Sure, Holland is great. Windmills, tulips, and boring old wooden clogs so why visit? There is so much more to this beautiful country. Holland has hidden treasures that abound throughout the country. Holland is located on the western coast of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is the seat of the government and very often Holland is referred to as simply the Netherlands. The population of Holland are referred to as, “Hollanders.” The word “Holland” means “wooded lands” which is a Middle Dutch term. The common language of Holland is Dutch. Holland is a representative democracy with a constitutional monarchy.
Hidden Treasure: The Wadden Sea (Mudflats)
For a unique experience, take a muddy guided tour of the islands in the mudflats and stroll the dry sea beds twice a day at low tide. Discover the sea life that nestles there awaiting the high tide. Holland’s Wadden Sea allows an intimate experience to explore nature at its finest. The island of Ameland is the third major island of the West Frisans island chain. See Hollum’s beautiful 12th century lighthouse, which is 59 meters high and dates back to the 1880’s.
Bird watchers will especially enjoy viewing the sixty species of bird located there. Located between the isles of Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, tourists can visit the beautiful island of Engelsmanplatt. Tour from and walk over the many sand flats and a few channels of water. Take an inter-tidal tour of the island on Pinkegat. View the scenic salt marshes and observe the out-going tide as it fills the many sea channels.
The Jewel of Holland: Amsterdam
History buffs will love delving into this lovely city. The Amsterdam Museum chronicles the eight centuries of the establishment of the city of Amsterdam. Study the history of Judaism in four transformed synagogues in the Joods Historich Museum. Purchase tulips at the famous Bloemenmarkt and enjoy the famous cheeses of the Netherlands while there.
Sip a world-renowned beer from the Dutch brewery, Brouwerj. Pack a picnic lunch and head off to the Vondelpark. Enjoy the many family activities offered June through September. Enjoy a free concert at the Concertgebouw, as international orchestras rehearse and prepare for the evening concert. Visit the home of Anne Frank, wander the rooms where Anne Frank noted her thoughts in her famous diary and don’t forget to sign the guest book.
Sequestered Beauty: Delft
Explore the Holland countryside by traveling via train from Amsterdam to Delft. Downtown is only a twenty minute stroll from the train station. Visit the last remaining porcelain factory from the 17th century at the Delft Blue Porcelain Factory. Enjoy high tea on beautiful Delft cups and saucers and paint a porcelain tile under the guidance of a master painter.
The Vermeer Centre highlights the works of Johannes Vermeer. Delft is located between Rotterdam and The Hague. Visit the museum of the Prisenhof, the Court of the Prince, once built as a monastery. Stroll through the Delftse Hourt Park and enjoy a breezy afternoon. Don’t miss the world-famous Saturday flea market where a treasure is sure to be found. Come early and shop contentedly throughout the morning and the afternoon.
Discover The Hague
The Hague is the largest city in Amsterdam, and is located between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The seat of the government and parliament are located here. Don’t miss the mini city of Madurodam which is built at a perfect 1:25 scale replica of famous Dutch castles, industrial complexes, and public buildings. The miniature city is named after a Jewish resistance fighter, George Maduro, a law student who was murdered at Dachau.
The Noordeinde Palace is located in the Hague and serves as a private residence to the Royal family. The original cellars remain part of the palace grounds. Auto aficionados should not fail to miss the Louman Automuseum Den Haag where cars are presented and displayed as lovely as jewels found in a jewelry shop. Finish up a visit to the Escher in Het Palies, an art museum.
Pearl of Holland: Rotterdam
Referred to as the “Gateway of Europe” Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and serves as the largest port city in Europe. Children and adults alike will love a visit to the Rotterdam Zoo which houses animals from around the world. Rotterdam was the first to boast a city skyline. Architectural enthusiasts will absolutely love touring the building throughout the city.
Visit the Euromast, the world’s tallest tower and world-renowned Netherlands landmark. Cross the Erasmus Bridge which was built to commemorate one of the city’s most prominent sons, Desiderus Erasmus. The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is one of the most famous in Europe. Here tourists will find art collections spanning the history of European and Dutch art.
There are plenty of reasons to visit wonderful Holland. There are so many wonderful places to visit but only a very few are named here. The population speaks English so there is no need to learn Dutch if it is not desired. The Dutch people are friendly and most welcoming. Whether visiting for the first time or the one hundredth, there are plenty of attractions and sights to keep a tourist occupied. Travel and enjoy the absolute best that the Netherlands has to offer.