Netherlands tourism offers some of the widest variety in organised itineraries, with not only all you need to see in the land of ‘Oranje’, but numerous options for combinations with Belgium, the Benelux region comprised of Belgium and Luxembourg alongside the Netherlands, and other parts of Europe.
Tours cover all the best places to visit in Netherlands
Under our tour comparison Netherlands, you will find itineraries that time their dates with important festivals or events, including over Easter and King’s Day – the world’s biggest street party that sees cities and towns across the country flooded with a sea of bright orange, the national colour.
A significant benefit of Netherlands tourism itineraries is the opportunity to see much more than the city of Amsterdam, undeniably the nation’s biggest drawcard for tourists. Other places to visit in Netherlands that appear on tour itineraries include Rotterdam, Delft, Volendam and The Hague, with knowledgeable local guides for all.
Travellers enjoy exclusive accommodation on the S.S. Rotterdam and oh-so-Dutch houseboats, as well as ‘Be My Guest’ homestay dinners, authentic meals in historic houses, and Indonesian ‘rice tables’.
Amsterdam is home to some of the most popular places to visit in Netherlands, and tours ensure priority entrance to the Rijksmuseum and Anne France House, both of which are prone to long snaking lines that make those who didn’t plan ahead wish they had. In Amsterdam travellers also enjoy organised nightlife tours, with optional experiences like the Amsterdam canal cruise, Red Light District walking tours, and canal-side biking tours.
Outside of Amsterdam, tour comparison Netherlands options include visits to diamond polishing factories, Delft Pottery factories, wooden clog and cheese producers, and the Kinderdijk windmills as well as the towns of Giethoorn and Oosterbeek.
A trip to the Netherlands is not complete without some tulips, and tours therefore include exclusive access to Aalsmeer Flower Auction and, depending on the time of year, day trips to the Keukenhof where those iconic fields of colourful flowers bloom for a fleeting few months in spring.
Itching to plan your trip? Take a look at our tour comparison Netherlands and find the right itinerary for you.
Want a taste of that insider Netherlands tourism knowledge we mentioned before? We have collected the best facts from real life tour guides. Impress them on tour with how much you already know.
- The Netherlands is often mistakenly referred to as ‘Holland’, but this is actually only a region within the Netherlands. Most of the popular places to visit within the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam, are in Holland.
- The Netherlands is the third lowest country on earth behind only Maldives and Qatar, with an average altitude of just 30 metres and many areas below sea level protected only by the marvel of Dutch engineering.
- The North Sea forms the Netherlands’ coastal border to the west.
- The Netherlands boasts the biggest lake in western Europe, the IJsselmeer, which spreads over 1,100 km2 and is extremely shallow at an average depth of only five or six metres.
- Amsterdam is officially the capital of the Netherlands, but the seat of government, parliament and the International Criminal Court are located in Den Haag – The Hague in English.
- Amsterdam and Rotterdam are two of the favoured places to visit in Netherlands, but other cities such as medieval Maastricht, the fishing village of Volendam, and the home of the iconic blue and white pottery, Delft, are all worth a visit.
- Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, covering an area of 105 km2.
- Windmills are a recognisable symbol of the windy, flat country, and traditional examples of these can be seen in Waterland, Zaandam and at Kinderdijk.
- Arriving in the Netherlands, it is hard not to notice the extraordinary number of bikes and cyclists, which is the most popular form of transport in the cities with 30,000 km of cycle paths across the country.
- The best natural places to visit in Netherlands include the sand dunes and woodland in Hoge Veluwe National Park, dunes and mudflats on the Frisian Islands, and the wetlands of Biesbosch National Park.
- The town of Arnhem was the site of a major battle during WWII, which lasted for nine days in September 1944.
- The Keukenhof is one of the biggest flower gardens in the world, with over seven million flower bulbs planted annually in the park. The garden blooms only for a short time during spring each year, and many therefore plan their visit to time with the Tulip Festival.
- The Dutch Golden Age through the 17th century saw the nation’s trade, science, military and art as some of the most acclaimed in the world.
- The Dutch East India Company was established in 1602 and is considered the world’s first transnational corporation. It was the first company in the world to issue bonds and stock shares to the general public.
- Famous royals from the Netherlands include William of Orange, Queen Juliana, Queen Beatrix, and King Willem-Alexander, who ascended to the throne after his mother Beatrix’s abdication in 2013.
- The Dutch version of Christmas is Sinterklaas, who was the inspiration for Santa Claus. The holiday takes place on December 5 and 6 every year.
- The Dutch discovered and settled a small city in the US, originally named New Amsterdam, which eventually became modern New York.
- The movie ‘A Bridge Too Far’, DJs Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto and Nicky Romero, film director Theo Van Gogh, rock band Van Halen and pop band the Vengaboys are all from the Netherlands.
- The Netherlands has produced some of the most celebrated artists of all time, including Vincent Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Rembrandt.
- Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, Johan Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp are just a few of the most famous Dutch football players.
- The Netherlands is home to companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, KPMG, Philips, Fugro, TomTom SatNavs and Gassan Diamonds.
- One of the world’s most recognisable autobiographical works, Anne Frank’s Diary, was written in Amsterdam, where teenage Anne and her family hid during World War II.
- The Netherlands is considered a very progressive country, as the first to allow same-sex marriage, and legalised euthanasia and marijuana.
- King’s Day, celebrated on April 27 every year, is the world’s biggest street party featuring music festivals and a country-wide free market where anyone can sell anything on the street from pre-loved clothes to jokes.
- Elfstedentocht is a 120 km-long speed-skating race that takes place when the canals en route freeze. As the race relies on natural ice, it only occurs when conditions allow safe passage for all skaters and therefore, can see several years break between events.
- Dutch inventions include the telescope, Stock Exchange, ECG, speed camera, microscope. They were also responsible for farming carrots to change colour from purple to orange.
Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC