The Netherlands are full of wonderful, different sights to explore. Most visitors just go to Amsterdam but there is a lot more than just Amsterdam. On the following pages, I have given a little run down of the 12 different provinces (states) and the major cities, with special attention paid to Noord Brabant (the province I live in) and Limburg (the other southern province of which I am only 5 minutes from the border of). On this page, I have listed some of the major attractions in The Netherlands. If you click on the headings of this page, you will be taken to the web sites or information pages of each destination. I hope you enjoy them. And please keep in mind that there is so much to see and do in Holland and this is only a small sample.
Kuekenhof Tulip Gardens erupt in a blaze of colour from March until May. If you want to see tulips then this is the time for a visit. The gardens exhibit millions of the bulbs in all kinds of varieties over the 32 hectare park. As well as tulips, there are pavillions of orchids, bamboo flowers and many other kinds. In the outdoor exhibits you will also find a Japanese garden, music garden theme, etc. The park is also open in summer ( Zomerhof) from August to September and although you will not see tulips at this time, you will see all kinds of beautiful flowers such as geraniums and sunflowers.
Kroller Muller houses works of fine art, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special Van Gogh exhibit and a sculpture garden. Works from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondriaan, Georges Seurat, as well as many others are included. The museum is set in the fabulous Hoge Veluwe National Park which is a favourite for nature lovers.
The attraction of Burgers Zoo is the way it is set out different to regular zoo's. It is an attempt to show the animals in their natural surroundings with artificial eco-systems. Included at the park is a safari park, bush eco-system, desert eco-system, and ocean eco-system. This zoo is most impressive and well worth a visit by people of all ages.
This is a magical theme park in Noord Brabant. Efteling, covering 72 hectares, is one of the best theme parks in Europe having even won the Applause Award for the best park in the world. There are four magical realms to journey through which include the fairy realm, the adventure realm with its many exciting thrill rides and rollercoasters, the travel realm which takes you to other countries, and the alternative realm. Complete with a haunted castle and fairy tale castle, it will amaze and enchant any age. The entrance is also believed to be the biggest thatched roof in the world.
The Rijksmuseum is where you will find the largest collection of art and history in the Netherlands. It's collection is world renowned and based around paintings of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age. Included in the collection is 20 of Rembrandt's works among many others. Besides paintings, there is also wonderful collections of delftware, silver, Asiatic art, prints, photographs, doll's houses, and much, much more.
Found in the centre of Amsterdam, this is the house where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary while hiding in World War II, and the original diary is also on display.
Located in Amsterdam, this museum is a must for any lover of Van Gogh art, it is the largest collection of Van Gogh in the world. Here you can see his work through all its stages in the over 200 paintings, 500 sketches, and 700 letters. The museum also contains works of Gauguin, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, and others.
The Alkmaar Cheese Market in Alkmaar is a traditional market complete with cheese carriers in costume, craft demonstrations, and much, much more. It is open every Friday from April to September. The Edam cheese market started in the 14th century until 1922. It has been restored to its former glory and runs every Wednesday in July and August. The weigh house of the Gouda Cheese Market opened in 1668 and the markets, on Thursdays, are considered to be more traditional and less touristy.
In the past, everyone in Holland had a pair of wooden shoes that they wore everyday but in modern times they are less common. Farmers and other groups can still be seen wearing their wooden shoes and they are still available in all kinds of stores including service stations, but they aren't as common a sight as they once were. The museum of wooden shoes opened in 1990 and gives a view to all aspects of this part of well known Dutch culture. The museum includes an exhibition, workshop, video area, machinery areas, and more. The museum can be found in Eelde, Drenthe.
Delftware refers to the different types of earthenware that originated in the town of Delft. Delftware has been around since the 17th century and is known throughout the world.
Located on a remarkable man made island in Zeeland, the Delta Expo offers a fascinating look at the Delta Project designed to offer protection from the sea and flooding. The 3.2km storm surge barrier is a unique and incredible piece of engineering.
If it is windmills you wish to see then there is no place better than Kinderdijk. Nowhere else in the world can you see as many windmills in the one place. They are around the town of Kinderdijk and they have been well preserved from around 1740. The many mills were built to drain the polders around Kinderdijk, which suffered from severe flooding problems.
An Open Air Museum located in Arnhem. The aim of the museum is to provide an insight into the way of life and history of the Dutch. It was founded in 1912, preserving a selection of buildings complete with furnishings. These provide a look at life in smaller towns dating back to the 16th century. Also on the site is a library, museum, and document archives. All the workshops are still operating and they include a pharmacy, barber shop, Frisian dairy factory, paper mill (complete with a paper maker likely to ask you to lend a hand), and even a ship built in the Zaandam shipyard. The museum is like a step back in time and is one of the world's best open air museums. It is open from April to October.
Another excellent open air museum is in Enkhuizen. In 1932, a dam was completed that turned the Zuiderzee (South Sea) into two separate bodies of water not linked to the North Sea. The area had once been very important to the Dutch East Indian Company as well as many fishermen. It meant the end to long traditions and culture including costumes. The museum allows you to go back to the time before the dam was built and the lake formed. Watch craftsmen at work and explore the costumes, everyday utensils, ship models, houses, stores, and so, so much more. Maybe you would like to visit a painters workshop or a forge?
This is a miniature city of Holland which contains all its major attractions. There are miniature versions of the Delta Works and Alkmaar Cheese Market as well as miniature trains travelling the world's largest miniature railway.
Historic Delfshaven is a part of Rotterdam. This is the site of the Pilgrim Fathers Church and where the Mayflower set sail from on its quest to settle America. Delfshaven is steeped in fabulous history and well worth a look.
This is an open air museum in the north of Holland where you can explore all kinds of aspects Dutch history and culture of the Zaanse Schans area. It is a living and working town on the River Zaan where you will find much to explore from windmills and houses to museums and stores, dating back to the 17th century. Experience how the Dutch of this area lived and worked in history.