Eupedia Netherlands Guide

Eupedia Home > Netherlands Travel Guide

Netherlands Travel & Culture Guide

Version française
Dutch windmill in a snowy landscape (© Jaap Hart |


The Netherlands is the 10th most populous European countries and the 6th largest economy. Netherlands literally mean the 'Low Countries' because it is low-lying and flat, and much of its land has been reclaimed from the sea and is below sea level, protected by dikes.

This originally a bleak, featureless corner of Europe grew to become one of the wealthiest, most liberal and most influential regions of Europe. Few countries are so evocative in their symbols: windmills, canals, tulips, clogs, Gouda cheese, cannabis coffee shops... Dutch people like to joke that "God created the earth, but the Dutch created the Netherlands".

Right after declaring their independence from Habsburg dominion in the late 1500's, the Netherlands became the world's biggest trading empire, setting up colonies in North America (New York), the Caribbeans, along the coasts of Africa and India, and in Indonesia, which was going to become the largest Dutch colony. Nowadays this colonial heritage is still evident from the multi-ethnic make-up of Dutch society, where over 5% of the population hails from Indonesia, Surinam or the Dutch Antilles.

Did you know?

Contrarily to popular belief Holland is not synonymous with Netherlands. Holland only refers to two of the Netherlands's 16 provinces: North Holland and South Holland. Historically the Netherlands designated all the Benelux and French Flanders. Nowadays the whole region is usually referred to as the Low Countries.


Travel Destinations

This is our ranking of the most interesting Dutch cities and towns to visit. We took into account the attractiveness, atmosphere, historical heritage, as well as the number and quality of museums and local restaurants.

Aerial view of Amsterdam at night (© Rob Harpenau | must-see Amsterdam
Aerial view of Utrecht (© Merijn van der Vliet |
must-see Utrecht

Vleeshal, Haarlem (©
outstanding Haarlem

Town hall, Gouda (© Zbynek Burival |
very good Gouda
Townhall of Rotterdam (© Peter van Vuuren |
very good Rotterdam
Grote Kerk & Grote Markt, Breda
very good Breda
very good Nijmegen
Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof Gardens (© Nicole Aletta Planken-Kooij |
must-see Keukenhof Gardens
Marina, Leiden (©
outstanding Leiden
The Hague
Dutch Parliament, The Hague (© jan kranendonk |
outstanding The Hague
Abbey of Middelburg (©
very good Middelburg
Frozen canal, Groningen (© Patricia Hofmeester |
very good Groningen
Marina, Veere
very good Veere
Bourtange Fortress
Bourtange Fortress
very good Bourtange Fortress
Mosan architecture, Maastricht (©
must-see Maastricht
Canal and houses, Delft (© jan kranendonk |
outstanding Delft
Marina in Dordrecht (© Jan Kranendonk |
very good Dordrecht
Bergkerk at night, Deventer (© Arie J. Jager |
very good Deventer
's Hertogenbosch
Paleiskwartier - Armada, Den Bosch (photo by Cro-Cop2 - Creative Commons Licence)
very good Den Bosch
Sassenpoort, Zwolle (© Alain Lacroix |
very good Zwolle
Harbour of Vlissingen (© Kora Brouwer |
very good Vlissingen

Other Attractions

good Arnhem
good Leeuwarden
good Tilburg
good D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station ※
Eupedia's Rating System

Cities, towns, villages & historic buildings

  • : Local interest
  • : Moderately interesting
  • : Outstanding place
  • : Best of the country - shouldn't be missed
  • : Best of Europe

Natural attractions

  • : Local interest
  • : Moderately interesting
  • : Highly recommended
  • : World-class natural attraction
  • ※ : UNESCO World Heritage site

Copyright © 2004-2022 All Rights Reserved.