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Reviewed on 7 Oct 2021
Reviewed on 4 Oct 2021
Reviewed on 9 Oct 2021
For the broadest cross-section of Dutch life, visit this northerly province in the Netherlands, a sweeping peninsula with plenty of history.
Encompassing the major city of Amsterdam, several important cultural towns, picturesque fishing villages and a handful of windswept islands, North Holland is one of the most vibrant provinces in the Netherlands. Use Amsterdam as a base to discover its many delights.
The capital of the Netherlands is home to the world-famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Rent a bike and cycle through the leafy Vondelpark and take a tour of the thought-provoking Anne Frank House. For some quiet, wander around the quaint streets of the Jordaan neighbourhood and then learn about the Netherland’s most famous brew at the Heineken Experience.
Haarlem is a smaller yet equally pretty city on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Take a self-guided walking tour around the city’s hofjes (enclosed courtyard gardens) and through the Grote Markt square.
Other popular destinations within reach of Amsterdam include Zaanse Schans, known for its collection of historic windmills. Explore the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen, also dedicated to preserving Dutch cultural heritage and maritime history.
Experience the lively cheese market in Alkmaar, held every Friday morning from March to September, and browse the exhibits Dutch Cheese Museum. Also worth exploring is the fishing village of Marken. Here, take part in The Clog Experience to learn how the famous wooden shoes are made.
For escapes to nature, head for the beaches of the seaside town of Bergen. Or, cycle across Texel, the largest of the Wadden Islands, which encompasses nature reserves, forests and white-sand beaches.
While here, try Dutch culinary specialties, such as stamppot, which is mashed potato and kale, topped with sausage. Jenever, a strong juniper-flavored spirit that came to be known as gin, and bitters, is a favourite drink among locals in North Holland.
Fly into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and take the train into the city. Rent a bike to explore the countryside, or ride the extensive bus and train system between towns and cities. Visit during spring to see the tulips in full bloom, or during summer for the best patio weather.
Visit North Holland for the bustling cities and stay for the sandy beaches, cute fishing villages and historic towns.