park De Hoge Veluwe, is a Dutch park centered in the province of Gelderland. It’s one of only two privately held national parks, making it one of the Netherlands’ unique natural places.

The majority of the park’s landscape features dunes and wooded areas. Many lovely sights can be explored when arranging a trip or day excursion into the park. In addition, the park offers many cultural experiences for visitors to participate in.

Numerous museums are on the premises, including the Kroller-Muller Museum and Jachthuis Sint Hubertus Manor. This park is remote, so you’ll want to stay nearby for the night.

See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World to Visit

5. Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the finest places to visit in the Netherlands is the internationally famed Rijksmuseum, one of the country’s most exciting museums. The Rijksmuseum is among Amsterdam’s finest and most renowned museums.

Also, it’s located on the picturesque Museum Square, a paradise for museum lovers. The museum has many incredible artworks and relics from the nation’s 800-year history.

The Rijksmuseum is close to many of Amsterdam’s most famous sights, all easily reachable on foot. Paintings by many well-known artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and other renowned Dutch painters, such as Frans Hals and Vermeer, are on display and exhibited in the museum.

Works by Rembrandt, such as ‘The Night Watch,’ are national treasures. This local history museum also contains many prints, sculptures, and historical relics. While you’re hitting up Museum Street, be sure to check out Amsterdam’s other attractions.

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Amsterdam from our YouTube channel:

See Related: Things to Do in Haarlem

6. Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

In the historic center of the modern city of Amsterdam, one of the finest activities is visiting the magnificent museum dedicated to Vincent van Gogh. The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum where works by Vincent van Gogh are on display.

Art enthusiasts will enjoy a tour of Van Gogh’s greatest works, including seeing and learning about the creation of the artist’s most famous works. The world’s most complete collection of works by van Gogh, including more than 2,000 paintings and drawings, is at this museum in Amsterdam.

The museum explores the artist’s life and works through its permanent collection, showcasing his progression as an artist and providing information about him.

The museum displays over 200 oil paintings, 500 important drawings, and more than 700 letters. The exhibition includes Van Gogh’s famous works: sunflowers, Potato Eaters, Almond Blossoms, and Self-Portrait With Grey Felt Hat.

The gallery also hosts exhibitions on numerous themes relating to art history during the nineteenth century. If you want a more specialized experience, book this 2-hour tour of the Van Gogh Museum in a small, private group.

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7. Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk Windmills, Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Nederwaard 1, 2961 AS Kinderdijk, Netherlands

One of the Netherlands’ best historical sites is the fishing village of Kinderdijk, which houses a museum and tourist attraction just minutes away from Rotterdam Central Station.

The Windmills at Kinderdijk are the subject of this museum. This collection of 19 incredible traditional Dutch windmills is in the Alblasserwaard polder. It offers stunning views while demonstrating Dutch achievements in waterworks for over a thousand years.

When seeing the windmills, you should learn about the Dutch waterworks, take stunning vistas, and explore some of the lovely marshes of the Netherlands. In 1997, the Windmills at Kinderdijk were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for their beauty and historical significance.

You can watch how the secondary pumping station in the mills works through a multimedia show. Also, don’t miss out on other excellent sites near and around the fishing village of Kinderdijk.

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8. Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Anne Frank House is one of the most well-known destinations in Amsterdam. And yes – it’s worth pounding the cobbled streets to find this place going just for her diary alone.

This home is notable for being the birthplace of Anne Frank, a prominent diarist and Holocaust victim of German-Dutch heritage with Jewish roots. While hiding for more than two years during World War II, Anne wrote her diary in the hidden annex of this very house.

After her diary from the war years was released, she became well-known. Her tale has inspired numerous plays and films and is a painful memory of a dark stain on human history.

The home serves as a museum and national landmark and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its present condition. This is where Anne and her family took refuge in the house’s secret annex during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

The Anne Frank House museum tour is only 30 minutes. The secret annex room and other furnishings Anne and her family left are preserved and exhibited in great detail.

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Amsterdam?

9. Efteling

Thrilling Python Rollercoaster at Efteling Theme Park
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel

Efteling is one of the most historic and popular theme parks in Europe. Efteling Is not your ordinary theme park, as it has a fairytale-themed setup featuring stories from the Grimm Brothers Tales, Hans Christian Anderson, and plenty of other original storytelling that is so often featured in Disney films.

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend here at all of the top attractions at the park, including the Fairytale Forest and Baron 1898 roller coaster. We even had the chance to stay in the charming Bosrijk Village Houses. This is a great local spot to visit and avoid the crowds of tourists in other well-known staples in the Netherlands.

Efteling Theme Park offers a blend of storytelling rides, classic Dutch food, and a forest experience, making it one of Europe’s most underrated and unique places to visit. Read our full article on Efteling to get a firsthand perspective of the experience.

See Related: Holland vs. Netherlands

10. Dom Tower

Dom Tower of Utrecht

Address: Domplein 21, 3512 JC Utrecht, Netherlands

Dom Tower is one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands. This church tower stands proudly over Utrecht’s old city center and is the country’s tallest church spire.

Built between 1321 and 1382, the 112.5-meter tall tower is a major cultural attraction and emblem of Utrecht. The Dom is one of Europe’s most beautiful medieval buildings and historic churches.

Among the best things to do in the Netherlands, especially in the well-preserved historic center of Utrecht, is to climb the immense Dom Tower, which has a (literally) staggering 465 steps.

In addition, there are 13 giant bells in the tower, which are resoundingly loud if you’re up there while they ring! An incredible view of Utrecht’s medieval city and neighboring towns is available from the top of the tower, especially on a sunny and clear day.

The view of the fantastic landscape from the top of the tower is more than worth the climb. The towers of Amersfoort and even Amsterdam are visible from the tower. Some of the greatest attractions in town, such as the Canals of Utrecht and Oude Hortus, are also close to the tower.

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11. Maastricht

Saint Servatius Basilica, Maastricht
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Maastricht, Netherlands

Maastricht is unlike other Dutch cities that you see in photos. The city is located at the boot of the Netherlands and is entrenched by Belgium to the west and Germany to the east.

What makes it so different from all other cities in the Netherlands is its medieval history and hilly terrain, which is very different from Holland’s flat parts. Maastricht has several iconic attractions, including the Caves Zonneberg, St. Servus Basilica, and the 12th-century Basilica of Our Lady.

If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Maastricht as there are plenty of excellent restaurants and local cheese makers, and it’s a growing region for Dutch wine.

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12. Kröller-Müller Museum

Exhibits in Kröller-Müller Museum

Address: Houtkampweg 6, 6731 AW Otterlo, Netherlands

The Kröller-Müller Museum is one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands. It’s located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo and is home to one of the world’s most significant modern art collections.

It served as a second home for renowned artist Vincent van Gogh before becoming a museum, and it is an excellent site for art retreats. Art collector Helene Kröller-Müller founded the museum to exhibit her fabulous collection.

This cultural institution offers multiple art galleries and is home to the second-largest collection of Van Gogh’s works. About 90 magnificent paintings and more than 180 sketches are on display.

Works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and other renowned artists are also included in this cornucopia of modern art. The gallery has a permanent collection of more than 1,200 works of art, plus temporary and updated exhibits to keep its visitors interested.

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13. Netherlands Open Air Museum

Cabin in the Woods

Address: Hoeferlaan 4, 6816 SG Arnhem, Netherlands

The Netherlands Open Air Museum is a beautiful location for the whole family to enjoy. Arnhem is home to this fascinating national open-air museum. The museum examines Dutch culture during the last few centuries and connects with people’s daily lives.

The Open Air Museum is not just a museum but an educational institution. It chronicles the country’s rich history of customs and geographic diversity through 80 historic buildings, farms, and windmills on display.

Two of the most exciting activities at the Open Air Museum are walking around medieval Holland and browsing its enormous collection. Take a guided museum tour to learn more about Holland’s history.

Here, you can participate in a range of entertaining and instructive experiences. Visitors can discover how to reuse waste material and help artists in their craftsmanship.

If you want to do more, there are some fun attractions near the museum. The Burger’s Zoo, the Netherlands Water Museum, and the Openluchtmuseum are all within walking distance.

Read Also: Museums in The Hague to Visit

14. Royal Palace of Amsterdam

Dam Square with Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is a highly recommended destination when traveling to the Netherlands. It’s one of the world’s most magnificent destinations and is the residence of the Dutch royal family.

The palace is one of the country’s most spectacular tourist attractions and landmarks. It is recommended that visitors explore the exhibitions held in the palace, study its magnificent interiors, appreciate its vast chandeliers, and evaluate its original purpose.

Walking leisurely along the palatial corridors is an excellent activity when visiting the palace, as is attending a guided excursion to discover intriguing information about the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

See Related: Most Scenic Drives in the Netherlands

15. Volendam

Volendam Netherlands – Beautiful Dutch Scenery
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Volendam, Netherlands

Volendam in North Holland is a charming village known for its cultural heritage, windmills, traditional costumes, and wooden shoes. With a strong fishing connection, the village offers a serene maritime experience.

Close to Amsterdam, it attracts visitors with its scenic beauty and historical charm, making it one of our favorite day trip options. Artists like Renoir have been inspired by its unspoiled atmosphere.

De Dijk is a lively area with shops and restaurants. Volendam is a top destination in the Netherlands, offering cultural richness, historical significance, and natural beauty.

Make the most of your visit by taking the Marken Express Ferry to the equally charming island of Marken. Read our full guide to visiting Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken in one day.

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16. Madurodam

Madurodam, the Hague

Address: George Maduroplein 1, 2584 RZ Den Haag, Netherlands

Madurodam is one of the most popular places in the Netherlands for family car travel. It’s a charming little progressive town and a common tourist attraction in the Scheveningen area of The Hague, South Holland, on the North Sea coast. This attraction provides many options to suit multiple interests and preferences in this park!

Visiting the park is a fantastic way to better understand why Holland is unique and exciting. In this area, visitors may view a tiny replica of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, which features stunning miniature replicas of key locations and a miniature city.

It’s not a bad idea for those wanting to preview their visiting selections, right? Madurodam employs multimedia to tell stories connected with each miniature city and assist visitors in gaining insight into Holland’s magnificent history and canal wharf system. The park’s tiny buildings include a cheese market, flower bulb fields, and more.

Madurodam is an entertaining attraction, a visit that starts with flying from Schiphol’s tiny picturesque airfield. Furthermore, visitors may also take control of the Oosterscheldekering, a more miniature replica of the Delta Works dam series based on the inner canal wharf system!

17. Rotterdam

Breathtaking Aerial View of Rotterdam Skyline and Cityscape - Erasmus Bridge, Modern Skyscrapers, and Historical Buildings
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam‘s historical center was devastated during World War II, but since then, it’s become a modern city thriving with a lively business culture and growing nightlife scene. This is one of the largest Dutch cities to visit and one of Europe’s best examples of modern city skylines.

Many people say that Rotterdam lacks culture, but after spending several days, it’s important to understand the dynamics of the city, such as enjoying the Markthal during happy hour or taking in the nightlife scene in the dark in the lively Witte de Withstraat.

This architectural kingpin of a city features iconic attractions like the Rotterdam cube houses, the Erasmus Bridge, and plenty of architectural masterpieces painting the city skyline. If you love historic charm, you can’t miss visiting the Delftshaven—many great tourist spots outside Rotterdam, including Kinderdijk and Delft.

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18. Beemster Polder

Beemster Polder in Noord-Holland

Address: Beemster, Netherlands

The Beemster Polder is a nature reserve in the province of Friesland, in the northern part of the Netherlands, and is an incredibly famous Dutch polder. It was reclaimed from the North Sea in the second half of the 19th century.

The Polder is a distinct region of the Netherlands regarding climate and landscape. The polder is a mixture of low-lying areas with flat peat-rich soils and areas with higher ground.

The polder has been a nature reserve since 1985 and is a popular tourist destination. There are a few nature reserves in the polder.

Among the finest activities is birdwatching, and multiple bird species can be observed. The polder has many plants and animals, particularly in the areas where new land has been reclaimed from the sea.

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19. Texel Island

Aerial View of Texel Dunes National Park
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Den Burg, Netherlands

The picturesque island of Texel in the North Sea is home to one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands and the iconic Texel Lighthouse. The church is located in the Wijk bij Duurstede and dates back to the Middle Ages. The church has been restored and is now a popular tourist attraction.

The main attractions on Texel are the waterfowl, dunes, and beaches. The island is known for its white sand beaches, clear blue sea, and many swimming places. This is the largest island on the North Sea of the Netherlands and offers an excellent place for a weekend getaway, especially during the summer.

20. Giethoorn

Idyllic Giethoorn Village, Netherlands with lush gardens, thatched-roof houses, and serene canals
Giethoorn’s picturesque canal houses (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Address: Giethoorn, Netherlands

Giethoorn is a small town in the Dutch province of Noord Brabant and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Often considered one of the top examples of the “Venice of the North” in Europe, this car-free town features canals as its main form of road, and boats are the way to get around here.

Many beautiful examples of classic Dutch architecture surround the village, including canalside homes and charming bridges. Giethoorn is also famous for its charming Dutch houses, each boasting distinctive architecture, typically with an attic and brick facades at the front and back. This interesting getaway is a complete breath of fresh air with no car exhaust or loud noises.

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