Since I started visiting the Netherlands frequently over a year ago, I have seen many of the country’s beautiful cities and I thought it would be interesting to show you guys some of my favourites so far. I’m not going to include Amsterdam in this post, not only because I think that it is an obvious pick, but also because I think its much more fun to write about cities that perhaps people haven’t heard of before. Hopefully this will inspire people to explore outside of the capital when they fly over here because there is honestly SO much to offer here in the Netherlands, with countless historical and jaw-droppingly gorgeous places to visit dotted all over the country.
My first pick would have to be Leiden, it is my favourite city in the Netherlands and I just think that it is oozing with the most interesting history and culture. I’m lucky enough that my boyfriend’s step-father is from this city and therefore was able to teach me a lot about it whilst giving me a full city tour during one of my first visits to Holland. I honestly think that this city will mean a lot to me for a long time, when people at home ask me to describe it I always think of it as a smaller, cleaner and less hectic Amsterdam. There’s plenty of things to do; fantastic shopping, great bars and restaurants etc. and it is such a stunning city. There’s really nothing to dislike and I am so thrilled that I finally get to take my friends and family around the city this summer.
Another one of my favourite cities in the Netherlands is Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a city that really surprised me upon my first visit, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It’s a very modern city, with a series of high rise buildings, a posh bridge and not much in the way of ‘typical’ Dutch architecture that foreigners expect to find in the Netherlands. However, when delving deeper into the city it has a hell of a lot to offer, from fantastic shopping hotspots to great venues for nights out and everything else you could ever want.
Utrecht is the place to be if you want to have a good time. Not only is it a great student oriented city that holds fantastic festivals and venues, but it also is a beautiful historic city that is packed with rich Dutch culture and plenty to feast your eyes on. Utrecht is a fairly large city, not too far south of Amsterdam. The location is fantastic and there is so much to see and do that I would definitely consider it a must see for those hoping to explore the Netherlands.
Scheveningen is a seaside resort I instantly wanted to visit when I came to the Netherlands, simply because almost everyone I encountered was trying to get me to pronounce its name (FYI its sh-kay-ven-ing-ehn, kinda). It is a small beach town within Den Haag, or The Hague, on the west coast of the country and I am so looking forward to spending more time here in the summer, as, as you can see in the picture above, my first visit was quite a chilly one. On arrival I was not disappointed, the city boasts a spectacular promenade decorated with the fantastic Kurhaus and pier. You are actually able to walk to the top of a tower on the pier, which gives a great view, however, speaking from experience I would not recommend it on a very cold, windy day in winter.
There are many other amazing cities in the Netherlands that are worth a visit, but these are by far my favourites! Let me know your recommendations, if you have any, I would love to see much more of this beautiful country 🙂
Loren X Hakeney