You want to plan a trip to The Netherlands and wonder if it is worth visiting?
The Netherlands is worth a visit. You can explore cosmopolitan cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht. Visit renowned museums like Van Gogh and Anne Frank’s House. Enjoy unique landmarks like; historic windmills, canal belts, and the world’s largest flower garden, Keukenhof. Traveling around the country is easy, and 90% of the population speaks English.
The Netherlands is highly worth a visit, and can also be a great starting point for your European trip, with all the connecting flights at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. We love to tell you all the highlights of our home country! Let’s find out more, so you’ll get convinced to book your next trip to The Netherlands!
Best Reasons Why The Netherlands Is Worth Visiting
The Netherlands is a small country when you look at the surface. However, the country is known worldwide for many different things. We recommend reading our article ‘What is The Netherlands Famous For?‘, where we explain the most important historical facts of the country.
Since the 17th century, The Netherlands became one of the most important international trade partners in the world. The 17th century is known as the Dutch Golden Age. A period that is known for its wealth and prosperity, achieved by the Dutch Eastern Trade Company who became the most significant international trade company in the world at that time.
Today the remains of that time are still alive in The Netherlands; it creates the basis of the reasons why The Netherlands is worth a visit. Many historic city centers like Amsterdam and The Hague date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Also, some unique cultural sites like Zaanse Schans, an area that is known for its many historic windmills, and was the first large industrial area in Western Europe, were established in that period.
Almost 26% of The Netherlands is below sea level, which means that roughly 55% of the country is at the risk of flooding by the continually changing sea levels.
The first large water management systems were built during the 17th century to protect the country from flooding, one of the best examples of such water management system is the Unesco World Heritage site Kinderdijk. We tell you later more about Kinderdijk and other unique cultural sites.
The unique history of The Netherlands dates back for much longer. Medieval cities like Utrecht, where you can find the highest bell tower in the country that dates back to the late 14th century, are a great example of that.
Let’s dive in a bit more, and find out which cities, musea, cultural sites are worth visiting while in The Netherlands!
Cities Worth Visiting in The Netherlands
There are more than 70 cities in The Netherlands and even more villages. All these cities and villages are part of different townships or municipalities. In the next part, we describe cities that are worth visiting because of the interesting (historical) stories, cultural sites, and things to do.
Let’s start with our capital, Amsterdam. It is the biggest city of The Netherlands, and in many parts of the world, Amsterdam is better known than the country.
The city quickly developed during the 17th century, when The Dutch Eastern Company opened its main office in the city. This resulted in a lot of available jobs in Amsterdam. People from all over the country and other parts of Europe were drawn to Amsterdam, not only because of the job opportunities. Amsterdam and The Netherlands were known for its liberal and progressive culture, accepting people from all over the world, with different backgrounds and beliefs.
Amsterdam is still known as a liberal city. The city has a thriving scene for the LGBTQI community, with the annual Amsterdam Pride Festival as its highlight. Most national events are taking place in and around Amsterdam, and you’ll find some of the best Dutch museums in the city.
Some highlights of the city are the Amsterdam Canal Belt, Museums like van Gogh, Anne Frank’s House, and Rembrandt. We tell you more about those highlights later in this article.
The best city to visit in The Netherlands! Okay, my opinion is probably not that objective, we’re from The Hague 😉
Anyway, this relatively small city is absolutely worth a visit while in The Netherlands. The vibe in The Hague is more laidback, probably because the city is close to the beach, and that it is not so big as Amsterdam. The Hague is the third-largest city of The Netherlands. However, the historic center is small, and walking around it feels more like you walking around a village town than a city.
The Hague is the city where the Dutch Royal Family lives, and where the Dutch parliament resides.
It is the second-largest city of The Netherlands and known for the largest container port in Europe. For a long time, the Port of Rotterdam was the largest in the world!
Rotterdam is also known as the Dutch city that was heavily bombed during the Second World War. The historical city center was almost completely destroyed. Luckily many people escaped the city before the bombings, so not many people got hurt. The war ended on the 5th of May 1945, annually we celebrate Liberation Day on this day. It is one of the unique events that are worth visiting.
A few years after the war rebuilding of the city started, which resulted in the modern city Rotterdam is today. Many people feel that Rotterdam is not as unique as other historic cities in The Netherlands, but I disagree.
Sure, you can’t find a lot of historical buildings that are centuries old. However, there’s much unique modern architecture to see, which makes the city definitely worth visiting while in The Netherlands. The Erasmus bridge is a great example, it is the second-largest bridge of The Netherlands and connects the two parts of the city that are divided by the Maas river.
The Netherlands is known as a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, and Rotterdam is probably the best example of that today. The most multi-cultural city of the country has a population from which around 60% of the people have an immigrant background. It what makes Rotterdam unique!
Did you know that Utrecht was, for a long time, the most important city of The Netherlands? History of the city dates even back to Roman times! In that period, Utrecht was an important settlement for the Romans to be able to cross the rhine river.
Centuries later, probably around the 7th century, the city became a religious center for Christianity. Many bishops settled in the city, and they built many churches. It resulted in the development of Utrecht as a famous trade city. The famous dom tower, the largest church tower of The Netherlands, is still reminding of that period.
Fast forward a few centuries, halfway the 16th century, when The Netherlands revolt against Spanish suppression. Under the leadership of Willem of Orange, 7 provinces of The Netherlands joined forces in the Union of Utrecht, so they could stand up against the Spanish. It is seen as the beginning of the Dutch republic.
The city is unknown by many, located between The Hague and Rotterdam and probably more important for Dutch history then Utrecht and Amsterdam. After his successful revolt against the Spanish, William of Orange chose Delft in 1572 as the seat of his government.
Prince Philip of Spain put a reward at the assassination of William of Orange, declaring him an outlaw. Prince William felt that Delft was the city that was the safest to defense. And after he survived several attacks, he was assassinated in his own home on July 10th, 1584. The murderer was captured before he could escape the city of Delft.
Delft is known for many other things, and the most famous is the unique pottery artworks Delft Blue. Inspired at Japanese artworks and brought back to The Netherlands by importers of the Dutch Eastern Company.