Visiting The Dutch Countryside

Travelblog about The Netherlands | Exploring The Netherlands beyond the crowds

40+ Most Beautiful & Hidden Dutch Villages You Must Visit In The Netherlands Told By A Local

Spread the love
One of the most important streets of De Rijp. You have canal houses on both sides of the street and see the Grote Kerk (main important church) of De Rijp in the far distance surrounded with trees
Are you searching for villages in The Netherlands? Then discover what you must see in The Netherlands, and why these are the best villages in the world (in my humble opinion).

Are you thinking of visiting places in The Netherlands? Then I can guarantee that you do not want to miss out on these villages in The Netherlands. Dutch villages are an absolute dream to travel to, and they are everywhere. Whether you’re searching for the best villages to visit in the Holland region or villages near Amsterdam, this travel blog about The Netherlands shows you the beautiful villages you cannot miss out on when you visit my incredible country.

The Netherlands is filled with beautiful places, and these most beautiful villages in The Netherlands will make your most magical dreams come true. There are tips for cool places to explore in The Netherlands and places to visit in the Holland region. So, I can guarantee that you will find the best places to visit in The Netherlands right here because The Netherlands is filled with villages to visit.

The best Dutch villages to visit in The Netherlands

Pretty Dutch villages are found all over the country and are very much worth visiting. As they’re villages, though, you cannot (or you can at snail pace) spend one full day in the village to explore it; they are simply too small for that. However, the surroundings of all of these villages are well worth visiting as well, so don’t be afraid to do some exploring.

 Quite a few of these villages are officially cities since they’ve gained city rights in the Middle Ages. But, they are all small villages, which you can see by their population. Some villages have a higher population than you’d expect, but that is mainly due to new neighbourhoods built to house more people. 

Almost all of these villages have a protected townscape to ensure that their heritage stays intact and saved for future generations and visitors to enjoy. I recommend quite a few places in this article that do not have access to a card machine, so make sure to carry a bit of extra cash when you’re visiting villages in The Netherlands.

A few of these villages have train stations, and most (not all) have bus stops. There are only a few where the bus doesn’t stop or passes at all. I would always recommend you to use 9292.nl/en to plan your journeys via public transportation in The Netherlands. I hope you will enjoy these villages in The Netherlands.

Whether you’re interested in finding a water village in The Netherlands or want to explore historical sites in The Netherlands, there is truly something for everyone here.

1. Amerongen

Province: Utrecht

Nearest bigger town/ city: Veenendaal or Doorn

Where to stay: Restaurant Hotel Buitenlust

The village of Amerongen is found in the province of Utrecht and home to roughly 5000 people. One of the things you need to do in Amerongen is walking around one of the best villages to visit in the Utrecht region and visit the castle Amerongen. This castle was destroyed by the French in the disaster year of 1672 and then rebuilt. It was the home of the last emperor of Germany: Wilhelm the second for 1,5 years before he moved to Doorn. He signed his abdication in Castle Amerongen in 1918. Nowadays, the castle is a museum and is also home to a beautiful castle garden. It’s one of The Netherlands villages that need to be on your bucket list.

Castle Amerongen in Amerongen in the Netherlands. It is one of Utrechts most beautiful and best kept castles

2. Abcoude

Province: Utrecht

Nearest bigger town/ city: Amsterdam

Where to stay: Hotel Restaurant Koekenbier Abcoude

Then the village of Abcoude borders the municipality of Amsterdam. It’s home to around 8000 people and is located in the Green Heart region. This green area stretches from Amsterdam to Rotterdam to Utrecht, filled with picturesque places to visit, nature reserves and endless meadows. I can highly recommend you visit Abcoude and go for a walk around the cute town, visit some local shops and head to a fortress part of a Unesco World Heritage site: Defence line of Amsterdam. You can only visit the Dutch fort from May to September on specific days. Abcoude is one of those Dutch villages and towns that has such a friendly atmosphere and calm vibe at the same time.

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

3. Bronkhorst

Province: Gelderland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Steenderen

Where to stay: Herberg de Gouden Leeuw

Bronkhorst is a village located in the province of Gelderland and is a village filled with traditional Dutch farms from this region in Gelderland; it is officially a city but is just home to roughly 100 people. Bronkhorst is the perfect village to enjoy some local crafts and art. And, if you’re done with that, you can go for a walk or bike ride in the beautiful surroundings. Bronkhorst is most certainly one of the villages in The Netherlands you need to visit.

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

4. Kolhorn

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Schagen

Where to stay: B&B De Hemme

The village of Kolhorn is located in the northern part of the province of Noord- Holland and is home to around 1100 people. Kolhorn has quite a few things to do, which is lovely. It’s one of the cute villages in North Holland and is home to Museum De Turfschuur, which covers the history of Kolhorn and traditional Dutch sweaters from Kolhorn. Kolhorn also has a few restaurants and beautiful buildings, canals and streets. 

Besides that, Kolhorn is located on the Westfriese Omringdijk. This is the longest and oldest monumental dyke in The Netherlands that surrounds the West Friesland region. It passes beautiful Dutch towns and offers incredible views, so I can also highly recommend you cycle or walk a bit of the dyke. I don’t know many people who know the existence of this historical village in The Netherlands, so you’ll be able to enjoy it to the fullest. And, Kolhorn is located in the best area to see tulip fields in The Netherlands.

Find a full article on what to do in this part of the Noord- Holland province here.

View on a frozen river and snowy cobblestoned street and old Dutch houses in the village of Kolhorn, The Netherlands

5. Groede

Province: Zeeland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Breskens

Where to stay: B&B De Reiziger

The village of Groede is located nearby the North Sea coast in the beautiful Dutch province of Zeeland. It is home to approximately 990 people, and the main monumental streets and buildings are located around the church. It is a village that has existed for hundreds and hundreds of years and is one of the places you need to visit when you’re in Zeeland. Slijkstraat is one of the main shopping streets in Groede and also home to incredible restaurants. One of the things you need to do in Groede is to drink some locally brewed Dutch beers. Groede is home to a fantastic beer brewery in this part of Zeeland, and that’s why I recommend you to go to De Drie Koningen to try their incredible local beers (they serve food here too). Groede is one of the villages in Zeeland that you cannot miss out on.

A view on a cobblestoned street and old Dutch brick buildings on the side in Groede
Photo by Andreas/ Flickr

6. De Rijp

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Purmerend or Alkmaar (the latter has a direct bus to De Rijp)

Where to stay: B&B Het Pakhuys

De Rijp is one of the many picturesque villages you can find in the Noord- Holland province. It is surrounded by one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the Holland region: Eilandspolder. The village of De Rijp is home to roughly 4000 people, and it’s an absolute dream. Whether you want to visit a local museum to learn more about this Dutch village or want to explore the nature reserve by boat, there are plenty of things to do in De Rijp.

Find a full article on what to do in De Rijp here.

7. Aldeboarn

Province: Friesland

Nearest bigger town/ city:  Akkrum

Where to stay: Watertorenhotel Nes

One of the smallest, most beautiful villages in Friesland has to be Aldeboarn (Oldeboorn in Dutch). It’s home to roughly 1500 people and is one of the must-sees in Friesland. You can do a few things in Aldeboarn, and when you’re done with that, you can discover the amazing surroundings of this region in Friesland. It’s absolutely worth a trip, as Aldeboarn is located in the middle of the Frisian countryside, meaning: it’s peaceful, gorgeous and magical.

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

8. Elsloo

Province: Limburg

Nearest bigger town/ city: Sittard

Where to stay: B&B Bie Janssen

The village of Elsloo is one of the places in The Netherlands that can claim the title ‘the oldest farming village in The Netherlands’, as around 5000 B.C., the Linear Pottery Culture was found here. Nowadays, Elsloo is a small village in Limburg and an absolute must-visit. One of the things you have to do in Elsloo is visit its local museum, called Streekmuseum Elsloo. Besides that, I can highly recommend you to walk to the following streets for incredible, monumental buildings: Dorpsstraat, Op de Berg. Visiting Elsloo is one of the things you need to do in Limburg.

A view on a church and a cobblestoned street and brick houses in the village of Elsloo
Photo by Frans Berkelaar / Flickr

9. Vreeland

Province: Utrecht

Nearest bigger town/ city: Weesp

Where to stay: B&B “Jan” te Vreeland

Vreeland is a village in the Utrecht region found in the Vecht region; its population is approximately 1900 people. Vreeland is also surrounded by beautiful Dutch lakes and is located in the middle of The Netherlands lake district, with the Loosdrechtse and Kortenhoefse Plassen being the most nearby. If you’re interested in walking long-distance routes in The Netherlands, then you’re also in luck in Vreeland, as the Waterliniepad and Floris de Vijfde path both run through the village of Vreeland.

If you have the money to spare, then one of the things I would recommend you do in Vreeland is visit the restaurant De Nederlanden, one of the Michelin star restaurants in The Netherlands. You can also see a windmill called Korenmolen De Ruiter in Vreeland every Saturday from 10:00- 16:00.

A view of a boat on a river in front of Dutch canal houses in the village of Vreeland, Utrecht, The Netherlands

10. Vollenhove

Province: Overijssel

RELATED ARTICLE  Explore The Lake District With Islands In The Netherlands & Holland: Discover The Hollandse Plassen And Dutch Nature

Nearest bigger town/ city: Marknesse

Where to stay: Stadspaleis Hotel & Restaurant OldRuitenborgh

Vollenhove is home to roughly 4200 people and is one of the villages that has obtained city rights during its existence. While it is officially a city, it doesn’t feel that way when you walk through Vollenhove. It is filled with beautiful streets and friendly people, and quite a few things to do. It’s one of the villages you need to visit in Overijssel.

One of the things you need to do in Vollenhove is to witness their flower parade. Flower parades in The Netherlands are incredible to visit and a true highlight of any vacation in Overijssel. Another thing I recommend you to see in Vollenhove in the ruins of medieval castle Toutenburg.

View on the main church in the village of Vollenhove, The Netherlands

11. Goedereede

Province: Zuid- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Stellendam

Where to stay: de Goede Ree Verbeek

Goedereede is another excellent destination to travel to when you’re visiting the Zuid- Holland province in The Netherlands. This adorable Dutch village is currently home to approximately 2300 inhabitants. One of the things you need to do in Goedereede is to visit their yearly event, called ‘Portdagen’. This event, which celebrates when fishers from Goedereede fished barrels of port wine from a sunken ship, has been taking place every third weekend of June since 2014. But your visit to Goedereede wouldn’t be complete without admiring the former harbour of Goedereede and one of the many pretty streets.

A view on the main square and old Dutch houses in the village of Goedereede, Zeeland, The Netherlands

12. Woudsend

Province: Friesland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Sneek

Where to stay: Omke Jan

Another village that you can find in the Friesland province is Woudsend. It’s home to roughly 1440 people and is located on the famous Dutch 11-cities ice skating route on a natural ice tour (Elfstedentocht) through Friesland. Woudsend is filled with monumental buildings and is a proper water sports village in Friesland. One of the things you need to do in Woudsend is to visit their farmers market. This market takes place from the second Thursday of July until the last Thursday of August from 11:00- 17:00. It’s the perfect place to get some local Dutch souvenirs. But that’s not all Woudsend has to offer. You can also visit an authentic sawing mill in Woudsend, called Houtzaagmolen De Jager, every Saturday from 09:00 – 17:00.

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

View on an idyllic cobblestoned street with old brick buildings in Woudsend, The Netherlands

13. Drimmelen

Province: Noord- Brabant

Nearest bigger town/ city: Made

Where to stay: Bed and Breakfast De Biesbosch – in ‘t Riet

Drimmelen is one of the smallest villages on the list with a population of 520 people and is found in Noord- Brabant. One of the best things you can do in Drimmelen is to go on a boat tour through one of The Netherlands most beautiful national parks: Biesbosch. This sweet water tidal system is the biggest nature reserve of its kind in North-Western Europe. Besides visiting one of the national parks in The Netherlands, I can highly recommend you to do a walk through the village, which is quick and easy, but very nice. This is the rural part of The Netherlands at its best: From incredible Dutch nature to picturesque small villages in The Netherlands, it has the best of both worlds.

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

14. Dreischor

Province: Zeeland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Zierikzee

Where to stay: Herberg De Ring

Dreischor is one of the most authentic villages in Zeeland and is, what we call, a circular village. Roughly 975 people call Dreischor home, and it was even voted the greenest village in Europe. One of the things that I recommend you do in Dreischor is to visit Museum farm Goemanszorg. Here you will learn everything about life on a farm on the island of Schouwen- Duiveland, where Dreischor is located. I can also highly recommend you to do a wine tasting at Proeflokaal De Kleine Schorre. Besides that, there are tons of nature reserves to explore nearby Dreischor. So, no matter what you’re interested in, it’s a great place to visit. Dreischor is, in my humble opinion, one of the best villages in The Netherlands to visit.

A view on a cobblestoned street in the village of Dreischor
Photo by FacemePLS / Flickr

15. Breukelen

Province: Utrecht

Nearest bigger town/ city: Utrecht

Where to stay: Van der Valk Hotel Breukelen

Breukelen is one of the villages found along the beautiful Vecht river in the Utrecht region and home to around 10.000 people. Along this river, you will find the most breathtaking estates built for wealthy people from Amsterdam, mainly during the Golden Age. If you’re interested in walking long distance paths through The Netherlands, then Breukelen is a great place to follow the Marskramerpad, which is a part of the E11 route. In Breukelen you can also find many incredible monumental buildings, local shops and great cafes, which I recommend you check out. A part of the lake district in The Netherlands is also found nearby Breukelen.

16. Woudrichem

Province: Noord- Brabant

Nearest bigger town/ city: Gorinchem

Where to stay: B&B het huijsje

Woudrichem is a fortified town that is located on the banks of the Boven- Merwede river. One of the things that I recommend you to do in Woudrichem is to visit the fishery museum (Visserijmuseum in Dutch). Woudrichem has had rights to fish for centuries, and as the rivers were filled with fish, Woudrichem became a blooming town. But all of that changed. In this museum, you will see the highlights, the downfalls and everything in between fishing in the rivers in Woudrichem. It is opened from April until October from Tuesday- Friday from 10:30- 16:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 13:30- 16:30.

Almost 4700 people live in the village of Woudrichem, and I can’t blame them for doing so. One of the other things you must do near Woudrichem is grab the little ferry to Castle Loevestein, one of the prettiest Dutch castles in Noord (North)- Brabant. When you’re thinking of visiting villages in The Netherlands, Woudrichem cannot be missed.

View on a cobblestoned street and brick city gate in the village of Woudrichem

17. Maasland

Province: Zuid- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Schiedam

Where to stay: Bed&Breakfast Maasland

Maasland is a great day trip from the city of Rotterdam and an absolute dream to walk through. Admire its beautiful canal, the endless monumental buildings and enjoy the peaceful streets. The village of Maasland is home to around 6600 people. One of the things you need to do in Maasland is to visit their local museum.

Museum de Schilpen is located in a 16th-century building and shows you the history of Maasland in the 19th and 20th century and information about old Dutch grocery stores. It is generally opened every Wednesday (only from May until September from 14:00- 17:00), every Saturday (11:00- 17:00), as well as every first Sunday of the month from (14:00-17:00). Maasland is one of those picture-perfect villages you can find in Zuid (South)- Holland.

View on a canal and old Dutch brick buildings during summer in the village of Maasland

18. Ezinge

Province: Groningen

Nearest bigger town/ city: Winsum

Where to stay: Op de Wierde

Ezinge is a beautiful village near Groningen’s city and is known for its beautiful church and incredible countryside. A true highlight of one of the most beautiful villages in Groningen province is the museum Wierdenland; here you will learn everything you need to know about the man-made mound in Ezinge and the history of the village and its surroundings. Ezinge is currently home to approximately 700 people. One of the other things you have to do in Ezinge is visit and walk around the mound where the main church is located.

A view on old brick Dutch houses in the village of Ezinge

19. Lochem

Province: Gelderland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Zutphen

Where to stay: Hart van Lochem

Lochem is a great destination to visit in the Gelderland region, because not only is it located near plenty of nature reserves and hills, but Lochem is also a perfect place to do some relaxing. Lochem is small, but has some great places to eat and sit down for a chat. Its small village centre is exactly what you’d want it to be: beautiful, historic and a vibrant, but cosy atmosphere.

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

View on a cobblestoned street leading to the square of the village of Lochem, The Netherlands

20. Nieuwpoort

Province: Zuid- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Schoonhoven

Where to stay: Hotel Restaurant Belvédère

One of the best destinations to visit in Zuid (South)- Holland has to be Nieuwpoort. While it’s officially a city, it is only home to roughly 1400 people, so it certainly deserves to be on this list. I can highly recommend you visit Nieuwpoort in The Netherlands, as it comes straight out of a fairy tale. One of the things you have to do in Nieuwpoort is to walk on the fortifications that still surround most of the village, and it gives you a beautiful view of the Lek river. At the city hall of Nieuwpoort, Stadhuis, you can find small exhibitions about the history and historical items used in the region. Nieuwpoort is one of the beautiful places you have to visit in the Holland region.

A view on old Dutch brick canal houses behind a canal and trees in the town of Nieuwpoort, The Netherlands

21. Broek in Waterland

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Amsterdam

Where to stay: Slapen bij Jesse

With almost 2800 inhabitants, Broek in Waterland is a beautiful quaint and calm Dutch hamlet in Noord- Holland. One of the things you need to do in Broek in Waterland is rent a boat or a canoe. As Broek in Waterland is located in an area with endless creeks and rivers, the perfect way to explore Broek in Waterland and its surroundings is via the water. Don’t forget to go on a lovely walk through this village near Amsterdam either, as it’s filled with monumental buildings and picturesque streets. The combination of canals, historic buildings and friendly people makes Broek in Waterland one of the best villages to visit in the Holland region.

A river and old Dutch wooden coloured houses along them on a summer day in Broek op Waterland

22. ‘s-Heerenberg

Province: Gelderland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Doetinchem

Where to stay: Kasteel Huis Bergh

RELATED ARTICLE  A guide to the cheese markets of The Netherlands that you have to visit

‘s-Heerenberg has to be one of my favourite villages to visit in Gelderland. Not only can you find one of The Netherlands biggest castles here: Kasteel Huis Bergh, which you can visit. And, it is also home to the most beautiful castle gardens in The Netherlands: Plantage. Visiting these places is absolutely one of the things you need to do in ‘s- Heerenberg. I can also highly recommend you to visit the nearby natural area of Montferland, such as the Bergherbos. It is one of the best nature reserves in the Gelderland region and is famous for its hills. This part of the countryside in The Netherlands is absolutely breathtaking and so worth visiting.

The castle Huis Bergh in the most beautiful village or small Dutch town of s-Heerenberg in Gelderland, The Netherlands

23. Bredevoort

Province: Gelderland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Aalten

Where to stay: Hotel Bertram

If you’re a fan of art, antiques and books, then Bredevoort cannot be a better village to visit. The village of Bredevoort is currently home to approximately 1500 people and is nicknamed ‘Boekenstad’, or book city. Every Easter Monday, third Saturday in May, second Saturday in July, and last Saturday in August, big book markets are held in Bredevoort, and they are an absolute dream to visit.

Besides visiting Bredevoort for books, I can recommend many more things you have to do in Bredevoort. Think of walking through the monumental 19th-century garden which is found on the fortifications of Bredevoort. Don’t forget to head to the windmill ‘Molen De Prins van Oranje’ either; it can be visited generally every Saturday.

Brown brick Dutch houses with a bench and trees in front of them on a cobblestoned street in the village of Bredevoort

24. Balk

Province: Friesland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Sneek

Where to stay: It Buterhus

Balk is a Frisian village that became wealthy by selling butter worldwide, and this Frisian butter was even famous in London. The village of Balk is home to approximately 4075 inhabitants and found in one of the best regions to visit in Friesland. Whether you’re interested in enjoying some watersports, cycling, walking, nature or culture: it can all be found in Balk and its surroundings. One of the things I recommend you to do in Balk is to visit It Bûterhûs. Not only is this where you can find the local tourism office, but my main reason for visiting is that they sell excellent local food and freshly made goods. This shop and tourism office in Balk is opened from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00-16:30 and on Saturday from 13:00- 16:00.

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

A view on traditional Dutch brown brick buildings with a facade in the village of Balk

25. Heenvliet

Province: Zuid- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Spijkenisse

Where to stay: ‘t Koetshuys

On the Dutch island of Voorne-Putten, just under the city of Rotterdam, you can find the village of Heenvliet. Heenvliet is home to roughly 2500 people.

One of the things I recommend you to do in Heenvliet is to visit the ruins of Ravesteyn castle. Here you can find beautiful sculptures during a special event that starts somewhere in May and last for a few weeks. During that time, you can visit the garden from Thursday to Sunday from 12:00- 17:00. You can also visit the castle ruins of Ravesteyn during July and August on a few Saturdays from 12:00- 17:00.

A view on a church tower from the main square in the village of Heenvliet

26. Megen

Province: Noord- Brabant

Nearest bigger town/ city: Oss

Where to stay: Bed & Breakfast Appeltern

With almost 1700 inhabitants, the village of Megen isn’t the smallest on this list, but most certainly not the biggest either. It’s located on the former shores of the Meuse river and is found in the middle of the countryside in the Noord- Brabant province. For a village as small as Megen, it is surprising that there are two monasteries found in the town. And one of them is home to the most beautiful monastery gardens I have ever seen in The Netherlands. Megen is small and one of the most beautiful villages to visit in Noord (North)- Brabant.

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

27. Oudeschans

Province: Groningen

Nearest bigger town/ city: Winschoten

Where to stay: Bed&Breakfast Oudeschans

Oudeschans is one of the star forts you can find in The Netherlands and is home to approximately 150 people. It’s an important place in the North of The Netherlands, as the 80-year-war against the Spanish started here. One of the things I recommend you to do in Oudeschans is to visit their Vestingsmuseum, which will show you the history of Oudeschans and interesting exhibitions.

Old houses in a street in Oudeschans, Holland

28. Noorbeek

Province: Limburg

Nearest bigger town/ city: Maastricht

Where to stay: Walnut Lodge Bed & Breakfast

The village of Noorbeek is one of the best destinations to visit in the Limburg province in The Netherlands. This is one of the small villages is in the middle of the hills in Zuid (South)- Limburg and is home to approximately 1125 people. Noorbeek is one of the most southern located places in The Netherlands and one of the best places to start exploring the hills of Limburg. One of the things you need to do in Noorbeek is following the Mergelland route, which runs through the village. It’s roughly 110 kilometres by car, making it a perfect Limburg road trip, or 127 kilometres by bike from and to Maastricht. Near Noorbeek, you can also find the Noordal nature reserve, which is beautiful to visit. The Netherlands is filled with beauty, and this village is not different.

A panorama view on the village of Noordbeek and its hills
Photo by Frans Berkelaar / Flickr

29. Ootmarsum

Province: Overijssel

Nearest bigger town/ city: Tubbergen

Where to stay: Twents Gastenhoes

If you’re looking for things to do in Overijssel, then visiting Ootmarsum is an absolute must. The village, with city rights, is home to approximately 4400 people and is filled with galleries, art and stunning buildings. One of the things you need to do in Ootmarsum is to visit their open-air museum, which showcases the way nobility and farmers used to live in this area of the Twente region. Besides that, Ootmarsum is filled with many more things to do and see. Plus, the surroundings of Ootmarsum are also beautiful, with the Springendal nature reserve just North of Ootmarsum. Ootmarsum is hands down one of the Dutch villages to visit in The Netherlands.

A view on the former town hall of the village of Ootmarsum from a cobblestoned street

30. Monnickendam

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Purmerend

Where to stay: Suitehotel Posthoorn

Monnickendam, together with Broek in Waterland, are the most popular villages in The Netherlands on this list. But that doesn’t mean Monnickendam isn’t worth visiting because it most certainly is. The village of Monnickendam is home to roughly 9500 people and is filled with monumental building an idyllic Dutch cobblestoned streets. One of the things you need to do in Monnickendam is to visit Waterlandsmuseum De Speeltoren. This museum in Monnickendam is housed in a building that is home to the oldest carillon in the world, with an age of roughly 500 years. And, if you want to go on a walking tour through Monnickendam, then Stadsgidsen Monnickendam can help you with that.

A view on an old bridge leading into the Dutch village of Monnickendam with traditional Dutch wooden and brick houses

31. Blokzijl

Province: Overijssel

Nearest bigger town/ city: Vollenhove

Where to stay: Auberge aan het Hof

One of the best places to visit in the Overijssel province has to be Blokzijl. This village-sized Dutch city is home to around 1390 inhabitants and is a true hidden gem in the East of The Netherlands. There are plenty of things to do in Blokzijl, but I would certainly recommend you to visit one of the local shops in the town to bring home some nice souvenirs.

Besides that, I think you should definitely head to Museum Het Gildenhuys in Blokzijl. Here you will learn everything you need to know about Blokzijl and its history. They are generally closed on Sunday and Monday and are open from May until October from 13:30- 17:00. That’s not the only activity I recommend you to do, because Blokzijl is home to one of the Michelin star restaurants in The Netherlands: Kaatje bij de Sluis.

A view on the old harbour and old Dutch houses in the village of Blokzijl

32. Linschoten

Province: Utrecht

Nearest bigger town/ city: Woerden

Where to stay: B&B Louisehoeve

The village of Linschoten, and its surroundings, is a great day trip from the city of Utrecht. It’s found in the middle of the Green Heart region and is one of the best destinations to visit here. Around Linschoten you can find small, meandering rivers, long meadows, old estates and local farms to buy fresh products: it’s a perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful calm day in the countryside in The Netherlands. Currently, around 4000 people live in Linschoten, and I find it to be one of the hidden villages in The Netherlands that you need to visit.

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

33. Niehove

Province: Groningen

Nearest bigger town/ city: Zuidhorn

Where to stay: Groningen Buiten B&B

Niehove has to be one of the most beautiful villages in the Groningen province and one of the best day trips from the city of Groningen. It’s charming, old and simply everything you could wish for in villages in The Netherlands. Approximately 130 people live in Niehove, and it’s not hard to wonder why they like living here. One of the things I recommend you to do in Niehove is to walk. It sounds simple, but Niehove is located in the area where you can find the authentic Groningen countryside.

Walk along the street called Tilstok between meadows and endless views. Besides that, I would also highly recommend you to visit the church in Niehove. Here you will find Bezoekerscentrum Wierdendorp Niehove, or visitor’s centre of mound village Niehove. It is opened during summer and can be visited for free, but a voluntary contribution is more than appreciated. At this visitor’s centre in Niehove, you will learn more about this authentic village near Groningen and discover why it’s one of the villages you’re glad you visited in The Netherlands.

Path leading to the historic village of Niehove, Netherlands

34. Batenburg

Province: Gelderland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Wijchen

Where to stay: De Terp

RELATED ARTICLE  The ultimate Valentine's day travel gifts guide for him and her

With just around 655 inhabitants, Batenburg is a small village in the Gelderland province. People aren’t exactly sure how old the village actually is, but they think it is possibly the same age as the city of Nijmegen: which is one of the oldest cities in the country. One of the absolute highlights of visiting Batenburg is exploring the ruins of former Castle Batenburg, which the French destroyed in 1794. Castle Batenburg is one of the oldest and most important castles in Gelderland.

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

35. Ransdorp

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Amsterdam

Where to stay: Amsterdam Farmland

Ransdorp is one of the Dutch villages near Amsterdam you must visit. Together with the village of Durgerdam and the hamlet of Holysloot, Ransdorp is part of a zone of silence in this part of Noord- Holland. This is an area specially created for cyclists and walkers to enjoy the beautiful rural parts of The Netherlands. Approximately 310 people call Ransdorp home.

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

36. Durgerdam

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Amsterdam

Where to stay: Het Witte Huis

Durgerdam is one of the villages that is actually part of the municipality of Amsterdam, as it was annexed. Durgerdam cannot get any more typically Dutch than it is: located next to a dyke, adorable dyke houses and in the shape of a linear settlement. Currently, Durgerdam is home to roughly 300 people, and it is the ideal place to enjoy a bit of the Dutch countryside near Amsterdam. In my – oh so humble- opinion, Durgerdam is definitely one of the destinations in the Noord (North)- Holland province to visit.

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

37. Gramsbergen

Province: Overijssel

Nearest bigger town/ city: Coevorden

Where to stay: B&B Stadslodge De Meiboom

The region of Gramsbergen is one of the areas in The Netherlands where people have been living since Prehistoric times. Honestly, I can’t blame them as the region is beautiful (although quite a tad different from the Prehistory). Gramsbergen, like every other village in this post, has a protected village scape. Around 3100 people live in Gramsbergen, and the village is home to the longest street name in The Netherlands: Burgemeester Baron van Voerst van Lyndenstraat.

One of the things you need to do in Gramsbergen is to visit their yearly event, called Gramsbergen Lichtstad (or Light city). This is a week-long festival that takes place at the end of August and is held since 1927. The whole village is filled with tens of thousands of lights, and it’s a magical sight to see. Besides that, I can also highly recommend you to visit Historisch Cultureel Info Centrum Vechtdal. Here, you can find tips to explore Gramsbergen and its beautiful surroundings and visit a museum about Gramsbergen and the Vechtdal area. It’s generally opened from Tuesday until Friday from 10:00- 17:00 and Saturday from 10:00- 16:00. And last but certainly not least, you must absolutely go on a boat tour from Gramsbergen along the Vechtriver; it’s a highlight of your vacation in Overijssel.

Old Dutch brick houses on a square in Gramsbergen Overijssel The Netherlands

38. Twisk

Province: Noord- Holland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Medemblik

Where to stay: Bed & Breakfast Hemels Twisk

The Dutch village of Twisk is home to approximately 1100 people and is, what we call in Dutch, a ‘lintdorp’. This means that the village was built along a river, dyke and that there are rarely any other streets that will lead you in another direction. This is one of those picturesque villages in The Netherlands and is filled with traditional Dutch West Frisian farmhouses that date back to the 18th or 19th century. Dutch West Frisian and West Frisian are not the same: Dutch West Frisian is the region of West-Friesland, in the Noord- Holland province, and West Frisian is the Friesland province.

One of the things you have to do in Twisk is to ride on an old Dutch steam tram. There is a steamtram that runs from Hoorn to Medemblik and halts at the heritage stations of Wognum, Twisk and Opperdoes. And, Twisk is also home to a small, local museum called Twiscamuseum. In this museum, you can find all sorts of used items, such as an old cheese press and learn more about the village of Twisk. It is generally opened every Sunday from June until September, and then every first Sunday of the other months from 13:30- 17:00.

A view on old Dutch farms on a cobblestoned street in the village of Twisk
Photo by Jac Janssen / Flickr

39. Orvelte

Province: Drenthe

Nearest bigger town/ city: Westerbork

Where to stay: B&B Slaoperij

Orvelte is one of the most beautiful villages you can visit in Drenthe and has roughly a population of 230 people. It’s home to countless traditional farms from the region and tons of activities. Some of the best things you have to do in Orvelte are visiting the local shops, such as Flintenhof, Freule, Groetjes uit Orvelte and Professor Pannekoek. But it gets better, as Orvelte is also filled with small museums. Think of visiting the Jan Kruismuseum, which is about comic artist Jan Kruis, or the open-air museum of Orvelte.

You can also visit Museum Brasserie Voor Bier en Boek, which houses a permanent exhibition about beer commercials from Belgium and The Netherlands, home to a little cafe (it’s mainly opened during high season and events in Orvelte). And, the Westerbork museum is located nearby too, a museum about former German camp Westerbork that will leave you with chills.

One of the best long-distance hiking trails in The Netherlands, the Pieterpad, almost passes Orvelte, and the Drenthe Pad runs through the village of Orvelte. So, there’s enough to do in Orvelte, making this town one of the best places to visit in Drenthe.

A view on a pub in a farm in the village of Orvelte
Photo by Jayjay / Flickr

40. Dwarsgracht

Province: Overijssel

Nearest bigger town/ city: Steenwijk

Where to stay: Wonderful Holiday Home in Giethoorn with Terrace

If you’re looking to visit a village in The Netherlands without roads, then I’d have to disappoint you. Because I know which village you mean, and they do have roads and get an insane amount of visitors. That’s why I recommend you to visit Dwarsgracht, which is essentially the same village as Giethoorn, but without the overwhelming crowds. Dwarsgracht is home to roughly 150 people and is located a few kilometres away from the famous Giethoorn village: one of the most popular villages in The Netherlands.

One of the things I recommend you to do in Dwarsgracht is to rent a boat or a canoe. The best way to enjoy Dwarsgracht, its surroundings and National Park De Weerribben- Wieden is from the water. At restaurant De Otterskooi you can rent canoes, and they recommend you to reserve them in advance. You can rent a boat in Dwarsgracht at Pettersloepverhuur.

View of houses and canals in the village Dwarsgracht near Giethoorn, The Netherlands

41. Schokland

Province: Flevoland

Nearest bigger town/ city: Emmeloord

Where to stay: B&B Nagele

One of The Netherlands Unesco World Heritage Sites in Schokland, which is currently home to five people. This former Dutch village has been part of the mainland since 1942. Because the area’s history is so rich, it has been a Unesco heritage site in Flevoland ever since 1995. One of the things you need to do in Schokland is visit Museum Schokland, which tells you everything you need to know about this village in Flevoland. You won’t regret exploring one of the best villages in The Netherlands, as the history is incredible and the village is beautiful.

A view on the former island of Schokland was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Netherlands

HELP OTHERS DISCOVER THESE BEAUTIFUL PLACES! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS!

Other The Netherlands travel blogs that you’ll love

Most beautiful places to visit in The Netherlands

Places to visit in Friesland

I hope you enjoyed this blog about the villages you must visit in The Netherlands and that you’ve found one of the best villages to visit in Europe. People often do not realise that hidden places are everywhere to be found in The Netherlands; you just need to observe and follow my great tips, of course. I hope you will visit a beautiful old Dutch village as I can guarantee you that visiting one in The Netherlands will be one of the highlights of your trip to The Netherlands.

I have never met anyone who doesn’t like to visit a fairy tale village in The Netherlands, and as you’re still reading, I am sure that you will love them. Share this post about villages to visit in The Netherlands with your friends and family!

Follow me!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.