11 must-visit cities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a unique country in many respects. For example, it is the only country in the world most of whose territory lies below sea level. Another interesting fact is that despite of its small territory of only 41,543 sq.km. and population of only 17,100,475 people, the Netherlands is the 18 largest economy in the world and is equal to approximately ½ the size of the economies of Canada or Russia! Except for being one of the world’s richest nations, the Netherlands is famous also for its wonderful cities and this is what we are going to talk about here. In our list you will see 11 of the country’s must visit towns and cities.

1. Giethoorn

Giethoorn is a small town, which is located in the interior of the central-eastern part of the Netherlands. It is situated at an altitude of between 0 and -3 meters, which means that the town lies below sea level.

Giethoorn is famous for its fabulous atmosphere, charming little houses, canals and extraordinary lush vegetation.

It is considered the most beautiful small town in the world. A walk around the city, whether on foot or by boat, is a unique experience.

Sunset in Amsterdam

Sunset in Amsterdam by juergen_skaa/Flickr

2. Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city of contrast. It combines architecture from the 17th century with the most modern trends in the contemporary construction.

Both historic buildings and cutting-edge skyscrapers have their own place in the different parts of the city. With its numerous canals, it is often compared to Venice. But what makes Amsterdam unique is not only the way it looks like but also its cultural identity.

This is the most open-minded and liberal city in the world. It successfully combines its 21st century spirit with hundreds of years old traditions, making it one of the most attractive places to visit in Europe.

Port of Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam by Frans Berkelaar/Flickr

3. Rotterdam

Rotterdam is one of the most contemporary-looking cities in Europe and this is not surprising given the fact that the city hosts one of the most important and busiest harbors in Europe and in the world as a whole.

The modern skyscrapers of Rotterdam contrast against the backdrop of centuries-old windmills. The harmonic old architecture of the city makes it look somehow calm, quiet and safe, and creates some hard to explain intellectual feeling.

Veere, Zeeland

Veere, Zeeland by bertknot/Flickr

4. Veere, Zeeland

Veere is one of the must-visit small towns in the Netherlands. It is located about five kilometers from a huge beach on the North Sea. Like many other Dutch cities, this one bears the traces of the Golden Ages.

On the background of the picturesque countryside, it offers an exceptional charm and old architecture. Once it was an important port from which the Dutch tread vessel used to hit the road to Scotland.

Today it is much smaller settlement than it was in those times. Today Veere looks like time has stopped here. Only a small marina reminds that we are still in the 21st century.

5. Maastricht

The history of the beautiful Dutch city of Maastricht begins around the year of 333, when at this place was built the first castle. After this period, the area has always been steadily inhabited.

Nowadays, it is one of the leading urban centers in the Netherlands. Today Maastricht is a romantic city that somehow reminds of the past centuries and yet brings the whole color and feeling of freedom of the 21st century.

Home to people from all over the world, from different races and religions, Maastricht is one of the symbols of modern Europe.

6. Hague

The Hague is another one of the must-visit cities in the Netherlands. Like some of the other cities in this list, it also combines contemporary architecture with old historic buildings from past centuries.

Here is located the International Court of Justice, which is based in a very beautiful building from 1913, known as the “Peace Palace”.

The city offers really numerous opportunities for entertainment available for tourists and locals, including numerous restaurants, bars, boutiques and many others. For the period 2013 – 2015 the Hague was named the best city in the Netherlands.

Sunset in Utrecht

Sunset in Utrecht by Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr

7. Utrecht

For many people it might sounds surprising today, but for a long period of time in the past, Utrecht was the most important city of the Netherlands. Its golden era actually lasted for a few centuries.

After a long period of leadership, however, the city was replaced by a growing new star – the city of Amsterdam. Nowadays, there are very few places in the world which could boast so many historical buildings such as Utecht. This is the reason why many people call it “Florence of the North”.

GLOW Festival Eindhoven

GLOW Festival Eindhoven by edwin hoek/Flickr

8. Eindhoven

Eindhoven is known for its numerous innovations in construction and architecture. Here, behind every turn, you see something original and unexpected, no matter if buildings, monuments or other structures.

The new projects are following one after another, and the result is a city that will always challenge you and your imagination.

The eccentric appearance of Eindhoven is what makes the city so bright and unusual. At the same time, this is what makes the contrast between old and new even more amazing.

Villa Beek en Bosch, Park Meerwijk, Bergen

Villa Beek en Bosch, Park Meerwijk, Bergen by David van der Mark/Flickr

9. Bergen

Bergen is a very popular tourist town located in the northern part of the Netherlands, on the coast of the North Sea. It has a great beach and is a popular vacation spot for wealthy tourists from all over the region.

The town is really charming and although quite small, it is a very beautiful and pleasant place to spend your summer holiday. It offers beautiful architecture, which is complemented by the natural beauty of the area and the peaceful atmosphere of the small town.

Hoorn Harbor

Hoorn Harbor by joiseyshowaa/Flickr

10. Hoorn

Horn is a fascinating place whose museums and historic buildings tell stories about the golden ages, in which the Netherlands was one of the world’s largest colonial empires.

The richly decorated architecture clearly speaks about the majestic past. Examples you could see behind every turn, because here every street has its own history. Many believe this is one of the best places in Europe to feel the spirit of imperial Europe from the past centuries.

Tres Hombres in Middelburg

Tres Hombres in Middelburg by Erik Jacobs/Flickr

11. Middelburg

Middelburg is a city in the northern parts of the Netherlands, which was established in the eighth century.

It offers a great number of really beautiful buildings but probably one of the best examples in this respect is the building of the former city hall.

It has a really rich decorated facade, which makes it favorite of the tourists. The old part of Middelburg is surrounded by canals, which reminds of the past centuries of Europe.