Top 5 Things to Do in Netherlands (Holland)

The Netherlands, a.k.a. Holland, gets a bad wrap for legal pot and legal prostitution. But the fact is that a trip to the Netherlands offers so much more.

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists of all time. Van Gogh suffered from mental illness and his most well known work, Starry Night, is believed to be his view from the window of his room in the sanitarium. He may be best remembered for cutting off his ear and sending it to his lover.

The Museum, located in Amsterdam, was built to honor this Dutch painter contains the largest collection of paintings and drawings by Van Gogh. It is the most visited museum in the Netherlands with an average of around 1.5 million visitors over the past couple years.

The Anne Frank House is a museum that is dedicated to Anne Frank and the Jewish persecution under Nazi Germany. The Museum preserves the location where Anne Frank wrote her diary while her and her family hid from persecution. The museum receives over 1 million visitors a year.

The Resistance Museum, also located in Amsterdam, has been voted the best historic museum in Holland. While much less visited than the Anne Frank Museum, the Resistance Museum is held by most as an extremely moving museum. It chronicles the Dutch in their resistance to the occupation of Nazi Germany.

You can learn more here:

3. Canals and the Magere Bridge
Amsterdam, much like Bruges in Belgium, is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North because of its Canal based city layout. The most notable canal is the Singel canal. The Singel encircled medieval Amsterdam and is now the inner-most canal in Amsterdam. Among the attractions along the Singel, is Amsterdam’s famous flower market, the library of the University of Amsterdam, and the Munttoren tower, which is part of the original city wall of Amsterdam.

The Magere Bridge is the most famous and iconic bridge in the Netherlands.

4. Keukenhof

Keukenhof is known as the Garden of Europe and is the world’s largest flower garden. Around 7 million flowers are planted and bloom annually in the garden near Lisse, Netherlands. However, you will want to plan carefully, to make sure you are there for the flowers being in bloom from March to Mid-May are the peak times to experience the Garden.Flowers not really your thing? Well have no fear, manly man, for situated right in the middle of the Garden is the Castle Keukenhof. This Castle plays host to Castlefest, a medieval festival featuring local folk music during the month of August.

5. North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam
This Jazz Festival is held annually during the second week of July. The Bird Awards for jazz music have been handed out at the North Sea Jazz Festival since 1985. The festival includes 15 stages, 1200 artists, and sees over 25,000 visitors a day. This a dream stop for any jazz enthusiast.
BONUS:Go off the beaten path and take a day trip or two to the cheese market cities
Gouda – Province: South Holland
Alkmaar – Province: North Holland
Edam – Province: North Holland
Hoorn – Province: North HollandThese cities have some of the oldest and most famous cheese markets in all of Europe.Image from:
6 Responses to “Top 5 Things to Do in Netherlands (Holland)”
  1. Good luck with your journey! I’ve lived in Europe twice and it is great! Van Gogh Museum is wonderful. Thanks for checking out my visual musings.

  2. Thanks! i’ll be sure to continue dropping in and checking out your blog often!

  3. ChrissyD says:

    I’m sure the Van Gogh Museum is definitely one worth visiting. Although, I must say…Starry Night was actually painted in Arles, France, overlooking the Rhone River! The city has an entire art walk dedicated to the spots where Van Gogh created some of his more famous paintings, including his painting of the courtyard at the hospital where he was treated for blood loss after famously cutting off his ear. Definitely a walk worth taking if you are in France…I just went on it!

  4. We spent five days in the Netherlands during our May 2012 European vacation. We visited both the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank house and found both of them to be worthwhile. We also spent the better part of a day enjoying the cruise down Amsterdam’s three major canals. We took a short train trip to Leiden one day and toured the de Valk Windmill there. We walked all over Amsterdam’s central and Jordaan districts and were in constant fear of our lives because of all the bicycles all over. If you need to cross a street in Amsterdam you most likely will have to step onto a bicycle path in order to get on or off the street. Be careful! You can hear a motor bike bearing down on you from behind but not a bicycle.

    • Haha I’ll keep that in mind! I guess I didn’t realize how much bicycles are a part of the dutch’s everyday travel… did you guys rent a bike at all while you were there? Were there even places that you could rent from?

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