With many great places to visit in Netherlands, you might be a little bit confused when planning your trip to Holland.
No worries! I will tell you which are the most interesting places in this country and how much time you need to visit them!
But let’s start with some general information about the Netherlands.
Everything you need to know about Netherlands
Netherlands is a beautiful country located in the northwestern part of Europe.
It has a population of 17 million citizens and a total surface of 41.500 square meters.
Holland is famous for its canals, windmills, tulip fields and cycling paths.
Amsterdam, the capital of the country is the most visited place from the entire country and is considered to be the capital of entertainment from Europe.
It is a very popular destination among young tourists and for those looking for a great place to party; bachelor parties are very common in this city!
Bachelors from all over the world come here to celebrate their last moments of celibacy before the wedding!
For a complete guide of the best places to see in the Netherlands my proposal is to split the analysis in two: the Netherlands countryside and the Netherlands big cities.
There are two completely different things which are mainly addressed to different categories of tourists.
So, let’s take each of these two categories and let’s see what are the most important places to visit in Netherlands.
Netherlands countryside is still an undiscovered land, less visited than the big cities.
And this is such a pity!
There are so many interesting things to explore in the countryside and so many interesting experiences to try!
I listed below the ones I like the most and are also the most beautiful ones.
1. Zaanse Schans
Location: Zaanse Schans is located on the north side of Holland, 20 kilometres away from Amsterdam
How to get there: you can reach this wonderful place by bus, by car, by boat or booking a tour from Amsterdam.
There is a direct bus from Amsterdam Central Station every 15 minutes which gets you to Zaanse Schans.
There is always the car rental option.
For your tour across the country, the best idea is to rent a car.
It is much easier to move from one place to another, less time consuming and more efficient.
Get the best price for your car rental today
And because you are in the Netherlands, there is always the boat trip option when you want to get to the best places to visit in Netherlands.
You can take the ferry from Amsterdam and in about two hours you will reach the windmills village.
What to see: Zaanse Schans is one of the best-preserved windmills villages in the entire Holland.
Here you will discover windmills dating a few centuries ago, some of them are still working, while others are transformed into museums.
You will discover how the dutch villages looked and how the locals lived and worked.
Where to sleep: Saenliefde bed& breakfast is a great choice for those interested to sleep somewhere close to Zaanse Schans.
The accommodation is located 3 kilometres away from the open-air museum and offers wonderful services, good coffee and tasty breakfast!
The rooms are clean and they have good quality amenities!
Location: Kinderdijk is located 25 kilometres away from Rotterdam, in the central part of the country.
How to get there: you can reach this amazing place by boat, by bus and by car.
During peak season there is a direct ferry which goes from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk because it is one of the best places to visit in Netherlands.
Otherwise, you have to change the boat in Driehoeksveer and the total ride takes you about 40 minutes.
You can also take the bus but it is more time consuming and less picturesque than the direct ferry.
What to see: This place is home for 19 windmills dating from the XIX century.
All the windmills are still working and gives you the best picture of the traditional Dutch village.
Inside the village, there is also a museum and a souvenir shop.
You can choose from a boat trip or a walk around the village.
We chose to do both, but in my opinion, the boat tour is more beautiful and interesting.
Where to sleep: sleeping in Rotterdam is a good choice because it is really close to Kinderdijk and you have plenty of options to choose from.
We did so! We chose to sleep at Hilton Rotterdam and take the ferry to the site.
Both Kinderdijk and Zaanse Schans are UNESCO World Heritage sites for a long time!
3.Marken, Volendam, Edam
Location: all these 3 magnificent villages are located just 25 kilometres away from Amsterdam.
How to get there: you can get to these villages by bus, by car or simply with a guided tour.
These are one of the top places to visit in Netherlands.
For those of you interested in visiting these beautiful locations to see in Netherlands we recommend you to book a tour.
Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken Tour is one of the best tours you can get from Amsterdam.
In just one day you will see all the beautiful places in the countryside located close to Amsterdam.
The tour starts pretty early in the morning, at 8 a.m.
You have to be at the meeting point at 8 a.m. and from there the trip will begin.
A guide with good knowledge about the place will explain to you many interesting things about the place you will visit.
What to see: You will explore three of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands countryside.
Marken is famous for its handmade clogs, beautiful streets and peaceful atmosphere.
For cheese lovers, Edam is the right place to go.
This is the right place to buy the traditional cheese and to walk around the narrow street of this small and charming village.
Volendam is a small fishermen village full of traditional houses, scenic landscape and traditional clogs.
Travelling to these places to visit in Netherlands is like travelling back in time.
You will discover a completely different air than in Amsterdam.
Personally, I was fascinated by the countryside air and I regret a lot not having more time to explore this wonderful country.
Where to sleep: Even if these villages are close to Amsterdam, we strongly recommend you to sleep in one of them.
It is a completely different vibe than in Amsterdam. Spend a night in Volendam to get a full image of the place.
Location: Keukenhof is located 40 kilometres away from Amsterdam, in the southern part of the country.
How to get there: you can get there by car, by bus or on a guided tour.
If you are interested in going by bus, then you should look for bus no 852 from Amsterdam RAI.
There are many guided trips from Amsterdam to Keukenhof during springtime.
If you are interested in picking one of these, you can follow our advice and book your tickets at From Amsterdam: Fast-Track Keukenhof Ticket and Transfer.
This offers transportation and skips the line tickets.
The main advantage of this tour is that it departs from the ‘This is Holland’ experience, opposite Central Station.
So it will be much easier for you to take the bus from there than from Amsterdam RAI.
In less than 1 hour you will be right at the entrance of the largest flower garden in the world.
What to see: this is one of the best places to visit in Netherlands if you like flowers.
Actually, Keukenhof Gardens are the largest in the world.
There are flowers everywhere.
The gardens are opened during the spring season when the flowers are in blossom.
The opening time varies from one year to another, depending on the weather.
Blossoming is a natural phenomenon which cannot be controlled.
So, dutch people change the opening days according to the blossom period.
The variations are small, translated in a matter of days, so don’t get panicked. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!
Where to sleep: Amsterdam is the first option, but there are some beautiful accommodations right near the garden.
We strongly recommend you to look for accommodation in Lisse, a cosy village located right near Keukenhof.
5. Hoge Veluwe National Park
Location: this national park is located in the province of Gelderland, on the eastern part of the country.
How to get there: the easiest way to get to this park by car.
Public transport is pretty complicated as you have to take a train and then to change multiple buses to get there.
What to see: This is one of the great places to visit in Netherlands if you want to admire the beauty of nature.
There are many cycling paths inside the park and many walking trails.
Deer, mouflon, wild boar and many species of birds can be found inside the park.
Where to sleep: Hotel de Sterrenberg is among the best options from the location.
It is a 4-star hotel in a rustic-chic style vibe with an indoor swimming pool, a stunning garden as well as a fish pond.
The hotel has fantastic medspa as well as a very good fitness centre.
Location: this beautiful fortress is located close to Maastricht in the north part of the country.
How to get there: you can reach this beautiful medieval fortress by car and public transport from Maastricht.
What to see: This wonderful castle is the only castle situated on a hill from the Netherlands.
The medieval ruins lay on top of a hill and lie really near to Maastricht, 220 kilometres away from Amsterdam.
Where to sleep: spend your night in Maastricht and book some time to explore the city.
It is a vibrant city, full of students from all over the world.
There are plenty of accommodations to choose from. Depending on you what you are looking for.
Location: Efteling is located in the northern part of the country, 70 kilometres away from Rotterdam and 100 kilometres away from Amsterdam.
How to get there: you can reach this place by public transport and train, or by bus.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday during peak season there is a direct bus from Amsterdam to Efteling.
Outside the peak season, it is pretty complicated to reach Efteling by public transport, because you need to take the train and then a bus to reach the destination.
Also, in this case, the car is the best way to reach this destination.
What to see: This is one of the best places to visit in Netherlands if you are looking to have fun.
Efteling is the greatest amusement park in the Netherlands and also lies at Kaatsheuvel.
The park is divided up into various zones that are referred to as worlds and each one focuses on various ancient misconception or tale.
Efteling has the speciality of being one of the earliest amusement parks on the planet having initially opened its doors in 1952 and also has been entertaining visitors ever since with its rapid trips and lavish yards.
Where to sleep: spend your night in Amsterdam, at Crown Plaza Amsterdam and next day hit the road to Efteling.
You will have the entire day to have fun in the park!
Location: This small town is located 120 km away from Amsterdam.
How to get there: you can get to Giethoorn by car, by train and public transport or with a guided tour.
We recommend you to book your tickets for Giethoorn at the following tour: From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Giethoorn by Bus and Boat.
It is a guided tour which starts at 10 a.m. from Victoria Hotel Amsterdam, right opposite to Amsterdam Central Station.
In the tour, you have included a one hours guided boat tour along the Giethoorn canals, a tour by van and a guide to answer your questions during the whole day.
What to see: Giethoorn is considered to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Netherlands.
It is also called the Venice of the North and is one of the last towns which is accessible only by boat.
Where to sleep: Sleeping in this place is something really special and unique.
De Dames Van De Jonge Hotel Restaurant is one of the best choices from the area.
The hotel has a great location, being close to quiet Giethoorn village and offers very tasty breakfast and cosy rooms where you can rest after an exhausting day of exploring the city
Read more about Netherlands countryside
There are many interesting cities across the country and each of them has its particularities and attractions. Let’s see below information about the most important cities of Netherlands:
Location: Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands is located in the north part of the country in North Holland province
How to get there: you can reach this beautiful city by plane, by public transport, by train and by car
What to see: There are many interesting things to see here: a lot of museums out of which I would like to name Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum ( both of these are art museums), Anne Frank house, Vondelpark, beautiful canals, the Red Light District and many bars and restaurant spread all over the country.
Where to sleep: We chose to sleep at Crown Plaza Amsterdam , a very nice hotel located in the business district not in the city centre.
Close to the hotel, there is a subway station from where you can reach the city centre in about 10 minutes.
We chose this hotel because it offers a great price-quality ratio, good services and a tasty breakfast.
2. Rotterdam one of the best places to visit in Netherlands
Location: Rotterdam one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands is located in the South Province of Netherlands right near the Sea of North.
How to get there: you can reach this city by bus, by train and by car
What to see: Like all the big cities, Rotterdam has many interesting places to visit.
Cube Houses, the Markthal, The Erasmus Bridge and Euromaster Tower are just some of the most important things which should be on your list.
The best way to discover the city is to walk around its wonderful streets and admire the architecture of the buildings.
Where to sleep: We slept at Hilton Rotterdam , a great hotel located very close to the city centre and a few minutes of walk from the train station.
The rooms, the amenities and the services were really great.
From our room, we had a wonderful view over the streets of Rotterdam.
We really liked the place!
3. The Hague
Location: The Hague is a gorgeous city located on the North Sea Coast, in the province of South Holland.
The city is located just 65 kilometres away from Amsterdam.
How to get there: you can reach this place by train, by bus and by plane.
What to see: The New Church, Madurodam as well as Peace Royal residence are simply some of the areas to see when in The Hague.
The city is full of trendy resorts and modern dining establishments making for it one of the most interesting places to visit in Netherlands.
Where to sleep: The Collector Hotel situated right in the middle of the city is a great alternative if you are searching for a contemporary place to remain.
The inside of the hotel is simple and modern, the services are terrific and also the breakfast is scrumptious.
A wonderful choice for your city break!
Location: Delft is located in the western part of the Netherlands, 70 kilometres away from Amsterdam.
How to get there: you can reach this wonderful city by train, by car and by bus.
What to see: The city is renowned due to its white as well as blue tiles as well as ceramics manually repainted, so seeing such a manufacturing facility needs to get on your checklist when you go to the Netherlands.
This scenic tour, Royal Delft: Delftblue Factory and Museum offers you the special opportunity to check out among the last original Delft Blue factories in town.
The factory was constructed in the 17th century and since then it creates hand-made objects which are sold around the world.
Where to sleep: Casa Julia is a cosy hotel located in an old building dating from 1920 very close to the city centre.
The rooms are not very spacious but they are clean and well equipped, offering all the amenities you need.
The breakfast is fabulous, with many tasty options and very good coffee.
Location: Maastricht is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands, 215 kilometres away from Amsterdam
How to get there: as usual, buses, trains and cars are the options when we are talking about how to reach Maastricht
What to see: Maastricht is one of the best places to visit in Netherlands.
This city is home of a multicultural and multilingual centre with many Belgians, Germans and Dutch people living together.
It is the city from the Netherlands with the youngest population.
I like to say about this place that it is a mix between old and new, between modern and traditional.
Where to sleep: Hotel Trash Deluxe is my recommendation for accommodation in this city.
It is a modern design hotel located in the centre of the city with extremely clean rooms and great services. we liked here breakfast and the morning coffee as well as the location.
Location: Utrecht is located in the centre part of the country, 60 kilometres away from Amsterdam
How to get there: car, buses and trains are the available options to get to Utrecht
What to see: Utrecht is famous for Castle de Haar, which by the way is a must-see place, the Dom Tower and a few interesting museums.
Thanks to Utrecht: Monster Mystery Exploration Game and Tour we discovered a very exciting way to discover the city.
It is a very interesting tour, a game tour. You buy the tour, you download it into your phone and follow the hints you receive to solve the puzzle.
By the time you solve the mystery, you have visited all the important places from the town. Very interesting, don’t you think?!
Where to sleep: Our suggestion for your overnight stay is Logement Swaenenvecht.
It is a magnificent boyard mansion located in an old building dating from 1600 at 15 minutes drive to the city centre.
The rooms and the common areas reflect the 1600 picture, while the amenities and the services are really good.
People looking for a place where to relax and listen to nature after a long day of exploration, are welcomed here.
These are the best places to visit in the Netherlands!
It will be great if you have the time to visit all of them!
But this means at least 2 weeks and that is why we suggest you choose the ones you like most for your first trip to the Netherlands!
Leave the rest for the second time! I am sure it will be the second time because the country is extremely beautiful!