Towns In Holland Worth Visiting
While most people know Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam, there is a lot more to Holland than just those cities. In fact, if you are not venturing outside of these three major cities, you might be missing out on some of the more authentic experiences that Holland has to offer.
These are just some of the towns that we believe that you simply have to visit.
Image Credit: Ad de Cort
The city of Delft is renowned for its ties with Vermeer – the famous Dutch painter. It has a rich artistic heritage and the city itself is astonishingly picturesque. The “Oude Kerk” (Old Church) is certainly worth a visit, as is the impressive Renaissance-style town hall. The church is 75 meters high, and leans just a bit left.
The city of Delft is also home to arguably its most famous export, the beautifully crafted Delftware pottery. This world-renown export has been developed in Delft since the 16th century.
If you want to learn how the white and blue earthenware is produced, you can explore this in one of the amazing workshops that are offered throughout the city. This allows you a chance to see how these beautiful pieces are fashioned.
Image Credit: Tom Roeleveld
Home to one of the most famous universities in the Netherlands (Leiden University) Leiden is also renowned for being the birthplace of Rembrandt. The main center of the city is renowned for its culture and rich history.
Traditional brick buildings surround the historic city center. Like so many other cities throughout the country, Leiden is located on the water. Two different branches of the Rhine River combine in the middle of the city. These branches have different offspring’s throughout the city with many small canals that wind throughout the city.
If you want to escape the busy streets, you can explore one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world – the Hortus Botanicus.
Image Credit: Bas Meelker
What Groningen might lack in size, it more than makes up in cultural diversity. There are two different colleges found throughout the city, making this the cultural hub for the northern part of the country. It is especially popular for education, business, and arts. You can find one of the most innovative and modern museums in the Groninger Museum. If you are a fan of museums, you can also find a university museum, maritime museum, comic museum, and graphical museum in the city.
Groningen is home to a great number of theaters and musical performances. Many of the street cafes found throughout the city provide you with live entertainment throughout the night. The nightlife hotspots throughout Groningen are also a massive attraction, primarily because of the city’s high student population. The most popular going out destinations are the Vismarkt, the Peperstraat, and the Grote Markt (which roughly translates into the Large Market).
Image Credit: Dutchflavour
There is a reason that Haarlem is unofficially known as “Bloemenstad” (flower city), it is because it is located in the heart of the tulip bulb-growing district. The town is home to a number of medieval structures and it is located alongside the shoreline of the Spaarne River. The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum in the country and there is much more to see in Haarlem when you visit. Visit the Grote Markt city center to find some of the better museums and stunning architecture.
Image Credit: Anton Bielousov
While it is a relatively small town, it is one of the more popular tourist destinations throughout the country. You can find a bevy of Dutch clichés here, including the wooden shoes and the traditional costumes. Because of the character of its inhabitants and rather isolated location, you can experience a very specific atmosphere when visiting Volendam.
The city is renowned for its singers, and the locals have started to appreciate the cultural (and economical) benefits of being a place for tourism. Even though the fishing industry is not what it once was, the harbor is now filled with people who want to learn more about the locals and how this city sets itself apart from the mainstream.
Banner Image: Klaus Kehrls - Flickr