5 best Cities to Visit in the Netherlands


The Netherlands is a wonderful small country located in Western Europe, at the crossroads between the United Kingdom, Germany et Belgium. With centuries of history and traditions, and so many amazing sites to visit, there is a lot to do here for your vacation. Here are the 5 best cities to visit for your trip to the Netherlands, tested and approved by our team!

1 - Beautiful Amsterdam: a charming capital


Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and welcomes most of the tourists coming to the country. Indeed, the city is a true fairy tale for its liberal and progressive environment, friendly locals, stunning canals and great 17th-century traditional Dutch architecture.

The first good step of your visit is to come to Museumplein where you can find the Van Gogh Museum, Moco Museum and Rijksmuseum. Of course, you should also find some time to take a stroll on the Dam Square in the historical center of Amsterdam.

Other main attractions include ARTIS, the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, the Albert Cuyp market and the Anne Frank House.

Amsterdam also has a lot of nice parks scattered throughout the city. Vondelpark is the most famous one, but you should also take some time to enjoy the greenery of Sarphatipark or Oosterpark.

Last but not least, booking a canal cruise throughout the old city is a must when you visit the city. Plenty of companies offer different tours you can book online or on-site. We recommend taking the Amsterdam city pass for discounts and special offers.

2 - Modern Rotterdam: between tradition and urban innovation


This modern city is one of the biggest ports in Europe and a big economic hub of activity for the Netherlands. With an impressive skyline of high-rises, Rotterdam is the second-largest Dutch city with a younger and more cosmopolitan atmosphere than its sister Amsterdam.

The center of Rotterdam was almost destroyed after a massive bombing raid during World War II. Yet, it rose from its ashes and today, it stands as a vibrant modern city with an incredible architectural style.

You should start your visit to the city with the Markthal, located in the downtown district of Rotterdam Blaak. This is a residential and office building with a market hall underneath, which features a lot of restaurant and food options including delicious organic smoothies and traditional Dutch food.

Something special about the market is that the windows of residential units look out onto the market, which is not surprising as Dutch historic houses are made with large windows with low privacy.

Other famous sites to visit are the Erasmusbrug, the historic district of Delfshaven and the Euromast.

3 - Historic Utrecht: a silent yet vibrant university city


Utrecht is one of the most incredible cities in the Netherlands. Located in Central Holland, 30 minutes away from Amsterdam, it's known as a university city with a lot of cultural attractions, like its famous cathedral tower Domtoren.

The city center of Utrecht is quite small compared to Amsterdam and Rotterdam and can be explored easily by foot or bike in a few hours. It's full of old cobblestone streets, historic monuments, and some great shops and restaurants.

Oudegracht is the main canal where many of these attractions are located. The stroll around the area is worth it and you can still enjoy a good beer along the canal in the numerous patios this beautiful place showcases!

4 - Festive Maastricht: the south-east gem


Maastricht is a beautiful small city located in the southeast of the Netherlands, near the Belgian border. It's known for its vibrant atmosphere and great cultural attractions that include concerts, festivals, theater and museums.

The main tourist attraction here is the Vrijthof Square where you can enjoy an outdoor cafe or listen to some live music at the outdoor plaza. You may also visit the Basilica of Saint Servatius which includes a museum, crypt, chapels, archaeological excavation and an inner patio.

Maastricht also boasts many old buildings from the medieval period, like for example, Saint Servatius Bridge, which is a 13th-century stone bridge with lovely views over the river.

Maastricht is also the festival capital! Throughout the year, dozens of concerts, live music shows, and other entertainment options take place here. The Maastricht Carnival is one of the biggest festivals, held every February. On the program: fancy dress parades, open-air concerts, dancing and fancy dress.

5 - Underrated Groningen: discover the beauty of the north


Groningen is a small, yet beautiful city located in the north of the Netherlands. It's known for its canals and old brick buildings. It's often overlooked by tourists, but it shouldn't be!

The busy streets of Groningen are full of classic Dutch architecture, independent stores and galleries, nice cafes and restaurants as well as cozy bars. You can enjoy a stroll in the green inner city park, the Noorderplantsoen, or take a bike ride around town and explore some hidden gems.

A must-visit is the Groningen Museum, which is dedicated to contemporary and modern art and is located by the water. The building itself is very architecturally attractive, as it blends into its surroundings.

Other attractions worth visiting are Martinikerk church and the Vismarkt. Last but not least, you should also try to get a glimpse of some local delicacies, such as stroopwafels, poffertjes or raw herring!