July 5, 2022

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14 Best Cities in the Netherlands to Visit

13 min read
14 Best Cities in the Netherlands to Visit


Are you planning a tour of the Netherlands? What are the best cities in the Netherlands to visit? Check out our comprehensive guide for the best answers.

The Netherlands is a rich country both culturally and historically. And it’s also known for its beautiful canals, tulips, landmarks, windmills, and cycling culture.

Even better, some of the best Dutch cities are close to each other, allowing you to easily plan your trip and move from one city to another using a train.

There are many interesting cities to visit in the Netherlands. But how do you pick the best? We’ll have that in a moment!

But first, have you identified the best way to reach there? Also, have you taken out a travel insurance cover?

Well, Skyscanner comes in handy when searching for the cheapest flights worldwide. By visiting their website, you can get yourself some of the best flight rates in the market to ensure that you don’t overspend on your trip.

As for travel insurance, the World Nomads has you covered. You can travel stress-free, knowing that all your medical issues, luggage, or emergency evacuations are covered.

Also, if you are traveling with a family, booking a car rental could make your movement in any of these towns pretty easy. However, in some cities, you’ll find that cycling is the order of the day.

So, back to our question; what are the best cities in the Netherlands to visit?

Let’s find out.

Best Cities in Holland to Visit

1. The Hague

The Hague Holland; best cities in the Netherlands

When you think about The Hague, the first thing that comes to mind is politics and administration. The international court of justice seats in The Hague.

It is also the royal and administrative capital of the Netherlands. Subsequently, every year, the city receives thousands of visitors since it is the leading center for international conferences.

The Hague is not just known for politics. It’s also the city of artists, and some of the best artists come from this charming city. For example, if you are a lover of art, you can visit one of the city’s several museums like the Mauritshuis museum. The museum is home to curios, paintings, and valuable objects by renowned artists.

History enthusiasts will love a visit to The Knights’ Hall (Ridderzaal). This is a historic building that hosts the opening of parliament every September.

It is a large gothic building with stained glass with a court of arms for different Dutch cities. The building has a rich history of serving as a banquet hall, market, promenade, and even hospital.

For the best exploration of the city, you can book a tour such as;

Stay

While in The Hague, you can stay at;

2. Delft

Architecture city buildings

Delft is also among the best cities in the Netherlands to explore. While it’s a small city of about 100,000 people, it is well known for its trade activities. And the best thing about visiting Delft is that you can explore the whole city in a day on foot.

If you love architecture and history, there is so much you can do here to quench your thirst. For instance, you can visit The New Church.

And don’t let the name deceive you. While it’s called The New Church, it was actually completed in 1496. As such, it oozes history, which makes it quite a charm.

While in the church, you will admire the gothic style architecture with a vast tower bell and 108.75m monument. And from the top of the tower, you’ll have an excellent view of the whole of Delft city.

Markt square is also a great place to visit if you want to learn about Dutch culture. Since the city was initially a trade center, it has a very vibrant market. There are specific market days, so it’s ideal for visiting on a market day.

Best tours in Delft include;

Stay

The best hotels to stay while here include;

3. Haarlem

Haarlem Holland, windmill

If you want to experience the real charm of Dutch cities, Haarlem is a must-visit. It is a historic city center with many landmarks, which also offers unique shopping experiences. Being an old city, you are in luck if you want to see historic buildings and architecture.

The Bloemendaal Aan Zee beach is a good place to visit if you want to experience the coastal side of the Netherlands. It covers around 4.3 km of sandy beaches, offering an excellent place to stroll and have fun on a sunny day. The beach stretch also has numerous bars and restaurants that add to its charm.

You can also visit Haarlemmerhout Public Park if you want to take a stroll. The park has a rich history and monuments that mark historic features. It is a beautiful park to visit and relax in no matter the season.

Or, you can pick one or two of the history-rich museums and take a tour.

Best tours of this city include:

Stay

Best places to stay here include;

4.  Amsterdam

Canal waterway Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, and certainly, a city worth visiting. It is a famous city worldwide, receiving close to 17 million visitors every year.

Amsterdam is among the best cities to visit in the Netherlands because of the following attractions:

  • Van Gogh Museum – best for art
  • Anne Frank House – best for history
  • Jordaan Neighborhood – learn the Dutch culture
  • The Royal Palace of Amsterdam – formerly the old Town Hall
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam – best for modern art

You can also enjoy some time at the canal belt, which is now a Unesco world heritage site. These canals were created during the golden era and have remained a great attraction in Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, you can book one of these tours;

Stay

Some of the best hotels to book a night while in Amsterdam include;

See related: 26 Fun & Best Things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands

5. Gouda

Gouda city market

When visiting Amsterdam, a day trip to Gouda wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. It is a small city so you can cover most of the interesting places in a day. However, the city was built in a gothic style, so if you love architecture, you will enjoy visiting the different sites in the city.

If you happen to be here from April to August, the Gouda cheese market is a must-visit. Here, you will get a chance to sample a variety of cheese options and even shop for the best cheese available in the world.

You can also visit the Museum Gouda, where you will experience the rich history of Gouda. In the museum, you will find extraordinary items that you might not find anywhere in the world. One such item is the madman’s cell, where psychiatric patients were locked back in the days.

The best tour of the city include:

Stay

If you are looking for the best places to stay in the city, check out these hotels;

6. Rotterdam

Rotterdam skyscrapers

Rotterdam is the port city of the Netherlands, but it is also the 7th largest port in Europe and the world. It’s a multicultural city with a lot of international students and people from other non-Dutch countries. But, unlike other cities with gothic-style architecture, Rotterdam has modern-style architecture.

When in Rotterdam you can visit the old port. This is a great place to experience history dating back to 1350. The port is home to numerous historic ships, a clear display of the rich port’s history. Additionally, there are a lot of great bars and restaurants in the location to help you unwind after a long day.

If you are feeling a little bit adventurous, you can visit the hot tub boat. Here you will get a chance to sail in a hot tub boat as you experience the city. Interestingly, even when the weather is cold, this is an experience that you do not want to miss.

Best Rotterdam tours include;

Stay

Top places to stay in Rotterdam include;

7. Maastricht

Maastricht city square

Maastricht is the best place to visit if you want to experience the cultural side of the Netherlands. It is one of the oldest cities, offering a medieval vibe everywhere you visit.

Maastricht is also one of the wine cities in the Netherlands. So if you want to enjoy one of the best Dutch wines, this is the city for you.

For history and culture lovers, St. Peters Caves is the first place to visit. The 1000+ years, caves were the hiding place for people during the second world war. Its tunnels stretch up to 80km, making it a worthwhile experience.

The Bishops Watermill is a historic property from the 7th century that you should also visit. It was initially used as a watermill, but it’s currently being used as a local bakery. This is the place to get the best freshly made bread.

Best Maastricht tours include;

Stay  

While in this beautiful Dutch city, you have more than enough places to stay. For instance, you can choose to stay at;

  • Hotel Maastricht – It’s a sustainable travel property with modern art décor and sound-proof rooms.
  • Mabi City Centre Hotel. This is a movie-themed hotel with a modern art décor style, and everything about the hotel is luxurious.

See Related: 12 Fun & Best Things To Do in Giethoorn, Netherlands

8. Leiden

Leiden canal waterway

Leiden is a historic city centre in the Netherlands that is easily accessible from Amsterdam and the Hague by train. It’s a typical student city, meaning you’ll find a lot of bars. The city boasts of quite a vibrant nightlife.

Other attractions of Leiden City include;

  • The Leiden Botanical Gardens (a must-visit for nature lovers)
  • Burcht van Leiden
  • The Naturalis Biodiversity Museum
  • Museum Boerhaave
  • The Old Observatory

In fact, the city offers you a chance to visit some of the best, world-class museums.

The best way to experience Leiden and the surrounding is to book one or two tours, such as;

Stay

As for places to stay, you can choose;

9. Eindhoven

Eindhoven streets

Eindhoven might not be among the most popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands, but it’s still interesting. Located in the southern part of the Netherlands, it is known for being a technology hub, as it is home to many large tech companies like Philips and ASML. There are also many museums and cultural attractions in Eindhoven, making it a great city to visit for all types of travelers.

Some of the most famous landmarks and attractions here include;

  • The Van Abbemuseum
  • The DAF Museum
  • St. Catherine’s Church
  • The Philips Museum & Collection
  • Van Gogh Village, Nuenen

In other words, there is no shortage of things to do or places to visit in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

As for nightlife, you can enjoy your time in the Benelux area. Here you will get a chance to sample different bars and enjoy the Dutch party life. The stretch of bars is only 200 meters but offers quite a night experience.

Best Eindhoven tours include:

Stay

There are numerous places to stay in the city, but you can pick either of these two;

  • The Queen Hotel: a 40-room hotel right next to the lively market, meaning that you have access to various offices, shopping centers, and restaurants.
  • The Novotel Eindhoven: just 1.5km from the airport, the hotel offers a garden and a garden terrace for guests to enjoy the outdoors.

10. Breda

Carnival Breda Holland

If you want to experience the authentic local Burgundian lifestyle, then Breda is the city for you. This charming city is located in the southern part of the Netherlands and is known for its picturesque canals, cafes, and restaurants.

For history lovers, the Castle of Breda is the best place to visit if you want to learn Dutch history. This castle is the place where the Nassau family stayed for many generations and thus carries a rich history.

For a relaxing afternoon, you can visit Citypark Valkenburg. The park has large fountains, so you can spend the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the sound and sites from the park.

You can also take a tour of the city, such as the Escape the City tour. This will allow you to get a comprehensive feel of the city’s beauty.

Stay

Don’t stress about where to stay while in Breda. You can enjoy your stay in one of the city’s many top-class hotels, such as;

While the Hotel Nassau Breda offers a great sense of history, Leonardo Hotel Breda boasts modern architecture. But, both hotels offer convenience and comfort to make your visit to the Netherlands quite enjoyable.

11.  Amersfoort

Zoo Amersfoort nature

Amersfoort is one of the medieval cities in the Netherlands. It’s one of the best towns to visit in the Netherlands if you want to learn about how people lived in the middle ages. In addition, the city is a great resource for everyone who wants to learn about the rich Dutch culture and history.

From the beautiful city walls covering its historic streets to the rich culture of the city’s residents, Amersfoort is a great place to visit. For starters, your cultural experience can begin at the Mondrian Museum, a place for art and culture.

Here, you’ll find the Parisian workshop and the tallest church towers in the museum. You will also see the old city gate, a great attraction to people touring the city.

The city is also known for its brewing experience. So, a visit to the De Drie Ringen’s city brewery would be worth it. You can also visit the oldest café for an amazing cultural experience.

The best tours in Amersfoort include:

Stay

Some of the best places to stay while in the city are;

  • The NH Amersfoort – It’s a modern hotel with charming, spacious rooms and a restaurant that serves seasonal organic meals.
  • Hotel de Gaaper – best for its proximity to the city shopping center and market square.

12. Texel

Lighthouse Texel Netherlands

Texel is one of the famous Dutch islands. Nature lovers will enjoy staying in Texel since a big part of the island is covered by a national park. However, the city might be too calm for you if you’re looking for busy city life.

Nature enthusiasts can visit Texel National Park, where they will explore the dunes and create awesome memories. These dunes help you get a Scotland vibe that you might not be expecting in the Netherlands. And it’s an excellent place to see birds, seals, and flora.

For photography, you can visit the Eirland Lighthouse. From the lighthouse, you can create amazing memories through photography as you take in the beauty of nature. It is the best location to take good photos for your trip.

Some of the best tours in Texels include;

Stay

As for where to stay, you can choose between;

13. Utrecht

Utrecht railway station buildings

Utrecht was a critical and famous city even before Amsterdam. It was one of the most recognized cities during the golden age. And although it was overtaken by Amsterdam, it remains a major tourist attraction with many historical sites to visit.

Some of the top tourist attractions in Utrecht include the Dom Tower, St. Martin’s Cathedral, De Haar Castle, and the Centraal Museum.

If you want to experience history, the Dom Tower can be a great starting point. This church is 112 meters high, and climbing up to the top can be fun. However, if you plan to reach the top, you need to climb almost 400 steps, so you need to be prepared.

You can also explore the city by taking a canal boat tour through the beautiful Utrecht Canals. These canals allow you to explore the city from the water the best way, from the water.

Best tours of this city include;

Stay

For the best stay, choose either of these two hotels:

  • BUNK Hotel Utrecht – offers bikes for hire, giving you an easy way to explore the city.
  • The Park Plaza – it’s among the best hotel within the city center, with comfy rooms and international menus.

14.  Groningen

 Water Boats Buildings Groningen

Groningen is a university city with many young people, giving it a vibrant lifestyle. As such, it has a lot of bars and restaurants to explore.

Also, besides the vibrant life, the city has natural parks and historical buildings you will marvel at. For instance, National Park Lauwerslake is a great place to visit for nature lovers.

The park was created in 1969 after massive flooding. Today it is the best place to go for hiking or bird watching.

If you want to get a local shopping experience, you need to visit Folkingestreet in Groningen. Here you will get specialized shops that only sell local products.

Other fun things to do in the city include:

  •  Climbing the Martini Tower,
  • Visiting the Groninger Museum,
  • A tour of the Old Town District,
  • Enjoying all-year-round entertainment and events

Best tours here include:

Stay

You can stay in;

These two hotels offer comfort and convenience. Besides enjoying your stay in the hotels, you also have access to various other restaurants in the city.

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