The Netherlands is a spectacular country to visit and there are truly endless things to do and see in this Western European country. The Netherlands is the delta of Europe and home to many big rivers that end up in the North Sea. Whether you’re looking for beautiful pictures of The Netherlands or reasons to travel to this magical country, in this article you will find the best reasons to visit The Netherlands during any season.
Unfortunately, many visitors to The Netherlands don’t see more of the country than one or maybe two cities. These pictures of The Netherlands are meant for inspiration. This way you will get inspired by visiting The Netherlands beyond the crowds, which is my main goal with my travel blog about The Netherlands. As a, born and raised, Dutch woman I am often surprised by the beauty in my country. And I’ve been living here for years.
It makes sense that foreigners aren’t aware of the natural beauty that exists in The Netherlands and of the beautiful sights in tons of different cities. It hasn’t been advertised well either. But, it’s time for a change. And you will find that on this travel blog about The Netherlands, from a local.
Holland & The Netherlands in pictures: The best reasons why you should visit this North Western European country
Discover many reasons why you will say ‘only in The Netherlands’ here. You will find when you have to visit The Netherlands, some typical products and must see cities in The Netherlands that will give you plenty of reasons to visit.
The Netherlands is filled with best places to visit. There are endless of vacation spots in The Netherlands that will take your breath away. And the magic is unreal during spring in The Netherlands. In the provinces of Noord- Holland, Zuid- Holland and Flevoland you will find many tulip fields. In Noord- Holland you will find most tulip fields in The Netherlands, Zuid-Holland is famous for the Keukenhof in Lisse and surroundings and Flevoland turns also into a beautiful sea of flowers.
Don’t walk inside the tulip fields. This is not allowed! They are not here for your Instagram photos.
Travel guides and blogs about tulip fields in The Netherlands
2. Magical islands to discover
While The Netherlands definitely not has the number of islands Greece has, we still have a couple of stunning Dutch islands to explore. The inhabited Dutch islands in The Netherlands are Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. They are all beautiful in their own way. One island is mostly a National Park in The Netherlands, another island is known for its art and all of these West Frisian islands in The Netherlands are famous for having incredible beaches and cute towns.
Travel guides and blogs about islands in The Netherlands
3. Modern Dutch cities
While many people are aware of the existence of beautiful and idyllic towns in The Netherlands, there are very modern cities to visit as well. Rotterdam is one of those cities that you must visit. This city combines modern and old Dutch architecture, which creates an atmosphere that is unlike any other city in The Netherlands.
Travel guides and blogs about Rotterdam, The Netherlands
4. The incredible Dutch countryside
Everything you might think The Netherlands is known for, and more, can be found in the countryside. Admire stunning Dutch farmhouses, the happy cows and sheep in the meadows, the endless tulip fields and tons of small Dutch towns.
There are small rivers, windmills, barely any cars and sounds of birds can be heard everywhere. Enjoy The Netherlands in the best way with a visit to the Dutch countryside.
Travel guides and blogs about the countryside in The Netherlands
What I love about The Netherlands is that there are an endless number of picturesque towns and cities to visit. Wander through the idyllic streets, walk into the most special boutiques and admire the history in The Netherlands. Discover the remains of many fortifications and head back in time. Most Dutch towns have bustling city centres, but when you walk out of the main square of that city you will discover that you have most of the town to yourself.
Travel guides and blogs about towns in The Netherlands
6. Parts of the country are made from scratch
A big part of The Netherlands wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for windmills that pumped out the water, dykes, dunes and other barriers. In fact, most of the provinces of Noord- Holland (where Amsterdam and Haarlem are) and Zuid- Holland (Rotterdam, The Hague) would be flooded without water protections. These regions are generally a few metres below sea-level, but near Rotterdam you will find the lowest point of the country at -6,76 metres below sea-level.
Also, the twelfth province Flevoland has been made in the 20th century in the former Zuiderzee (sea). We needed more land for agriculture and houses, and we wanted to have less flooding threats from the Zuiderzee. So we made another province to take away threats and have more usable soil.
Travel guides and blogs about places below sea-level in The Netherlands
7. The Netherlands has a stunning capital
Amsterdam is famous worldwide and rightly so. The city is beautiful, its canals seem endless and the atmosphere is unlike any other city. Almost freeing. And what I mainly love about our capital city is that it’s not an enormous city. I’m from the Dutch countryside so I am not used to big metropolitans. And Amsterdam kind of feels like a village in some parts, but mostly it’s a cosy city. And if you’re a fan of pretty and cosy cities, than Amsterdam must be visited.
Travel guides and blogs about Amsterdam in The Netherlands
8. We have one of the widest beaches in Europe
Yes we do. And it’s not just any beach. It’s on one of the Dutch Wadden Islands. The island of Schiermonnikoog in The Netherlands is home to the widest beach in Europe. This island in The Netherlands is almost completely a Dutch national park and the beach is more than one kilometre wide. It’s a spectacular and stunning sight to see.
Travel guides and blogs about Schiermonnikoog in The Netherlands
9. Most stunning courtyards
Courtyards are whenever I visit a new Dutch city my favourite area to explore. These hidden Dutch gardens can be found in cities such as Haarlem and are a completely different world. From the bustling city streets you will enter in an oasis. It’s calm, green and cosy. And everything you could possibly dream of. Take a breath, sit on one of the benches and enjoy this quiet and peaceful place.
Travel guides and blogs about courtyards in The Netherlands
10. Plenty of different cultures can be found in The Netherlands
Every province and region in The Netherlands has had many different cultures, languages or dialects and traditions. Although nowadays it’s has become a bit less, I notice that more people are keen on keeping these difference alive. Whether it’s by markets, shows or museums.
Friesland is a province in The Netherlands where it’s very easy to find a different culture. The people speak Frisian, they have typical local foods, habits and even sports. Besides that, the beautiful cities are more than worth visiting as well.
Travel guides and blogs about Friesland in The Netherlands
Windmilss are a must-see when you visit The Netherlands. Luckily, they are generally easy to see when you are travlling to the provinces of Noord- Holland and Zuid- Holland. And what is not to love about seeing a windmill? They are idyllic, very useful and fit perfectly inside the typical Dutch landscape. Experience what it’s like inside a windmill, why we use windmills for so many different things and finally admire one from up close.
12. Explore some of the best museums in The Netherlands
We have fantastic museums in The Netherlands and there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in visiting open air and outdoor Dutch museums or indoor. Or maybe you want to see an insane collection of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh or of Rembrandt. Or maybe you want to explore an Unesco World Heritage Site that is also a museum? There are truly endless possibilities.
Travel guides and blogs about the best museums in The Netherlands
13. Discover the spectacular Dutch nature
We have dunes, marshes, forests and so much more in The Netherlands. The Netherlands is a small country, but as the Delta of Europe (the rhine and many other big rivers end here in the North Sea), our nature is incredibly different from most countries in the world.
The tides influence many nature reserves, the sea takes away dunes and replaces the sand somewhere else and we have dunes in the middle of the country (I know!). We have the Veluwe National Park and the Unesco World Heritage Site the Wadden Sea. But there are so many more natural areas to discover and explore in The Netherlands, that I’m sure any nature enthousiast would love a trip to The Netherlands.
Travel guides and blogs about nature parks in The Netherlands
We are one of the countries in the world where the wildlife is actually cute, instead of terrifying. Well, usually. I once saw a big spider (for Dutch standards) which was the size of my hand and that freaked me out. But that has only happened to me once in my 25 years young and no one I know has ever seen them so big here. It must’ve been my lucky day.
Anyway, wildlife is cute here. We have seals, we have beavers, otters, deers, small mouses, birds, a wild cat, European bisons, wild hogs etc. Don’t try to pet them though, keep your distance at all times. While the wolf is making a comeback, you don’t have to be afraid of them because they mind their own business. It also seems like the lynx is arriving in The Netherlands soon which is amazing for the ecosystem.
Yes, we have castles in The Netherlands. And not just some remains here and there, actual big Dutch castles. Whether you’re looking for one of the smallest castles in The Netherlands to the biggest moat, The Netherlands is perfect for you. And what’s even better is that many of these Dutch castles are unknown to the bigger crowd. So while you’re out here exploring castles all by yourself, others will be standing in lines in other European castles.
Travel guides and blogs about castles in The Netherlands
16. Every province is magical in its own way
There are twelve provinces in The Netherlands that are all worth visiting. The one is famous within the country for having beautiful nature and the other for its stunning Dutch islands. One is known for housing the International Court of Justice and the other for great beaches. Another is known for having beautiful hills and the next Dutch province is known for laying several metres below sea-level. This country has quite some contrasts, which makes it an incredibly special country to viist
Travel guides and blogs about cities in 11 provinces in The Netherlands
Groningen / Groningen
Alkmaar / Noord- Holland
Delft / Zuid- Holland
Amersfoort / Utrecht
Bergen op Zoom / Noord- Brabant
Maastricht / Limburg
Elburg / Gelderland
Deventer / Overijssel
Middelburg / Zeeland
Ijlst / Friesland
17. We have a lot of fried Dutch food
I love fried things. Fried fish, fried kaassouffle, fried bitterballen, fried oliebollen, etc. Fry it and I’m in. Most of the time. And while fried food is definitely not the healthiest option, that’s why you shouldn’t eat it everyday, it is definitely tasty. But the best part is that the typical fried Dutch food is cheap. For instance, ‘kibbeling’ is fried cod and can be bought at any fish shop. A ‘kroket’ is ragout with meat in a crispy outerlayer and is delicious. The fried Dutch food is perfect to eat as a snack.
Travel guides and blogs about food in The Netherlands
18. Cheese is our specialty
Any cheeselover has to visit The Netherlands. We have old cheese, mild cheese, creamy cheese and even chili cheese. There are so many different sort of flavours and styles, that if you visit a cheese shop you won’t know where to look. My personal tip: Ask if they have ‘graskaas’, this cheese is so creamy and filled with flavour. It comes from milk from the cows that are constantly in the meadows from spring until autumn. The cows go inside because the grass won’t grow good during winter, the muddy soil is not good for their legs and because it becomes too cold.
Travel guides and blogs about cheese in The Netherlands
19. Sometimes the canals freeze during winter
I have to admit, I don’t think it happens enough. ‘Yay, global warming!’. Canals now freeze maybe every three to four years, but when they do you’re in for a fantastic time. It adds an extra layer of fun to your winter trip to The Netherlands. Whether you are good in ice skating, or more like bambi on ice, it’s an experience that you will never forget. Everyone is happy and living their best live on the ice.
Travel guides and blogs about winter in The Netherlands
20. We have amazing Dutch Christmas markets
These markets aren’t as famous as their German counterparts, however they are more than worth visiting. From the Christmas market of Valkenburg that’s held inside caves (!) to the floating Christmas market in the town of Leiden to the biggest Christmas market in The Netherlands in Dordrecht. Buy the best Dutch souvenirs, experience Christmas time in The Netherlands and enjoy one of the many spectacular markets.
Travel guides and blogs about Christmas markets in The Netherlands
21. We have oliebollen
Oliebollen are delicious fried dough balls that are found everywhere in The Netherlands during December. It’s made from milk, yeast, flour and some other ingredients and then fried in vegetable oil. Add some powdered sugar on top and you don’t know what happend to your tastebuds. I love them. And luckily December isn’t the only time of year when you can find them, as during fun fairs you can also find these stalls with freshly made oliebollen.
Travel guides and blogs about food in The Netherlands
22. We have endless of dunes
Dunes are spectacular hills of sand and more than needed to protect The Netherlands. But beyond protection they are also the home of many special animals and make beautiful nature reserves. And they border some of the best Dutch beaches in the country. Whether you’re visiting the country in spring or autumn, a visit to the beautiful Dutch dunes is more than worth it.
Travel guides and blogs about dunes in The Netherlands
23. We have former islands which feels like another world
You can take the Dutch away from The Netherlands, but not The Netherlands from the Dutch. It’s the same way for people who used to live on Dutch islands in The Netherlands, that aren’t islands anymore. These islands haven’t been islands since either the 1930s or 1960s when the Afsluitdijk and new province of Flevoland were made. But it’s more than worth visiting, because they feel like you’ve entered another world. In a good way.
Travel guides and blogs about Wieringen in The Netherlands
24. We have flower parades
If you’re a fan of flowers then you will love our annual flower parades, called Bloemencorso’s in Dutch. Flower parades exist out of a parade of trucks, cars and/or floats that are covered with flowers. But the flowers are not just put on the floats randomly. Every year there’s a different theme (for every parade in The Netherlands) and people make their float fit the theme as good as they possibly can. After all, it’s a competition. Who wills will be forever the king and queen of the town.
Travel guides and blogs about flower parades in The Netherlands
25. We have great public transportation
Many Dutch people complain about our public transportation system, but that’s only because we are spoiled little brats. We forget how good our system is because we want to make it constantly better. I don’t have a car, nor see the needs to get one, because I have my bike and public transportation. No matter where you want to go in The Netherlands, you can use public transportation.
I can get anywhere in The Netherlands with public transportation. I can take good trains that take me from the Northern part of the country to the most Southern part in The Netherlands in around three hours. I can take buses to almost every small Dutch village. There are trams, metros, ferries I can take within cities. And I can use all of them with just one card, called the OV Chip Kaart. I top it up, place it in front of the gate or pole and I am check in. I check out when I’m leaving again and I’m settled. Everything almost always runs on time, but when there’s a delay you can guarantee you that Dutch people will complain about how bad they have it. I used to be like that, but not anymore since I’ve had come to realize that we have it pretty darn good here.
Travel guides and blogs about public transport in The Netherlands
26. We have an insane amount of canals
Canals is one of the trademarks of The Netherlands. In a lot of cities they have a canal belt. And while Amsterdam is most famous for its canals, there are simply tons of other Dutch cities to visit that have breathtaking canals. What I mainly love about the Dutch canals is that they make those parts of the city or town look so picturesque and cute. It feels like you’re headed back into time and you can imagine what it might’ve looked like hundreds of years ago. Also, canals are some of the best instagrammable photo spots in The Netherlands.
Travel guides and blogs about where to find canals in The Netherlands
27. It’s beautiful in spring
Spring is a stunning season in The Netherlands. It’s the time of tulip fields, cows and sheep in the meadows and the first rays of sunshine on your face. This is also the season when Dutch people are going to terraces again. We love to soak up the sun at every moment we get. We go to a cafe, get a drink and some Dutch snacks and simply enjoy the weather. Tulip time is a busy time in certain parts of The Netherlands, but it’s not busy everywhere. It’s very easy to enjoy your few days, or weeks in The Netherlands during this season.
28. It’s beautiful in summer
Summer is high season in The Netherlands, and while that might sound awful, there’s also a good part about it. Places are opened longer, small museums are finally open and the weather is pretty nice. And most of all, The Netherlands is stunning in summer. From the Dutch beaches to small towns, they are all great to visit during June, July and August.
Travel guides and blogs about summer in The Netherlands
29. It’s beautiful in autumn
Imagine the magical foliage in The Netherlands during autumn, as well as endless walks on the beach as the last few rays of sun hit your face. I love seasons, because every single one of them has its charm. While people often associate autumn in The Netherlands with a lot of rain, it’s more so that the weather looks moody. But there’s rarely days of rain in a row. As you wander through the brown leaves that are reminding you that summer is over, the spectacular season of brown and red colours takes its place. It’s the perfect season to go outside and don’t sweat while doing so, but still have a comfortable temperature, beautiful surroundings and less people (as autumn is low season in The Netherlands)
Travel guides and blogs about autumn in The Netherlands
30. It’s beautiful in winter
I love winter in The Netherlands. I like the beautiful, cold mornings. The cosy lights throughout every city in the country. The Christmas trees. The ice skating on canals or lakes if we’re lucky. Christmas time is spectacular as well as New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands. There are Christmas markets, ice rinks placed in most cities and an oliebollen stall at every corner. This country has so much to offer during winter. And the best part is that winter is the low season in The Netherlands. So while you’re mesmerized by the beautiful country that is The Netherlands, you can wander around without bumping into insane crowds of tourists. Unless you’re walking to the most popular square in Amsterdam, the Dam, then you’re in for a nice threat…
Travel guides and blogs about things to do in winter in The Netherlands
31. And lastly, we have great beer
Beer is one of the things Dutch people are great with. We’re great in drinking it and in making beer. Sure, Belgium is doing pretty alright as well, but The Netherlands is where it’s at. And I’m not talking about commerciel beers such as Amstel, Heineken and Bavaria (that are alright), but I’m talking about Dutch craft beer. Whether you’re visiting the city of Haarlem for their Jopenbeer or any other city, you will find great local craft beer in every part of The Netherlands.
Find more reasons why you need to visit The Netherlands in this The Netherlands Youtube video below!
HELP OTHERS DISCOVER THESE BEAUTIFUL PLACES! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS!
Other The Netherlands travel blogs and guides that you’ll love
Now you know some things you need experience in The Netherlands and what to bring from The Netherlands, as well as many reasons to visit The Netherlands. Whether you’re thinking of where to visit inThe Netherlands or what islands to visit, your vacation to The Netherlands will be magical. You can find a The Netherlands travel itinerary here.
I hope these pictures of The Netherlands have been inspirational for your next visit. Remember, my country is more than Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a gorgeous city, but it’s also our capital city. That means that there is a whole world outside Amsterdam that is completely different. Please try to make trips to the Dutch countryside, or to less visited cities. You won’t regret it. The Netherlands is a dreamy country, no matter what season you are here. So I hope I’ve given you enough reasons for why you need to visit The Netherlands and Holland on your next trip. Enjoy your The Netherlands visit. Share this post!!