Often Netherlands brings to mind romantic images of tulips, beautiful windmills, canals and of Amsterdam and its red light district. But Netherlands has beautiful experiences to offer to every traveler much beyond all of these. Let us see some of the fabulous, must see places in Holland:
Amsterdam: The capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam is a charming city of lovely canals, beautiful flower markets where you can pick up bulbs of exotic flowers, the infamous red light district, museums and art galleries that house the Rembrandt and Van Goghs, Anne Frank’s House, Van Gogh museum and lovely bridges. The town square is worth a visit and so are the fabulous shopping districts. Don’t forget to take a canal tour. A lovely city, Amsterdam will win your heart with its beauty and hospitality.
Red Light District: This one in Amsterdam deserves a special mention because it is unlike any other in the world. It is a tourist destination. De Wallen in the city center is the best known. Walk by some lovely cafes and canals. Window prostitutes and sex shops will enchant you. The quarters make for a very different sightseeing experience, one on the itinerary of almost every tourist that visits Amsterdam. The presence of police and CCTV cameras makes it a very safe area.
Madurodam: A fascinating miniature city, it offers a great time to every child and adult. You will see the entire Netherlands captured to tiny perfection in Madurodam. Just an hour away from Amsterdam, this place will keep you engaged for hours. You will see the canals, churches, airport, train station and monuments that are perfect tiny imitations of their originals. You can see Holland’s history unfold here. The best part is that many of these are interactive like you can take a plane at the airport or load a cargo ship and watch it go. You can see architectural marvels rub shoulders with the modern and contemporary buildings here. Don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs here.
Keukenhof Gardens: These are the world’s largest gardens and a great testimonial to the amazing Dutch flower prowess. Tulips are identified with Netherlands. And you will be mesmerized with the rolling fields of tulips of vibrant hues if you visit around spring. Other flowers like hyacinths, daffodils and other spring flowers are also planted here. These gardens are only open from March to mid-May and have a mind boggling 7 million bulbs planted here.
Rotterdam: This is the Netherlands’ most modern city. It did start out as a fishing village in the 13th century. It was an industrial hub when the Germans bombed and destroyed its major parts in 1940. Later it was reconstructed as a modern city and has a mix of the old and the new architecture coexisting harmoniously. It offer some great cultural offerings like summer carnivals and classical music. Delfshaven is the old quarter where the olden architecture buildings stand with pride. Do not forget to visit the Euromast which stands over 100 metres tall. From this height you can see upto Hague or even Belgium on a clear day. It is one of the icons.
Domburg: With its lovely beaches, sand dunes and great boardwalks, it is a favorite of all seaside vacationers. Don’t forget to visit the De Manteling nature reserve which will take you to the Westhove Castle which is one of the world’s finest Baroque castles. It was built in the 17th century.
The Mills of Kinderdijk: Netherlands is synonymous with windmills. 19 mills at Kinderdijk were constructed to prevent floods way back in the 18th century as a part of a water management system. The mills are constructed in two rows. You can even see them in operation. They make for an amazing experience. They are just 25 kms. from Rotterdam. Make sure you include them in your itinerary.
Efteling: This is the biggest theme park in all of Holland. It gets visitors from within the country and abroad. It started out as a park that brought fairytales to life but today is one of the largest theme parks. It is Europe’s biggest theme parks and has attractions for the young and the old.
The Begijnhof: Called one of the most beautiful places in Amsterdam, The Begijnhof is popular for its historical relelvance that dates back to 14th century. It also is popular for the sisterhood of Catholics located there.
The Heineken experience: This is a very difference experience that takes on a journey with Heineken beer. A former Heineken brewery has latest multimedia that allows you to see, hear, smell and enjoy Heineken beer! It is worth a visit for its novelty.
All pictures courtesy: Holland.com