Visiting The Dutch Countryside

Travelblog about The Netherlands | Exploring The Netherlands beyond the crowds

50 + Most Beautiful & Best Dutch Cities To Visit In The Netherlands

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The westertoren of Amsterdam which can be seen from the canals
Do you want to know the best cities to visit in The Netherlands in autumn, and during any other season? Then this article is for you. From discovering Amsterdam and its nearby cities to the province of Flevoland and its cities in this part of The Netherlands: this article shows you the best cities in The Netherlands.

Are you searching for the best cities in The Netherlands? Then I can guarantee that you will find a city in The Netherlands to visit right here. I love my country because you can find anything from a walled city in The Netherlands to very modern ones: it all depends on your preferences. You can find these cute cities in The Netherlands throughout the country: from cities near The Hague to cities close to Amsterdam to amazing cities nearby Groningen and Maastricht.

Whether you’re looking to find places for your trip to the Holland region or are searching for The Netherlands best cities: I can guarantee that you will find the prettiest cities in The Netherlands here.

There are big Dutch cities and a few smaller Dutch cities to be found inside this article, and I’m sure about one thing: You will love travelling through The Netherlands with visiting them. These are all cities where you can spend easily one day in each of them when you visit The Netherlands. There is one thing you need to know about The Netherlands, and that is that while we are very densely populated, we don’t have huge cities. The capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam, is the largest city in the country with around 820.000 inhabitants.

If you’re looking for star-shaped towns in The Netherlands, you will love to visit these small Dutch towns. It is definitely possible for you to be also interested in beautiful villages, then these Dutch villages will be perfect for you to explore.

You can reach all of these Dutch cities with a train connection in The Netherlands. Our public transportation system in The Netherlands is very convenient and mostly runs on time. You can plan your train journeys via NS.nl/en or use their app. You can also use 9292.nl/en or their app to find out the quickest way to get somewhere in The Netherlands via every mode of transportation. Here can find more apps that are useful when travelling through The Netherlands.

Best Dutch Cities to visit in The Netherlands

In this article, you will discover everything from a Dutch city south of Amsterdam to major cities in The Netherlands. And from cities near Rotterdam to exploring the region of Utrecht and its cities in this part of The Netherlands. I love how you can see a big difference between Amsterdam and the surrounding cities and the region of Drenthe and its cities in this part of the East of The Netherlands. Whether you’re looking for the best cities to visit in The Netherlands in summer or winter, you will find the most beautiful city in The Netherlands here.

1. Amersfoort

Province: Utrecht

Inhabitants: 141.000

Where to stay: Hotel de Gaaper

One of the best-fortified cities you can visit in The Netherlands has to be Amersfoort. This romantic city in The Netherlands is home to beautiful city gates, countless picturesque alleys and tons of historical monuments. Amersfoort, The Netherlands, is the perfect city to visit if you’re looking for a bustling, charming, and at the same time a relatively quiet city centre. The city of Amersfoort is filled with cosy cafes and shops, outstanding museums and so much more. All of that makes Amersfoort one of the best cities to visit in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Amersfoort here.

A view on an old medieval city gate with a river in Amersfoort, The Netherlands

2. Breda

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 150.000

Where to stay: Hotel Nassau Breda

The city of Breda, The Netherlands, is a great place to visit in the southern part of the country. Breda is most famous within The Netherlands for the connection with the Dutch Royal Family Oranje- Nassau, as the Earl of Nassau ruled people from Breda from 1403 and the prince of Oranje- Nassau from 1538. Nowadays, Baron of Breda is one of the titles that the King or Queen of The Netherlands has. But, Breda is not just great to visit because of the connection to the Dutch Royals.

Breda is a fantastic home to fortifications, castles, big parks and incredibly cosy neighbourhoods. One of the things I recommend you to do in Breda is visit the Ginneken neighbourhood and explore one of the largest courtyards in The Netherlands: Begijnhof. As Breda is so beautiful and filled with things to do, it is, in my opinion, one of the best cities in The Netherlands.

view on a cobblestoned street and old buildings in city of Breda, The Netherlands

3. Den Bosch

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 110.000

Where to stay: Uylenhof Hotel

One of the highlights of your visit to the Noord- Brabant province is a visit to Den Bosch, The Netherlands. This city in the Southern region of The Netherlands is one of the best places to experience the Burgundian feeling. The Netherlands is filled with different regions, and subcultures and this part of Brabant is a great place to experience a part of it. Den Bosch is filled with beautiful buildings and streets and home to great local foods and more. Combine the canals and stunning sights, and you will get one of the most beautiful cities in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Den Bosch here.

Medieval gothic Saint Johns cathedral of 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.

4. Schiedam

Province: Zuid- Holland

Inhabitants: 79.000

Where to stay: B&B Museumkwartier Schiedam

The beautiful city of Schiedam, The Netherlands, is famous for having the tallest traditional Dutch windmills globally as they boast a height of several tens of metres. Those windmills were used to grind ingredients to create the Dutch alcohol called Jenever, a forerunner of English gin. Besides admiring these impressive Dutch windmills in Schiedam, you can wander along the cosy canals and historic buildings. And, you must visit the Jenevermuseum in Schiedam to learn more about this traditional Dutch drink. It’s definitely one of the beautiful cities in The Netherlands you should travel to.

A view on a canal and canal houses in the city of Schiedam, The Netherlands

5. Assen

Province: Drenthe

Inhabitants: 68.000

Where to stay: City Hotel de Jonge

The capital of the Drenthe province is Assen, The Netherlands. In my opinion, Assen is a very underrated city in The Netherlands, but that counts for the entire eastern part of the country. It is one of the youngest official cities in The Netherlands as it only obtained city rights in 1809, and it became the province’s capital in 1814. One of the best things to do in Assen is to bring a visit to the Drents Museum, which is home to unique archaeological and art exhibitions. I can also highly recommend you to walk around in Assen and explore the centre, around places such as Brink and Markt. Even though Assen isn’t on most people’s travel list, I can guarantee that it is one of the cities in The Netherlands you have to visit.

view on flowers and old buildings and a ship in the harbour of Assen, Drenthe, The Netherlands

6. Gouda

Province: Zuid- Holland

Inhabitants: 73.000

Where to stay: B&B De Kamer Hiernaast

Gouda, The Netherlands, is the most famous city for Dutch cheese in the country as it is the home of one of the reenactments of cheese markets in The Netherlands. But, there’s more to Gouda than just cheese. Gouda is one of the many cities in The Netherlands filled with canals, cosy squares and friendly people. One of the things you have to do in Gouda is to explore the canals by sup board from Jabasup (if you want to reserve a sup board in the centre of Gouda, you can reserve one via the contact button). It’s always nice to explore a city and gain a different perspective, which is exactly what a tour through the canals of Gouda will do. The Netherlands is filled with beautiful cities, and Gouda is definitely one of them.

Find a full article on cheese markets in The Netherlands here.

View on a canal and canal houses in the city of Gouda, The Netherlands

7. Groningen

Province: Groningen

Inhabitants: 203.000

Where to stay: The Market Hotel

One of the best destinations to visit in the Groningen region is the city of Groningen. Groningen city is the capital of the Groningen province and a great place to visit and experience what the North of The Netherlands has to offer. Groningen, The Netherlands, is home to one of the biggest bars in Europe, tons of canals, cool festivals (during summer and winter) and amazing museums. Not to mention that the people that live in Groningen are pretty cool too. In my humble opinion, Groningen might just be the best Dutch city to visit.

Find a full article on what to do in Groningen here.

view on a canal in the Dutch city of Groningen and canal houses

8. Appingedam

Province: Groningen

Inhabitants: 11.000

Where to stay: De vijgenhof

Appingedam, The Netherlands, is one of the few places in the country home to ‘Hangende Keukens’, or hanging kitchens. These are extensions of houses that are hanging above a river and are a beautiful sight to see. But, the city of Appingedam has more to offer than just checking out these magnificent pieces of work from the outside. One of the things you need to do in Appingedam is visit Museum Mohlmann, which is found on the outskirts of the town inside a stunning building. It’s one of the best locations in the Groningen province to witness great art. You can also visit one of the largest churches in Groningen and admire its beauty. The Groningen province is filled with cities to explore in this part of The Netherlands, and Appingedam is one of them.

View on a bridge and historic buildings in the city of Appingedam, Groningen, The Netherlands

9. Delft

Province: Zuid- Holland

Inhabitants: 103.000

Where to stay: Hotel de Emauspoort

One of the most famous places to visit in The Netherlands is the city of Delft, mainly renowned for its Delfts Blauw (Delfts Blue). Even though it has a bit of international fame, this city isn’t overrun with tourists. But instead, Delft is home to a calm and cosy atmosphere, stunning buildings and streets and the hometown of Vermeer. Delft, The Netherlands, has so much to offer: from its museum to witnessing the creation of Delfts Blue to sitting down at one of the many nice cafes. It’s simply incredible and one of the medieval cities in The Netherlands to visit.

Find a full article on what to do in Delft here.

Delft Main Square at Winter Snowy Sunny Day

10. Rotterdam

Province: Zuid- Holland

Inhabitants: 587.000

Where to stay: Le Marin Boutique Hotel

One of the most modern cities in The Netherlands is the harbour city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is everything that you could wish for in a big Dutch city: it’s international, home to incredible restaurants, filled with art and architecture, as well historic buildings. Although Rotterdam, The Netherlands, was the city that was most heavily bombed during the Second World War, it has always been a resilient place due to its people, and it still is today. Rotterdam is a beautiful city that will surprise you and give you a completely different idea of what The Netherlands offers. All of that makes Rotterdam one of the best places in The Netherlands to visit.

Find a full article on what to do in Rotterdam here.

Beautiful square inside yellow cube houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands

11. Den Haag

Province: Zuid- Holland

Inhabitants: 547.000

Where to stay: The Collector Hotel

The city of The Hague, or Den Haag in Dutch, is most known for being the home of the Dutch parliament and the Peace Palace. This means that Den Haag is one of the most important political cities in The Netherlands. But, before you think that this city is a little bit boring to visit, Den Haag has so many things to offer. The Hague is a vibrant city that is home to one of Europe biggest markets: De Haagse Markt, where you can buy incredible produce and great food. And, this city nearby Rotterdam is also great for art lovers, as the Kunstmuseum Den Haag is housed here. Den Haag, The Netherlands, is filled with fascinating museums, amazing history and great places to visit. Den Haag is definitely one of the best cities in The Netherlands to travel to.

view on the Dutch parliament at night

12. Almere

Province: Flevoland

Inhabitants: 214.000

Where to stay: Best Western Plus Plaza Almere

One of the youngest Dutch cities in The Netherlands is Almere. Almere used to have a reputation of it not being a fun city to visit for a day trip in The Netherlands, but that is slowly changing. Because while Almere is a young city, it is nowadays a bustling one that focuses on embracing the modern part of the city, which includes a lot of cool Dutch architecture and street art. That’s why one of the things I recommend you to do in Almere is to go on an architecture bike tour through the city and rent a bike. You can rent a bike at the VVV of Almere, the local tourist office of Almere, The Netherlands.

View on modern buildings in the city of Almere, The Netherlands

13. Leiden

Province: Zuid- Holland

Inhabitants: 125.000

Where to stay: De Doelen

Leiden, The Netherlands, is one of the prettiest Dutch cities you can find in the country. It’s one of those cities in The Netherlands that feels like a village, as it is so cosy. But, it’s definitely a city as there are lots of things to do in Leiden. Maybe you want to explore the breathtaking monuments in the city, such as the Burcht van Leiden, which is a castle and fortress that overlooks the city centre dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries.

But that’s not all this city in the Zuid- Holland province has to offer, because it is filled with charming streets and picturesque canals, but also home to some of the most impressive museums in The Netherlands. If you’re interested in archaeology, the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is perfect for visiting or visit the Museum De Lakenhal, which is the art museum of Leiden. It’s also one of the cities you can find near Amsterdam.

a view on a dutch canal and old brick canal houses in the city of Leiden, The Netherlands

14. Dordrecht

Province: Zuid- Holland

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Inhabitants: 119.000

Where to stay: Heer&Meester Bed&Breakfast

A great city to visit in the Zuid (South)- Holland province is Dordrecht, The Netherlands. This city is one of the oldest places in the Holland region and filled with small cobblestoned streets and alleys, which hide little cafes and the cutest local shops. You will admire endless beautiful buildings, canal views and even witness a place where three big Dutch rivers come together. But it gets better. Because not only is Dordrecht a bustling city, but nowhere near crowded; it is also located nearby one of the most beautiful nature reserves in The Netherlands. That, and more, makes Dordrecht one of the nice cities in the Holland region that you must visit.

Find a full article on what to do in Dordrecht here.

a view on the old water and city gate in Dordrecht, The Netherlands

15. Tilburg

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 198.000

Where to stay: ROOTS Tiny House

Tilburg is one of the upcoming cities in The Netherlands, and I love it. Years back, Tilburg wasn’t a city that many people would want to visit on a day trip, but that has changed immensely. Nowadays, Tilburg is the perfect location to discover a modern yet historic city and all its quirks. Imagine amazing street art, industrial buildings transformed into the coolest shops and restaurants and fun museums. One of the best things to do in Tilburg is to visit the Spoorzone, which is the former workplace for the Dutch National Railways and very cool to see for cultural and relaxing purposes. This kind of Dutch places are generally filled with cosy cafes and so much more.

view on a street and Dutch historic buildings in the city of Tilburg, Noord- Brabant, The Netherlands

16. Bergen op Zoom

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 53.000

Where to stay: Grand Hotel en Résidence De Draak

The medieval city of Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, is one of the best destinations to visit in the South West. Bergen op Zoom is home to one of the largest city palaces in all of Europe and tons of breathtaking buildings. Beyond exploring those buildings, local shops and the city palace, Bergen op Zoom is also a great place to explore the city from under the ground. There’s a whole gateway of a river under the city, which used to be the way to get rid of sewage, rainwater, etc. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell anymore, but it sure as hell is a fascinating place to visit. Bergen op Zoom is a medieval and walled city in The Netherlands that is worth a visit.

Find a full article on what to do in Bergen op Zoom here.

a view on a cyclist going through a cobblestoned street in Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands

17. Eindhoven

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 235.000

Where to stay: cafe ‘t Vonderke

One of the most modern Dutch cities has to be Eindhoven, The Netherlands. This absolute gem of a city is found in the South of The Netherlands and is perfect to visit for any street art, industrial and architecture lover. This industrial city in The Netherlands will surprise you more with every step you take. Maybe you want to explore cool art galleries in Eindhoven or admire one of The Netherlands most picturesque industrial complexes. One thing is for sure, Eindhoven is a great place to travel to for anyone. The province of Noord (North)- Brabant is filled with cities, and it’s a part of The Netherlands that you certainly want to explore.

Find a full article on what to do in Eindhoven here.

a view on blooming trees during a spring day in Eindhoven city The Netherlands

18. Harderwijk

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 47.000

Where to stay: B&B de Stadstuin

One of the cities that was part of the Hanseatic League is Harderwijk, The Netherlands. This mesmerising Dutch city in the Gelderland province is an absolute dream. It is home to beautiful city gates, endless adorable streets and corners, and very old shops. There are museums to explore in Harderwijk, and as the city is located on the shores of one of the many lakes we have in The Netherlands, you can also explore its region by boat or sup. Whatever your interests might be, there’s something incredible to do in Harderwijk for everyone. Harderwijk might not be the best city in The Netherlands for many people, but its gorgeous city centre definitely makes it a competitor.

Find a full article on what to do in Harderwijk here.

A curved cobblestoned street with old dutch brick houses in Harderwijk city The Netherlands

19. Middelburg

Province: Zeeland

Inhabitants: 42.000

Where to stay: Slapen bij Scherp

One of the best destinations you can visit in the Zeeland province is the city of Middelburg, The Netherlands. This is a gorgeous city in the South of The Netherlands is an absolute dream to visit. Explore the small alleys that will lead you into the most magical corners and enjoy the traditional foods from the region. Middelburg is fantastic to visit for anyone interested in finding small and cosy shops and cafes, as well as plenty of other things to do. If you’re looking for a city in The Netherlands with canals, then Middelburg is also a great pick.

Find a full article on what to do in Middelburg here.

13 Best things to do in Middelburg, The Netherlands | Visit one of the most beautiful cities of The Netherlands

20. Culemborg

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 28.000

Where to stay: Ruim familiehuis vlakbij treinstation

The city of Culemborg, The Netherlands, is home to the traditional three: Picturesque streets, a city wall and a Dutch windmill. It is the perfect small city in The Netherlands to visit if you’re interested in admiring a place that isn’t overrun by tourists but one that just gets a few. It’s a cosy city that is home to some very interesting museums and monuments. One of the best things to do in Culemborg is visit the Elisabeth Weeshuismuseum or Elisabeth orphanage museum. It was built with the money from Elisabeth, who was a countess, after she died. It was first taken into use in 1560, and the last orphan only left the building in 1952. As Culemborg is cosy and on the smaller side, it’s one of the best cities to live in The Netherlands.

21. Hoorn

Province: Noord- Holland

Inhabitants: 52.000

Where to stay: Hotel de Magneet

Hoorn is found at the shores of the Markermeer lake, which is one of the largest lakes in The Netherlands. It is one of the many historic cities you can find all over the country and is perfect for exploring. Maybe you want to admire the old buildings along the harbour of Hoorn, explore one of the many museums or witness a beautiful sunset over the Markermeer. Hoorn, The Netherlands, is the perfect city to travel to and one of the places to visit in Noord (North)- Holland.

Find a full article on what to do in Hoorn here.

A view on old statues on a dyke in the harbour of the city of Hoorn, The Netherlands

22. Venlo

Province: Limburg

Inhabitants: 68.000

Where to stay: BnB prins Hendrik Venlo

In the Northern part of the Limburg province, you can find the city of Venlo, The Netherlands. Venlo is one of the heavily bombed cities during the Second World War, which meant that the loss of historical buildings has been immense. But, Venlo is making the most of what it has as it is nowadays a fun and bustling city in the Limburg province to visit. The main historical buildings in Venlo can be found around Kwartelenmarkt, Wijngaardstraat, Vleesstraat and Lomstraat, but there are more things to see and do in Venlo. One of the best things to do in Venlo is to visit the local shops that it is filled with everything from small book stores to local boutiques. And, don’t forget to visit the Limburgs Museum either, to learn more about the people in Limburg. You will love exploring one of the top cities in The Netherlands.

View on a cobblestoned street and historic buildings in the Dutch city of Venlo, Limburg, The Netherlands

23. Alkmaar

Province: Noord- Holland

Inhabitants: 90.000

Where to stay: Slapen bij hofman

Alkmaar is one of the cities in The Netherlands that is home to a Dutch cheese market. And, while admiring the Dutch tradition of this market is one of the top things to do in Alkmaar, the city is home to so much more. You can find one of the best ice cream shops in The Netherlands in Alkmaar, go on a beautiful canal tour to explore the city from the water and wander its endless picturesque streets where you can find some of the coolest local shops in the country. Alkmaar, The Netherlands, is truly such a great place to visit. It’s one of the cities in the Holland region that I think you have to visit.

Find a full article on what to do in Alkmaar here.

Blooming flowers in front of a canal in the Dutch city of Alkmaar

24. Roermond

Province: Limburg

Inhabitants: 41.000

Where to stay: De Pastorie Bed & Breakfast

The city of Roermond is found in the middle of the Limburg province and is mainly famous for being the home of a big designer outlet, but the city has so much more to offer than that. Roermond was a Hanseatic city in the Late Middle Ages and one of the four capitals of the Duchy of Gelre, which all left many trails behind. Roermond, The Netherlands, is not only stuffed with historic buildings, but it is also home to amazing museums, such as the Cuypershuis dedicated to architect Pierre Cuypers, who also designed the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central train station. The Limburg region is filled with cities, and this part of The Netherlands is worth travelling to.

a view on a historic bridge and a canal in the city of Roermond, The Netherlands

25. Franeker

Province: Friesland

Inhabitants: 12.000

Where to stay: Hotel Restaurant De Stadsherberg

If there is one thing you need to see in The Netherlands, then it is Franeker and one of the highlights of this city. As Franeker is one of the eleven historic cities in the Friesland region, it is an absolute sight to behold. Admire the canals, the impressive buildings, and most of all: the worlds oldest working planetarium at the Eise Eisinga Museum. Franeker, The Netherlands, also has a lot to offer beyond the planetarium, but visiting this museum in Franeker is an absolute must-do. Franeker is one of the best cities in The Netherlands, and I think you will love it too.

Find a full article on more places to visit in Friesland here.

View on canal houses on a cobblestoned street in the city of Franeker, Friesland, The Netherlands

26. Zwolle

Province: Overijssel

Inhabitants: 120.000

Where to stay: De Pelsertoren

Zwolle, The Netherlands, is one of the cities you cannot miss on your vacation in the East of The Netherlands. Not only can you explore one of The Netherlands best art museums, Museum De Fundatie, but you can also discover a beautiful Dutch library in Zwolle. Zwolle is a great city to visit for anyone interested in seeing art, history and another stunning Dutch city that brings you back in time. Zwolle is magical and filled with so many things to do that it is one of the best cities to visit in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Zwolle here.

cobblestoned street with old Dutch houses in Zwolle, The Netherlands

27. Enschede

Province: Overijssel

Inhabitants: 157.000

Where to stay: The Residence

The capital of the Overijssel province, and the main city in the Twente region, is the city of Enschede, The Netherlands. It is one of the best cities in The Netherlands to visit, especially if you’re looking for a destination that isn’t on most people’s itinerary. Enschede is cosy, modern, but also historic. The main square, Oude Markt, in the city centre is the perfect location for a relaxing drink, with some people watching on the side. Enschede is one of the industrial cities in The Netherlands that you cannot miss out on. One of the things you need to do in Enschede is to visit Museum Twente. I can also highly recommend you to see the Abraham Ledeboerpark in Enschede and the Arboretum Poort Bulten if you want to discover some nature and parks in Enschede.

view on people walking in a cobblestoned street alongside historic buildings in the city of Enschede, Overijssel, The Netherlands

28. Utrecht

Province: Utrecht

Inhabitants: 357.000

Where to stay: Hotel Beijers

One of the biggest cities in The Netherlands in Utrecht. The city of Utrecht is the capital of the Utrecht region and found in the centre of The Netherlands. It’s home to endless canals, a fantastic atmosphere and plenty of things to do. I mainly love Utrecht, The Netherlands, because you can find the perfect combination of bustling and calm here. From wandering from one independent shop to the next to canoeing or renting a boat to explore the canals of Utrecht: There’s so much to do and see in Utrecht. Utrecht is one of the more famous cities in The Netherlands, but definitely not crowded.

Bridge across canal in the historic center of Utrecht in the evening, Netherlands

29. Harlingen

Province: Friesland

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Inhabitants: 15.000

Where to stay: Slapen in een Trechter

The city of Harlingen is one of the eleven cities in the Friesland region. It is found at the shores of the Wadden Sea Unesco World Heritage site, plus it’s a great gateway to some of our beautiful Dutch islands in the North of The Netherlands. Harlingen, The Netherlands, is home to the largest fleet of old ships in the country, and they will take you onto the Wadden Sea to explore the area. It’s truly a once in a lifetime trip. But, that’s not all there is to do in Harlingen; There are small museums, seal tours, and so much more. The Friesland region is filled with these beautiful cities, which is why I think you will love visiting this part of The Netherlands.

Find a full article on more places to visit in Friesland here.

A view on a bridge and old Dutch Frisian houses in Harlingen, The Netherlands

30. Valkenburg

Province: Limburg

Inhabitants: 10.000

Where to stay: Onder de Linde B&B

Valkenburg, The Netherlands, is one of the most visited places in the Limburg province but for a perfect reason. Not only is Valkenburg home to one of The Netherlands most beautiful castle ruins, which gives you a magical view of the town and its surroundings, but it’s also the place to be for one of the best Christmas markets in The Netherlands. Whether you’re thinking of visiting Valkenburg in winter or during summer, you’ll always be surprised by what this small Dutch city in Limburg has to offer. The Netherlands has so many cities to explore, but Valkenburg is definitely worth visiting.

View on a river and old city gate in the city of Valkenburg, The Netherlands

31. Goes

Province: Zeeland

Inhabitants: 28.000

Where to stay: Hotel Katoen

Goes, The Netherlands, is an absolute dream to visit, and you cannot miss out on your Zeeland itinerary. Goes is everything you can wish for: it’s filled with historic buildings, old harbours, picturesque streets, incredible galleries and cosy cafes. One of the things you have to do in Goes is visiting Historisch Museum De Bevelanden, a museum in Goes that covers the history and culture of the Dutch islands of Noord- Beveland and Zuid- Beveland. Don’t forget to enjoy the city harbour (stadshaven) in Goes either, shown in the photo below. It’s one of The Netherlands best cities to visit.

View on old harbour and canal houses in town of Goes, Zeeland, The Netherlands during summer

32. Leeuwarden

Province: Friesland

Inhabitants: 93.000

Where to stay: Boutique Hotel Catshuis

Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, is the capital of the Friesland province located in the North of the country. The city of Leeuwarden is one of the best places to visit in Friesland for a few very simple reasons. It is home to endless canals, museums such as the Fries Museum about the Friesland province, and tons more sights. Leeuwarden is a very calm city that will surprise you more with every corner you’re turning. Leeuwarden is most certainly one of the cities you have to see in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on more places to visit in Friesland here.

view on a cobblestoned street and old dutch buildings in the city of Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

33. Deventer

Province: Overijssel

Inhabitants: 81.000

Where to stay: Grand Boutique Hotel-Restaurant Huis Vermeer

One of the most beautiful Hanseatic cities in The Netherlands is Deventer. This spectacular city in the East of The Netherlands is home to some of the most unique shops in the entire country. But not just that, Deventer is also the perfect place to get lost in the charming and endless cobblestone streets. Deventer, The Netherlands, is genuinely one of the most magical places to visit in the country. Deventer is found in the Overijssel province and one of the cities to visit in this part of The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Deventer here.

Beautiful brick houses and cobblestoned street in Deventer, The Netherlands

34. Dokkum

Province: Friesland

Inhabitants: 12.000

Where to stay: Hotel Dockum

Dokkum, The Netherlands, is one of the eleven Frisian cities and a great destination to explore in the country’s northern parts. It’s a calm and beautiful city in Friesland and known for having a cosy city centre, incredible sights and the drink ‘Dokkumer Koffie’. This coffee is a mix of coffee, whipped cream and the Frisian/Gronings alcoholic drink called Beerenburg. You drink this coffee when the whipped cream is still on top of it, without stirring. You can drink the Dokkumer coffee at cafes such as Lekkernij Koffie En Lunch.

One of the other things you need to do in Dokkum is to walk through the city centre and admire the buildings, such as the city hall (Stadhuis in Dutch). As well as the windmills on the ramparts of Dokkum and admire the weighing buildings (waag), which was built in 1754, precisely 1000 years after Dokkum was found. I find Dokkum an absolute must-see if you’re looking for cities in The Netherlands to travel to.

view on canal and canal houses in the city of Dokkum, Friesland, The Netherlands

35. Bolsward

Province: Friesland

Inhabitants: 10.000

Where to stay: Het Weeshuis

The Frisian city of Bolsward is one of the eleven cities you can find in this Northern Dutch province. Bolsward, The Netherlands, is a small city but definitely worth a visit. You can walk along the cosy canals, explore one of the local shops and even go on a canal tour to get a different perspective. But there is even more to do in Bolsward, such as visiting a beer brewery, church ruins and the city hall. It’s one of the best places to visit in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Bolsward here.

View on flowers, canals and canal houses in the city of Bolsward, Friesland, The Netherlands

36. Zutphen

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 39.000

Where to stay: Broederenklooster

What I love about the city of Zutphen, The Netherlands, is that it is home to one of the few chained medieval libraries left in the world. But that’s not everything this beautiful Dutch city in Gelderland has to offer. You can wander along the charming cobblestoned streets, admire the stunning buildings and enjoy everything that Zutphen has to offer: from fortifications to local shops to museums to some of the best coffee in The Netherlands. Zutphen is one of the many cool cities we have in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Zutphen here.

Ancient row of houses in the historic Dutch city of Zutphen during sunset

37. Veere

Province: Zeeland

Inhabitants: 1.610

Where to stay: Auberge de Campveerse Toren

One of the smaller cities in The Netherlands is Veere. This magical Dutch city is found in the South of The Netherlands. It is, beyond being absolutely adorable, home to some fascinating Scottish and Dutch history, which can still be seen today. One of the best things to do in Veere, The Netherlands, is to visit Museum Veere. In this museum in the Zeeland province, you will discover everything about the relations of Scotland and Veere, as well as explore the history of Veere. You can easily explore everything that Veere has to offer, including its nearby lake on a boat tour and a few other activities in a day. All of that makes Veere one of the best cities in The Netherlands.

view on canal houses and wild flowers in the old harbour of the city of veere, zeeland, the netherlands

38. Kampen

Province: Overijssel

Inhabitants: 36.000

Where to stay: De Stadsboerderij

Kampen, The Netherlands, is one of the amazing places to visit in the Overijssel province. It is one of the cities in The Netherlands that was part of the Hanseatic League, a group of cities that traded together from the Baltics to The Netherlands and beyond. This is one of the reasons why Kampen looks the way it does today: filled with beautiful buildings and cosy streets. One of the things you have to do in Kampen is to walk around the town and admire city gates, such as Koornmarktspoort, Broederpoort and Cellebroederspoort. You will also love visiting Stedelijk Museum Kampen, as well as Ikonenmuseum Kampen. It’s definitely one of the beautiful, old cities in The Netherlands.

View on historic buildings in the city of Kampen, Overijssel, The Netherlands

39. Sittard

Province: Limburg

Inhabitants: 37.000

Where to stay: Hotel De Limbourg

One of the oldest cities in the Limburg region, and The Netherlands, in Sittard. This city is filled with incredible monuments, such as dozens of monasteries, amazing ramparts and houses. Sittard has often been a city that not many Dutch people tend to visit, which is a shame, but that also means that there is more space for you to explore this great city in the Limburg region. Sittard, The Netherlands, is a great city to discover. One of the things I would recommend you to do in Sittard is to visit Museum De Domijnen to learn more about Sittard and its surroundings via art and history. Sittard is a beautiful historic Dutch city that deserves a visit.

view on woman walking on cobblestoned street with historic buildings in city of Sittard, Limburg, The Netherlands

40. Vlissingen

Province: Zeeland

Inhabitants: 33.000

Where to stay: B&B Zeeuws genoegen

One of my most favourite cities is Vlissingen, The Netherlands. This city that is found in the Zeeland province is an absolute joy to visit. Vlissingen is cosy but also has an industrial and modern vibe. Whether you want to enjoy some street art in Vlissingen or want to admire the hundreds of years old buildings, this place is perfect for it. One of the things I recommend you to do in Vlissingen is visit Panorama Walcheren to see incredibly long (and beautiful paintings). Besides that, Zeeuw Maritiem MuZeeum is also fantastic to visit in Vlissingen. The Zeeland province is filled with amazing cities to visit and offers the best of the South of The Netherlands.

View on a picturesque street with canal houses in the city of Vlissingen, Zeeland, The Netherlands

41. Roosendaal

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 67.000

Where to stay: Hotel Tongerlo

Roosendaal is one of those cities that people tend to skip when they visit The Netherlands. Now, I can’t blame anyone for that because even Dutch people tend to do that. One of the things I would recommend you to do in Roosendaal, The Netherlands, is to visit the historic area around the Markt. But there is more to see as Roosendaal is also filled with cool museums. Visit the Tongerlohuys in Roosendaal, for instance, which tells you the story about Roosendaal through five different perspectives. While it’s not one of the major Dutch cities in the country, it is definitely bustling.

View on the main square and old historic buildings in the city of Roosendaal, The Netherlands
Photo by Frans Peeters/ Flickr

42. Maastricht

Province: Limburg

Inhabitants: 120.000

Where to stay: Hotel Britannique

Whether Maastricht, The Netherlands, or Nijmegen is the oldest city in the country is an endless argument, but both are amazing to visit. Maastricht is the best city in the south of The Netherlands to explore the traditional Burgundian lifestyle. Maastricht is home to amazing, picturesque neighbourhoods with hundreds of monumental buildings and interesting museums, incredible local food, and so much more. Visiting Maastricht feels like you’re in a completely different country and helps you remember how diverse this tiny country actually is. Maastricht is the perfect example to discover what you can see in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Maastricht here.

Cobblestoned street and historic buildings in city Maastricht, The Netherlands

43. Nijmegen

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 177.000

Where to stay: Hotel Karel

Nijmegen, The Netherlands, is the oldest city in the country: although it is always a battle between Maastricht and Nijmegen. It is located on the edge of one of the largest rivers in The Netherlands, which means you can find amazing river beaches here to enjoy on a hot summer day as well. Besides the fact that Nijmegen is an old Dutch city, it is also home to the oldest and one of the longest shopping streets in The Netherlands. Plus, the city is filled with fascinating museums, bustling cafes and other amazing things to do. The Gelderland province is filled with unique cities, so I would definitely recommend you to visit this area in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in Nijmegen here.

Ancient Dutch houses and church in the city center of Nijmegen

44. Arnhem

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 160.000

Where to stay: Hotel Molendal

One of The Netherlands greenest cities has to be Arnhem. This charming Dutch city is found in the Gelderland region and surrounded by big estates and nature reserves. Arnhem was the location of one of the most talked-about battles during the Second World War, which means that there is plenty of history to explore. But, you can also enjoy fantastic street art, excellent local shops, a beautiful view from the main church and plenty of other things in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Arnhem is one of The Netherlands relatively big cities, but it still feels small and cosy.

Find a full article on what to do in Arnhem here.

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View on old Dutch houses and church in Arnhem, The Netherlands

45. Zierikzee

Province: Zeeland

Inhabitants: 11.000

Where to stay: de Zeeuwse Hemel

The incredible city of Zierikzee, The Netherlands, is one of the best places to visit in the country’s southwestern part. Not only is Zierikzee absolutely stuffed with monuments, such as old city gates, but it is also found in the most beautiful region of the Zeeland province. One of the things you need to do in Zierikzee is visit the Gravesteen building, a brick house that an Earl owned, and it is also the oldest prison in Zeeland. Tours through this remarkable building in Zeeland starts every Wednesday and Saturday at 14:30 at the Stadhuismuseum. The Stadhuismuseum itself is also definitely worth a visit. I think it is one of the nicest cities in The Netherlands.

view on historic street with brick canal houses in city of Zierikzee, Zeeland, The Netherlands

46. Sneek

Province: Friesland

Inhabitants: 33.000

Where to stay: Stadslogement By Peek

Sneek, The Netherlands, is one of the eleven official cities that you can find in the province of Friesland. These eleven are historical, medieval trading cities in the North of The Netherlands and are a sight to behold. Sneek is most famous for its watergate (waterpoort in Dutch), an old monument that stands in the middle of the centre of Sneek. Besides that, you will find plenty of more things to see and do in Sneek. One of the things I recommend you do in Sneek is rent a boat or a canoe. You can hire them between April and October, and you can book via their website or sent them an email for any questions you might have. It’s definitely one of the most charming cities in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on more destinations to visit in Friesland here.

view of cobblestoned street and historic buildings in the city of Sneek, Friesland, The Netherlands

47. Almelo

Province: Overijssel

Inhabitants: 69.000

Where to stay: de Opkamer

Another stunning city in the East is Almelo, The Netherlands. Walking through Almelo is interesting, as it boasts many different sorts of architecture and in the centre of the town you can even find a big estate, which is impressive. You cannot visit Huize Almelo itself, but you can discover the forests of this beautiful estate in the East of The Netherlands. Another thing I recommend you to do in Almelo is to visit Stadsmuseum Almelo to explore the history of Almelo and how it has evolved, as well as witnessing interesting changing exhibitions. Because Almelo is relatively small and cosy, I find it’s one of the best cities in The Netherlands to live in.

view on a street in the city of almelo, overijssel, the netherlands on a summer day

48. Den Helder

Province: Noord- Holland

Inhabitants: 41.000

Where to stay: Forest Hotel

People often only head to the city of Den Helder, The Netherlands, to take the boat to the island of Texel. And that is a true shame. Den Helder used to be a city with a bad reputation due to crime, amongst other things. But, nowadays, Den Helder is blooming again, and it’s great. Den Helder is home to the Dutch navy and has always been an important maritime city in The Netherlands. One of the things you need to do in Den Helder is visit the old shipyard of Willemsoord, which is filled with unique monuments, local shops, and so much more. I can also recommend you to visit fortresses in Den Helder that belong to the defence line of Den Helder, which was expanded to its current size during the time of the French occupation in The Netherlands. If you visit Noord (North)- Holland and want to visit cities in The Netherlands, Den Helder is an excellent option.

View of canal and cityscape of Den Helder on saturday sunny morning

49. Doesburg

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 11.000

Where to stay: B&B Het Atelier

If you ask me what one of the most fairytale-like cities in The Netherlands is, I will probably answer with Doesburg. Doesburg, The Netherlands, is one of the many Hanseatic cities that we have in the country. This means it is filled with amazing buildings and so many fun things to do. One of the things you need to do in Doesburg is visit cafe Stadsbierhuys De Waag, which is said to be the oldest (or the second) oldest catering facility in The Netherlands as it has existed since somewhere in the 15th century. I can also recommend you visit Doesburgsche Mosterd- en Azijnfabriek, as Doesburg is very famous for its mustard amongst other delicious local goods. I find Doesburg one of the best cities to visit in The Netherlands in spring, but it is also fantastic to see during any other time of the year.

view on cosy cobblestoned streets and old buildings in city of Doesburg, Gelderland, The Netherlands

50. Apeldoorn

Province: Gelderland

Inhabitants: 137.000

Where to stay: Het Oude Kantongerecht

Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, is one of the greenest cities in The Netherlands. Apeldoorn is filled with city parks, typical houses from the city and not many high buildings. While it’s a moderately sized city in Gelderland, most parts of it feels like a village. One of the things you need to do in Apeldoorn is to visit Natuurpark Berg & Bos, as well as visiting Paleis Het Loo. Paleis Het Loo is one of the largest Royal palaces we have in The Netherlands and is breathtaking, so are its gardens. When you’re walking through the gardens, it feels like you’ve just entered an old fairy tale. Apeldoorn is one of the larger cities in The Netherlands, but still nothing major.

APELDOORN, NETHERLANDS -November 4, 2015: front of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn.

51. Amsterdam

Province: Noord- Holland

Inhabitants: 821.000

Where to stay: The Student Hotel Amsterdam West

The Netherlands most popular city to visit is, without a doubt, Amsterdam. Every year the capital of The Netherlands gets millions of visitors, while it’s home to not even a million people. This means that a part of Amsterdam, mainly the extreme city centre, is mostly filled with tourists. However, luckily Amsterdam has more to offer than trying to worm your way through the crowds. The city of Amsterdam exists out of countless neighbourhoods that all have something else to offer, and in most of them, you don’t find many visitors, and that’s where you will find the city’s real charm. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is a beautiful place to visit, especially if you’re looking to visit the largest city in the country and want to see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in The Netherlands, but also for a reason.

Find a full article on what to do in Amsterdam here.

Christmas time in Amsterdam the Netherlands at dusk

52. Helmond

Province: Noord- Brabant

Inhabitants: 91.000

Where to stay: Villa Rubenshof

You probably are aware of the existence of the cube houses in Rotterdam, but did you know that they were first made in the city of Helmond, The Netherlands? These were also designed by architect Piet Blom and can be found at Piet Blomplein in Helmond. One of the other things to do in Helmond is to visit Castle Helmond to explore the largest moated castle in The Netherlands and why it was crucial for Helmond. Helmond is a city that is actually very underrated but is filled with great places to visit. And all of that is why I think it’s one of the best cities in The Netherlands.

View on canal buildings in city of Helmond, Noord- Brabant, The Netherlands

53. Heerlen

Province: Limburg

Inhabitants: 86.000

Where to stay: Stadshotel Botterweck

Heerlen, The Netherlands, is one of the best places to visit in the country to explore amazing street art. It seems like every corner of the city is filled with incredible art that will blow your mind. Heerlen is a city that feels relatively young but is actually a lot older than you might think since the Romans settled here roughly 2000 years ago. One of the things you need to do in Heerlen is to visit the Thermenmuseum, which tells you about Heerlen during the Roman Empire. While Heerlen is not one of the big cities in The Netherlands, it is actually a great place to travel to.

old residential buildings in Heerlen, The Netherlands

54. Enkhuizen

Province: Noord- Holland 

Inhabitants: 18.000

Where to stay: Herberg de Compagnie

Another great city to visit is Enkhuizen. Enkhuizen, The Netherlands, is located on the shores of one of the country’s biggest lakes: IJsselmeer. This historic Dutch city is the perfect combination of calm and bustling at the same time. It is home to one of The Netherlands most famous tourist attractions: the open-air museum Zuiderzeemuseum, which showcases the life of people around the former Zuiderzee (sea that is now turned into the Markermeer and IJsselmeer lakes). If you’re not interested in getting an insight into these small Dutch cultures, there is still plenty to see and explore in Enkhuizen. Admire the beautiful buildings, wander through its charming streets and sit down at one of the many cosy Dutch cafes. Enkhuizen is one of the cities in the Holland region, The Netherlands, that you cannot miss out on.

Find a full article on what to do in Enkhuizen here.

A view on a canal filled with old leafs and canal houses surrounded in city of Enkhuizen, The Netherlands

55. Haarlem

Province: Noord- Holland

Inhabitants: 235.000

Where to stay: the niu Dairy

The city of Haarlem, The Netherlands, is another charming Dutch city that you can find in this beautiful country. It is located in the western part of The Netherlands and filled with everything that you’re looking for in a city when you visit. In Haarlem, you can find picturesque canals, amazing buildings, local shops and cafes, and so much more. Maybe you want to visit one of The Netherlands most exciting art museums or simply want to wander around and enjoy the city. Whatever you want to see in Haarlem, there is something cool to do for everyone. Haarlem is one of the main cities in The Netherlands that everyone knows, but that isn’t overrun.

Find a full article on what to do in Haarlem here.

Cobblestoned street with historic buildings in the Dutch city of Haarlem, The Netherlands

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I hope you will enjoy visiting the best cities in The Netherlands and that you’ve enjoyed exploring what kind of cities there are in The Netherlands. If you had the question ‘how many cities are there in The Netherlands?’, then I won’t be able to answer that. The reason? Many places with city rights (due to history) in this country are tiny and a part of either my village or small town article. The exact number of cities depends on the way you measure a city.

Whether you’re walking through the biggest cities in The Netherlands or a smaller one, I love how the vibes are immaculate no matter where you are. You could be exploring Zuid (South)- Holland and its cities in this part of The Netherlands or one of the richest cities in The Netherlands, and it’s all great. Although we don’t have really rich cities in this country, there are more small towns and small villages with a higher modal income than most people in cities.

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy spending some time in whichever city has your preference: from the cheapest cities in The Netherlands to cities with canals in The Netherlands. And whether you want to explore Amsterdam and nearby cities or cities near Utrecht, there is something to enjoy for you here. Share this post!

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