17 Beautiful Places in the Netherlands
Naturally, with such a beautiful globe full of tropical beaches, bright green rain forests and glittering peaks, it is easy to forget what kind of beauty can be found in our own Netherlands. That’s why today, I wanted to write a guide all about the most beautiful places in the Netherlands!
You can’t make a list about the most beautiful places in the Netherlands without including Amsterdam in the top slot!
Check here for hotels in Amsterdam
Posts on Amsterdam:
- How to Skip the Line in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Street Art Guide
- Best Budget Hotels in Amsterdam City Centre
2. Castle Haar
Castle Haar has to be the most or one of the most charming castles in the Netherlands. It’s been around since at least the 14th century, possibly the 13th, and it looks every bit like the fairytale castles I’m used to seeing in France, not near me!
Of course, we can’t leave Haarlem off this list. With its historic buildings, cozy atmosphere, narrow streets, original boutiques, and plenty of undiscovered courtyards, you can easily enjoy all the beauty this city has to offer.
Go and eat a cake at Bij Babette, which serves delicious homemade scones, cakes, and tarts. Other things to do in Haarlem include visiting one of the museums (such as the Teylers Museum), going for a walk in the Haarlemmerhout, renting a boat, or going for a drink in the Jopenkerk.
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One of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, Maastricht is the capital of the province of Limburg. What makes Maastricht so special? In addition to its international character and the hospitality, Maastricht has much more to offer. The different neighborhoods, pleasant squares, and unique eateries make it an excellent city to go to.
If you love tea, visit Teazone. Everything is freshly made, and you can choose from different teas from all over the world. Then go to Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek.
5. The Hague
While the Hague isn’t exactly beautiful in the way other cities on this list are, I didn’t want to exclude it because of its royal character. Rent a bicycle so you can see all corners of the city! It has a lot of offer, especially if you’re looking to travel outside the main center. Go to the beach, I recommend Zuiderstand, or visit the Zeeheldenkwartier district, the Prins Hendrikstraat, and the Piet Heinstraat. The Frederikhendriklaan has several cool boutiques.
Pistachio Cafe for breakfast or lunch, The Sushi Girls or Noh for delicious sushi or the Rooftop Bar Bleyenberg for a cocktail in the evening. One thing is certain, in The Hague you never get bored.
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Located in the heart of the Netherlands is Utrecht. It is both literally and figuratively the center and heart of the Netherlands. There are no lack of hotspots around the city, from Dean’s, a concept store to shop for breakfast or lunch, Jut & Juul Vintage, for the real vintage lovers, and the Streetfood Club, a globally-inspired place.
STAN & Co and the KEEK Kitchen. Do you want some culture sniffing? You can plan a Castle Haar while here and enjoy the historic Oude canal with its famous wharf cellars.
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Delftware, Johan Vermeer, the Technical University, and the Stedelijk Museum Prinsenhof — who doesn’t know these names? In addition to a rich history and old center, Delft also has special squares, narrow streets, and beautiful canals. It’s also known for its cozy and hospitable catering industry. Here you’ll also find plenty of hip coffee shops, healthy lunch spots, or unique shops.
Climb the tower of the New Church and then have lunch at Kek. Then visit various concept stores such as Instore, Pleck, LU-ST, and end the day with a delicious dinner at De Centrale.
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Another city that certainly should not be missing in the list is “Grunn”. It is a short drive, but then you also have something. What makes Groningen so nice? It has a rich history, cozy center, and easily walkable. The best things are that there are many unique shop and lovely restaurants. An undiscovered, not touristy shopping street is the Folkingestraat. Here you will find many concept shops. Do you want some peace and quiet? Then visit one of the nice courtyards at the Peperstraat or Pelsterstraat.
Visit the old walled Prinsentuin! Other food hotspots are: Black & Bloom or Pernikkel. Also rent a bike! The historic center of Groningen is largely car-free, so that’s more reason to explore Groningen by bike. Are you a culture freak? Do not forget to visit the Groninger Museum or the University Museum.
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The Veluwe must, of course, not be missing from this list. The mega-sized nature area consists of a variety of colors and various types of heath, fens, forests and streams. With a bit of luck you can even spot deer!
Renting a bicycle. Are you with a large group? Then rent a covered wagon, also a very special experience in this environment. De Veluwe offers something for everyone, from sports fanatics to culinary delights, you’ll find it all here.
Have you ever been to the widest beach in the Netherlands? Terschelling is a cozy, varied and atmospheric island. You won’t get bored. A place that you should not miss is Strandpaviljoen De Walvis, from here you’ll have a beautiful sunset. In June, Oerol takes place in Terschelling, one of the most famous cultural festivities in the Netherlands.
Do a seal tour, go horseback riding, or go to the Pieters Peit’s Hoeve Farm in Lies.
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11. National Park De Biesbosch
Another area where there is always something to experience is the Biesbosch. Why would you go here? The special feature of this nature reserve is the location and the many species of plants, animals, and natural phenomena that can be found here. Moreover, you can combine it with a visit to a nearby village or town. Think of Dordrecht (Villa Augustus must see), Hank, or Drimmelen (in the summer, head to the Beachclub Puur).
12. Loonse and Drunense Duinen
The Loonse and Drunense Dunes are a special piece of nature. The area mainly consists of a lot of sand, making it one of the largest drift sand areas in Western Europe. All the sand means the temperature can change around 50C between day and night. The flora and fauna have also adapted accordingly.
Go horseback riding! This way you experience the area a lot differently than walking. It is also nice to combine this park with a day at Efteling, which is just around the corner!
13. South Limburg
The South of Limburg can not be missed in this list. The green hills, characteristic, stretched fields, caves, castles, the Geul valley, the Mergelland route, South Limburg has it all. This area has a beautiful hilly landscape sprinkled with romantic villages.
Drive the Mergelland route, which runs between different Limburg towns and villages. Do not forget to stop for delicious Limburg pie. Be sure to visit the special town of Gulpen. It’s very cozy, with an atmospheric square in the center and an ancient church. Climb the Gulpenergberg and reward yourself with a visit to the Gulpener Bierbrouwerij.
Other villages that are worthwhile:
The cozy Valkenburg (visit also the caves!), Meerssen (because of its Roman history), Schin op Geul (fairy-like, because of the many villas and Ochridee Garden), and Epen (beautiful views).
Other undiscovered places are:
Watermolen, Wijlre, Castle Bongard, Wijngaard Wahlwiller, Slenaken, De Cauberg, and the Eyser Ridge. Would you rather go shopping? Combine it with a visit to the designer outlet in Roermond.
You may be thinking of Curaçao, but this Willemstad is located in Noord-Brabant. To be precise, it is a fortified city that lies entirely in the northwestern tip of North Brabant. It is a small town full of history! The old town has many interesting sights and is largely car-free. Do not forget to visit the Mauritshuis and the Koepelkerk. The port is also located in the old town.
The Old Town Hall and d’Orangemolen. Are you a real historian? Visit the bunkers, which were built in 1940 by the Germans.
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Veere in Zeeland can not be missed in this list. What a special place this is! Why do you have to go here? Romantic, narrow streets, rural farms, small shops and attractive terraces. Veere is a unique spot on the Veerse Lake.
Visit the marina, the big church, the town hall, and the various small, typical Veerse shops. You do not have to get bored here either! Combine it with a day at the beach in Domburg or – if you want more peace and quiet – with the beach at the Vrouwenpolder.
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It is not for nothing that this place is called the “Dutch Venice.” Why is this the case? Because the idyllic Giethoorn is a painting of water and bridges. The village is connected by means of canals and bridges, which is why the main means of transport here is the boat, canoe, or sloop.
Go here out of season to enjoy, otherwise it can be crowded with tourists! You can enjoy nature in Giethoorn, the delicious food in one of the atmospheric restaurants, or rent your own boat.
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17. Fortress Bourtange
Bour-what? Yes you hear it right. Establishment Bourtange is located near the German border, in South-East Groningen. If you go here, you go back in time. This establishment has already made a lot of things, since it all started in the 16th century. Nowadays, if you go here, it seems like you’re going back in time 250 years. This is not the case, because it is largely a reconstruction of the past, but this can not be noticed. It is not for nothing that it is a concept in the province of Groningen.
In addition to its number of historical places, there are many more unique sights. Drink or eat something on the charming square with several terraces and eateries.
Check here for hotels and here for tours around Fortress Bourtange
What do you think the most beautiful places in the Netherlands are?
This article is written by Janneke Schijven.
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