If you decide to travel to the Netherlands, make the most of your time here. Here are some tips and tricks not to miss. Among the gems of the Netherlands are the Grachty, the canals. Cycling is not so prevalent anywhere else and is so much fun. The Dutch matjes dissolves pleasantly in your tongue and you can feel the velvety taste of the sea. The locals are friendly, incredibly calm and open to the world.
Sights and tips for trips in the Netherlands
We will describe the most important monuments in detail below. The Netherlands is especially proud of its canals, tulips, mills, cheese and nature. Here you will find some tips for trips both to the historic center of Amsterdam and to nature unspoiled by tourism.
The Netherlands is theoretically not even suitable for human settlement, as it lies largely below sea level. Without the dam system, a third of this country and almost all of Amsterdam would lie in the North Sea. A total of 3,000 km of dikes protect the earth from flooding. Thanks to them, Lake Ijssemeer was also created.
Amsterdam is perfect when viewed from the water from the deck of a ship. During the cruise, you can admire boats, bridges and waterfront promenades.
Amsterdam’s canals are made up of more than a hundred kilometers of canals (“gracht”), about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges, which have earned the city the nickname “Venice of the North”. The Amsterdam canal junction consists of a total of 4 main horseshoe-shaped canals that encircle the center of Amsterdam.
The single surrounded the city in the Middle Ages. From 1480 to 1585 it served as a moat protecting the city. At the end of the 16th century, Amsterdam began to expand beyond Single. The canal leads from Lake IJ, near Amsterdam Central Station, to Muntplein, where it flows into the Amstel River. It is currently the first and innermost of the semicircular canals that bypass the city center.
Herengracht is the second of the main canals, its construction was completed in 1612.
Keizersgracht is the third and widest of the canals in the center of Amsterdam. It is located between Herengracht and Prinsengracht. On the bank of the Imperial Canal we find a building with the number 123, which is called the House at Six Heads, according to legend, where the maid caught six thieves at the theft and cut off their heads.
Prinsengracht is the fourth and longest of the main Amsterdam canals. Most of the houses along the canal were built during the so-called golden age of Amsterdam. Next to the Prinsengracht canal we find a few tourist places. For example, the Anne Frank House, the Noordemarkt market or the Homomonument monument.
Van Goghovo Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam. From 1880 Van Gogh began to paint, having previously worked as an English teacher or preacher in Belgium, with no success. Over the next ten years, he created 800 paintings, about a quarter of which are owned by this museum. In addition, another 500 master drawings, Japanese paintings and 700 letters that Van Gogh bought are preserved here. The museum was opened in 1973.
Van Gogh couldn’t afford to pay for models, so he often painted himself. His portrait can be found on the ground floor of the building. The only one where we see Van Gogh with an easel. According to historical sources, this is a self-portrait where Van Gogh is most similar. His first painting, which he signed, is entitled “Potato Eaters”, which can be found on the first floor of the exhibition. It is arranged chronologically.
On the second floor of the museum we look at some of his letters and the third floor contains paintings from the last months of his life. The painting “Havarani over the cornfield” was created just two weeks before his death.
During his existence, he sold only two paintings. On the contrary, today his works are very famous and they are often sold for more than £ 5 million.
The main motivation for founding the state collection was envy. The last viceroy, William V. of Orange, collected approximately 2,000 paintings and took them to London. When envoys from the Dutch government detained these works, they first transferred them to The Hague. Louis Napoleon became king of the Netherlands in 1808, and he tried his best to build an important gallery like his brother in the Louvre in Paris. Subsequently, a competition was announced for the construction of a new museum on the outskirts of the city. The Rijksmuseum was built according to the winner of the Catholic architect Cuypers, but the fact that the museum resembles a cathedral in the Protestant Netherlands caused irritation. King William III. he said, “I will never enter this museum.” The museum was opened in 1885.
The Rijksmuseum - the Imperial Museum or the National Museum - is one of the largest art temples in Europe. In 2013, after a large and expensive reconstruction, the museum was reopened to its enthusiasts and visitors. The reconstruction lasted a total of 10 years. The brick building dominates the southwestern part of Amsterdam.
The dominant feature of the museum are the works of the genius painter Rembrandt. Rembrandt mainly painted portraits commissioned to order. The icon is the most famous painting, which is called “Night Watch”. An entire separate hall was reserved for this painting.
In addition to the famous Dutch painters from the 17th century, the Rijksmuseum has been exhibiting works since 1100 to the present day in a total of eighty halls.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and is becoming more and more popular with tourists. Rotterdam is essentially a modern city, when after World War II it was literally reduced to ashes and the locals began to build new buildings. At the head of Rotterdam we find a few skyscrapers and many new and beautiful buildings. From ancient times the port of Rotterdam was the main center of the Dutch shipping industry. Today, the port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and the second busiest port in the world after Shanghai.
Rotterdam has a population of just over 630,000 and about 300,000 of them work in the port.
The port of Rotterdam stretches from the North Sea coast to the center. In total, its length is an incredible 42 km. There are cycle paths along some parts of the port, also suitable for pedestrians.
We will not find historic buildings here. If we are lovers of history, then the oldest houses and harbor and beautiful sailboats offer Delfshaven.
If we decide to visit Rotterdam, we will land at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Rotterdam has a common airport with The Hague. Or we can land at Shiphol in Amsterdam and get to Rotterdam by train. We will walk through the city in a few days, so we can use a visit to the nearby city of The Hague or Delft.
One of the main symbols of Rotterdam is the bridge over the river Máz Erasmusbrug, which is called “Swan” due to its design. The bridge connects the southern and northern parts of the city, which were built in 1994-1996. On the south side we find skyscrapers, among which we find three skyscrapers named De Rotterdam and the other side belongs mainly to the Navy. In the northern part of the city we find the Maritime Museum, which is located on the promenade of the river Máza. The ship De Buffel is moored in the port itself, which offers a really interesting exhibition dedicated to the Dutch shipping industry.
The dominant feature of Rotterdam is the Euromast tower. It is the tallest building in this city whose height is up to 185m. The tower is open to the public and offers a magnificent view of Rotterdam and its surroundings. There is also a restaurant, hotel rooms and for adrenaline enthusiasts it offers rappelling from a height to the ground. At the tower is a beautiful nature park, which is also worth a visit or a moment of relaxation.
And what would be without visit the Dutch Market? Here, too, we must not forget to visit the Markthal horseshoe-shaped indoor market. In the vicinity of the market you will find many other shops with souvenirs, cheeses, cut flowers and traditional fish delicacies.
Opposite the Markhal market there is another interesting tourist attraction and that is the houses in the shape of cubes. As already mentioned, this is a modern city where we will definitely not be bored. These houses are supposed to resemble trees (trunk and cube like the crown of a tree). In total, the houses are supposed to form a forest. These living periods were designed by the architect Piet Blom, who is called Kijk-Kubus.
In Rotterdam we can also visit the ZOO (which is rated as one of the best in Europe). Part of the ZOO is also a giant aquarium Oceania or we can visit the Botanical Garden.
Among the interesting buildings in Rotterdam we can mention the Church of St. Lawrence, Witte Huis (White House)
The last type around Rotterdam is the small town of Shiedam, where we can find Dutch windmills, the height of which can reach up to 30m. Around the city we find a total of 6.
The city by the water is cosmopolitan, modern and at the same time adheres to its traditions. It attracts us with art, culture, architecture and its atmosphere. Amsterdam is divided into 5 parts.
- Medieval city
- Museum Quarter
- Canal Belt East
- Shores of Lake Ij
A medieval city in which we find the oldest buildings of royal Amsterdam, shop windows full of prostitutes, Chinatown and stylish cafes.
DAM Square with the Royal Castle is a good base for exploring the surrounding area. Near Dam is all the sights of the medieval city, including the great shopping streets and the Amsterdam Museum. Almost next door we do not go to a complex of buildings called Begijnhof. De Wallen is Amsterdam’s red light district. This is a completely unique district, where we find scantily clad prostitutes sitting in a bright pink light in shop windows and in the windows of coffee shops there is an inscription: “Dear customers, please pack your joints in the store. Thank you ”For a moment of relaxation, we recommend visiting the Bakkerswinkel bakery.
Cobblestones, crooked houses, pointed gables - this is the Gravenstraat a short walk from Dam Square. Central Station is also a place which is worth the attention. This is a station, thanks to which we will get from Amsterdam where we need and especially to Shiphol Airport. It is really a large building of the Central Station, which is 400 meters long.
Another type where we can go in the Medieval City is the NEMO science museum suitable for all ages. We can also indulge in delicious traditional Flemish fries with several different sauces and toppings. Perhaps the best in the world. Definitely worth a visit. We can’t miss the store. You can recognize it by the queue from a distance. The store can be found at Damrak 41,1012LK Amsterdam with the name Manneken Pis Amsterdam.
Grachtengordel-West is located in the western part of the canal ring, where we get to know the “soul of the city”. A surprise awaits us in almost every corner. In this part we find Westerpark, Greachten, Jordaan, Amsterdam Tulip Museum, Anne Frank House and others. All the time we will be attracted by the windows of bakeries, confectioneries and cafes with their delicious delicacies. The café that claims to be the oldest in all of Amsterdam is called Café Chris. It was founded in 1624 and you will definitely choose the right one if you decide to visit this café.
The center of Amsterdam culture is located on the edge of the city center. In addition to several museums, there is also the Vondelpark, which is like the green lungs of Amsterdam. In the museum district you will find the following important museums: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum.
The people of Amsterdam consider the Vondelpark to be the most valuable and most popular green area. The area of the park is 48 hectares. The park includes several ponds of various shapes, a rose garden and an abundance of trees.
Grachtengordel-Oost - The main attractions of this part of the city include the Amsterdam Hermitage and Maritime Museum, the Botanical Garden and the large market.
When visiting the Museum of Seafaring or Scheepvaartmuseum, we can look into the beauty of the sea and the risks.Lie in the hammock and imagine what life might have been like on a ship!
For some men, a visit to the Heineken Experience can be diversified, where you will also learn the history of brewing Heineken. Also, don’t forget the night tour of the Greens, where bridges and street lanterns are reflected on the water in the evening twilight.
There are also several places to see on the shores of Lake Ij (we read “aj”). We can get to the other side by ferry for free and if we ride a bike, it is also free. It runs at regular intervals of 10-15 minutes. One goes to the site of EYE Filmmuseum and A´DAM Toren high-rise building with a view, another ferry sails to the shipyard NDSM-Werf, which is today a hatchery of Amsterdam creatives.
Delft is a Dutch city located in the province of South Holland between The Hague and Rotterdam, one of the oldest historical settlements in the Netherlands, famous for its architecture, blue decorated Faience ceramics and the university. It has over 100,000 inhabitants.
Not only lovers of history and King William of Orange can visit the Stedelijk Museum Prinsenhof, the museum also offers an exhibition of Delft painters and blue and white ceramics.
When visiting this city, we should not forget its square. On the east side of the square we find the New Church and on the other the Town Hall. However, the most beautiful view can be found from the tower of the New Church. In the New Church we can also find the graves of the royal family and among them the tomb of William of Orange.
Hoge Veluwe National Park
Hoge De Veluwe National Park is proud of its beauty and originality. The national park has a total area of 5,500 hectares and there are routes with a total length of 42 km. Upon entering the park, we have the opportunity to rent bicycles, which this park offers to its visitors free of charge. There are also children’s bikes and we can choose one of three interesting routes, either 10, 14 or 18 km long route. We hand over the bikes when leaving the parks in one of the three places. Once we put the bike away, someone else can rent it.
Visitors to the park will have the opportunity to see local weasels, wild boars, deer and foxes.
In the park we can visit a collection of art mainly from Van Gogh, Picasso or Mondrian in the Kröller-Müller Museum. The world’s first underground museum is located below the visitor center. We can look into life underground, where we will see the roots of a 140-year-old beech, the skeletal remains of animals that have already become extinct on the ground, or taste the Veluw groundwater. Furthermore, visitors will experience an earthquake simulation.
We can also visit the hunting lodge St.Hubertus in the park.
Attractions of the Netherlands
The Netherlands has the highest population density in Europe. There are 487 inhabitants per square meter. The Dutch are considered the highest nation. The average height for men here is 184 cm and for women 170 cm. All buildings are built on columns up to a depth of 11m. The Royal Palace stands on less than 14,000 columns.
The Dutch are coffee lovers.
The country is very flat, the highest point of the Netherlands Vaalserberg is only 322.5 m.n.m.
At birthday parties, congratulations to everyone who attends the celebration.
Tulips and tulip fields are one of the typical features of Holland. The truth is that the first tulips were imported from Turkey and then planted on Dutch soil, where they began to thrive.
The Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe”, is the largest flower park in the Netherlands and in Europe. It was founded in 1949 near the town of Lisse in the province of South Holland.
Currently, the park covers 32 hectares and annually blooms 6 to 7 million mainly bulbous flowers such as crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies and more. The park is staffed by 24 gardeners and is open to the public from March to May. Special varieties of tulips bear names such as Armani, Teletubbies or Ronaldo.
Holland does not have its own special kind of cuisine. The Dutch often eat bread with cheese or butter, for lunch they only need soup or homemade eintopf (a mixture of potatoes and everything the house has given) and for dinner they indulge in hot food often cooked from semi-finished products.
Above all, the Netherlands is known for its Dutch cheeses, which are described according to the length of storage. So you can see the following labels for cheeses: baby “baby” (very young), jonge (young), jong belegen “jong belejchen” (young lying down), belegen “belejchen” (lying down), extra belegen “extra belejchen” and oud " aud ”(old). Cheeses are also prepared from various variants with the addition of herbs or spices: brandnetel “brandnejtl”, cumin: komijn “komajn” (cumin), pepper: peper “pejpr” and many others.
You will certainly come across cheeses in the Netherlands, for example in markets or in specialized shops. You can’t miss these places. The most famous Dutch cheeses include Edam and Gouda, which are named after cities in the Netherlands. Edam and Gouda can be distinguished from each other by the fact that Gouda has a larger wheel shape weighing 4-20 kg and is fatter, while Edam is in the form of a ball, it is drier and stiffer and its weight weighs about 1.7 kg.
The network of mills in Kinderdijk-Elshout is the name of one of the Dutch monuments on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is a system of 19 windmills (pumping stations), as well as administrative buildings and the cultural landscape of dikes, canals, dried up drained areas and water areas. The protected area is located in the municipalities of Molenward and Alblasserdam in the province of South Holland, about 20 km east of Rotterdam.
We can look into some of the mills or buy a ride along the canal between the mills. We can also rent a bike here and ride the mills on our own axis.
Cycling in the Netherlands is not considered a sport, but it is referred to here as a means of transport that saves time, money and is good movement for the body. Cycling works here in any weather. Even if at first glance it seems to us that the world of cyclists and motorists on the roads is chaotic, the opposite is true. They have thought it out to the last detail and cycling is absolutely safe here. Cyclists have their own lanes at intersections and also have their own traffic lights. Dutch drivers are completely calm, considerate and patient. When we get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city, you can cycle through beautiful routes and their bike paths are clearly marked. There is a network of national routes, which are marked LF - Landelijke Fietsroutes. We can find that the route will be supplemented by the letter a or b. This means that one path leads to the north and the other to the south.
The Netherlands is absolutely perfect for cycling, especially due to its flatness, so you don’t have to bother with difficult terrain. The only obstacle for cyclists are bridges over canals. If you decide to rent a bike, don’t forget to buy or rent a lock. It is also necessary to know that the bike must be lit from the evening. Police officers check and punish if the bike is not properly lit. The lighting should be white at the front and red at the back.
Locals often put together their own bikes at home, you can see the crazy bikes on the street. They like to race in the style of bikes.
The Netherlands is an ideal country for traveling by caravan or motorhome. It will fit everything you need and you can even pack the bikes for which this country is perfect. You can get to a lot of visited places by caravan and you do not have to deal with transport to the planned places. For example, you can get from Amsterdam before Delft, The Hague and along the coast to the North Sea.
It is important to study the driving rules of this country and we must not forget the fact that overnight stays in car parks are prohibited. So always look for a camp for the night. Before the trip, we recommend planning where to spend the night with the caravan and looking for a nearby camp or paid parking suitable for sleeping.
The highest mountain in the Netherlands
Vaalserberg is a hill in the Netherlands, whose peak is at an altitude of 322.5 m the highest point of this country (but not the whole of the Kingdom of the Netherlands). It is located in the province of Limburg in the southeast of the Netherlands. It is also a tri-border - a place where the borders of three states meet - the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Between 1815 and 1919, the borders of four countries met at Vaalserberg, the fourth being the neutral Moresnet.
The absolute highest peak of the whole Kingdom of the Netherlands (ie the Netherlands itself, St. Martin, Curaçao and Aruba) is Scenery (887 m above sea level), an inactive stratovolcano on the island of Saba in the Caribbean.
It will not be so difficult to reach or conquer the top of Vaalserberger due to the altitude and you can reach almost the top by car.
At the top we find the Drielendenpunt - the meeting point of the three borders and we can visit the steel lookout tower. Admission is approximately 3 Euros per person. All the neighboring states can be seen from the top, giving us a beautiful view and an unforgettable memory.