Let me just start this post off with saying, if you have not ever visited Amsterdam, you totally should! To this day, it is definitely one of my favourite cities I’ve been to. That being said, what’s a shame is that it seems most people travel to the Netherlands, visit the iconic city of canals, coffeeshops, pancakes and tulips, and call it a successful visit. There are so many other beautiful places to visit around this incredible country, and I’m hoping to show you a few photos that will inspire you to stick around the Netherlands a wee bit longer, to witness them yourself!
The largest city in the north of the Netherlands, Groningen is a university city filled with dreamy cobblestone streets, Amsterdam-like canals (without the crowds), and plenty of fun locations to eat at, drink in, and explore, including the largest pub in Europe (The “Three Sisters”). This spot definitely cracks the top cities one should visit in the Netherlands, outside of Amsterdam.
Though our time here was brief, this city located in the east of the Netherlands boasts a very colourful and unique train station, the “Arnhem Centraal Railway Station”. While it first opened in 1845, it was reconstructed from 2006-2015. The reconstructed building won the Dutch Nationale Staalprijs, an award of appreciation for special steel projects. Arnhem is also home to a very lively and exciting nightlife, filled with bars, coffeeshops, quaint pubs, restaurants and patios. A great weekend getaway spot, if you ask me!
Though this isn’t a “city”, this spot is well worth the visit outside the city of Rotterdam. While I personally didn’t find the city of Rotterdam to be of much interest, it was the perfect hub to connect us with Kinderdijk, a system of 19 windmills built around 1740. It is the largest concentration of windmills in the Netherlands and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. This spot is seriously not one to miss, guys!
Originally not in our travel plans, The Hague was a last minute addition to our trip around the Netherlands. Located on the western coast of the country, this city is the seat of the cabinet of the Netherlands, the States General, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State. With a beautiful central square, plenty of great shopping and areas to wine and dine, I was happy to have added this city to our road trip around the Netherlands!
Located on the southern boarder, right next to Belgium, Maastricht has to be one of my favourite destinations in the Netherlands. Unique and historical, the city is distinguished by its medieval-era architecture and booming cultural scene. It is one of the most ancient towns of Europe and is actually the birthplace of the Euro! Between its gorgeous cobblestone Old Town, amazing eateries lining both sides of the Meuse River, and exciting amount of social activities, this city is not to be missed! Oh yes, and if you happen to be an Andre Rieu fan, Maastricht is this incredibly talented violinist’s home town. Each year, you can purchase tickets to see Andre and his Johann Strauss Orchestra play summer evening concerts in the Old Town square — one of the most incredible live events I’ve ever witnessed!
A short, but hopefully sweet, blog post, I hope that this provided a little insight into other beautiful and incredible cities around the Netherlands that are totally worth the visit outside Amsterdam! A stunning country all-around, the Netherlands did not disappoint when it came to the warm and welcoming people, delicious cheeses and treats, unique architecture and incredible history. I’d love to know if any of you have ever visited places in the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam. Which were your favourite?
Never stop exploring,