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12 Must-See Landmarks in the Netherlands for Tourists

Must-See Landmarks in the Netherlands for Tourists

The Netherlands is world-renowned for its colourful fields of tulips, picturesque windmills dotting lush green landscapes, and charming canal-lined cities like Amsterdam. But beyond the clichéd images of wooden clogs and gabled houses, the country offers a treasure trove of incredible landmarks and attractions for tourists to explore.
From stunning palaces and world-class art museums to moving historical sites, quirky architecture, and serene nature escapes, the Netherlands has something to delight every type of traveller. To help you plan your Dutch vacation, here are 12 of the top landmarks in the Netherlands that should be on every tourist’s bucket list:

Read more: Exploring the Best Tourist Attractions in the Netherlands

Canals of Amsterdam

Canals of Amsterdam

The capital city’s canal ring, comprising 165 canals spanning over 60 miles, is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic landmarks. Take a cruise or meander along the canal side streets and bridges to soak in the charming scenery and architecture. Don’t miss out on visiting the iconic Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) over the Amstel River.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Copyright: © Ronald Tilleman

Housing the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s artworks, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters, this museum in Amsterdam’s Museum Square is a must-visit. Marvel at an extensive array of the Dutch post-Impressionist artist’s most famous pieces.

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens

Situated near Amsterdam, Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, spanning over 79 acres. Visit in spring, especially April-May, to experience the dazzling carpet of millions of vibrantly coloured tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other flowers in full bloom.

Kinderdijk Windmills

Kinderdijk Windmills

This quintessentially Dutch landmark near Rotterdam has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kinderdijk is home to an iconic collection of 19 perfectly preserved historic windmills built in the 18th century to drain water from the lowlands.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The Netherlands’ most-visited museum located in Amsterdam is a must-see attraction to immerse yourself in Dutch arts and history. Wander through 80 rooms displaying 8,000 objects spanning 800 years, including Rembrandt’s famous ‘The Night Watch’.

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Step back into WWII history by visiting the actual Secret Annex, where the young Jewish diarist Anne Frank and seven others hid for over two years during the Nazi occupation. Now a museum, this landmark and its tragic story is one of Amsterdam’s most moving attractions.

Binnenhof, The Hague

Binnenhof, The Hague

This expansive 13th-century complex of buildings in The Hague forms the meeting place of the Dutch parliament and the office of the Prime Minister. Guided tours take you to see the splendid medieval Ridderzaal, the Inner Court and other significant landmarks within this historic governmental site.

Giethoorn

Giethoorn

Known as the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’, this incredibly scenic village has no roads but over 150 bridges arching over quaint canals lined with traditional Dutch houses and gardens. Rent a whisper boat, or take a guided canal cruise to experience this car-free fairytale village.

Euromast, Rotterdam

Euromast, Rotterdam

Be awed by spectacular 360-degree views over Rotterdam and beyond from the observation deck of this iconic 185-meter-high tower. Thrill-seekers shouldn’t miss walking across the roof deck’s rope bridge or booking Europe’s highest swing experience for a real adrenaline rush!

Castle De Haar

Castle De Haar

This fairy tale-esque castle near Utrecht, dating back to 1892, is the largest and most luxurious castle in the Netherlands. Marvel at the imposing exterior and take a guided tour admiring the lavish early 20th-century Gothic Revival interiors, grand halls, gardens and parklands.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

One of Holland’s top tourist attractions, this open-air conservation area near Amsterdam transports you back to the Netherlands’ 17th and 18th-century heyday. Wander around windmills and historic houses and see demonstrations of how cheese and clogs were traditionally made.

Delta Works

Delta Works

Protecting over a fifth of the country against floods, this ingenious series of dams, sluices, and surge barriers spanning over 16 miles has been deemed one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. An absolute must-see landmark for structural engineering enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions on Landmarks in the Netherlands

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the top tourist attractions and landmarks in the Netherlands:

What are the top 5 landmarks and interests in the Netherlands?

The five most popular tourist attractions and landmarks in the Netherlands are:
Canals of Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum
Keukenhof Gardens
Anne Frank House
Van Gogh Museum

What is the most visited place in the Netherlands?

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam receives close to 3 million visitors a year, making it the country’s most visited destination for both domestic and international tourists.

What is the most beautiful place in the Netherlands?

While beauty is subjective, the village of Giethoorn, with its car-free canals and bridges, colourful traditional houses, and idyllic setting, is often called the most beautiful spot in the Netherlands, earning it the nickname – ‘Venice of the North’.

Is the Red Light District worth visiting as a tourist?

Yes! Amsterdam’s world-famous Red Light District is worth a visit even if you don’t plan on participating in the services offered there. The small network of streets and alleys in De Wallen is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, with charming historic sights, bars, coffee shops, and art galleries worth exploring apart from the red-lit windows.

What is the best way to see the Netherlands if you only have a few days?

If time is limited to just 2-3 days, spend your time dedicated to exploring the country’s capital city of Amsterdam. With its wealth of world-class museums, iconic canals, vibrant food scenes, and spotlessly pretty neighbourhoods, there is so much to experience in this compact city. Take a day trip to nearby destinations like the Zaanse Schans windmills, Edam, or Volendam.

dhia errahmane nedjai

Dhia is an aspiring travel writer who researches and writes content about interesting destinations, places worth discovering, and fascinating facts and mysteries about locations around the world in order to inspire wanderlust in readers.

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