Discovering the Netherlands with a Difference!

Often considered as a small country, there are a lot of places worth a visit in the Netherlands. This densely populated country in part reclaimed from the sea with about half of its land lying below sea level. Many tourists only come to the Netherlands to visit Amsterdam, the capital of the country. Right from crisscrossed canals, the beautiful landscape or cycling with historic town centers and classic windmills are tourist spots sprinkled all around the country. During springtime, the flower gardens become great tourist attractions in the Netherlands and offer a bold scene of vivid colors. In this article, you will find the best places to discover this country with a difference…..

Amsterdam (capital city) is one of the most visited cities all over the world. With its beautiful canal ring and remarkable architecture, this city amazes you at every point. Amsterdam is also the starting point of many tourists as the largest airport of the country, Schiphol Airport is located here. Once here, you can explore one of the many museums, shop in The Nine Streets, take a canal cruise, stroll through the famous Red Light District, enjoy the nightlife or relax and sip coffee at one of the coffee shops.

Rijksmuseum

Located in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum is the largest and most prestigious museum for art and history in the Netherlands. It is an exclusive Dutch national art and history museum featuring over 8,000 exhibitions of works of art and historical artifacts highlighting the rich culture of the Dutch. It is the most popular museum of the Netherlands. The most important works are of famed artists, Frans Hals, Vermeer and Rembrandt. The museum is being completely renovated, but the major masterpieces are still on show.

~Trivia~

Hours: Open • 9AM –5PM Director: Taco Dibbits Architect: Pierre Cuypers

Maastricht Vrijthof

The Vrijthof is the renowned city square in Maastricht, which is a city, located in the southern most part of the Netherlands. This square features the enormous Saint Servatius Church and Saint Jan’s Cathedral. This place is also famous for frequently hosting large festivals at various times all around the year, which includes autumn and winter festivals.

The Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is where Anne Frank and her family hid during the German occupation in World War II. It is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. It’s a historical museum showcasing Anne’s life, the secret annex and an exhibition on discrimination and persecution. A museum with a collection and story that’s sure to impress. This building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk in central Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The museum opened on 3 May 1960.

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Hours: Open • 9AM –7PM Founded: 1635 Architect: Dirk van Delft

Kinderdijk

Imagine a beautiful landscape with over 1,000 old windmills still exist in the backdrop! Yes, you can find this place in the Netherlands. These Dutch windmills can be found near the village of Kinderdijk (“Children’s dike”). Kinderdijk is situated in a polder in the Alblasserwaard at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the excess water from the polders, which are situated below sea-levels, 19 windmills were built around 1740. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites which should never be missed. They have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Hoge Veluwe National Park The Hoge Veluwe National Park is one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the Netherlands. Located in the Otterlo region of the country, this park boasts of consisting of heathlands, scenic woodlands and unending sand dunes. Apart from the natural beauty, you can find the Kröller-Müller Museum with its large collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, which is located within the park. Being unapproachable by car or other vehicles, bicycles are available for free to visitors to explore the Hoge Veluwe.

~Trivia~

Hours: 9AM – 6PM

Province: Gelderland

Established: 1935

Management: Stichting Het Nationale Park De Hoge Veluwe

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens is renowned to be the largest flower garden in the world. In fact, it is also portray as a promotion for the Dutch flower industry. It was founded in the year 1950. Also known as the Garden of Europe, this flower garden is situated in Lisse, the Netherlands. According to the official website of the Keukenhof Park, approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 32 hectares. The gardens are open from the last week in March to mid-May. It is accessible by bus from the train stations of Haarlem, Leiden and Schiphol. It is located in an area called the “Dune and Bulb Region” (Duinen Bollenstreek). Keukenhof is one of the most visit tourist attractions in the Netherlands.

Leiden Canals

Leiden is best known for the oldest university in the Netherlands, the birthplace of Rembrandt and also for its beautiful canals. The old center of Leiden is one of the largest 17th century town centers in the Netherlands, second to Amsterdam. The two branches of the Old Rhine enter Leiden on the east and unite in the city center, which also contains several smaller canals. They form a beautiful landscape of the city.

How to Reach the Netherlands?

By Air The Schiphol International Airport is one the busiest airport of the Europe. It is very well connected with the rest of the European cities as well as the cities of the rest of the world. The national carrier, the KLM, now after having merged with the Air France operates daily flights in and out of this airport. It serves Groningen, Maastricht, Rotterdam and other cities.

By Rail

The Central Station connects Amsterdam with various European cities through the rail route. The high speed Thalys connects Amsterdam with the Paris via Brussels and Antwerp. Then there is Euronight which connects Amsterdam with various other cities like Copenhagen, Warsaw, Moscow, Minsk, Prague, Zurich and Munich over the overnight journeys.

By Road

You can drive in to the Netherlands from any neighbouring countries that are connected by very well maintained expressways. Once in the Netherlands, be sure to watch out for the cyclists that suddenly appear on the roads.

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