Netherlands Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Netherlands: public holidays, ice skating tour

Public holidays

Date Holiday
January 1 Nieuwjaar (New Year)
March April Pasen (Easter)
April, 30 Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day)
May 4 Doden Herdenking (Remembrance Day)
5th of May Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day)
40 days after Easter Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day)
7 weeks after Easter Pinksteren (Whit Sunday and Monday)
25-26 December Kerstmis (Christmas)
December 31 Oudejaar (sdag) New Year’s Eve

Source: Countryaah – Netherlands Holidays

Regular cultural events

Date Event
January New year diving in Scheveningen, on January 1st,Leiden jazz week, mid-January
February Hiswa (boat show) at AmsterdamCarnival
April April festival on April 1st in Brielle. On this day, the recapture of Brielle from the Spanish in the 16th century is re-enacted.Flower parade in Bollenstreek

Queen’s Day in honor of the birthday of Queen Juliana on April 30

May National Mill Day and Cycling Day on the second Saturday of MayVlaggetjesdag, old on the third Saturday in May in Scheveningen with demonstration fishing occupations

Asparagus Primeur, with festive asparagus food in Venlo

Keitage (fair) in Lochem

rescue boat race, on Friday after Ascension from Harlingen to Terschelling

Jazz in Duketown in s´-Hertogenbosch

Pinkpop Festival, the largest pop festival in the Netherlands every year at Whitsun in Landgraaf

June Fiësta del Sol (summer festival with street theater, music and markets) in EindhovenHerring and beer festival in Vlaardingen

Kite festival in Scheveningen

Aaltjestag (fishing

festival) in Harderwijk Oerol festival (cultural festival) in Terschelling

Poetry International (poetry festival) in Rotterdam

Pasar Malam Besar (Indonesian festival) in The Hague

July Old Limburg Rifle Festival on the first Sun in JulyNorth Sea Jazz (music festival) in mid-July in The Hague

Tilburg fair, the end of July

Summer Carnival in Rotterdam on the last Saturday in July

August Canal Festival in Amsterdammussel festival in Yerseke on the third Saturday in August, in Philippine on the last weekend of August

Preuvenemint (Burgundian eating and drinking festival) in Maastricht on the last weekend of August

Uitmarkt (opening of the theater season) in Amsterdam on the last weekend of August

September Fruit parade in Tiel on the second weekend of SeptemberJordaan Festival (fair) in Amsterdam in the second and third week of September

Prinsjesdag (annual government speech in the great hall of the Noordeinde Palace) in The Hague on the third Tuesday in September

Fair in Nijmeger, end of September

October Folk festival on October 3rd in Leiden to celebrate the liberation of the city in 1574.Crossing Border Festival (poetry and music festival) in The Hague in early October.
November St. Martin Festival in the north and west of the Netherlands on November 11th.Festivity for the entry of St. Nicholas on the second or third Saturday in November.
December Cirque d´Hiver (circus performance) in Roermond between Christmas and New Years Eve

11 cities ice skating tour

Since 1909 there has been an annual ice skating tour on the frozen canals in Friesland – located in the north of the Netherlands – over a length of 200 km. The runners pass 11 towns or cities, in each of which they receive a participant stamp. The sporting event will only take place if the ice cover is at least 15 cm thick. This security restriction meant that the event could only be carried out 15 times by 2013. In the colder winters of 1940, 1941 and 1942, however, the event could even be held on three consecutive winters. For example, between 1963 and 1975 it did not take place at all.

In 1909 there were only a few dozen participants, in the last race in 1997 there were around 16,000. The runners start in the dark hours of the morning and reach the finish line after 14 hours on average.

The tour starts in Leeuwarden and then leads via Sneek, Ijlst, Sloten, Stavoren, Hindelopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker and Bartlehiem and from there back to Leeuwarden.

Other major sporting events

  • World Superbike Championship in Assen in September
  • Holland Casino Eredivisie (first football league)
  • Elfstedentocht (German: Elfstädtefahrt), 200-kilometer ice skating marathon through Friesland in winter
  • Amstel Gold Race, one-day road bike race, held annually in Maastricht since 1966. Belongs to the UCI ProTour, a series of the most important cycling races of the year.
  • Tour of the Benelux, cycling stage race in August, is part of the UCI ProTour

Special national customs

Worldwide, the Netherlands enjoy the reputation of a liberal, tolerant state with a friendly population that welcomes its guests in several languages. Even in earlier times, the country was a refuge for religiously or racially persecuted people. On the streets, one experiences a generally accepted culture of tolerance and understanding every day, which is expressed in the multicultural street scene, in the permissive and open appearance of gays and lesbians and in the use of soft drugs.

Foreign guests, but also the Dutch population themselves, should not overstretch the hospitality of the country and its people. Tolerance applies to the Dutch population only as long as their own interests and concerns are not permanently restricted. When this happens, tolerance will be over and a hard hand will be taken. Example: Small drug dealers are often tolerated by the neighborhood.

However, if they constantly cause “overload” with their hustle and bustle, i.e. annoyance in the neighborhood or in the apartment building (e.g. car noise from customers, loud arguments about pricing, etc.), then in some municipalities these people can be forced to move their homes by resolution of the mayor.

In view of the many violent incidents there is currently a public discussion as to whether this often senseless violence is not being encouraged by the tolerant attitude.

Casual clothing is accepted everywhere, suits are only expected on special occasions and at business meetings. Some upscale restaurants, clubs, and bars require evening wear.

Hotel and restaurant bills include 15% service charge and VAT. It is customary to leave some change. Taxi drivers expect a tip of around 10%.

Tip for accommodation


The best time to travel to the Netherlands

The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure culture travelers see the climate very differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. In principle, spring, summer and autumn are good times to travel to the Netherlands. Winter, on the other hand, is good for visiting museums and other cultural activities. If it has been cold long enough, the canals of the Netherlands are a paradise for skaters.

Netherlands: landmarks

  • Presents the way that NL stands for the nation of Netherlands as a two-letter acronym.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Van Nelle factory

The Van Nelle factory is located west of Rotterdam in Schiedam on Van Nelle Weg 1.

The company was founded in 1782. Between 1923 and 1931 the headquarters of the coffee, tea and tobacco producer van Nelle was here.

The family had their own coffee plantations on Java and only processed their own crops. The former headquarters became too small, and the architects Brinkmann van der Vlugt were given the task of finding a new location for the company and submitting a design for a new building. The new building was immediately considered something special. The facades were made of glass and gave the impression of lightness.

Production work was made easier by using gravity from one production site to the next. In 1986 the Netherlands listed the factory as a “Rijksmonument”. Such a vehicle must be at least 50 years old and, according to Dutch law, it must have scientific or cultural significance. When production ceased, renovations began immediately. Today the eight-storey and 300 m long building is used as an office and for events. The factory can be visited with ArchiGuides.

The Van Nelle Factory was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.

Fortress belt of Amsterdam

In the years 1883 and 1920 a belt of fortifications was built around Amsterdam for defense, which has a length of about 135 km.

It runs from Zaandam to Krommeniedijk. There are basins that can be flooded, as well as numerous forts and locks for defense. The weir systems are approx. 12 km apart. The city was thus able to flood the surrounding area if necessary. Some of the forts were used as prisons until they were accepted into the world cultural heritage.

The fortress belt of Amsterdam was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996

Port and downtown of Willemstad (Antilles island of Curaçao)

The island is located off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. The capital of the island is Willemstad. There are numerous historic buildings of Dutch colonial architecture in the city center. Willemstad has two separate districts, which are connected by a pontoon bridge – Koningin Emmabrug. Indians have lived on the island for 6,000 years, and their drawings can still be seen in the Hato Cave.

After the island was discovered by the Spaniards, most of the indigenous population was sold to the mainland as slaves. The Dutch conquered the island in 1527. It then became the center of the slave trade – until 1863 when the slave trade was banned in the Netherlands.

The port and city center of Willemstad were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997.

Mills in Kinderdijk-Elshout

Between 1722 and 1761, 19 windmills were built near Kinderdijk in South Holland for drainage in order to transport water to higher areas. In order to carry out this project, dikes, retention basins, dams and pumping stations were also built.

The mills were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997

Schokland polder landscape

The Noordoostpolder, a former part of the Zuidersee that was drained in 1942, is now used for agriculture. Schokland, a former island, is located in the area of the Noordoostpolder, which borders the Zwarte Meer, the Ketelmeer and the IJsselmeer. The island of Schokland was already around 200 years BC. Inhabited. Remnants of terps and dikes were found during the drainage. The approximately 4 km long island was temporarily in private ownership. In 1859 the king ordered the evacuation of the island because of the danger of storm surges, and only the church built in 1834 remains today.

The polder landscape was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995.

Museum Schokland

Middelbuurt 3 in Ens

Tel: 0031-527-251396

E-Mail: [email protected]

H et Flevo-landschap

Vlotgrasweg 11 in Lelystad

Tel. 0031-320-286111

E-Mail: [email protected]

Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht

The Rietveld Schröder House was designed by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. It is a building by the De Stijl movement. De Stijl was the name of a group of painters and architects who founded a magazine in Leiden in 1917. Artists with big names such as Mondtian, Rietveld, van`t Hoff and others joined the movement. The new art was to be integrated into everyday life, and so Rietveld was commissioned to construct a house that was functional and modern. The Rietveld Schröder House, which is striking due to its cubic shape, was completed in 1924.

The Rietveld Schröder House was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000.

Wadden Sea

The Wadden Sea was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 2009, it crosses borders and is largely located in Germany.

Due to the movement of the moon around the earth, ebb and flow occur on the coast of the North Sea – including in the area of the world natural heritage. During the ebb tide, large parts of the seas off the coasts dry out, and during the high tide they lie up to approx. 3 m below the water surface.

This happens twice within 24 hours. During the ebb tide, the water flows over so-called tidal creeks, which are often quite deep and have a very strong current. The tidal flats are sandy, often almost black, and very nutrient-rich biotopes that provide habitat for numerous animals. So you can per m 2Find up to 50,000 mud flats and thousands of mudflat crabs, and there is hardly a spot in the mudflat that is not covered by the small piles of sand from the lugworms. The mussels that live here filter up to three liters of water per hour in order to filter out their nutrients. In this way, the numerous mussels filter all of the water in the mudflats within three weeks at the latest. The mussels in turn serve as food for numerous birds. In the world natural heritage area there are sand and mud flats, salt marshes, dunes, beach islands, islands and many bays. You can find a detailed representation of the mudflats at Goruma under mudflats.

The most famous canals (canals) of Amsterdam are together approx. 10 km long, have a width of approx. 27 m. They are the Spiegel-, Prinsen-, Heren-, Bloem- and Keizersgracht. In 1612

a canal belt was laid around Amsterdam, probably to protect the city’s wealthy residents. In addition, the canals were important traffic routes. However, some canals were

drained for hygienic reasons in the 19th century, and roads were built there later. In total, there are around 80 km of navigable canals in Amsterdam, over which around 1,400 bridges span.

The Singelgracht was built as a fortress moat in the Middle Ages. Together with the Kloveniersburgwal, it is the oldest canal in the Amsterdam canal belt.

The Spiegelgracht is the connecting canal of the Prinsengracht with the Lijnbaansgracht and the Ziezeniskade. There are numerous small, very narrow canal houses from the 17th century. The draining of the canal to build a road here was prevented by the citizens. The Prinsengracht is approx. 3 km long and is a bit away from the old town. Like the Herengracht and Keizersgracht, construction of the Prinsengracht began in 1612.

The Anne Frank House is located at Prinsengracht 263 to 267, in which Anne Frank and other Jews had to hide from the Nazis from July 1942 to February 1945 until they were betrayed and murdered in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.

The Bloemgracht is located in the city center between the Prinsengracht and the Lijnbaansgracht. Striking houses from the 17th century stand on both sides. The Golden Bend is probably the part of the Herengracht that is most impressive. The canal was extended to the Leidsegracht in 1663 and was given an artificial bend.

The canal is lined with stately houses with classicist gables, balconies and marble corridors. The gardens were modeled on the baroque style. The office of the Dutch trading company is here and there are numerous banks and insurance companies, as well as the Goethe-Institut and the Prins Bernhardfond.

The Entrepotdok customs depot with its numerous warehouses is a listed building, so fortunately the warehouses cannot be demolished. Rembrandt van Rijn lived in Rozengracht no. 184 until his death in 1669.

On July 31, 2010, the Amsterdam canals were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Middelburg Abbey Middelburg

Abbey is over 900 years old. Today the large complex houses the Zeeuws Museum. The museum has four different sections showing traditional costumes, 17th and 18th century salons, tapestries, royal apartments and ancient Roman objects.


The Agnietenkapelle in Amsterdam houses a collection on the history of Amsterdam University. The chapel dates from 1470 and is one of the few Gothic chapels that survived the Alteratie.

Allard Pierson Museum

The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam is the city’s archaeological museum. The museum displays Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Coptic art treasures.

Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

In the rear building on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, the Jewish girl Anne Frank hid from July 6, 1942 to August 4, 1944 with her mother and sister as well as her father and four other people before she was arrested first was taken to the Westerbork Jewish transit camp in the Netherlands and from there to Auschwitz.

Because of the approaching eastern front, she and her older sister Margot Betti Frank were deported to Bergen-Belsen. In early March 1945, she and her sister were victims of the typhus epidemic in Bergen-Belsen. Her mother Edith Frank-Holländer was murdered in Auschwitz on January 6, 1945. Only the father Otto Heinrich Frank survived Auschwitz and died in 1980 near Basel.

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt/Main and fled the Nazis to the Netherlands in 1934.

The museum also houses the original of Anne Frank’s diary.

Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht

The Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht is a striking modern building. It includes a collection of ancient paintings from 1300 to 1650 as well as an international collection of modern art.

Beurs van Berlage

The Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam was once the city’s stock exchange. The building dates from 1903 and is now used as a concert and exhibition space.


The Concertgebouw is an important concert hall in the Amsterdam Zuid district. The building in was opened in 1888 according to plans by the architect Adolf Leonard van Gendt.

The building has two halls, the Great Hall having 1,962 seats and the Small Hall, which was restored in 2004, has 437 seats. Because of its excellent acoustics, the house is also one of the main venues of the “Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra”

Drents Museum

The Drents Museum in Assen shows many prehistoric finds, the history of Drenthe and fine arts.

Frans Hals Museum

The Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem dates from 1913 and offers a comprehensive overview of the artist. The history of the city can also be seen in the museum and works by other Dutch artists can be admired.

Fries Scheepvaart Museum in Sneek

The Fries Scheepvaart Museum in Sneek is dedicated to Frisian shipping and shipbuilding. The collection includes over 200 model ships.

Gemeentemuseum in The Hague

The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague was built by the Amsterdam School in 1935. The museum has the world’s largest collection of paintings by the artist Mondrians.

Groninger Museum

The Groninger Museum in the city of the same name is a huge, modern building complex from 1931. Three large buildings are connected by bridges and stairs and house an archaeological collection, applied arts as well as old and modern visual arts.

Hasj- en Marihuanamuseum

The Hasj- en Marihuanamuseum in Amsterdam reports on the history and use of hemp.

Historical Museum of Amst

The Historical Museum of Amsterdam is housed in a brick building with a classicist facade from the 18th century.

The museum presents the history of the city.

Huis Bergh

Huis Bergh in ´s-Heerenberg is one of the most beautiful castles in the Netherlands. Today it houses an art collection.

Barrow graves

There are 54 barrows in the Netherlands, 52 of which are in Drenthe and 2 in Groningen. They are the remains of stone burial cellars that were built from boulders by the Neolithic people 5,000 years ago. Clay pots, jewelry and prehistoric tools were found at these sites.

Joods Historisch Museum

The Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam is a complex of four synagogues that were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The synagogues were restored and connected to each other in the 1980s. Today the building serves as a museum for Jewish history.

Kröller-Müller Museum

The Kröller-Müller Museum in Gelderland shows the collection of Helene Kröller-Müller, which she donated to the Dutch state in 1935. The large museum is known for its collection of modern art and the sculpture park.

Madame Tussaud Scenerama

Madame Tussaud Scenerama in Amsterdam is housed in the Peek and Cloppenburg building. The wax figure exhibition provides an overview of the history of the Netherlands.

Madurodam in The Hague

Madurodam is a miniature city in The Hague. It gives an overview of the interesting buildings and landscapes in the Netherlands. Masurodam was opened in 1952.

Mauritiushuis in The Hague

The Mauritiushuis in The Hague was built in 1644 in the classical style. The Royal Picture Gallery moved there in 1822. The precious collection includes the famous painting “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” by Vermeer and “The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Nicolaes Tulp” by Rembrandt.


The Montelbaanstoren in Amsterdam is a tower built in 1512 that stood outside the city wall and was used for defense. Today the city water authority sits there.

Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam

The Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam has a copperplate engraving, collections of old masters to 20th century art, as well as applied arts and design. The museum is one of the most comprehensive and beautiful in the Netherlands.

Bredius Museum in The Hague

The museum is named after the art historian Abraham Bredius (18855-1946). The collection of great Dutch masters is in a mansion from the 18th century.

The visitor will find paintings by Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Aert van der Neer, Adriaen van Ostade and Meindest Hobbema, among others.

Natural History Museum in Maastricht

The Natural History Museum in Maastricht gives an impression of the nature of the Limburg area from the early days to the present. The main attractions are the skeletons of dinosaurs and giant tortoises

Nederlands Filmmuseum in Amsterdam

The Nederlands Filmmuseum in Amsterdam shows over 1,000 films annually. The Art Deco interior of Amsterdam’s oldest cinema from 1910 is fully reproduced in the museum.

Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam

The Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam offers a chronological overview of the shipping history of the Netherlands.

Dutch Architecture Institute

The NAI (Dutch Architecture Institute) provides an overview of the history of architecture in the Netherlands. Changing exhibitions also take place there.

newMetropolis in Amsterdam

The newMetropolis in Amsterdam is a museum for science and technology. It is housed in a modern building that resembles a huge ship. At the rear it rises over 30 m above the harbor water.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The building of the Rijksmuseum (Reichsmuseum) in neo-renaissance and neo-Gothic style in Amsterdam was built between 1878 and 1885 as a “treasure house” according to plans by the important Dutch architect of historicism Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921).

With 80 exhibition halls and around 8,000 exhibits on an area of 30,000 m², it is one of the most important museums in the country and even worldwide. It houses works by Rembrandt, Franz Hals, Jan Steen, Salomon and Jacob van Ruisdael, Vermeer and Van Gogh, as well as a huge number of historical objects and documents.

On April 13, 2013, after around ten years of renovations and renovations, the building was reopened in the presence of the Dutch Queen Beatrix. The renovations had cost around 375 million euros and were planned by the Spanish architects Cruz and Ortiz. There is a newly designed entrance area, a new “Asia pavilion” or a dining room. A newly designed library and a lecture hall can also be found in the building. The great museum spans the 19th to the 21st century. Probably the most famous painting in the exhibition, Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”, has kept its traditional place after and during the renovations.

Stadhouderskade 42

Daily 9 am-6pm Rijksmuseum in Leiden The Rijksmuseum in Leiden shows an ethnographic collection from the Arctic to Oceania. Scheepvaartsmuseum in Amsterdam Here you can see numerous documents and objects on the history of Dutch seafaring. Behind the museum there is also a replica of the ship “Amsterdam” from the 18th century.



The Schreierstoren was part of the Amsterdam city fortifications and dates from 1480. Today it houses a shop for navigation instruments.

Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam was built in 1895. Today the National Museum of Modern Art is housed there. The collection shows works by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Cézanne and Monet, among others. In addition, the museum houses rooms for changing exhibitions.

Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal

The Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden is housed in a building from 1640. It houses a collection of paintings by Leiden artists such as Lukas von Leyden and Rembrandt.

Theater Museum in Amsterdam

In the Theater Museum in Amsterdam, stage props and costumes can be viewed.

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam opened in 1973. The collection includes around 200 paintings and 500 drawings by the artist.

Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven

The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven is internationally known for its collection of modern art.


The Waag or St. Antoniespoort is the oldest still preserved city gate of Amsterdam. It dates from the 15th century. Executions used to take place there. From 1617 onwards, goods were weighed at the gate and taxes were paid accordingly. Hence the name Waag (from Libra).


The Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen is a museum complex. The inland museum shows the history of seven centuries, the Buitenmuseum is the reconstruction of an old fishing village.

Castles and palaces

Chateau Neercanne in Maastricht

On the southern side of Maastricht and close to the Belgian border is the 17th century Chateau Neercanne. This is currently used as a restaurant. The chateau also has picturesque gardens that are well worth a visit.

Fort Eben-Emael

This imposing fort is located in the small village of the same name south of Maastricht. In addition to the actual fortress, bunkers can also be visited on the approximately 75 hectare area. The guided tour, which should be followed, takes visitors to the engine rooms, to partially still intact bunkers and to a fully equipped hospital.

Fort St. Pieter in Maastricht

Built between 1701 and 1702, this fortress is located on the northern side of Maastricht’s St. Pietersberg. The pentagonal fort can be visited as part of a guided tour (unfortunately only in Dutch), which includes galleries and bomb-proof rooms as well as an extremely deep water fountain. Otherwise, on a clear day, you have a beautiful view of Maastricht from the fort.

Hunting Castle Paleis Het Loo

In 1692 the construction of the hunting castle Paleis Het Loo in Gelderland began as a summer residence for Wilhelm III. The magnificent furnishings earned the castle the nickname Versailles of the Netherlands. But the strict classical facade does not suggest the splendor inside. The gardens are particularly beautiful.

Noordeinde Palace (“´t Oude Hof”) in The Hague

This is the official seat of the Dutch Queen. The building dates back to 1533, even if renovations in 1640 and 1814 changed the original shape. After a fire partially destroyed the structure in 1948, it was restored in the 1970s. The Dutch Queen Beatrtix is currently receiving her state visitors here.

Assumburg Castle in Heemskerk

Assumburg Castle in Heemskerk dates back to the 15th century and has been a youth hostel since 1933.

De Haar Castle in Haarzuilens

The De Haar Castle in Haarzuilens is an imposing neo-Gothic building from 1892.

Muiderslot Castle in Muiden

Muiderslot Castle in Muiden was built in 1280. Most of the rooms are furnished in the style of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Zuylen Castle in Utrecht

The Zuylen Castle in Utrecht was built on the remains of a medieval building in the 16th century and rebuilt several times until the 18th century. The so-called snake wall that runs around the castle offers special protection from the marine climate.

St. Pietersberg

The 120 meter high Mount St. Pieter not only offers a picturesque view of the roofs of Maastricht from the summit, but also wonderful hiking trails into the wooded area of Slavante and into the ENCI forest. The D’n Observant is also located on St. Petersberg. You can get to know this nature reserve on a total of three routes.

Important opera and theaters

Het Muziektheater/Stopera in Amsterdam

This multifunctional building, which also houses the town hall, houses the only opera stage in the Netherlands. In addition to operas, dance performances by the National Ballet and the Nederlands Dans Theater take place here.

Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague

The Royal Theater in The Hague is the home of the “Nationaal Toneel”, the national theater group. It is opposite the closely guarded US Embassy.

Lucent Danstheater in The Hague

The building, which was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas in 1988, is home to the internationally acclaimed “Nederlands Dans Theater” and is also used by the Hague Symphony Orchestra (= Residentie Orkest). Their main venue is the Anton Philipszaal.

Rotterdamse Schouwburg

Schouwburgplein 25

The nationally known theater in the center of the city shows classical and modern theater, dance performances and operas on its four stages.

Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam

The city theater in neo-renaissance style was opened in 1894. The repertoire features both classical and contemporary pieces.

Churches, synagogues and monasteries


Basilica The Oudenbosch Basilica is a scaled-down copy of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It dates from the 19th century.

De Krijtberg

De Krijtberg in Amsterdam is a mighty neo-Gothic church from 1884. The facade is very narrow, which is emphasized by the high towers. The interior is richly decorated with neo-Gothic sacred art.

Maastricht Cathedral or St. Servaas Basilica

The St. Servaas Basilica in Maastricht was started around 1000 on the site of the saint’s grave. The oldest surviving parts are the central nave, the crypt, the transept and the choir. The showpiece of the church is the reliquary with the relics of the saint.

Grote Kerk (Great Church) of The Hague

The gothic city church of The Hague is dedicated to St. James. Its oldest part dates back to the 14th century, but was badly damaged by a fire in 1539. The church tower, which is 100 meters high, is particularly striking about the Christian sacred building. Once the town church was used for royal ceremonies, since its renovation in 1987 it has mainly hosted exhibitions, trade fairs and festive events.

Ter Apel Monastery The Ter Apel

Monastery near Drenthe dates back to the 13th century. It was thoroughly renovated in 1933. Today it serves as a museum for ecclesiastical art and religious history. The monastery garden, in which many medicinal plants grow, is particularly beautiful.

Lutherse Kerk

The Lutherse Kerk in Amsterdam was the first round Protestant church building in the Netherlands. It was started in 1671, burned down almost completely in 1882 and was rebuilt. The church has been closed since 1935. Today it is used as the conference room of the Amsterdam Renaissance Hotel.


The Martinikerk in Groningen originally dates from the 13th century, but was expanded in the 15th century in a Gothic style. The choir has beautiful wall paintings from 1530.

Nieuwe Kerk

The Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam was built in the 14th century when the congregation in the Oude Kerk no longer found a place. In the 16th century the church got its present appearance. The carved pulpit, the golden angels in the corners of the vault and the stained glass of the windows from the 19th century are worth seeing.

Noorderkerk in Amsterdam

The Noorderkerk in Amsterdam was the first church in the city to have a floor plan in the shape of a cross. It was started in 1620 and was specially built for the poorer population.

Oude Kerk in Amsterdam

The Oude Kerk in Amsterdam is a Gothic church from the 14th century. Pictures and sculptures in the basilica fell victim to the alteration. However, the golden ceiling and the glass windows have been preserved and are extremely worth seeing next to the large organ from 1724.


The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwemunsterkerk in Roermond is a late Romanesque-early Gothic church and originally the abbey church was a Cistercian abbey.

Oude Kerk in Delft

The Oude Kerk in Delft goes back to a church from the 13th century. The current structure has been rebuilt many times. The bell tower was built in the 14th century. The showpiece of the interior is the wooden pulpit with canopy from 1548.


The Pieterskerk in Leiden is a Gothic cruciform church that dates from the 15th century. The simple interior and the restored Hagerbeer organ from the 17th century are well worth seeing.

Portugees-Israelitische Synagoge

The Portugees-Israelitische Synagoge in Amsterdam was built in 1675. The building is based on the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The vault rests on four Ionic columns.


The Gothic church of Sint-Jan in ´s-Hertogenbosch was built between the 14th and 16th centuries. The mighty cathedral survived the iconoclastic battle and a fire in 1584. Seven chapels are arranged around the main choir. The colorful stained glass windows date from the 19th century.


The Sint-Nicolaaskerk in Amsterdam is dedicated to the patron saint of the city of Sint Nicolaas. It dates from 1887 and is built in the neo-renaissance style.

St. Janskerk in Gouda

St. Janskerk in Gouda dates from the 15th century and is best known for its colorful stained glass. After the Reformation, the church became Protestant. However, the beautiful windows survived the iconoclasm and were even expanded.

Westerkerk in Amsterdam

The Westerkerk in Amsterdam was completed in 1631. At that time it was the largest Protestant church in the world. Its 85 m high “Westertoren” tower, which is the landmark of the Jordan district, is particularly worth seeing. On its tip there is an oversized blue, red and gold crown.

Prinsengracht 281


The Zuiderkerk was built in 1603 in the Renaissance style in Amsterdam. Its tower is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. The Zuiderkerk has not been used as a place of worship since 1929.

Special structures and buildings

American Hotel in Amsterdam

The American Hotel in Amsterdam dates from 1902. It has a very beautiful Art Nouveau interior. Some of the furniture and stained glass are from the original furnishings

Begijnhof in Amsterdam

The Begijnhof in Amsterdam was built in 1346 for the Begijnen, a Catholic sisterhood. In return, the Begijnen took care of the poor and the sick. The courtyard is still a place of rest in the city today. House number 34 was built in 1420 and is one of the oldest surviving houses in Amsterdam.

Binnenhof in The Hague

The Binnenhof in The Hague is a strikingly representative building complex in the center of the city, which has been the meeting place of the Dutch general states since 1446. It is believed that the oldest buildings, of which only wall treasures remain, date from the late 12th century.

The building complex also includes the Gevangenpoort, which served as a prison until the 19th century. Here in 1672 the Cornelis de Witt was because of an alleged attack on Prince Wilhelm III. tortured and sentenced to life in exile without confession. When his brother Johan de Witt wanted to pick him up on his way into exile, both were lynched by the Hague Rifle Guild. In honor of Johann de Witt, a memorial was erected at the place of the lynching on the square “De Plaats” – directly in front of the gate.

Nowadays, the meeting rooms of the First Chamber (comparable to the German Federal Council) and the Second Chamber of the Dutch States General (comparable to the German Bundestag) are located in the Binnenhof. The former ballroom – in the south wing of the Binnenhof – was the seat of the Second Chamber from 1790 to 1992. Since 1992, the venue has been the new building opposite.

It should be mentioned that from the 13th century onwards, The Hague developed around the Binnenhof and the Binnenhof can therefore be seen as the nucleus of the city. During the Golden Age of the 17th century, the Binnenhof was one of the most important centers of European diplomacy.

Centraal Station

Amsterdam’s main train station, the Centraal Station, was built in the neo-renaissance style and opened in 1889.

Coster Diamonds

Coster Diamonds was founded in 1840 and is one of the oldest diamond cutters in Amsterdam. You can visit the working rooms of the grinding shop and find out about diamonds and how they are processed.

De Koninglijke Paleis in Amsterdam

The building in Amsterdam was built between 1648 and 1655 on 13,659 tree trunks. Originally the classicist building was the town hall and seat of the city administration.

The main facade of the building is adorned with a frieze with sea gods and sea monsters. From 1808-1810 Louis Napoleon made it his residence for two years. The building has belonged to the Swedish Crown since the 1930s and is used for receptions. Inside, the magnificent Burgerzaal (citizens’ hall) and the courtroom are particularly worth seeing.

Erasmus Bridge

The New Erasmus Bridge (Erasmus Bridge) was planned by the architect Ben van Berkel and completed in 1996 and has been a symbol of the city ever since. It was named after the great scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (1465-1536). The bridge with its 140 meter high pylon and a length of a little more than 800 m shines completely in white and impresses with its asymmetrical shape. It connects the city center of Rotterdam with the oldest port area “Kop van Zuid”. The southern part can be folded up to allow large ships to pass through.


At 185 meters, the Euromast is the tallest structure and landmark of Rotterdam. Construction began in 1960. From the observation deck you have an excellent view of Rotterdam.

Fortified city of Bourtange near Groningen

The impressive fortress city of Bourtange near Groningen is laid out in the shape of a star. Its history goes back to the 16th century. It was extensively restored and looks like it did in the 18th century.

Gevangenpoort in The Hague

This is a former gate of the city fortifications of the The Hague residence. In the course of its eventful history, the building served various functions (prison, court, etc.) and is now home to the city and legal history museum.

A memorial commemorates Johan De Witt, the most influential Dutch politician in the 17th century, who was lynched here in 1672 together with his brother Cornelius by a crowd because they were conspired against the new governor Wilhelm III. suspected of Orange. In the museum you can take a look into the former cells and torture rooms. Paintings and objects of torture hang in it.


The old city gate of Amsterdam, the Haarlemmerpoort, was built in 1840 as a triumphal arch. In the 19th century the building served as a customs office. Today there are apartments in the building.

City block De Dageraad

The city block De Dageraad in Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful examples of the “Amsterdam School”. It was designed from 1918 to 1923 and built for working class families.

Hollandse Manege

The Hollandse Manege in Amsterdam is located in a neoclassical building built in 1882, which was restored in 1986 and therefore shines again in all its glory today.

Java-eiland and KNSM-eiland

Java-eiland and KNSM-eiland are two man-made islands in the old port of Amsterdam. There are commercial and residential buildings with modern architecture.

Metz and Co. department store The Metz and Co.

department store is housed in what was once the tallest office building in Amsterdam from 1891.

Koninklijk Paleis

The former city hall of Amsterdam, the Koninklijk Paleis, is regularly used by the Queen on official occasions. Construction began in 1648 and was made of sandstone blocks. The foundation of the building rests on 13,600 piles.

Country estate Goudestein

The country estate Goudestein in Maarssen was built in 1628. The current building from 1775 serves as a community hall and a museum.

Magere Brug

The Magere Brug in Amsterdam is a double drawbridge. It was built in 1969 and resembles the previous bridge from 1670.

Munttoren in Amsterdam

The Munttoren in Amsterdam is a bell tower from 1619. The carillon was designed in 1699 and still sounds every quarter of an hour.

Oost-Indisch Huis

The Oost-Indisch Huis in Amsterdam once served as the headquarters of the United East India Company, which was closed in 1798. The building was then used as a customs and tax office. Today it houses the University of Amsterdam.


The Oosterscheldekering in Zeeland is a huge dam against the tide. It took 13 years to build. The dam consists of pillars and 62 slides that are closed when storms threaten. A road was built on the dam.

Paleis Noordeinde

The Paleis Noordeinde in The Hague, a classical building from 1640, is the workplace of Queen Beatrix.

Panorama Mesdag in The Hague

This building contains the panorama picture of the same name, completed in 1881 by the Dutch painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831 – 1915), which is one of the most important sights in The Hague. The cylindrical 360 ° painting is 14 meters high and 120 long and shows the sea front of Scheveningen as it looked in the late 19th century. Whoever looks at the picture has the impression of being in a real scene.


The Prinsenhof in Groningen was the seat of the Bishop of Groningen in the 16th century. In the following period until the 18th century, the building served as the governor’s residence.


The RAI is one of the largest exhibition and conference complexes in the Netherlands. The first fair took place in 1893.

Delft City Hall Delft

City Hall from 1618 was built in the Renaissance style around a Gothic tower from the 13th century.

City Hall of Groningen

The City Hall of Groningen is a mighty neo-classical building from 1810.

Hilversum Town Hall

The modern Hilversum Town Hall was built in yellow bricks. It dates from 1931 and impresses with its cubist shape.

Venlo Town Hall

The magnificent Venlo Town Hall in the province of Limburg dates back to the 16th century.


The Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam housed the artist from 1639 to 1658. Many of Rembrandt’s best-known works were created in the studio on the first floor.

Rietveld Schröder House

The Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht was built in 1924. It is an excellent example of modern residential architecture and is even known worldwide today as a monument to modernism.

Saint Servatius Bridge (or Sint Servaasbrug) in Maastricht

This 160 meter long bridge over the Meuse was built in 1280. At the time of construction it was the northernmost crossing over the river and connected Maastricht with the district on the right bank of the Meuse Wyck. Widened in 1932, the bridge was damaged in fighting in both 1940 and 1945.


The Stadhuis-Musiktheater was completed in 1988. The red brick, glass and marble complex houses the town hall and the city’s opera house.


City Archives The Amsterdam City Archives are housed in an elegant 19th-century building. It has a remarkable neo-renaissance facade.

Thialfstadion in Heerenveen

The Thialfstadion in Heerenveen is a well-known ice skating arena. The large hall is 15,000 km² and offers space for 13,000 spectators. The ice hockey rink is 1,800 km2 and can accommodate 4,000 spectators.


The Torensluis is one of the widest bridges in Amsterdam. It was built on the site of a 17th century lock.

Vredespalais (Peace Palace)

The Vredespalais in The Hague is a neo-Gothic palace from 1913. Today the United Nations International Court of Justice has its seat in the palace. The building also houses the world’s largest legal library.

Waagebouw in Amsterdam

The imposing building was built as a city gate in 1488 and converted into a weighbridge in 1617. The upper floor housed the meeting rooms of the various guilds. The surgeon’s guild housed their anatomical theater under the roof, in which they demonstrated their surgical skills and which was also visited by Rembrandt.

It is still preserved today, but only accessible at events of the media institute, which is based here today. There is also a restaurant and an internet café in the building.

Willemsbrug in Rotterdam

The Willemsbrücke is also known as the Golden Gate Bridge of Rotterdam. In fact, the 318-meter-long red cable-stayed bridge looks like a small version of that famous San Francisco bridge. It leads over the “Nieuwe Maas” and connects the island “Noordereiland” with the city center. The bridge was inaugurated in 1881 after the previous bridge had to give way. It is also known as the Nieuwe Willemsbrug.

Witte Huis

The Witte Huis in Rotterdam is one of the few buildings that survived the 1940 bombing. The 45 meter high building was once the tallest office building in Europe.


The Low Frequency Aray (LOFAR) was inaugurated on June 2010. The radio waves are detected with the help of small pyramid-shaped antennas a few meters high, of which there are around 7,000. These are over a large central area in the Netherlands and around forty stations in Germany, France, Sweden and Great Britain. The diameter of the area in which the stations are distributed within the Netherlands is around 100 km.

The telescope is supposed to detect the invisible signals of hydrogen clouds from a period of around 1 billion years after the Big Bang. The frequencies to be measured lie in a range between 10 to 250 MHz (1 MHz = 10 6 Hz.).

The location of the Dutch part of the radio telescope is in the central area of LOFAR in the municipality of Borger-Odoorn, east of Hondsrug. The telescope was inaugurated on June 12, 2010 in the presence of the Queen of the Netherlands – Beatrix -.


Old Hoogeveensedijk 4

7991 PD Dwingeloo The


Tel.: (+31) (0) 52 15 95 100

Port in Rotterdam

Europoort in Rotterdam

The huge port area west of the city is made up of several ports. In total, the port facilities cover an area of approx. 125 km2. The port was even built a few kilometers into the North Sea, which required around 170 million m3 of sand and fine gravel. The port has a storage area of around 1.5 million m2 and cold stores with a total area of 90,000 m2. The tank facilities for petroleum products are spread over an area of 32 million m2. Over 500 tugs are stationed in the port area, which can maneuver ships up to a size of approx. 200,000 t and a draft of up to 23 m to the quay facilities or terminals.

This makes Europoort one of the largest ports in the world, handling over 300 million tons of goods annually. Every year around 32,000 ocean-going vessels and around 180,000 inland vessels dock at the countless quays of the vast area. The quay facilities extend over a length of around 40 kilometers. The “Europoort” occupies an outstanding position for the European import and export of goods. 85% of all European imports of citrus fruits are processed here. As already mentioned, around 10 million containers with the standard size of 20 feet were handled in 2006.

The Europoort is also the largest oil port in the world. Five refineries process the incoming crude oil on site and supply the continent with oil via numerous pipelines. In Rotterdam, among other things, the prices for oil and petrol are set.

In the meantime, approx. 98% of all piece goods are approached, stored and transported in containers. It should be mentioned that, in addition to general cargo, there are also bulk goods, that is: goods such as scrap metal, scrap or coal, suction goods such as grain and liquids such as petroleum products.

It should be noted that the containers were first used in the 1950s to transport military equipment during the Korean War. The standard size of a container is 20 feet = 6.096 m, with a height of 2.62 m. They are called TEU’s (from: Twentyfeet Equivalent Units). There are also 40-foot containers and other sizes for special goods. Special containers for cooling perishable goods are also in use. You can keep the temperature accurate to tenths of a degree. To identify each individual container, it has a four-digit letter code on all four sides at the top right, the first three letters of which indicate the owner of the container and the last letter, usually a U, indicates that its size is standardized; underneath is a seven-digit number.

It should also be mentioned that the containers stacked on top of one another on the ships are fastened to one another with certain fist-sized “claws”. Since the ships’ center of gravity rises up due to the high stacking, a ship loaded in this way is more likely to capsize in heavy seas. This is why these container fasteners have predetermined breaking points: if they list (heel) of around 40 °, they break and some of the containers go overboard. Of course, that’s better than losing the whole ship.

natural beauties

Amsterdamse Bos

The city forest in the south of Amsterdam is a popular local recreation area with an area of over 800 hectares. The Amsterdamse Bos was created as part of a job creation scheme in the early 1930s. Countless trees and bushes from different parts of the world have been planted here. You can go boating on the lake. In the Bos Museum you can find out more about the formation of the city forest.

Flower-growing area

The most important flower-growing area in the Netherlands is located between Haarlem and Leiden and is 30 km long. Mainly tulips, crocuses and lilies are grown there.

Botanical Garden of Leiden

Botanical Garden of Leiden was built around the 1590th Once used by medical students and botanists, it is now accessible to everyone.

Dolfinarium in Harderwijk

The Dolfinarium in Harderwijk is the largest marine animal park in Europe. In addition to dolphins, you can even admire rays and sharks up close.

Grottoes of St. Pietersberg

The St. Pietersberg also includes the famous grottos, which were once created through the extraction of marl stone. Today’s caves form a labyrinth of more than 20,000 corridors, on the walls of which old inscriptions refer to the former presence of workers. The caves can be visited as part of guided tours, which unfortunately are only offered in Dutch (apart from the midsummer months). You should definitely dress warmly, as it is quite cold in the caves.

By the way:

There are more grottos at the Cannerberg.

Madurodam in The Hague

This amusement park in the Scheveningen district was opened in 1952 and has been one of the greatest tourist attractions the Netherlands has to offer ever since. More than 300 models of the most important Dutch buildings on a scale of 1:25 can be seen here on 18,000 m². The name refers to the couple Maduro, who wanted to honor their son Lieutenant George Maduro, who died in 1945 in the Dachau concentration camp, with the construction of the Madurodam. The Evoluon is also located in the park (see under “Special buildings”).

Berg en Bos Nature Park (Apeldoorn Zoo)

The special Apeldoorn Zoo is located in the Berg en Bos Nature Park. Over 30 species of monkeys live there and roam freely in the area.

Park Clingersael

The Park Clingersael in The Hague was redesigned in 1830 to a landscape park with a rose garden, animal pastures and the picturesque Japanese garden. The Japanese Garden dates from 1903. All stones, ornaments and the tea house were specially brought by ship from Japan to The Hague.

St. Pietersberg in Maastricht

The 120 meter high Mount St. Pieter offers not only a picturesque view of the roofs of Maastricht from the “summit”, but also wonderful hiking trails into the wooded area of Slavante and into the ENCI forest ‘n Observant on the St. Pietersberg. You can get to know this nature reserve on a total of three routes. The St. Pietersberg also includes the famous caves, which were once created through the extraction of marl stone and today form a labyrinth of more than 20,000 corridors Old inscriptions on its walls refer to the former presence of the workers.


The Weerribben are a very beautiful, water-rich and almost untouched nature area in the province of Overijssel.


Zoo The Amsterdam Zoo, the Natura Artis Magistra, houses over 750 animal species, a planetarium and a large aquarium.

Rotterdam Zoo

The Rotterdam Zoo was founded in 1857 and moved to the Blijdorp Polder in 1937. The zoo has a research department that plays an important role in breeding endangered species.


North of Zandvoort is the Zuid-Kennermerland National Park, which is best explored on foot or by bike, cars are not allowed there.


With an area of 1,100 km², the Veluwe is the largest contiguous forest area in the Netherlands. It is located in the province of Gelderland on the mountain range of the same name, up to 110 m high. Part of the area is part of the De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Here you will find mainly mixed pine forests on sandy geest soil, most of which were planted in the 18th and 19th centuries.. Dunes and smaller lakes are characteristic of the forest area. Agriculture is practiced on the edge of the Veluwe. However, there are also heather areas that are protected.


The IJsselmeer – in the German IJsselmeer – is a diked former part of the North Sea. In the meantime, the water of this approx. 1,100 km² inland sea consists practically of fresh water. The inland sea is separated from the Norsee in the north by a large 90 m wide and 29 km long dike. Motorway 7 leads across the dike. The dike has two huge sluices and a pumping station.

The IJsselmeer is a large part of the former Zuidersee. The dike was built in 1932. Today’s water depth is between around 2 m and 5 m, with the exception of a few deeper places. A second dike, which was completed in 1976, divides the IJsselmeer into two parts in the southern part, with the southern part having its own name “Markermeer”. The two seas are connected by two locks – in the northwest near Enkhuizen and in the southeast near Lelystad. The southeastern parts of today’s Markermeer and the IJsselmeer have been drained and form the province of Flevoland, which is surrounded by water. To the north is the newly created area “Noordoostpolder”. Both areas are characterized by the 1, 2 km wide Ketelmeer separated – at this point the two regions are connected by a bridge (Ketelbrücke = Ketelbrug), over which the Autobahn 6 leads (Boereland route). The area of the IJsselmeer is a popular area for water sports enthusiasts.

This inland sea gets its water mainly from the IJssel and the Vechte.

The North Sea

The Netherlands is known to be located on the North Sea. This marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, with an average depth of 94 meters, is located in north-western Europe. The North Sea is an important trade route and acts as a European route to world markets. Together with the English Channel bordering on it, the southern part of the North Sea is the most heavily traveled shipping region on earth. The largest ports in Europe are on or near the North Sea.

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