The Netherlands is ideal for a holiday and surprises with many well-known and lesser-known travel destinations. Due to the size and short distances, you can discover a lot in Holland, even on a long weekend or week, and make a small road trip through the Netherlands. Are you planning your holiday in Holland and wondering where it is most beautiful? Here I give you tips for sights and beautiful places in the Netherlands – and also a few insider tips.
Another popular travel destination in the Netherlands is the town of Alkmaar, north of Amsterdam. Here you can immerse yourself in an old Dutch tradition: the Alkmaar cheese market has been taking place since 1365 and is the largest and oldest cheese market in Holland. Between April and October, cheese is traditionally traded every Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Waagplein in the city center. The huge cheese loaves are delivered early in the morning and laid out on the square. Visitors can watch the cheese carriers weigh the cheeses and transport them away. And even if it can often get quite crowded here, you should plan this stop on holiday in Holland. After a visit to the cheese market, it’s worth walking through the little town.
The Hague is also on the list of exciting cities in the Netherlands. Here you can combine a city trip with a holiday by the sea, as the center is only a few kilometers away from the North Sea and the beach of Scheveningen. The seaside resort is a district of The Hague and is the largest and one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Netherlands. Landmarks are the Kurhaus from 1885 and the pier with the Ferris wheel. The mix of city and beach makes The Hague one of the most diverse cities in Holland – and of course, there is also a lot to discover in the historic center. The city is the seat of government, and in the middle of political Holland, you are in the historic Binnenhof at Hofvijver. From the lake, you can see history and the modern skyline, as well as the Mauritshuis art museum. Strolling through the pedestrian zone, you will also pass the Royal Palace, as The Hague is also the official seat of the Dutch monarchy.
It is not far from The Hague to neighboring Delft – another place with a long tradition. The Dutch city is known around the world for its ceramics, which were valued around the world during its heyday in the 16th and 17th centuries. Royal Delft’s Delft Blue is still made in a factory today, and you can, of course, buy it anywhere in the city. Delft is also known for the artist Johannes Vermeer, the city’s most famous son. You can see reproductions of his paintings at the Vermeer Center and take a trip back to 17th-century Delft. Afterward, you can walk along the old town’s canals, churches, and courtyards.
Haven’t you seen enough windmills in Kinderdijk yet? Then you definitely have to plan Zaandijk as a travel destination. In the Zaanse Schans open-air museum, old industrial traditions can be experienced, and it is one of the most popular sights in North Holland. More than 600 mills were built here in the 17th century – for grinding spices, producing paint and oil, and sawing wood, among other things. You can still visit some of the mills today. The region’s typical architecture, with the green wooden houses and the white-framed windows and gables, also applies to the new center of Zaandam. Around the train station and town hall, you will find a whole newly created district. You can’t miss the nested hotel here, one of the most photographed sights in the Netherlands.
When you think of Holland and cheese, you certainly think of Gouda – one of the most famous cheeses in the Netherlands. In addition to Leerdam, Maasdam, and Edam, the small town of Gouda is also home to a popular cheese. However, that is not the only reason why it is worth a visit during your holiday in Holland. There is also a cheese market in Gouda to this day, but here it is always on Thursdays. The event on the market square is one of the most popular destinations in the region. However, the visit is just as worthwhile without a market, as Gouda is one of the cities worth seeing in South Holland. The town hall is almost reminiscent of a fairytale castle, and you will find two windmills on the old moat and pretty brick houses along the canals.
My last tip takes you to a small village that many consider to be one of the most beautiful places in Holland. Little Giethoorn in the province of Overijssel is correspondingly well attended. The idyllic and picturesque village is crisscrossed by small canals, and many of the centuries-old thatched houses can only be reached by boat or over small jetties. You can even moor your boat at the church. So instead of roads, there are waterways here, which is why Giethoorn is often referred to as Dutch Venice. You can rent a boat from one of the numerous providers and paddle past the pretty little houses and well-kept flower gardens yourself. Or you can take a little walk through town and enjoy the special atmosphere. Of course, this is best done a little later in the day when the day visitors have already left.