The Netherlands is best known for its innovative cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. And while you should definitely make it a priority to visit both of these cutting-edge destinations, The Netherlands possesses an incredibly impressive countryside. This picturesque country has everything you could possibly dream of, and its sights are anything but ordinary. Here are some of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands:
The Hoge Veluwe National Park
The Hoge Veluwe National Park is where the great wildlife of the Netherlands claim their home. Wild boar, deer, and mouflons flood into the deep emerald forest. Visiting the park is a perfect way to escape the city and divert to the Netherlands’ breathtaking woodlands. Here, you can trek along the fields, or take advantage of the free bikes available to cycle through the staggering trails.
Perhaps the busiest part of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is the country’s bustling capital. The city makes for a fantastic weekend trip, as the notable attractions can keep you busy for hours on end. Amsterdam is packed full of culture, creativity, history, and peculiar forms of entertainment.
Amsterdam is divided into 7 districts, which are complete with their own distinguished sets of neighborhoods. If in Amsterdam, make sure to rent a bike, as locals cycle from point A to point B more often than traveling by car.
Also referred to as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof Gardens is the world’s largest flower garden and one of the Netherlands’ most magical attractions. Tulips are the celebrity here, which cultivate a vivid landscape of deep blue, red, violet, yellow, and pink. In addition to its picturesque beauty, Keukenhof Gardens is an extremely peaceful and calm region.
Leiden is known for its centuries-old architecture and postcard-like appearance. It’s also home to Leiden University, which dates all the way back to 1575. The student population balances the city’s traditional and historic personality, by modernizing the region and yielding a youthful energy. Similar to Amsterdam, Leiden also contains its own canal system and cultural attractions.
De Biesbosch National Park
De Biesbosch National Park is the last remaining freshwater tidal area in Europe, consisting of about 8,000 hectares of small rivers and streams. This extraordinary nature reserve provides exceptional opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as kayaking, cycling, sailing, and hiking.
You might even catch a beaver, deer, or fox. The best way to take advantage of De Biesbosch is by sleeping at one of the park’s lodges and spending the night immersed in nature.
The second largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam rivals the Netherlands and brings its own eccentric character. Situated in Western Netherlands in the province of South Holland, the city resides on a glistening waterside vista. Rotterdam is an architectural hub, known for its innovative and creative structures, modern nightlife scene, and its port, which is the largest in all of Europe.
Giethoorn is like your fairytale dreams come to life; an alluring dreamlike village, Giethoorn is touched with charming farmhouses enveloped in greenery. This small town is incredibly unique given the fact that there are no car streets and over 55 miles of canals. Giethoorn is also home to several fascinating museums, shops, quaint waterside restaurants, and hiking/cycling trails.
The Netherlands’ Castles
If your vacation time allows, consider taking a road trip to explore some of the country’s most impressive castles. The castles in the Netherlands are architecturally stunning and hypnotizingly beautiful. Each castle tells its own story and many are paired with a museum, bringing the medieval times to life. Waterside castles like De Haar are shockingly magical in appearance, while others are set upon a vast landscape of floral fields and rolling hills.
Castles to Visit in the Netherlands:
- De Haar Castle, Utrecht
- The Royal Palace, Amsterdam
- Slot Loevestein, Zaltbommel
- Doornenburg Castle
- Muiderslot Castle, Muiden
- Radboud Castle
This sensational city features gaping canals cascading through the streets. You don’t really need to plan ahead before visiting, as roaming the streets of Utrecht can be entertaining in itself. Cafes and restaurants reside at water level, and there are amazing views everywhere you look.
The city is also known for its several remarkable cathedrals such as St. Martin’s Cathedral and St. Catherine’s Covenant Museum. Some pretty unusual exhibits reside here as well, like the Museum Speelklok, or you can enjoy a classic train ride at the Railway Museum.