The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Head to Amsterdam and be a tourist for a day. While you’re there, be sure to check out the city’s famous Rijksmuseum.
The 19th-century building is not only beautiful on the outside but any art lovers will go starry-eyed for the museum’s extensive collection of painting masterpieces and it’s famous European art collection.
From Rembrandt to Vermeer, consider your trip to the Rijksmuseum a cultured introduction to the art and history of your new homeland.
The Hoge Veluwe National Park, Gelderland
Already fed up of spending too much time in a big, Dutch city? We have the perfect remedy.
Head to this beautiful national park in the Dutch province of Gelderland and escape the city scenery. The park covers an amazing 5,400 hectares and is one of the most diverse nature reserves in the Netherlands.
The park is also home to the famous Kröller-Müller museum which houses the world’s biggest private collection of Van Gogh paintings. The Museonder can also be found here, a fantastic place for any sculpture enthusiasts.
The park is easy to explore using the free white bikes, which are provided by the Hoge Veluwe.
Dominicanen Bookshop, Maastricht
A visit to Maastricht is beautiful enough, but add a visit to this bookshop to your trip and you’ll have a Dutch experience that is truly special.
The bookshop is inside a 700-year-old church. The 13th-century structure lies in the heart of the city and was a Dominican church until Napoleon’s invasion in 1794.
This beautiful bookshop is a must-see for everyone, even if you’re not the biggest book lover, the faded ceiling paintings from 1619 are a beautiful attraction.
Zaanse Schans, Zaandam
Located just north of Amsterdam, heading to this neighbourhood of Zaandam will feel like stepping backwards in time.
You’ll be able to see the Netherlands as it might have existed in the 17th and 18th centuries. The area is basically an open-air museum in which you can walk around this traditional village and discover how craftspeople would have worked back in the days of yore.
While there used to be a whopping 600 windmills in the area, there are now just five, which you can visit to get those all-important Dutch windmill photos to send to your family back home.
Efteling theme park, Kaatsheuvel
Any Dutch person will tell you that Efteling park is a must-see trip for any thrill-seeker or fairytale lover.
It’s the biggest theme park in the country and is also one of the oldest in the world - incredibly, it’s been open since 1952.
The park is based on the themes of fairy tales, myths and legends - and so a trip here will not only provide fun in the form of rides but will also teach you about Dutch culture too.
Efteling is split up into four different zones, with each one focusing on a different story. Highlights include rides like The Flying Dutchman (any Pirates of the Caribbean fans will recognise this name) as well as Joris en de Draak.
Delta Works, Zeeland
While visiting a series of man-made dykes may not seem like your typical tourist expedition, you might reconsider when we tell you that Zeeland’s Dikes have been dubbed one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
We’re sure that any engineering or architecture students are already on their way to visit the dykes in Zeeland. However, the beauty of the area, which sits along the Schelde, Maas and Rhine rivers and is dotted with tiny islands, could give even humanities students a run for their money.
Giethoorn Village, Giethoorn
This village has been described as the Venice of the Netherlands, and you’ll see why when exploring the town’s many canals and waterways.
The village was founded in 1230 and still remains much of its historical charm. Cars are strictly banned in the village and instead, visitors and locals alike must travel around the place only on foot or by boat.
The lack of modern transport makes for an extremely beautiful and quiet little village. Even the boats which carry you around are called ‘whisper boats’, known for their noiseless engines.
Kasteel De Haar, Utrecht
Just outside the city of Utrecht, you will find Kasteel de Haar. This magical castle is the biggest fortification in the Netherlands and is a beautiful construction, the grounds of which date back to the 14th century.
The park that the castle sits in stretches across 250 acres and has beautiful gardens that visitors can wander around.
The building that stands today was renovated in the 19th century and contains a brilliant collection of old artefacts that give you some insight into how life may have been for the wealthy people of the Netherlands in the past.
For more advice on the best places to visit in the Netherlands or to find like-minded people to visit with you, get in touch.