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The Best Places To Visit In The Netherlands

When seeking out the most captivating spots to explore in the Netherlands, you’ve landed at the perfect destination! As someone who has had the pleasure of traversing much of the country over five adventures, I’m delighted to share my insider knowledge on the top attractions. While Amsterdam is indeed a treasured gem, boasting rich history and culture, there’s so much more to this incredible nation beyond its iconic capital city. So, join me as we venture beyond the familiar streets of Amsterdam and discover the best places to visit in the Netherlands – a treasure trove waiting to be unearthed!

Top 8 Places to Visit in the Netherlands

As travelers explore the charming Dutch landscape, they may find themselves captivated by the picturesque village of Giethoorn or the rich history of Haarlem. Both destinations offer a wealth of experiences that could easily span weeks or even months. For those seeking to make the most of their Netherlands adventure, here are eight unmissable spots to add to your bucket list:


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Amsterdam is a city that effortlessly blends its rich history with its vibrant cultural scene. From world-class museums to hidden gems, there’s no shortage of things to do in this captivating capital. The city’s nightlife is particularly renowned, with everything from upscale cocktail bars and rooftop terraces to club nights and gig venues on offer. Despite its reputation for parties, Amsterdam is a welcoming destination for travelers of all kinds. Culture buffs will find plenty to explore, including UNESCO World Heritage sites and nature reserves. The city is also home to some of the world’s most famous museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, Moco Museum, and Van Gogh Museum, which are clustered together in Museumplein – a must-visit destination for any art lover. Elsewhere in the city center, attractions like the Anne Frank House offer a poignant reminder of the city’s complex history. This museum tells the story of the Frank family, who went into hiding during World War II and kept a diary that has since become an iconic symbol of hope and resilience. In addition to these major attractions, visitors can explore the trendy neighborhood of NDSM Wharf, shop for vintage clothing, or take a romantic boat ride along the city’s picturesque canals. Other museums worth visiting include the Rembrandt House Museum, STRAAT Museum, and Katten Kabinet – each offering a unique glimpse into Amsterdam’s rich cultural heritage.


Rotterdam, a modern city often overshadowed by Amsterdam, offers a unique experience that’s worth exploring. Just a 45-minute train ride from the capital, it’s easy to visit on a day trip or spend a night in the city to discover its top attractions.One must-see attraction is the iconic yellow cube houses, which have become one of Europe’s most famous landmarks. Photography enthusiasts will love capturing the vibrant colors and quirky architecture, while visitors of all ages can appreciate the Instagram-worthy views.Just across the street from the cube houses lies Markethal, another top sight in Rotterdam. This market boasts an impressive exterior, but its interior walls are where it truly shines – beautifully decorated with a stunning mural. Visitors can indulge in local cuisine or Asian fusion options at one of the many food stands, making it a culinary paradise.For those seeking a more electric atmosphere, Witte de Withstraat is the place to be. This lively street is lined with bars, cafes, and restaurants catering to all tastes. On a nice day, the exterior terraces are filled with people socializing, dining, or simply basking in the sun. It’s an ideal spot to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a cocktail or two.If art and culture are more your thing, head to Museum Park, where you’ll find numerous museums, including Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, The Chabot Museum, and Nieuwe Instituut. Each museum offers something unique, making it easy to find one that aligns with your interests.


Haarlem, a charming Dutch city, offers a rich cultural experience despite its smaller size compared to Amsterdam. Art enthusiasts and history buffs will find plenty to appreciate here. The Teylers Museum, the oldest museum in the country, is a must-visit attraction. This beloved institution showcases an impressive collection of art, historical items, and scientific wonders. The Pieter Teyler House, conveniently included in the ticket price, offers a fascinating glimpse into the refined aesthetics of interiors and history. For art lovers, the Frans Hals Museum provides an in-depth look at the life and work of this renowned artist. Explore his expressive techniques, learn about his way of life, and admire his famous paintings up close. When you need a break from exploring, visit the Jopen Brewery to sample one of their many beers while admiring the stunning interiors and intricate stained glass windows. Haarlem’s compact city centre makes it easy to see all the top attractions on foot, allowing you to fit in as much as possible during your visit. And if you need a shopping fix, there are plenty of beautiful boutiques to discover.

Zaanse Schans

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Dutch culture enthusiasts, rejoice! Zaanse Schans is a treasure trove of unique experiences that will transport you to a bygone era. This charming destination offers a distinct atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the Netherlands, making it an absolute must-visit for anyone looking to delve deeper into Dutch heritage.As you wander through this picturesque region, you’ll be struck by the historic windmills, museums showcasing natural history, and adventurous boat trips that await your arrival. If arts and crafts are your thing, you’re in luck! The family-run wooden clog workshop is a must-visit, where you can witness a demonstration of these iconic Dutch shoes being crafted into an array of styles. Be prepared to be amazed by the sheer variety of clogs on display – from roller skate clogs to heeled clogs and everything in between.Beyond the clog workshop, the Weavers House is another gem waiting to be discovered. Step into this historic home and discover how two large families lived and worked together in a surprisingly small space. Even the children had roles to play! This attraction will leave you pondering the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our ancestors.Lastly, no visit to Zaanse Schans would be complete without a stop at the Zaans Museum. Here, you’ll embark on a journey through time, learning about the hundreds of windmills that once stood nearby. You’ll also have the chance to admire stunning art pieces, Dutch memorabilia, and an old chocolate factory – a true treasure trove for anyone with a curiosity about history.


In recent years, Zaandam has garnered significant attention due to its unique architectural landscape. One of the most iconic structures in the old town center is the Inntel Hotel, a vibrant blue and green building reminiscent of Lego blocks that serves as the backdrop for one of the city’s top hotels. This captivating edifice draws numerous day-trippers from Amsterdam, who can easily visit both destinations on the same day, thanks to their proximity. While Zaandam may not offer an abundance of activities compared to other attractions on this list, architecture enthusiasts won’t want to miss the city’s renowned buildings. Additionally, visitors can indulge in shopping or grab a meal without the crowds that often plague Amsterdam and Zaanse Schans, thereby experiencing a more authentic local atmosphere.


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Experiencing tulip season in the Netherlands is a travel experience unlike any other. If you find yourself in Amsterdam during springtime, a visit to the renowned Keukenhof tulip fields is an absolute must! As you wander through this enchanting attraction, you’ll be struck by the vibrant colours and mesmerizing displays of floral blooms that seem to stretch on forever. The region’s picturesque landscape during spring is truly breathtaking, with tulips in every hue imaginable. To fully appreciate the beauty on offer, consider renting a bike and cycling along the pathways for a unique perspective on this stunning display. While Keukenhof may be the main draw, there are plenty of other attractions worth exploring in Lisse. For instance, the Museum Black Tulip offers insight into the flower’s origins and rise to popularity in the Netherlands. Art enthusiasts will also find much to appreciate at the LAM Museum, where sculptures, photography, and paintings await discovery. Additionally, Kasteel Keukenhof and Saint Agatha Church are both worth visiting for a glimpse into the town’s rich history and culture.


Tucked away from the throngs of tourists that flock to cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Monnickendam offers a serene retreat for those seeking an authentic Dutch experience. During my two-week stay in this quaint city, I had ample opportunity to soak up its unique atmosphere and get a feel for what life is like in the Netherlands.What sets Monnickendam apart from more popular destinations is its lack of tourist traffic. In fact, during my entire visit, I barely encountered any fellow travelers. This makes it an ideal spot for those looking to venture off the beaten path.As you explore Monnickendam’s richly historic center, you’ll discover a plethora of activities and photo opportunities waiting to be uncovered. With its well-preserved architecture and charming atmosphere, it’s little wonder that this Dutch city is poised to rise in popularity in the years to come.If you’re looking for a unique experience before the crowds descend, I highly recommend paying a visit. The Museum de Speeltoren offers a fascinating glimpse into Monnickendam’s history and the surrounding region of Waterland.As you wander through the museum’s exhibits, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the city’s Dutch heritage and key milestones throughout its history.Alternatively, the Grote Kerk provides a peaceful oasis where you can admire art in its various forms. This unexpected gem houses regular exhibitions within its main complex, making it an ideal spot for culture enthusiasts.Furthermore, the church also features a small studio that is rented out to creatives on a three-week basis. This unique setting allows artists, designers, and makers to work (and sell) amidst the city’s charm.Insider tip: For those looking to explore more of what the Netherlands has to offer, Monnickendam is conveniently located near Broek in Waterland, Voldendam, and Edam – all worth a visit.


In the heart of the Netherlands lies Giethoorn, a picturesque destination that has captured the hearts of both travellers and locals. This enchanting village offers a unique experience that feels like stepping into a fairytale, unlike anywhere else in the country. While it may require a two-hour train ride from Amsterdam, many visitors agree that the journey is well worth taking to discover a side of the Netherlands that’s refreshingly different. With significantly fewer cars than other popular destinations, Giethoorn provides a peaceful atmosphere perfect for those seeking relaxation and tranquility. The village’s charming thatched-roof cottages, adorned with vibrant flowers and surrounded by lush greenery, are simply breathtaking. Nature lovers will be spoiled for choice, with winding canals and stunning scenery begging to be captured on camera. Giethoorn is also an artist’s paradise, offering endless inspiration for painters, photographers, and creatives alike. Beyond admiring the views, visitors can explore the local Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the village’s rich history and heritage. And of course, no visit would be complete without taking to the water with a leisurely boat ride. Whether you prefer to join a guided tour or rent your own vessel, the choice is yours in this charming fishing village.

Netherlands Trip Planning FAQs

When considering a week-long trip to the Netherlands, you’re likely pondering where to focus your attention. Amsterdam is undoubtedly a highlight, but it’s also possible to explore other notable cities like Rotterdam and Haarlem. With just a week at your disposal, you might find yourself wanting to delve deeper into local culture and discover more of what the Netherlands has to offer. Ideally, two weeks or even a month would provide ample time to truly appreciate the country’s charm. Giethoorn stands out as one of the most picturesque villages in the Netherlands, boasting an undeniable beauty that draws visitors in. As for cost, while it’s possible to travel on a budget, the Netherlands does tend to be pricier than some other European destinations, such as Latvia and the Czech Republic.For tourists looking to experience the best of what the country has to offer, there are numerous attractions to consider. The Netherlands Open Air Museum, Rotterdam’s Maritime Museum, Cobra Museum of Contemporary Art, Arnhem War Museum, and the Comics Museum are just a few of the many popular stops that await discovery.

So Many Reasons to Plan a Trip to the Netherlands!

While the Netherlands has countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered, here are some standout destinations that showcase the country’s rich history, captivating charm, and unforgettable experiences. With its unique blend of these attributes, the Netherlands is undoubtedly one of Europe’s top travel destinations. If you’re yet to explore this enchanting country, now’s the perfect time to start planning your next adventure.