What are the most beautiful sights in the Netherlands for a day trip or longer? The Netherlands is a relatively small country, but it has many bustling cities, charming villages, historic buildings, museums and beautiful nature with forests, heathland, dunes and beaches. We are known for our typical Dutch flowers, clogs and windmills, which are often visited by tourists. Our little “frog country” has more to offer than you might think. We selected the 25 most beautiful sights for a nice outing, day trip or mini holiday in the Netherlands!
1. Keukenhof (South Holland)
A very popular outing! This flower park in Lisse attracts more than a million visitors from all over the world every year. And that is not without reason, in spring it is one colorful sea of flowers, beautiful to see! You can walk around endlessly, take pictures and inhale the wonderful scents. Children can enjoy themselves at the petting zoo, maze, playground or treasure hunt. The best way to explore the area and flower fields is by tour boat or bicycle. Tip: Keukenhof is very popular, it is best to visit the park before 10:30 or after 16:00 if you want to avoid the hordes of people. Do you immediately have that beautiful morning or evening sun for your photos.
→ Order Keukenhof tickets & tours
2. Zaanse Schans & Kinderdijk (North Holland & South Holland)
The Zaanse Schans is a typical Dutch picture with wooden windmills and houses from the 18th and 19th century, cute bridges and of course clogs. This place in the municipality of Zaanstad is world famous and frequented by tourists, especially in the summer months. Do you know how clogs are made? If you find this interesting, visit the clog museum. Take a look in the candy store or watch demonstrations of all kinds of old Dutch crafts, there is plenty to do.
Fewer tourists but more windmills? Then Kinderdijk is for you, located in the Alblasserwaard in South Holland : slightly quieter, more spacious and very photogenic. Since 1997, the polder area of Kinderdijk with its dykes, mills and pumping stations has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The mills, which have different functions, are located in a beautiful green landscape along the water. You can also view the mills from a tour boat.
→ Order Zaanse Schans tickets & tours
→ Find a holiday home in the Zaan region
3. Giethoorn & Weerribben (Overijssel)
Giethoorn is ideal for a day trip in the Netherlands. Because of the beautiful houses and many canals, Giethoorn is also called the Venice of the Netherlands. The village in Overijssel has several museums that tell you more about the history and environment. The best way to see Giethoorn is of course by boat, so you can reach places that are otherwise inaccessible. If you don’t feel like sailing, you can also discover Giethoorn by bike. Do you want to be a tourist? Then have your photo taken in typical Dutch costume. Combine Giethoorn with a brisk walk in the nature of the National Weerribben-Wieden. There you can spot otters and black terns.
→ A night or weekend in Giethoorn? View Giethoorn discount outings & packages
→ Or find a nature house in the Weerribben
ALSO READ: The ultimate Top 25 nicest, most beautiful & best rated campsites in the Netherlands!
4. Museums of Grand Masters
The Netherlands has a huge number of museums, the most famous of which are the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank Museum. The Rijksmuseum has more than 40 million visitors every year, and nowadays also online exhibitions. The museum contains many masterpieces, from Rembrandt to Vermeer. Vincent Van Gogh is a world famous artist, many of his works are in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. He mainly painted landscapes and self-portraits. The Anne Frank Museum is located on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, the house where the Jewish Anne Frank and her family went into hiding during the Second World War. Read the diary, which has been translated into 51 languages. Whichever museum you choose, a day full of impressions and history is guaranteed!
→ Order online tickets for the Amsterdam museums
→ View Amsterdam discount trips & discount packages
5. De Hoge Veluwe National Park (Gelderland)
The Veluwe in Gelderland is one of the largest, most beautiful and versatile nature reserves in the Netherlands, with an extensive flora and fauna. You can cycle and walk through the beautiful forest and heath landscape that was once formed by ice age moraines. And what about the many bridleways and mountain bike routes? The Veluwe is bursting with beautiful spots. In the nearby Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom national parks, you can spot red deer, wild boars, foxes, roe deer and the rare pine marten.
ALSO READ: Veluwe: all beautiful places, nice places & activities with children
If you want, you can also enjoy (kite) surfing or sailing on the Veluwemeer. Kneuterige Veluwe villages such as Ermelo, Garderen, Hoenderloo, Beekbergen and Putten are ideal for a break from a bike ride to go shopping or sit on a terrace. And the Veluwe also offers plenty of Dutch culture. Be sure to visit the special Kröller-Müller Museum or Paleis Het Loo, not to mention the historic Hanseatic cities of Harderwijk, Elburg and Hattem. Tip: with the affordable Holland Pass you can visit all top museums in your own country, including the Kröller-Müller!
→ Staying overnight in the Veluwe? View our current Veluwe discount packages
→ View various Landal holiday parks near the Veluwe
→ Find a detached nature house in the Veluwe
6. Delta Works & Neeltje Jans (Zeeland)
Dutch history plays a major role in the construction of the Delta Works, Neeltje Jans and the Oosterscheldekering. In 1953 there were severe floods in Zeeland , also known as the flood disaster. As a solution to the flooding, the Delta Works were built. The Oosterscheldekering is part of the Delta Works and is 9 km long between Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland. In addition to viewing the Delta Works, you can now also visit the Neeltje Jans recreation park with sea aquarium and the Flood Museum.
ALSO READ: Sights in Zeeland: the most beautiful beaches, places & places in a row!
Did you know that the Oosterschelde is the largest National Park in the Netherlands? Obviously no forests, but salty seawater from the North Sea is what the park mainly consists of. For many it is also one of the most beautiful National Parks, worth a visit!
→ Holiday or weekend in Zeeland? View all ANWB Campsites or Roompot Holiday Parks in Zeeland.
→ Find your own nature house in Zeeland
→ View Zeeland hotel offers & packages
7. Settlement city Bourtange (Groningen)
You imagine yourself back in time when you walk through the fortified town of Bourtange in Groningen , which is officially just a village. Very striking about the Fortress Bourtange is its shape, a pentagon, best seen from the air. Via the drawbridge you pass restored defensive walls, old cannons and canals. There are also cozy shops, restaurants and a candle factory. Various activities are organized throughout the year, from markets to realistically re-enacted battles.
→ You can spend the night in Bourtange at Hotel Vesting Bourtange!
→ View other hotel offers & packages near Bourtange
→ Find your own nature house in Groningen
8. National Park de Biesbosch (South Holland / North Brabant)
This wetland nature and recreation area is one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands . The Biesbosch mainly consists of waterways, but also has walking and cycling paths in the forest and along the river. Many species of fish, birds and even beavers live in the nature reserve! A nice place to explore with a boat or kayak, especially in summer. Bring a picnic basket so you can enjoy lunch at one of the moorings. If you come outside the summer months, keep in mind that the hiking trails turn into mud pools. In National Park de Biesbosch you can easily fill a day or two and then you have not seen everything. Finally, a tip: also visit the nearby town of Heusden aan de Bergsche Maas, one of the most beautiful old fortified towns in the Netherlands!
Tip for staying overnight: find your own nature house in the Biesbosch !
9. Amsterdam canals (North Holland)
A visit to Amsterdam is not complete if you have not seen the canals. Did you know that Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals with more than 1500 bridges? Since 2010, the 17th-century canal ring with the main canals and a part of the surrounding area has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You have probably heard of the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht, the most famous canals. Not only the canals, but also the buildings on the water are impressive. Some beautiful canal houses can be found at the Gouden Bocht, the part of the Herengracht between Leidsestraat and Vijzelstraat. The best way to enjoy the Amsterdam canals is of course from the water. This can be done by tour boat, but you can also rent a pedal boat, for example.
→ Order tickets for canal cruises online
→ A night or weekend in Amsterdam? View our Amsterdam hotel packages with a discount
10. Traditional Dutch fishing villages
Nice and touristy, but they should not be missing from this list of most beautiful sights. The most famous traditional Dutch fishing villages are Volendam , Marken and Monnickendam† Volendam is known worldwide for its fishing culture, the beautifully colored houses, the dike and traditional costumes. Many artists such as Jan Smit and Nick & Simon also come from the fishing village. Tourists often visit Volendam in combination with Marken, located on a peninsula surrounded by the Gouwzee and the Markermeer. Marken has monumental wooden houses, white drawbridges, a fishing harbour, narrow alleys and traditional costumes. It is a photogenic village with many visitors in high season. In addition to all this, you can also visit a cheese factory, an eel smokehouse, the eel sound museum or take a guided walk, there are plenty of options for a fun day out!
→ Staying overnight in a fishing village? View current Volendam discount outings & packages
→ View hotels and b&b’s on Marken
→ View current Monnickendam hotel offers
11. The Wadden Islands (Friesland & North Holland)
The Wadden Islands are of course one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands: they are actually astonishingly beautiful! The wide sandy beaches, the wind in the dunes, the beautiful walking and cycling paths, the cozy villages with their lovely terraces: this is the Netherlands holiday at its best, especially when the weather is good. What all islands have in common are the wide sandy beaches and the beautiful dune areas, but each island is also unique in its own right.
Texel is the largest Wadden Island with no less than thirty kilometers of beaches and belongs to the province of North Holland . Four Wadden Islands belong to the province of Friesland : Vlieland is a somewhat more chic and alternative island that is located furthest from the coast. Terschelling is, especially in summer, a real youth island full of bustle and fun. On the wonderfully cozy family island of Ameland you have the cleanest beach and you can learn a lot about whaling and the unspoilt Schiermonnikoog is the smallest municipality in the Netherlands with only one village, ideal for the real nature lover and those seeking tranquility.
→ Holiday or weekend on the Wadden Islands? View current Wadden Islands discount outings & packages
→ Stay in a Landal or Roompot bungalow park on the Wadden Islands.
→ Find your own holiday home on the Wadden Islands
12. Loonse and Drunense dunes (North Brabant)
Where in the Netherlands can you walk for hours without meeting anyone? This is possible in the Brabant Sahara, or the National Park De Loonse en Drunense dunes, the largest sand drift in Western Europe. In this area in North Brabant you will find forests, hills, heath and especially a lot of sand. The landscape changes continuously due to the wind and the changing seasons also ensure that you have the idea that it is different every time. The Loonse en Drunense duinen is a fantastic area for walking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding. Nice to stay with your children or to walk the dog. There are a number of nice restaurants along the walking routes.
Tip for staying overnight: nearby holiday parks include TopParken Résidence de Leuvert and De Beekse Bergen .
→ Find your own nature house in North Brabant
13. Valkenburg (Limburg)
Every year millions of people move to Valkenburg, in the south of Limburg . The many sights of Valkenburg include Valkenburg Castle, Velvet Cave, Mergelrijk, Museum Roman Catacombs, Wilhelminatoren and the Fairytale Forest theme park. The old center of Valkenburg is full of cozy bars, restaurants and terraces. Relax in the Thermae 2000, try your luck at the casino or go on an adventure in the caves, an activity not to be missed. Valkenburg is also very nice in winter, with a real Christmas market!
→ Staying overnight in Valkenburg? View current Valkenburg discount packages
→ Tip: the nearby holiday park Résidence Valkenburg
14. De Haar Castle (Utrecht)
You will certainly feel like you are in a fairytale when you visit Kasteel de Haar, in the Utrecht village of Haarzuilens. This castle is the largest and most luxurious castle in the Netherlands, its history dates back to the twelfth century. De Haar Castle underwent a large-scale restoration in the nineteenth century, which makes the castle feel quite “new”. Beautiful carvings, stained glass, canals, towers, gates and drawbridges complete the fairy tale. Stroll through the castle garden or eat an ice cream at the Tuynhuis.
→ Staying overnight in or around Utrecht? View our current Utrecht discount packages
15. Dutch seaside resorts
It is good to stay on the Dutch coast. Coastal towns simply have a certain appeal and are often an ideal combination of beach, nature and culture. Some of the best-known seaside resorts are Scheveningen with its iconic pier, Zandvoort with the race track and the chic Bloemendaal and Noordwijk . Other nice seaside resorts are Kijkduin , Katwijk aan Zee , the family – friendly Egmond , Callantsoog and the artists ‘ village of Bergen . In maritime Den Helderyou will find out what the coastal defense of our country looked like and looks like. In each of these coastal towns you can enjoy a beautiful spring day or sultry summer day.
→ A night, weekend or holiday on the Dutch coast? View our current discount packages to the Dutch coast
→ View the holiday parks on the coast of, among others, Roompot or Topparken
ALSO READ: 20x special overnight stays by the sea in the Netherlands!
16. Cheese Markets
The Dutch are sometimes called cheese heads because cheese plays an important role in our economy. We still love cheese and eat about 15 kilos!!! cheese per year per person. There are five cheese markets, namely in Alkmaar , Edam , Hoorn , Gouda and Woerden . Today, the cheese markets are more like tourist demonstrations or reconstructions from past times. Gouda and Woerden are the most traditional. The cheese markets are often located in the middle of a beautiful historic city center with monuments. Immediately visit a museum to see how cheese is actually made.
→ Stick to it overnight? View hotel offers & packages for Alkmaar , Hoorn or Gouda
17. Port of Rotterdam (South Holland)
Rotterdam is a large port in South Holland , between 1962 and 2004 even the largest in the world. Impressive container ships sail in every day. The harbor is connected to the river Maas, where you can take beautiful walks along the water. From the Erasmus Bridge, Maaskade, Willemskade and Wilhelminapier you have a beautiful view of the shipping industry and the skyline of Rotterdam. Discover the port and its history by boat, various tours are offered. Most tours also go along the “SS Rotterdam” a hotel that is located in a former cruise ship. Finally, you can visit the Oude Haven, nowadays a popular nightlife area. Also take a look at the separate Cube Houses, if you are in the area.
→ Book a tour (a 75 minutes) through the Port of Rotterdam
→ Staying overnight in Rotterdam? View Rotterdam hotel offers & packages
18. Peace Palace The Hague (South Holland)
The world famous Peace Palace is mentioned by many as one of the highlights of a visit to the royal city of The Hague . Built in the Renaissance style in the 19th century, the palace played an important role in world peace. Today, among others, the United Nations and the International Court of Justice are located here. Next to the entrance to the Peace Palace is the visitor center, which has a free audio tour. The palace is often photographed from the outside, but the inside is also worth seeing. You can take a tour for 11 euros, but book it in advance because they are often full.
→ A night or weekend in The Hague? View The Hague hotel offers & packages
19. Amsterdam water supply dunes (North Holland)
For those who love peace, nature and walking, the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen in North Holland are a true paradise. The area plays an important role for the extraction of drinking water. In this dune area between Zandvoort and Noordwijk, visitors almost always spot fallow deer and they are not shy! Foxes and special birds also live in the dune area. The Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen has several entrances with enough parking spaces and almost all of them also have a pancake house. Go for a run, birdwatching, get lost in the woods or take a long walk to the beach.
Tip: find your own nature house near the Amsterdam water supply dunes .
20. Popular Theme Parks
The Netherlands has quite a few popular amusement parks where you can have hours of fun with the whole family. The most popular daytime attraction in the Netherlands is the Efteling, with more than 4.5 million visitors a year. The Efteling has even been chosen as the best amusement park in the Benelux! Other frequently visited amusement parks are Amusement Park Duinrell in Wassenaar, Amusement Park Slagharen and Walibi Holland with many roller coasters. Or how about a visit to the mini-holland in Madurodam , the Dolfinarium or the Apenheul ?
→ View Amusement Park packages at Voordeeluitjes
→ Offers on discounted tickets at VakantieVeilingen
21. Middelburg Abbey (Zeeland)
Middelburg has a rich past and is known as the old trading city of the VOC. This past is clearly reflected in the historic city center. The abbey monastery from the 12th century is located in a beautiful wooded area. It has a historic square and houses the Zeeuws Museum. The abbey is very well preserved, just like the rest of the center of Middelburg. The square is widely used for major cultural events, such as the annual folkloric day and the Zeeland Nazomerfestival. Middelburg is a nice and original city for a night or weekend away!
→ A night or weekend away in Middelburg? View current Middelburg discount outings & packages
22. Saint Servatius Basilica (Maastricht)
In the center of Maastricht is the Basilica of Saint Servatius, a Catholic building with a rich history, located between three squares; the Vrijthof, Keizer Karelplein and Henric van Veldekeplein. It is the oldest basilica in the Netherlands and has one of the richest treasuries in Europe. The church is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is plenty to admire (for a small entrance fee) such as relics, goldsmithery and textiles. It is a beautiful basilica, even if you actually have ‘nothing’ with religion.
→ A night or weekend away in Maastricht? View our current Maastricht discount packages
→ View even more Maastricht hotel offers here
23. Dolmens (Drenthe)
Drenthe is one large open-air museum, the entire province is dotted with unique dolmens or ‘dolmens’, burial chambers from prehistoric times. The history of this is told in the Hunebed Center in Borger. Did you know that dolmens are the oldest monuments in the Netherlands? These large boulders were taken to Drenthe during the Ice Age . The largest dolmen is in Borger and is more than 20 meters long, what a job that must have been! If you want to view several hunebeds, there is even a “Hunebedhighway” car route. Visit the Hunebedcentrum if you want to know more about the hunebeds.
ALSO READ: Sights Drenthe: the most beautiful places, nice places & outings with children
→ Weekend in Drenthe? Find your own nature house in Drenthe
→ View the holiday parks of Landal or Roompot in Drenthe
→ A night in a hotel in Drenthe? View our current Drenthe hotel discount packages with a discount of up to 68%
24. Austerlitz Pyramid (Utrecht)
We have a real pyramid in the Netherlands, namely the Austerlitz Pyramid! This special building in the province of Utrecht was commissioned by Lodewijk Napoleon as an observation post. Climbing the pyramid is unfortunately not free and only for people who have good mobility, but if you are at the top, you do have a wide view. Around the pyramid is a beautiful walking area with various routes that are well signposted. For children there is a playground and restaurant.
25. South Limburg hilly landscape
ALSO READ: 15x sights, outings & activities for your Limburg holiday
The Burgundian South Limburg with its rolling hills and beautiful half-timbered farms is one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. In this, almost un-Dutch-looking, landscape you will find the most beautiful walking and cycling routes, such as the Mergelland route and the end of the Pieterpad. The Limburg cosiness is present everywhere and certainly on the terraces of Gulpen, Valkenburg and Maastricht. Here you can drink a delicious Limburg beer and eat a delicious slice of real Limburg flan. You will also find the South Limburg hilly landscape in the area around Epen, Mechelen and Noorbeek, great places for a week away or holiday.