Netherlands cities, attractions and photos

Netherlands travel guide

Comprising the diverse provinces of North Netherlands and South Netherlands, on the North Sea and the Rivers Rhine and Meuse, Holland offers beautiful tulip fields, historic windmills, quaint towns with cafes and European squares, some of the finest museums in the world and vibrant modern cities. The Hollanders are some of the friendliest people in the world, pleased to welcome visitors, and most people speak English. The Hollanders’ tolerant attitudes towards people of all lifestyles are legendary and responsible for the popularity of tourism to this area.

North Netherlands Attractions: Amsterdam and Haarlem - The province of North Holland is known for the popular City of Amsterdam, with its “Golden Age” historical monuments and architecture, beautiful canals, gabled houses and a popular “anything goes” vibrant nightlife. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and boasts stunning 17th century buildings, ancient squares, theatre and world-class museums in an accessible, compact and pedestrian friendly city.

Bicycles and canal boats are the favored forms of transportation. The splendid Rijksmuseum holds a large collection of paintings from the Dutch Masters, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer. The Anne Frank House offers visitors a glimpse of the “Secret Annex” where Frank wrote her diary.

The nearby town of Haarlem is a charming area west of Amsterdam, with colorful tulip fields and a spectacular Frans Hals Museum, featuring priceless works from this beloved 17th century Dutch artist. The tiny seaside town of Bergen has scenic North Sea beaches.

South Netherlands Attractions: The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft and Gouda - The province of South Holland is more industrialized and densely populated than North Holland. The Hague is unlike Amsterdam, having a distinct cosmopolitan ambience with 18th century French inspired architecture. The Hague is the seat of the national government offices, the famed International Court of Justice and home to three royal palaces. Outside of the city is a luxurious beach resort, named Scheveningen, which is popular with celebrities.

The City of Rotterdam boasts one of the busiest harbors in the world, modern urban buildings and shopping malls. The historical city center was destroyed during the bomb raids of World Ware II. The town of Kinderdijk, a short distance from Rotterdam, has the largest collection of working windmills in Holland.

The town of Delft is a must-see attraction during any trip to Holland. Famous for its fine blue china, it is also the birthplace of 17th century artist, Jan Vermeer and features a popular walking tour of Vermeer landmarks. This charming historical town was also the site for the film, “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

The town of Gouda is famous as the center of the delicious Holland cheese by the same name. The Waag, a popular 17th century weighing landmark, houses an exhibit explaining the cheese making process and offers delicious samples for the price of admission.

Netherlands's Appeal - What makes a visit to Holland so appealing and enjoyable is the charming and compact nature of this accessible area. Within minutes, you can leave the urban centers of Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam and enter pastoral towns with windmills, tulips and cows. A short drive in the opposite direction and you will come upon rich historical treasures and quaint European squares from the “Golden Age” of the 17th century. No wonder Holland is one of the most popular European destinations.

Amsterdam: Canals, Gabled Houses and Bicycles