Holland is home to one of the world’s most inviting cultures, and here you can enjoy a mix of breathtaking architecture, beautiful 17th century canals and a truly vibrant nightlife.
The Dutch capital is a popular, picturesque and laid-back city, offering visitors a unique and memorable experience. The 17th century canals of Amsterdam are magnificent, and evoke a real sense of tranquillity and calm, so a trip round is not to be missed. They also give you a great view of all the fascinating sights of the city. The architecture is spectacular, and unlike anything else in Europe; the innovative and inimitable structures are a marvel of design and construction, and Westerkerk, ARCAM and Beurs van Berlage are particularly breathtaking.
The people of Amsterdam are famous for their welcoming and friendly attitude, which adds to the endearing quality of the city. Every bar and restaurant you visit offers a warm reception with a delightful ambience, and there are plenty to try.
If you like cocktails, the House of Bols Cocktail and Genever Experience at the Amsterdam Museumplein offers an interactive cocktail-making experience, and if you would rather someone else made the drinks then Paradiso and Jimmy Woo’s are just two of the many great night spots.
With festivals, live music at the Heineken Music Hall, as well as comedy, cabaret, museums and a very lively, vibrant nightlife, Amsterdam continues to be one of the most entertaining and mesmerising cities in the world.
The name Amsterdam comes from the combination of the river Amstel and the Dam that was built on it in order to found the original village know today as Amsterdam.
Located in the west of the Netherlands, Lisse is a quaint town that dates back at least as far as the Middle Ages. Without doubt its most endearing and attractive quality is Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe. This is the world’s largest set of flower gardens, with several million flower bulbs planted each year.
This glorious, picturesque part of Lisse spans 79 acres, and the feast of colour makes it a popular attraction for tourists and those venturing through the area. It is open from the middle of March to the middle of May, with mid-April usually proving the best time to see the tulips.
Keukenhof was established in 1949 as a place where growers from across Europe could showcase hybrids. Vivid, imaginative displays can viewed throughout the gardens, with different styles and settings used to excellent effect.
Lisse is home to Europe's largest display of flower gardens, known as Keukenhof.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, and offers an extraordinary and captivating history. Rotterdam has an array of wonderful museums providing an insight into many aspects of the city and the country, with the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen housing a spectacular and diverse art collection, whilst the NAI museum offers a fascinating insight into Dutch architecture.
The Chabot Museum is home to paintings and sculptures by Henk Chabot, a revolutionary Dutch expressionist, and there is the Maritime Museum Rotterdam and the Historical Museum, which are both popular with visitors looking to learn more.
There are some incredible examples of fine architecture in Rotterdam, and a thriving scene for live musical performances of different genres. The nightlife is typical of Holland, with plenty of great bars and clubs open day and night offering a lively welcome. Club Vie and the Thalia Lounge are highlights, along with the Heidegger music venue.
Rotterdam has lots to offer keen shoppers, with fashion boutiques found around the city, and a great variety of other shops to explore and enjoy. Don’t miss some of the main attractions, such as the iconic Euromast and Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp.
The western side of Rotterdam boasts the busiest harbour in the whole of Europe and the city's shipping industry dates from the late 16th century.
The Hague is the Netherlands’ third largest city, and has a wonderful heritage well worth exploring. Museums include The Prison Gate, covering seven centuries of history, and The Museon, which is an interactive science museum.
A fine display of extraordinary creative work can be found at The Mauritshuis, home to the works of magnificent Dutch paintbrush maestros such as Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn.
The city’s great range of attractions includes the miniature city of Madurodam, the Drievliet amusement park and the Mesdag, which is one of world’s most impressive panoramas. The seaside resort of Scheveningen is extremely popular, with a gorgeous sandy beach and plenty of exhilarating water sports.
The age-old but well preserved streets of The Hague add to the infectious character of this city, and shoppers will have no trouble getting their fix. There are boutiques and fashion shops found in the Denneweg and Frederikstraat, and a generous hive of shops can be found around the city centre’s Grote Marktstraat. The Hague is also a great place to enjoy some excellent cuisine and a few welcoming local bars.
The Hague was once the Dutch capital some 200 years ago.
Utrecht is one of the Netherlands’ largest cities, and capital of its namesake province. One striking characteristic of the city is its array of ancient structures, some dating back to the Middle Ages. The architecture on display includes Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the country, as well as more modern builds such as the Rabobank tower, completed in 2010.
The curved canal, known as the Oudegracht, runs through Utrecht, and serves as a beautifully serene landmark for the city. A number of warehouses that used to line the canal have been converted into restaurants and cafes, so you can relax and enjoy the picturesque setting.
Utrecht has excellent transport links for visitors, and, as is the norm for the Netherlands, travel by bike is commonplace and encouraged. Locally you can also explore a number of museums with fascinating displays and see some beautifully presented gardens.
Utrecht has the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, called the Dom Tower.