Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

10 reasons why you should visit The Netherlands

1) The best beers and bar snacks

You might know the popular Dutch beers like Heineken, Amstel or Bavaria but The Netherlands offers so many more craft beers to try than your local pub. There are many beer cafes offering over 100 special beers with any taste your heart desires. There is a huge variety of snacks available besides your common nacho’s and chips. Have you ever heard of a bitterbal, frikandel or kaassoufflé? Read more about some of the best snacks of the Netherlands in ‘Try before you die foods to eat in the Netherlands’. You won’t be disappointed!

The Netherlands food

2) Beautiful landscapes

The Netherlands is probably the flattest country we have visited, it’s quite rare that you’ll see a hill. Did you know that almost a third of the Netherlands is actually below sea level, with Amsterdam reaching at its lowest 2 metres below sea level. Even more impressive a polder called Zuidplaspolder (a large area of low-lying wetland or former sea floor encircled by dikes and drained by windmills) is one of the lowest points in the European Union reaching 6.76m (22.2ft) below sea level.

With this being said you can see for miles over the delicious green farmland, tulip fields and admire magnificent architecture like the windmills popping out of the landscapes. The best place to admire the tulips is in De Keukenhof in Lisse – the largest and most famous flower park in the world. Spring and summer highlight the absolute beauty of the colourful landscapes. Home to the UNESCO world heritage site, Kinderdijk, is an absolute must if you want to see The Netherlands at its finest.

Kinderdijk windmills

3) Easy to travel around

The Netherlands is a small country, you would be able to travel from north to south in approximately 4 hours by car extending 300km from North to South and 200km from East to West. The motorways are very well maintained and there are good roads to every corner of the country. It is very rare that you will hit a pothole. The public transport is exceptional and also very reliable. With quick, easy and frequent public transport that will take you everywhere you want to go, it’s hard to recommend anything else. In our opinion the Dutch transportation system is one of the best we’ve seen on our travels. It is amazing how dependent you become on your own vehicle in the UK for example, whereas in The Netherlands it does not phase us.

Public transport in The Netherlands

Next to the public transport, the locals tend to take their bikes when going somewhere close. There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands and everyone knows how to ride one. If you want the real Dutch experience, rent a bike and explore the cities via the embedded 15,000km of cycle lanes. Have you ever seen a bike park before? Check this one out in Nijmeigen. Imagine this row with 10 others exactly the same, rammed with bikes.

4) Magnificent Canals

During the Dutch Golden Age (17th century) the three main canals of Amsterdam, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht, were dug for purpose of defence, water management and most importantly the transport of goods. These canals are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2010. It is estimated that 30% of all goods are transported through inland waters. Nowadays in Amsterdam there are more than 160 canals with a total length of more than 100 km. Amsterdam is one of the many places where you can find houseboats, yes, literally houses floating on the water. The annual fundraising event ‘the city swim’ is held in the canals of Amsterdam but that doesn’t mean these canals are a desired place to swim. The water has some particular hidden hazards like bikes. Each year more than 12.000 bikes are pulled out of the canals of Amsterdam, which has become the phenomenon ‘fietsen vissen’ (bike fishing). Our favourite city Utrecht located centrally in The Netherlands is also known for its canals and especially the ‘Oude gracht’ (old canal) which was built in the 12th century.

Utrecht Canal in The Netherlands

If you are looking for one of the most beautiful villages still only fully accessible by boat then you visit Giethoorn also known as the Venice of the Netherlands. This is one of the many places still on our bucket list. A beautiful place to take a boat tour and explore the star shaped canals around the village.

Nowadays Canal cruises are one of the more popular ways to enjoy the cities views especially in Amsterdam and Utrecht. Recreational activities like canoeing, rowing and water sports are also desirable. You are guaranteed to see such activities every day when visiting the city.

One of our favourite canal activities are the festivals that take place. Various annual festivals take place on and around the canals, such as Canal pride parade. During special occasions like King’s Day on 27th April the Dutch gather and have a national celebration for the King’s birthday. On such days you will see floating boats and parties on the canal.

Canal pride in The Netherlands

In Utrecht it is common to relax by the canal side enjoying a drink and a bite. There are many restaurants and bars located alongside the canals which make a perfect spot to unwind.

Fun fact: Did you know that the canals in Amsterdam separate the city into 90 different islands?

Mandy by Utrecht Canal

5) Interesting history

The Netherlands has a long and fascinating history. With an extremely powerful naval force The Dutch trading company had ties in almost every continent. Famous artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt are recognised as some of the most influential of their time. With a trembling history of flooding The Netherlands has become one of the most technically advanced countries in the world with regards to Water management. The Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier is a prime example of their capabilities, running 8km in length with the ability to shut off the entire Eastern Scheldt estuary in 75 minutes. As travellers we love to enhance our knowledge with the countries we visit. No, this does not mean we are good at pub quizzes!

6) Appealing art and architecture

With the highest density of museums in the world it’s not hard to understand why when you have Vincent Van Gogh as one of the most influential painters of Western Art in the 19th century. Kröller-Müller Museum in De Hoge Veluwe National Park just outside of Arnhem is home to the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world.

Have you ever looked up at a building and wondered, how is that even possible? If you haven’t, we are sure you will in The Netherlands with its many amazingly crafted churches and architecture that flourish within the cities just like the Stadhuis (city hall) in Gouda.

Gouda city hall in The Netherlands

You are also bound to love the dream homes you see tied to the river edges.

The windmill – an iconic building associated with the Dutch landscape. There are over 1000 windmills in The Netherlands and some are still being used for drainage, such as one or two of the nineteen in Kinderdijk. One of the purposes of windmills in The Netherlands is to move water from one section to another via the waterwheel to avoid flooding and control water management.

If you have visited Amsterdam you may have seen the houses that are leaning forward towards the street. This is not an accident. It was actually a building regulation and it was even specified how much houses need to lean forward by. Historically, with high rise houses, it was easier to hoist up goods, which is why you will see many houses with a wooden beam sticking out at the top floor. Products like cotton, cacao and spices were stored in the attics of merchants’ canal houses in Amsterdam hence the hoisting post.

Another must if you are in the Central region of The Netherlands is Kasteel De Haar. It is magnificent in scale and is surrounded by beautiful, picturesque gardens that make for great photo opportunities. Get lost walking amongst the flowers and castle grounds. Our Kasteel De Haar blog is coming soon!

7) Lush cafes and terraces

What’s better than relaxing with an ice cold beer or wine under an umbrella with heating overhead or shading from the strong sun? We couldn’t answer that. Throughout The Netherlands it is very common to enjoy such drinks in the outside area of a cafe/bar. These areas are called terrasjes/terraces. It always seems to be busy and the staff are exceptional, delivering service at a great pace. You also have the option to sit inside all cafés if it does decide to rain. For the most that we have visited the insides of the cafes are desirable and have a real authenticity. If this at all sounds like an addition to the things you want to do we recommend ‘Terrasjes op het neude’ in Utrecht. Another great venue to enjoy drinks by the waterside and gaze over some weird and wonderful architecture is in Rotterdam. There you will see the cube houses designed by architect Piet Blom and based on the concept of “living as an urban roof”.


8) Bursting nightlife

If you are into a great night out dancing with the locals and enjoying community spirit you will love the nightlife in The Netherlands. If you’re not like Tom who falls asleep after 1am, you should take a visit to Northern City Groningen, where the bars and nightlife have no closing time. How mad is that?

You will find many specialist bars which are always great to try out, one such franchise is Chupitos found in various cities across the country, a specialist shot bar. You can try one of the many special crafted inventions which is always great to enjoy with friends.

You can start your night sitting outside one of the many terraces and progress into a nightclub or bar, one of the ways most people enjoy their nights out.

9) Friendly people and (almost) everyone speaks English.

The locals in the Netherlands are very friendly to tourists. They (almost) always want to help with directions and the best thing is, they almost all speak perfect English! 90 to 93% of the Dutch population can speak English which is remarkable. This makes it the top non-native English speaking country in the world. Tom is currently trying to learn Dutch and the locals patiently wait and unravel a grammatically incorrect sentence, then reply in English. It is always slightly funny when they immediately know that Tom is an English speaker. His favourite Dutch vocabulary insult is ‘Jij bent een ei’ which translates asYou are an egg’.

10) The Cheese

Did you know that The Netherlands produces 30 million pounds of cheese per week? Home to some of the most popular cheeses on offer throughout the world. You may have heard of Gouda, Leerdammer, Edam, Old Amsterdam and Beemster. All of these are produced in The Netherlands and are a must try when visiting the country.

If we have got you thinking about visiting The Netherlands read more about what the country has to offer here!

Travelling Translated



Travelling Translated

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.