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

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Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands

“Where should I go?” That’s one of the travelers’ most common questions when visiting a new country. However, when it comes to the small country of the Netherlands, the question changes to, “Where shouldn’t I go?.” These are the best places to visit in the Netherlands, as well as things to do.

With many fascinating museums, lively cities, famous landmarks, canal cruises, classic, modern, and contemporary art, tulips, and world-famous cheese, the Netherlands has so many enticing places that tourists rarely get to take in the total Dutch experience. 

To the outsider, it might be hard to find which places are worth your time and money while also providing you with the complete experience of this beautiful European gem. Nonetheless, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Netherlands.

So, to save you the trouble, we’ve compiled a list of our top places to visit in the Netherlands that will add value to your travel and save you money. And if you’re looking for more information about these places, we have plenty more posts where we tell all about them!

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Lisse, and The Hague are among the top cities to visit in the Netherlands. These towns offer everything from great shopping opportunities to breathtaking architecture and even world-famous museums that make you want to return for more.

Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands

1. Keukenhof

Flowers in Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

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 garden.

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.

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!

Hiking the garden is another beautiful way to spend time outside that offers a thrilling adventure of seeing and sampling the flowers and plants.

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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. Oh, and it also houses the Office of the Prime Minister.

As the site of many significant historical events in the Netherlands’ history and political developments, it’s worth visiting. 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, which has an awe-inspiring design with its old town walls.

See Related:  Things to Do in Zandvoort

3. Castle De Haar

Aerial View of the Castle De Haar

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? The Hoge Veluwe National Park is a beautiful attraction and park in the Netherlands, providing 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 among 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 and a 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 aficionados will enjoy a tour of Van Gogh’s greatest work, 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 is at this museum in Amsterdam, including more than 2,000 paintings and drawings.

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

Over 200 oil paintings, 500 important drawings, and more than 700 letters are all displayed at the museum. The exhibition includes Van Gogh’s famous works: Sunflowers, Potato Eaters, Almond Blossom, 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. Windmills at 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.

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

See Related: Affordable Castle Hotels in Europe

8. Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands

In this list, we’ve got towns like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Haarlem that have been voted the best places to visit in the Netherlands for a good night out by locals and tourists alike. You can check out Delft or Leiden if you want something less touristy.

But if you get trapped in the touristy town center of Amsterdam, and the Red Light District sounds like the least appealing thing ever, don’t forget about Anne Frank’s House.

It is one of the most well-known destinations to see when visiting 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. ARTIS

Giraffes at Royal Artis Zoo, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Natura Artis Magistra Zoo, also known as the ARTIS, is a stunning location in Amsterdam’s historic city center. It is regarded as the Netherlands’ first zoo and one of Europe’s oldest. The attraction, which opened in 1838, currently houses over 750 animal species!

While visiting Artis, you can participate in a range of enjoyable activities. You can take advantage of the green oasis, enjoy biking amidst the bustling city of Amsterdam, and spend the day with the whole family exploring the various animals on display.

Moreover, it is a paradise for children to have fun while learning. Giraffes, chimpanzees, and zebras are among the noble creatures living at the zoo, each in a zone replicating their natural habitat.

Aside from creatures great and small, there are a number of other things to see and do, such as the lovely gardens, which are ideal for strolling about and relaxing.

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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. Amsterdam Museum

Light Show at Hermitage Amsterdam

Address: Amstel 51, 1018 DR Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Amsterdam Museum is an engaging destination in the capital city of Amsterdam. It boasts art from all corners of the globe and is a must-see for lovers of art and history.

Housed in a former orphanage from 1681, this 300-year-old institution stands as one of the city’s most renowned exhibition centers. Its uninterrupted display of Dutch Masters from the Golden Age, interspersed with Amsterdam artifacts, is a compelling attraction for visitors to the city.

See Related: Things to Do in Leiden

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.

There are multiple art galleries to discover at this cultural institution, and it’s also home to the second-largest collection of Van Gogh’s works. There are about 90 magnificent paintings and more than 180 sketches 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. The sculpture garden is another museum attraction, combining lush greenery and magnificent sculptures.

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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 may participate in a range of entertaining and instructive experiences. Visitors will be able to discover how to reuse waste material and help artists in their craftsmanship.

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

See Related: Different Types of Dutch Food

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. The exploration of the exhibitions held in the palace, the study of its magnificent interiors, the appreciation of its vast chandeliers, and the evaluation of its original purpose are recommended.

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: Things to Do in Maastricht, Netherlands

15. Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

Victorian glasshouse in serene botanical garden with pond and heron
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Plantage Middenlaan 2a, 1018 DD Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Hortus Botanicus, a lush garden amid Amsterdam’s bustle, is a tranquil sanctuary. +It is a lovely botanical garden called one of the world’s oldest. This North Holland Garden is among the finest places to visit in Amsterdam.

The Plantage area of Amsterdam is home to the Hortus Botanicus, which contains more than 4000 species of plants. The garden was initially constructed to cultivate medical herbs for apothecaries, pharmacists, and physicians at apprenticeships.

Today, numerous plant species are maintained. You may sample organic soft drinks in the garden’s orangery while admiring hundreds of plants and flowers throughout the yard.

The garden is conveniently located near Amsterdam’s top attractions and is accessible to everyone, including ARTIS Zoo, Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam Museum, and the Museum of WWII Resistance are some of the closest sights to the garden.

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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 by car with the family. 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 method to understand better why Holland is unique and exciting. Visitors may view a tiny replica of the country’s most popular tourist destinations in this area, which features stunning miniature replicas of key locations and a miniature city.

Not a bad idea for those wanting to preview their visiting selections, huh? 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. The dam is among the many things to do in the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam.

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!

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17. National Monument

Statue in National Monument

Address: Dam, 1012 JL Amsterdam, Netherlands

When you visit the National Monument, you’ll be surrounded by history enthusiasts, no doubt respecting its magnificence and historical significance. This memorial is 22 meters tall and is one of the city’s focal points. Moreover, it is one of the most prominent monuments in the country.

It was erected to commemorate those who died during World War II for Dutch freedom. It became a government-designated national heritage monument in 2009. The incredible monument was created according to the plans of Dutch architect JJP Oud.

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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 its 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 older.

Among the finest activities is birdwatching, and observing multiple bird species is possible. 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

Texel Lighthouse in the Netherlands

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 an iconic 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

Boating in Giethoorn

Address: Giethoorn, Netherlands

Giethoorn is a small town in the Dutch province of Noord Brabant. It has a population of 18,400 and is about 15 km south of Eindhoven. This is one of the most beautiful towns in the Netherlands. It has a picturesque main street with many small shops and restaurants.

Many beautiful Dutch buildings surround the town square, and the town is entirely car-free. In the spring and summertime, it features picturesque canal views and is a complete breath of fresh air with no car exhaust or loud noises.

The town of Giethoorn is known for its traditional Dutch houses. These are often called ‘polders’ in English. Each home has a unique design; most have an attic, and the front and back are made of brick.

And if none of these places seem like they would be suitable for your next vacation destination, we have plenty more where that came from! Signing up today ensures that you receive our latest and greatest content.

If you found this article helpful and are interested in more travel tips from across the globe, sign up for our newsletter today! We deliver all sorts of content relating to traveling abroad, including blog posts about places worth visiting outside The Hague. 

FAQ

What places in the Netherlands are best for children?

It depends on the child’s interests, but the Netherlands has many places to visit, so finding one suited to your child’s needs is not challenging.

If they’re interested in the arts, places like the Rijksmuseum, the Rembrandt House Museum, The Graphic Museum, The Teylers Museum, and the Comics Museum are best for them. If they like science, places like the Natural History Museum, the Science Center Delft, or Ripley’s Believe It or Not! are best for them.

If they like the outdoors, places like Bruges, the Climbing Park Fun Forest, and Kinderdijk are great places to have fun. Try the Aviation and Wartime Museum, the Maritime Museum, or the Arnhem War Museum if they like vehicles or military history.

Are there any places with free entrance fees?

Try the Amsterdam Museum. Entry to this museum is free of charge, and they have a range of paintings on display. It’s a terrific free day out. It includes masterpieces by Dutch artists such as Vincent Van Gough, Paul Gauguin, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, and Piet Mondrian.

What places in the Netherlands are worth visiting?

Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. With over 1.4 million inhabitants, it is one of Europe’s most lively and busiest places! There is a lot to see and do there: the Van Gogh Museum (home to many paintings by Vincent van Gogh) and the NEMO Science Museum (one of the world’s leading science museums) are great places to visit. 

Also, there’s Amsterdam’s fascinating Jewish heritage, for example, Anne Frank’s house or even checking out Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. Amsterdam is also where you will find some of the best places for street food in Europe. Other places are worth visiting too, like the city of Haarlem and Hague, which feature the National Museum for those natural history lovers.

Y’know what? This following cheeky list is on me! You’ll also want to hit up the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, the National Beer Museum, the Wine Museum, the University Museum, the Floating Auction House, and the Vermeer Delft Museum.

For the foodies among us, the Fries Museum, the Cheese Market, and the Cheese Museum in Alkmaar are a godsend for those looking to ditch their diets in fashion like us.  

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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