Settling into your new Dutch town or village, and becoming ‘one of the locals’, takes time and effort. Do not forget to enjoy the amazing tourist attractions the Netherlands has to offer as well! There are lots of them, but we have put together a list of the top 10 must-sees on this page. A visit to any of these attractions makes for a fun day out with friends or family. What’s more, it is a great way to learn more about the culture and history of your new home.
1. VAN GOGH MUSEUM
Amsterdam’s top tourist attraction is devoted almost entirely to the work of one of the world’s most popular artists. Yep, it’s Vincent. The Van Gogh museum’s display spans from his early years in South Holland, through his Impressionist stage in Paris, to his final days in St. Rémy. This museum is the perfect size for those with a tight schedule.
Paulus Potterstraat 7, Amsterdam
2. ANNE FRANK HOUSE
Possibly the most deserving of all the Netherlands’ major tourist attractions, the Anne Frank House provides a fascinating insight into the Frank family’s life in hiding from 1942 until 1944, during the Nazi occupation. The museum also provides background on the awful plight of the 100,000 Dutch Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. It hosts a variety of other exhibitions too, focusing on issues of persecution and the repression of freedom of expression, both past and present. Please note that entrance tickets are bought online.
Prinsengracht 267, Amsterdam
3. RIJKSMUSEUM AMSTERDAM
This is the largest museum in the Netherlands. It recently reopened its doors after a complete renovation and it houses an internationally renowned collection of paintings. They are from the 17th-century Dutch Republic: the ‘Golden Age’. Works include pieces by:
- Rembrandt, the most famous of which is the ominous ‘Night Watch’
- Johannes Vermeer
- Frans Hals
- Jan Steen
Plus there are exhibits of:
- Doll’s houses
- Asiatic art
- Dutch history
Museumstraat 1, Amsterdam
From late March through the end of May, visitors come in droves to see the display of over 7,000,000 flowers in the famous Keukenhof Gardens. The 70-acre gardens offer a breathtaking and immaculate display of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and amaryllis. They are planted and tended to by the Netherlands’ leading flower growers. This spectacle is not to be missed.
Open: Mar. 24 – May 16, 2017
Stationsweg 166a, Lisse
Famous for its distinctive blue and white porcelain, Delft continues to charm visitors and shoppers alike. Once home to the Dutch artist Vermeer, it has an abundance of beautifully preserved 17th-century buildings. These include the imposing Town Hall and the Old Church. Visitors also enjoy the town’s picturesque tree-lined canals and plethora of porcelain shops.
6. THE KRÖLLER-MÜLLER MUSEUM
This museum is located in the wooded parkland of De Hoge Veluwe National Park. You can either drive or cycle a couple of kilometres through it, to reach the Kroller. It is also possible to borrow a white bicycle at the park gates, free of charge. The collection of art at this museum is ranked as the third most important in the Netherlands. It houses almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings, in including works by:
- Van Gogh (roughly 50 of which are on display at any given time)
The sculpture Garden is fabulous as well, and worth a trip in itself.
Houtkampweg 6, Otterlo
Delfshaven is the place from which the Pilgrim Fathers departed for the New World in 1620. The tiny harbor has been preserved to look much as it did in centuries past, with the addition of some trendy waterfront restaurants. Across the road, at the ‘Spido Landing Stage’, you can buy a boat tour. These tours offer visitors a unique insight into modern life at one of the world’s busiest seaports.
Delfshaven/Spido Cruises: www.spido.nl
‘All of the Netherlands in a day’ is the best way to describe this miniature scale-model town. Visitors can see all of the Netherlands’ major cities and landmarks up close and personal, but on a tiny scale. There are lots of mechanized exhibits, including busy motorways and sailing ships, to enjoy as well!
George Maduroplein 1, The Hague
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk is located by the Lek River, southeast of Rotterdam. It consists of 19 windmills standing along a beautiful, broad canal. Take a cruise down the waterway to better observe this archetypal Dutch scene. Or, if you are visiting during July and August, try to make your trip on a Saturday when the mills are put into action.
10. THE ARCHEON
This archaeological theme park lies in Alphen aan de Rijn, South Holland. It is world-renowned amongst history ‘buffs’. The Archeon is made up of reconstructions of villages from three major time periods: Prehistory, the Roman Period, and the Middle Ages. It is a ‘live’ museum, where people in period dress live and work. This makes it a pleasantly participatory way to see and learn about history!
Archeonlaan 1, Alphen a/d Rijn