The Netherlands incorrectly known as Holland by many people is one of the most famous and vibrant countries in Europe. The iconic piece of the Netherlands tourism is Amsterdam, the worldwide capital of entertainment and fun.
With more than 17 million foreign tourists per year, tourism in the Netherlands is a relatively small sector representing about 5.4% of the gross domestic product and about 9.6% to employment.
Although the number of tourists is really high, most of them spend a few days in the Netherlands, usually visit Netherlands for about 2 or 3 days. Everybody wants to have a city break in Amsterdam!
Most of us when heard about the Netherlands think automatically at Amsterdam ignoring the beautiful Netherlands countryside with its fascinating windmills and old villages. Oh! And there are also the vast tulip fields which are in blossom in the springtime and beautiful beaches where you can lay and relax during summer!
Besides Amsterdam, there are also some really beautiful and representative cities like Rotterdam, the Hague, Utrecht or Maastricht. All these cities have something unique and make you want to see them again and again.
Let’s see below which the Netherlands tourism best attractions are based on tourists’ preferences:
The most popular attraction of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famous all over the world for its endless parties, marijuana cookies and Red Light District.
It is the coolest place in Europe for a bachelor’s party and for having fun.
But not all the tourists who go to Amsterdam are looking for endless parties. Yes, they might enjoy having fun but they are also interested in local museums and culture.
Van Gogh Museum is one of the best art museums in the world displaying an impressive collection of paintings of the very famous artist Vincent Van Gogh. In the summer season, the museum has extended opening hours but the queues are big anyway.
We definitely recommend you to book a guided tour with skip the line like this Van Gogh Museum Ticket.
And regarding the accommodation, Amsterdam offers plenty of choices for each budget. You can find hostels, apartments and hotels and the price vary depending on location, conditions and services provided.
Book your overnight stay to experience Amsterdam nightlife
Leiden is a city located in the south part of the country, just 48 kilometres away from Amsterdam. It is a very beautiful city considered by many the “Museum City” of the Netherlands tourism. It is a very good place where to set your camp and visit Aalsmeer or Keukenhof, plus some of the most interesting museums in the country, like the National Museum of Antiquities.
It is a very beautiful town with canals and brick buildings and most of all, it is the Rembrandt hometown.
The most interesting way to discover this city is on foot. Leiden 2-Hour Walking Tour is exactly what you need. In just 2 hours you will have see and photograph all the iconic buildings of the city and for the rest of the days spend in this magnificent time you can do daily trips in the surrounding area.
So, based on our experience, to explore the neighbourhoods and the city you need to spend in Leiden for about 3 days. Book a few nights at a hotel and discover this wonderful part of the Netherlands.
Located right near The Hague, Delft is one of the most charming towns of the Netherlands tourism. The town is famous because of its blue and white pottery produced using medieval techniques.
Most tourists who visit Delft are fascinated by its calm and peaceful atmosphere and its lovely scenery.
Spend at least one night in this place and discover its charm and beauty. Learn how the traditional pottery is made and enjoy the scenery while sipping a cup of tea.
How about spending a few nights in Delft?
4. The Hague
The third-largest city from the country and home of the Dutch Government and the Dutch monarchs, the Hague is a very cosmopolite and vibrant city which attracts many tourists all over the year.
There are many things to see in this city, but we strongly recommend you to take a guided tour of the political buildings. These buildings are the heart and soul of the Netherlands.
Actually, the best way to explore the city is to book a tour with a local guide. Who else knows that good the city if not a local!?
Based on our experience, we recommend you to book the walking tour The Hague: Private Tour with a Local Guide. The tour lasts between 2 to 4 hours and is custom made. You will meet the guide at your hotel and discuss what you want to see.
You will get a very good sense about Dutch history and its evolution listening to what your guide explains you.
For a complete tour of the city, you need to spend about 2 nights in the Hague. There are plenty of hotels to choose from and the prices are suitable for all types of budget. In general, hotel prices are even cheaper than in Amsterdam.
Are you planning to visit the Hague? See which are the available options for your stay
5. Utrecht, the Netherlands tourism hot spot
The fourth city of Netherlands, Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It was founded by Romans almost 2020 years ago as a fortress and today it is famous for its university and cultural diversification.
The hot point of the city is the Old Town full with souvenir and antique shops, wonderful canals and medieval churches. St. Catherine’s Convent and Rietveld Schroder House are two emblematic places to visit while in Utrecht.
The city is incredibly beautiful and picturesque with many interesting things to explore. More than that, around the city there are plenty of castles to visit. All these castles are the ideal destination for day trips: Kasteel De Haar resembled by many with Versailles because of its fabulous gardens, Het Loo Palace near Apeldoorn a former royal hunting lodge or Ammersoyen Castle near Hertogenbosch a moated fortress.
We propose you a completely different way to explore the city. We discovered not just a simple guided tour but a game tour and by solving a puzzle you explore the whole city: Utrecht: Monster Mystery Exploration Game and Tour. You can access the clues from the mobile and solve clues while exploring the city. What an exciting way to visit a town!
Based on our experience, to have enough time to explore the area you definitely need about 2 nights in Utrecht. There are plenty of accommodation options offering different levels of services depending on your budget and on your needs.
These 5 cities are the pearls of the Netherlands tourism. Each of them is unique and different and offer you the best opportunities to see the Dutch culture, its beautiful architecture and to admire the magnificent landscapes of the country.