Top cities to visit in The Netherlands

Which cities are worth visiting in The Netherlands? Now, let me see. Are you into historic canals, ancient courtyards, works by world-famous masters, the seaside, cutting edge architecture, street art and amazing gastronomy? Yes? Good, because there are plenty of cities in The Netherlands worth visiting. Please, look beyond Amsterdam. Most cities in The Netherlands are easy to reach by train or car, most are just a short ride from Amsterdam. You won’t be disappointed.


Amersfoort, The Netherlands

The magnificent Koppelpoort is probably the most beautiful old city gate in The Netherlands, and without a doubt the most photographed icon of Amersfoort. Its location is also pretty special, perched between the train station, the historical city centre and the cutting edge gentrified industrial area of Amersfoort, De Nieuwe Stad. Amersfoort has it all: cobbled historical streets, excellent museum (make sure to visit the birthplace of Piet Mondriaan), quaint canals, a beautiful old town and a lively café scene.

Plan your trip to Amersfoort


Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A city break Amsterdam is on everybody’s list. And even if you’ve been to The Netherlands a couple of time (or if you are living in The Netherlands) Amsterdam never seems to lose it’s charm. The historical canals, amazing museums, Golden Age buildings,  vibrant atmosphere, quirky street art, fun neighbourhoods and attractive hidden gems (for those that look hard enough) don’t disappoint. 

Plan your trip to Amsterdam

Read all about Amsterdam


Delft, The Netherlands | Top things to do in Delft, The Netherlands

Delft is easily reached from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague and therefore is absolutely one of the top cities in The Netherlands to visit. Delft was once the home of famous Dutch master Johannes Vermeer and he made the skies over Delft world-famous forever. But there is more to Delft. The city plays a pivotal role in Dutch history and William of Nassau and all the Dutch royals have been buried in Delft. During your trip, enjoy Delft by bike, by water or walk along the ancient cobbled street taking in the gorgeous historical buildings and squares.

Plan your trip to Delft

  • Take the train to Delft. From Rotterdam and The Hague, the journey takes about 20 minutes, from Amsterdam you’ll reach delft within the hour. 
  • Discover the loveliest hotels in Delft
  • If you’d like to see Delft in a unique way, join a bike tour in Delft.
  • Pressed for time? Join a small group tour visiting The Hague, Rotterdam and Delft in a day trip from Amsterdam.
  • Plan your visit using the complete Delft travel guide.

Den Bosch

Den Bosch, The Netherlands

Den Bosch is the capital of southern Dutch province Brabant and worth the title. It’s one of my favourite cities in The Netherlands. It was the posting of dukes and bishops but is most famous as it was once the home of painter Jheronimus (Jeroen) Bosch who used the city as inspiration for the hellish scenes in his works. To this day parts from Bosch’s painting can be recognised in the city, though Den Bosch is also known for some excellent museums, an outstanding café and dining scene and unique tunnel canals.

Visit Den Bosch, The Netherlands

  • Simply take the train to Den Bosch, it’s only within an hours travel from Amsterdam.
  • If you’d like to explore the area surrounding Den Bosch, for example, to make a visit to Vna Gogh village Nuenen or to see concentration camp Vught, it’s best to rent a car.
  • Have a look at the most beautiful hotels in Den Bosch.
  • Buy your tickets in Den Bosch in advance.
  • Read all about Den Bosch, The Netherlands.


Deventer, The Netherlands

I absolutely adore Deventer and I really think you should go and visit this colourful, vibrant and romantic small city in the east of The Netherlands. Deventer is one of the beautiful Dutch Hansa Towns and the old city centre seems to have walked straight out of a fairytale book. Take a ferry across the IJssel river for a perfect view over the Deventer skyline as well as a visit to the sprawling gentrified area and go to Piknik and Fooddock.

Plan your visit to Deventer

  • The easiest way to get to Deventer is by train, it’s about an hour from Amsterdam.
  • Deventer is home to some pretty cool hotels. I especially like Hotel FINCH, a brand new boutique hotel in the heart of the city, with a very cool bar.
  • Plan your trip with the complete Deventer travel guide.


Gouda, The Netherlands

When you hear Gouda, cheese immediately springs to mind. Right? Well, where do you think Gouda cheese actually came from… that’s right, Gouda in The Netherlands. In summer you’ll have the opportunity to visit the traditional cheese market, though the historical cheese weighing house and brand new Cheese Experience are open year-round. But don’t linger on the cheese, please. Because Gouda main church has amazing stained glass panels and the city has cute canals, cobbled streets and beautiful courtyards.

Plan your trip to Gouda

  • There’s a direct train from Amsterdam to Gouda, which runs regularly. The journey takes about 45 minutes. Direct trains to Gouda also run from Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
  • I strongly advise you to find a hotel in Gouda, if you can’t afford expensive Amsterdam. In Gouda, you can stay in a Golden Age B&B for a fraction of what it would cost in Amsterdam, I really love B&B Het Goudsche Huys.
  • Plan your visit using my complete travel guide to Gouda.


Groningen, The Netherlands

Groningen has to be the most interesting city in the north of The Netherlands. Personally, I think it’s due to the historical university still being one of The Netherands’ most popular places to study, luring tons of new students to Groningen every year. This has lead to a relaxt atmosphere and super cool café scene. Groningen is also home to some great museums and cutting edge architecture. The city also serves as a perfect basecamp to discover the other sights in the north of the country.

Visit Groningen, The Netherlands

  • If you’re from the UK, it may be worth checking the Flybe website as there are some directs flights from the London Southend Airport to Groningen.
  • From Amsterdam there are also direct trains from Amsterdam to Groningen, the trip takes around two hours.
  • It’s not that hard to find a super cool, yet affordable, hotel in Groningen. The Social Hub has great rooms and a cool bar, though staying at B&B Molenstreek is an sbolute treat. You’ll have a proper view over some windmills and the B&B is completely self-service and has a nice little terrace. There are some bikes available to get into the city or explore the countryside.
  • Plan your visit to Groningen using my complete travel guide.


Haarlem, The Netherlands |

Haarlem has to be one of the most beautiful cities in The Netherlands. To me, I feel this is the ultimate Dutch cities. Haarlem has everything you would expect from a Dutch village. Gabled golden aged buildings and streets, museums filled with work by top Dutch masters, a thriving café and restaurant scene, the opportunity to explore the city from the water and plenty more entertainment. Haarlem is more compact than Amsterdam but really close to Amsterdam. If accommodation turns out to be too expensive for you in Amsterdam, definitely opt for Haarlem. The city is also close to Hollan’s top beaches and nature parks. Have I convinced you to visit Haarlem?

Travel to Haarlem, The Netherlands


Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Leeuwarden is one of the lesser-known cities in The Netherlands, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be explored. It was European cultural capital for a reason. The café-lined canals, excellent museums and fantastic dining options will make you happy you took the trip to the north of the country.

Travel to Leeuwarden