North Holland

Haarlem which includes a river or creek and a windmill

Discover the beautiful countryside, the polders and of course the vibrant city of Amsterdam. 

Enjoy the natural beauty and immerse yourself in the cultural delights of North Holland.

Ride your bike like a Dutch native around Amsterdam’s historic canals, sample the cheeses of Edam and Alkmaar, explore the coastal dunes and national park around Haarlem and tour art galleries and museums.

Fly to Schiphol Airport, located in the Haarlemmermeer, a lowland reclaimed in the 1800s from a body of water that separated North Holland from South Holland. Board a train to beautiful Amsterdam, a wonderland of 17th-century houses, numerous canals, intimate cafés, grand palaces and mansions. Don’t miss the Van Gogh Museum, the astoundingly huge Rijksmuseum and the Rembrandt House. Numerous little canal house museums give you a glimpse into the lives of wealthy merchant families during the period between the 17th and 19th centuries.

A short trip away by train or bicycle is Haarlem, full of historic churches and charming narrow streets filled with cottages and unusual boutique shops. Spend a few hours wandering through the Frans Hals Museum, which celebrates Haarlem’s most famous Golden Age portrait painter and his contemporaries. Not far from Haarlem, find the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, where you can hike through coastal dune habitats to the beach.

When you explore the little towns surrounding Amsterdam you’ll find each has its own flavor, quite literally. Edam has the famous eponymous cheese and Alkmaar is known for its Friday cheese market. Zaanse Schans has historic food-production sites, from a 17th-century bakery to a liqueur distillery and working spice mill as well as numerous wooden windmills.

Between Alkmaar and Den Helder are North Holland’s famous tulip fields, at their prettiest from March through May. Continue north to the West Frisian Islands to see the nature reserves of Griend, Rottumerplaat and Rottumeroog, islands in the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage area. Camping is popular in summer, especially in June, when Terschelling Island has a week-long theater festival. Plan a sailing trip or take your bike on the ferry to explore the islands’ historic lighthouses and windmills.

Popular cities in North Holland

Amsterdam which includes heritage architecture, street scenes and night scenes
Known for Museums, Biking and Boating
Wander around a fairy-tale lattice of canals and captivating neighborhoods, where old-world charm is fused with modern luxury and world-famous nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Dam Square
  • Anne Frank House
  • Leidseplein
Haarlem featuring street scenes
Known for Shopping, Cathedrals and Historical
Spend a weekend in this small city and enjoy its village atmosphere, great shops, amazing culture and even the beach!

Reasons to visit

  • Frans Hals Museum
  • Grote Markt
  • Teylers Museum
Waag showing street scenes and cycling
Known for Historical, Cheese and Biking
Experience a traditional cheese market, hire a motorboat and potter around the canals, explore the surroundings by bike, and relax at one of the numerous sidewalk cafés.

Reasons to visit

  • Waag
  • Stedelijk Museum
Known for Beach view, Sea and Poolside bars
Discover this relaxing seaside resort and enjoy the sun, the sea and the beach. It's also the perfect base for a day trip to Haarlem or a day in the dunes.

Reasons to visit

  • Zandvoort Beach
Known for Historical, Museums and Monuments
This city in the far east of North Holland is a paradise for culture lovers and families with kids. Why not spend a weekend in Enkhuizen?
Known for Relaxing, Excursions and Biking
Come to relaxing Naarden and enjoy its boating, castle and golf.