The Netherlands, also referred to as Holland is criss-crossed with canals. The flat landscape is perfect for cycling, with historic town centres, classic windmills and other tourist spots sprinkled across the country. The long coastline is marked by miles of protective dunes and sandy beaches. During springtime the flower gardens become a great attraction providing a bold spectacle of the colours. Let’s take a look at the best things to do in the Netherlands.
1. Visit the famous Amsterdam canals
The famous canals were built during the 17th century to control the flow of the Amstel River and to add acres of dry land to the city. A boat ride along one of the city’s 100 canals offers visitors a relaxing way to view traditional Dutch architecture, lined with elm and lime trees and crossed over by more than a thousand bridges. The canals are home to some 2,000 houseboats. Tours offer a variety of options, ranging from hour-long excursions to candlelight cruises.
2. Go to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Some of the largest and most prestigious museums for art and history are in the Netherlands. At the Rijksmuseum there are a fantastic collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, including works by Vermeer and Rembrandt. There are also major works of Asian art held in this museum for all to see.
3. Go on a trip to Delft
From the Renaissance style City Hall building on the market square, to the cities traditional Holland canals, architecture and vibe. Delft is a progressive town that has worked diligently to restore its antiquated appearance. This unspoiled town is an ideal day trip or vacation destination. Another highlight of this city is Delft Blue pottery which has been produced here for many centuries.
4. Stop off at Rembrandt’s House
Visit the house where Rembrandt lived and worked for over 20 years. All the furniture was reconstructed according to the original inventory, many interesting objects from Rembrandt’s art collection are on display. It is worth staying for a lecture about etching and paint mixing.
5. Check out the Windmills
There are over a thousand windmills in Holland, you cannot think of this country and not think of these famous icons. Many of the windmills have been restored and the Mills of Schiedam are a group of five windmills that stand at forty metres tall, they are also the largest in the world.
6. See the Tulips at Keukenhof Gardens
Welcome to the world’s largest flower garden, approximately seven million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park. Not only tulips but also daffodils and other flowers, the gardens are open from the last week in March until mid-May.
7. Drop in on the Van Gogh Museum
This museum is home to the world’s largest collection of the artist’s paintings and letters. 200 paintings from the Dutch post-impressionist occupy the second story of the museum displayed chronologically the artwork offers viewers an intimate look at Van Gogh’s evolving style.
8. Visit The Churches at Maastricht Vrijthof
This is the best-known city square in the southernmost part of the Netherlands. It features the Church St-Jan and the Basilic St Servatius. There a large festivals at various times throughout the year, including autumn and winter
9. Go to Hoge Veluwe National Park
This national park is one of the largest continuous nature reserves, consisting of sand dunes and wetlands. The art museum with its large collection of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh is located within the park. Bicycles are available to visitors with much of the area being inaccessible by car.
10. So Much to See in Leiden
Leiden is known for the oldest university in the Netherlands. The birthplace of Rembrandt and its beautiful Canals. Its historic district has one of the largest town centres in the country, second only to Amsterdam. The structure that once hit and Frank and her family but the Nazi authorities during World War 2 has been viewed as a memorial to the Holocaust since 1947. This city is known as the royal residence by the sea.
Insider’s tip: visit the royal gallery, which exhibits Vermeer’s girl with a Pearl Earring and other notable Dutch and Flemish masters.