Top 10 Attractions in Holland

What's famous in Holland? Of course windmills and tulips, but read our Top 10 guide for more attractions and some not so well known tips.

Hoge Veluwe National Park

This is the largest park in the Netherlands located in Veluwe in the province of Gelderland.  Covering over 5,500 hectares, the park is a conservation area which features a wide variety of flora and fauna. The park also boasts of three museums: the Kroller-Muller Museum, the Museonder and the St/ Hubertus Hunting Lodge. Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities such as biking, hiking, horse-back riding and even camping on the grounds. 

The Windmills of Kinderdijk

A visit to Holland will not be complete without seeing the iconic Dutch windmills, and in the village of Kinderdijk in the province of South Holland, these historical structures stand tall and proud. The windmills of Kinderdijk  is the largest concentration of old windmills still surviving in the Netherlands. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Kasteel de Haar

Located in the province of Utrecht is a well-preserved castle that appears to have come straight out of a fairytale book. Built by Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers from 1892-1907, the intricately-detailed castle takes visitors back to medieval times when castles were symbols of a family’s wealth and power. It has towers, turrets, moats, gates, suspension bridges and a vast walking garden.

St. Martin’s Cathedral (Domkerk)

The Dom Tower is one of the city of Utrecht’s most important hallmark and is part of the magnificent cathedral dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. The gothic-style chuch took almost three centuries to build (from 1217 to 1517) and has already undergone two restorations. Nearby attractions include the picturesque cloister which links the cathedral with the university, the Domplein where the outlines of the nave can still be seen as they are marked by black stones and the garden of the old Bishop’s palace. 

The Museums of Amsterdam

The capital city of the Netherlands has some of the finest museums in the country where visitors can go and relive the Dutch Golden Age through the works of some of the greatest artists produced by the country. The neo-Gothic Rijksmuseum houses the largest collection of the Dutch masters (Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen).  Not to mention an extensive art library, a print room, and a vast collection of Oriental art. There is also the Rembrandthuis and the Van Gogh Museum for an extensive display of the two Dutch icons in art. 

The Canal Rings of Amsterdam

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the canal rings have consistently drawn tourist crowds through the years. An average of 3 million people take the Amsterdam Canal Cruise yearly which sails through the 17th century concentric canals of Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan. Other notable canals in the city include Zwanenburgwal, Brouwersgracht, Kloveniersburgwal and the relatively new canals of Brantasgracht, Lamonggracht, Majanggracht and Seranggracht.

St. Servaaskerk

Maastricht is home to the oldest church in the country and this is the St. Servaaskerk. It was built in the sixth century in honor of St. Servatius who was the first bishop of Maastricht. It is said that the oldest part of the Romanesque cruciform church dates back from the year 1000. Nearby are other points of interest such as the crypts where the tomb of Charles of Lorraine can be found, the famous Imperial Hall and Imperial Gallery and an exhibit of the treasures of St. Servaaskerk which include  variety of religious artifacts and reliquaries that belong to the collection of St. Servatius.

The Heineken Experience

The website claims that the site is “not a museum, but an experience” – for indeed this is what visitors to the Amsterdam brewery of one of the world’s most recognized beers deliver. The self-guided educational tour into the beer-brewing process is another crowd-drawer. At the end of the tour, visitors are given a sampling of the Heineken beer and a keepsake.

The Tulips in Keukenhof

The Keukenhof Gardens (which literally means “The Kitchen Gardens”) is the largest flower attraction in the country, and the world’s largest flower garden. Located in the town of Lisse, the sprawling 32-hectare natural attraction is only open from the last week in March to May. Spring is the best time to come and visit as the most than 8 million flower bulbs of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells and other flowering plants explode in a kaleidoscope of colours.

The Red Light District of De Wallen

Amsterdam is known for being a liberal and tolerant society, and this is nowhere more evident than with the legalized prostitution trade and the use of cannabis. Curious visitors come to the Red Light District to see for themselves what nightlife in the city brings. More than the windows displaying women however, there are also bars, coffee shops and theaters that makes the area more lively and interesting.