Beauty of Holland – 8 must visit cities and sights

Although I am a fervent traveler, having visited 31 countries so far, love doing city trips, traveling around Europe and as many international islands as I can, I really appreciate my beautiful country Holland, aka the Netherlands as well. I find myself being a tourist on many occasions, and as a photography enthusiast I take pictures of all the beauty it has to offer as much as I can.

Therefore I felt it was time to share my favourites with you, hopefully to inspire you to visit the Netherlands soon as well! If you like vibrant cities, culture, historic architecture combined with modern structures, friendly open-minded people, cycling, serene country side views and quiet endless beaches, Holland is THE place to visit! But as there is so much to see in this small country, let me be your personal tour guide🙂

Beaches of Kijkduin

In this blog post I will be sharing a lot of pictures of the must visit sights in the 3 biggest cities and a selection of the most authentic heritage and nature sights I think you should see also to fully appreciate the beauty of Holland.

The mills of Kinderdijk in early morning

The mills of Kinderdijk in early morning

My perfect guide and itinerary for visiting the Netherlands is marked with stars on below country map.

The 3 biggest cities are situated quite close to each other, so if you visit Amsterdam, the biggest and most popular city, and have a few days it is easy to visit nearby The Hague and Rotterdam as well (red stars on below country map). These cities are only 45 minutes to 1 hours drive away from Amsterdam.

Near Amsterdam and Rotterdam you will find a few authentic heritage sights (purple stars left on below country map), Zaanse Schans and Volendam/Monnickendam near Amsterdam and Kinderdijk near Rotterdam, which can be combined in a day trip.

The only exception is the Hoge Veluwe which is a bit further away (purple star on the right side of the map). But if you love nature and will visit Holland for 1 week or more, you should definitely visit that area as well, great for cycling through nature and so serene!

The Netherlands map

Here come the visuals; they are all taken by me, so no stock pictures here…I am not a professional photographer but I aspire to be, so I hope you like my selection!

You can click on the pics to see the bigger version and description

  1. Amsterdam

Capital of Holland known for its world heritage canal area. My favourite area of the city is called the 9 streets, 9 shopping streets around the Keizers-, Heren-and Prinsengracht. And I am absolutely crazy about the Rijskmuseum as well, this state museum is both stunning on the in-as outside and beautifully lit at night!

Amsterdam-9 streets

Prinsengracht in spring time

Amsterdam-9 streets  Amsterdam-9 streets reflections

Rijksmuseum at night

Rijksmuseum at night

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum at night  Details of Amsterdam Rijksmuseum at nightOther must visit sights in Amsterdam are the Vondelpark, Palace on the Dam, and nearby Magna Plaza, among others…

Beautiful Vondelpark

Beautiful Vondelpark

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum by day

Amsterdam Palace on the Dam

Palace on the Dam

Amsterdam Magna Plaza shopping mallAnd renting a (water) bike or doing a canal boat tour is of course something that can not be missed in this city!

Amsterdam waterbiking

Water biking in Amsterdam

Do combine Amsterdam with a day visit to nearby Zaanse Schans and the historical villages Volendam and Monnickendam to learn about Dutch Heritage.

2. Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans heritage windmills

Zaanse Schans heritage windmills

Old houses of Zaanse Schans  Zaanse Schans

3. Volendam and Monnickendam

Volendam dike and harbor

Volendam dike and harbor

Monnickendam  Monnickendam

Rotterdam and The Hague are situated near each other, the second and third biggest cities of my country. I live in the Hague myself and love it because of its royal stature with the Binnenhof and many palaces, historic architecture and quiet dunes nearby.

4. The Hague (Den Haag)

The Hague-centre

City centre with modern buildings next to the central train station

The Hague-Mauritshuis

Cultural museum and historical Mauritshuis

In the old centre of The Hague you wil find the Binnenhof, where the Dutch government is seated. This is a big historical building surrounded by a beautiful pond and several museums nearby, such as the Mauritshuis.

Binnenhof and Hofvijver

Binnenhof and Hofvijver from the outside

The Hague-Binnenhof   The Hague-Binnenhof courtyard at night

Binnenhof courtyard

Binnenhof courtyard

A bit further from the city centre but well know for its international importance and fairy tale beauty is the Peace Palace.

The Hague-Peace Palace

Not many people know about the beaches, but as the whole west side of Holland is bordered by the North Sea it is lined with many endless and mostly quiet beaches. I prefer the ones in Kijkduin, just next to The Hague, for their nature and purity, much more quiet than nearby touristy Scheveningen.

5. Kijkduin 

Kijkduin beach

Kijkduin beach

The Hague-Kijkduin beach  The Hague-Kijkduin beach

Endless stretches of sand and quietness

Endless stretches of sand and quietness

6. Rotterdam

This big city only 20 minutes away from The Hague offers a whole different experience. It is a real city of industry and modernism, with its important harbor, bridges and a lot of new architecture and innovating initiatives, such as the recently built Markthal. This indoor market place next to the Grote Markt has the perfect offering of restaurants, market stalls and small eateries.

Rotterdam Markthal

Rotterdam Markthal

Rotterdam-Grote Markt  Rotterdam-Blaak

Roitterdam Markthal inside

Impressive ceiling inside the Markthal

In the area Kop van Zuid you will have the best views over the city and its iconic Erasmusbrug. Definitely advised to stay overnight or have lunch/dinner here in the historic Hotel New York!

Iconic Erasmusbrug

Iconic Erasmusbrug

Hotel New York

Hotel New York

Erasmus brug up close

Erasmus bridge up close

7. Kinderdijk

Just a 30 minutes drive away from Rotterdam you will be surrounded by Dutch country side and can see more windmills in a place called Kinderdijk. Come early to avoid the crowds, to get the best light and be rewarded with views like this:


True Dutch beauty in Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk Kinderdijk   Kinderdijk Kinderdijk windmill views

Kinderdijk dikes and windmills

Dutch storms pass by quickly

8. De Veluwe

If you like cycling and nature like I do and have a few more days to spend, do visit the east side of Holland, with beautiful protected nature areas like the Hoge Veluwe. A very special and quiet area with many cycling paths through nature, perfect picnic places and small villages to experience real Dutch life and country side. You can read much more about De Veluwe in this blog post!

Dutch country side and nature

Dutch country side and nature

Veluwe cycling  Veluwe exploring nature

Perfect quiet nature views and picnic areas

Perfect quiet nature views and picnic areas

For more blog posts about the Netherlands you can also check my 3 previous blogposts for the ultimate Amsterdam shopping and sightseeing guide, info about the canals and Light Festival and more pictures of my country in autumn.

Have you even been to my country or are you planning to go soon and have further questions or need help? I will be happy to advise you, just leave your questions in the comments! Or check my Dutch heritage trip on and book me as your guide.

But you can always contact me directly by mail as well via:

Or get social with me on:

InstagramFacebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Bloglovin and Stumbleupon.

About Authentic Chica

Traveler, wanderer and explorer from the Netherlands, with a special love for authenticity, while keeping it chic. With a passion for traveling, lust for exploring, heart for holidays and an eye for beautiful things. Find out about my tips on how to find the perfect traveling combination of authentic chicness.
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15 Responses to Beauty of Holland – 8 must visit cities and sights

  1. Top blog! Leuk leuk
    Ons landje is zo mooi.


  2. Sigrid Hoek says:

    Zo zie ik wel dat ik nog heel veel moois te ontdekken heb in eigen land! Mooie foto’s 😉 En idd…binnenkort een keertje naar Kijkduin!!


  3. Tamuria says:

    Your pictures are beautiful and it sure makes me want to visit Holland. I love all the windmills and the beaches look amazing.


  4. Amazing photos! Great post! ❤


  5. Al Girard says:

    I love Holland and have been to many of the sites that you feature, but I’m surpised that you;ve omitted the magnificent city of Maastricht.


    • Yes, you are right, but also de Wadden Eilanden, Zeeland and Groningen not to forget Al!!
      There is so much beauty to be found in my country and just too much for 1 blogpost:)
      So more will def follow…Happy to hear you like my country, xx


  6. This looks really cool. From the big cities I only have to do Rotterdam. I loved The Hague better than Amsterdam. Is that a crime? 😉


    • Haha, thanx Stephanie, happy to hear that! The Hague is my favourite city too, opposed to Amsterdam, which has its charm as well! But many people underestimate the beauty of The Hague! Have you been to Kijkduin too? The beaches there are so wide and quiet. Let me know if you need any more tips and thanx for your lovely comment! xx


  7. savourbytina says:

    Hi dear,

    This looks great!! Nice work you have on your blog!

    Love Tina


    • Thnx Tina, so sweet of u and happpy u like it! Do u also see my post Beauty of east Holland with more pics of de Veluwe and the palace we talked about? I think u might like it too😘hope u will go there soon, looking forwward to yr pics there!!! Xxx Naomi


      • savourbytina says:

        Hi Naomi,

        No haven’t seen that one yet, couldn’t find it. I’ll have a new look at it now!



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