Visit the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a world-class cultural center and famous destination in Europe that borders the North Sea. Known for picturesque countryside landscapes, beautiful canals, never ending springtime fields of tulips, acclaimed culture and its iconic capital of Amsterdam, the Netherlands is safely a favorite destination for many. Experience colorful canalside townhouses, classic windmills, traditional Dutch homes, historic city centers, memorable city parks, unmatched art and of course, coffee shops and bicycle-riding locals.
Start at the Amsterdam Centraal Station, the central point in Amsterdam. Walk around the City Center, then Oud-Zuid, the home of beautiful mansions, the Royal Music Hall, famous parks and endless boutiques. Walk along Kalverstraat or the Jordaan district’s shops for some shopping. If you appreciate art, the world-class Rijksmuseum is a must, with world-famous works of art from Dutch Masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. Oostelijke Eilanden, the Eastern Dockland, combines the old charm of Amsterdam with new and modern architecture.
Furthermore, if it’s springtime, stroll through the Keukenhof flower park. A visit to a Bloemenmarkt (flower market) is tradition year round, such as along Singel canal. The fastest way to get around the city is by bike, just like the locals do; it’s cheap, fun and you’ll experience what it’s like to be a local. Especially during the weekend, stop by Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s most popular park with an open-air theater, a selection of restaurants and cafes and a rose garden. Don’t miss taking a tour of the Anne Frank House.
A visit to the Netherlands is not complete without a road trip. Start by heading south to Maastricht, near the German and Belgian border. Must-see destinations include Fort Sint Pieter, Caves of St. Pietersberg, Kazematten, and St Servaasbasiliek.
Then head 125 miles northwest by train or car to Rotterdam, the most futuristic city in the Netherlands. This bustling city has much to offer, including the modern Erasmusbrug, a modern bridge and symbol of the city, with the nickname The Swan. Take a trip to the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, which is among Europe’s finest art museums, displaying Dutch masterpieces, Italian Renaissance and French Impressionist pieces, among many more. Finally, walk to Delfshaven (Delft Harbor) and the picturesque Oude Haven, in Amersfoort to finish your visit. Many say Amersfoort is one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands.
Foods to Try
Netherlands is known for having some of the most plentiful, healthy food in the world. Start with a Haring dish (a.k.a. Hollandse Nieuwe/Dutch new herring). Try the Erwtensoep (split pea soup) and add Rookworst to it (smoked sausage). It’s tradition try the deep fried crispy meatballs, called Bitterballen, their krokets (croquettes), and the deep fried white fish, called Kibbeling. Of course you can’t visit the Netherlands without trying a piece of kaas (cheese), such as a world-favorite, Gouda. You can even visit the Cheese Museum to learn more! For dessert, try stroopwafels (two thin waffles pressed together with a layer of syrup in between), Ontbijtkoek (ginger cake), or poffertjes (a fluffy batter treat) with powdered sugar on top.
Don’t leave the Netherlands without spending time at the beach - Kwade Hoek and Goeree dunes is enchanting, just 20 miles west of Rotterdam. Conveniently on your way back to Amsterdam, lie a couple of treasures - the cities of Delft and Kinderdijk, both magical places worth visiting.
Take a romantic walk along Delft’s narrow, canal-lined streets towards the medieval city center and sit in one of the cafes. Walk into one of the pottery stores, displaying Delftware, the world-famous blue-and-white Dutch pottery.
In Kinderdijk, a World Heritage Site located just over nine miles east of Rotterdam, you’ll find 19 beautiful 18th-century windmills. Go for a quiet walk in this scenic and serene location, and re-energize as you finish your trip in the Netherlands. Start at the first windmill, then pass by others around the canal, stopping along the way at museums, windmill tours and learning about the families and their lives in the windmill.
What are you waiting for? Visit FareCompare’s search site to compare, find and save on your perfect flight to The Netherlands. Once you arrive, the train system makes it very easy to travel within the country.