According to Howsmb, North Holland is located in the northwest of the Netherlands. Within the northern part of North Holland lies the West Friesland region, which mainly consists of agricultural ribbon villages. Here you will also find a number of historic cities such as Hoorn and Enkhuizen, which mainly developed during the VOC era. The capital of the Netherlands is also located in the province of North Holland. For many foreign tourists, a visit to Amsterdam and the surrounding area is the main destination of their holiday in our country. Partly thanks to the presence of Amsterdam, tourists can see many sights within this province. Think of everything in and around Amsterdam, Schiphol, Den Helder or picturesque fishing towns such as Marken and Volendam.
Enough to see, do and experience. But the lesser-known large towns also have many cultural and historical attractions to offer. What about Petten, where you can learn everything about the construction and usefulness of our dikes at De Dijk te Kijk. Or what influence water has on our landscape. Or take a tulip excursion in Slootdorp. The possibilities are almost unlimited in this province.
Top 10 sights of North Holland
The capital of the Netherlands is located in North Holland. Amsterdamis visited by millions of tourists every year. It therefore has countless attractions, which vary in old buildings, museums, squares, entertainment venues and festivals. At the top, of course, are the ramparts. This red light district is unique and can only be found in the Netherlands in this size. The area is also called the ‘red light district’. Prostitution and sex-oriented entertainment is the order of the day here. But the city has much more to offer. Think of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, the Vondelpark and the Palace on Dam Square. Due to the amount of canals, the streets are often connected by bridges. Many cruises offer all kinds of different tours where a lot of interesting information about the city is told. The most famous and visited squares in Amsterdam are Museumplein, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein.
#2. Zaanse Schans
The Zaanse Schans is perhaps one of the most Dutch parts of the Netherlands. It is not for nothing that busloads of tourists come here. Although the Zaanse Schans cannot formally be called a museum, this district of the municipality of Zaanstad is seen as such. The entire area on the Zaan consists of authentic wooden houses and buildings, some of which partly date from the 17th and 18th centuries. A good example of this is the Bakery Museum In de Gecroode Duyvekater, which dates from 1658. There are also many windmills to admire and various old crafts.
You do not need an entrance ticket to visit the Zaanse Schans. For some museum windmills and other sights you have to pay to enter. You have the best overall overview of the Zaanse Schans from the Juliana Bridge. This has a pedestrian and cyclist part. You get the best photos if you shoot from the bridge halfway through the day. You then have the sun at your back.
This largest Dutch Wadden Island belongs to the province of North Holland. The island is about twenty kilometers long and eight kilometers wide. The island is quite green because it has many dunes, forests and grasslands. It is therefore a popular habitat for many bird species. Old customs and rituals are well maintained on this island. For example, the Old Sunderklaas party is celebrated here on December 12. This is a masked Sinterklaas party where local news from the past year is told in a different form. There are a number of special sights on the island, such as ruins of fortresses at Oudeschild, the seal sanctuary at De Koog and the Aviation &
Volendam is known for its traditional costumes, fishing and artists such as Jan Smit, Nick and Simon. In short, called the eel sound. The many tourists that Volendamvisits run over ‘De Dijk’ along the water. Here you will find many restaurants, terraces and souvenir shops. Behind this dike lies the picturesque village where the streets are narrow and the houses are mostly small. Centuries ago, the geniality and cozy atmosphere ensured that painters often found the village to paint there. It can therefore be found on many old works. In addition to some old churches, there is a fish auction that is now used as a stage and you will find some museums such as the Palingsoundmuseum and the Volendams Museum.
View the top 10 sights of Volendam
The fascinating city of Haarlem is located on the river Spaarne. Since it acquired city rights around 1245, it has been one of the most important cities in Holland. The historic city center with its many canals makes a pleasant impression. Especially on the Grote Markt, life is bustling around you. Here are also the old town hall and the St. Bavo Church with its huge tower. Haarlem’s many parks give the city a green character. The Haarlemmerhout in particular is extremely popular among the population. The Teylers Museum is also among the dozens of museums. This art and science museum has existed since 1784, making it the oldest museum in the Netherlands.
Of the cities in North Holland, Alkmaar is one that you should definitely visit. This cheese city has enough sights to keep you busy for part of a day or a whole day. The most beautiful spot in Alkmaar is without a doubt the Waagplein. The weigh house here is one of the most beautiful weigh houses in the Netherlands. Today, the Cheese Museum is located here. Other notable sights of Alkmaar are the Accijnstoren, the House with the Bullet and the various courtyards that you will find scattered throughout the historic city center. For music lovers, the Alkmaar Beatles Museum is highly recommended.
Den Helder is the northernmost city of mainland North Holland. Den Helder is best known as the place where the Royal Netherlands Navy has been operating for many years. It is no coincidence that the Marine Museum can be found here. This maritime museum has been one of the most visited museums in the province since 1962, if you leave the Amsterdam museums aside for a moment. Since its opening, the Marine Museum has grown into a place where you can learn everything about the maritime part of the Dutch armed forces. In addition to the various exhibitions, you can also admire a number of museum boats. A visit to the submarine Tunijn in particular is a popular part of a visit to the Marine Museum.
North Holland has many places that are worth a visit. Think of Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Haarlem, which have already been given a place in these top 10 sights in North Holland. A city that certainly deserves a mention is Hoorn. This city, located on the IJsselmeer and Markermeer, has a long history as a trading city and, thanks to the golden age, has numerous buildings and places worth seeing.
A first tip we would like to give is a trip with the Museum Steam Tram Hoorn-Medemblik (SHM). This tourist ride departs from a specially constructed station, which was actually the former freight and shunting yard than the adjacent train station. The beautiful ride on the local railway takes you from Hoorn via beautiful towns such as Wognum and Opperdoes to the picturesque Medemblik. From there you can take the museum train back to Hoorn or choose to sail by boat to fantastic Enkhuizen.
In Hoorn there are a number of places and sights that are more than worth a visit. De Roode Steen is the central square of historic Hoorn. This is considered the most beautiful place in Hoorn, partly because of the weighing house and the Statencollegegebouw. You should definitely not miss the sixteenth-century Hoofdtoren when you are in Hoorn. Two museums that we recommend are the Westfries Museum and the Museum of the Twentieth Century.
The province of North Holland has several beautiful castles and ditches. Much of it dates back to the Middle Ages. One person responsible for several castles is Count Floris V of Holland. He had the Muiderslot built at the end of the thirteenth century. This square moated castle is located near the fortified town of Muiden, in the southeast of the province. The Muiderslot is a fine example of a typical medieval museum. All the elements you may expect are present, such as a moat, a drawbridge, a knight’s hall and various towers that were mainly intended to defend the fortress against unwanted visitors. You can visit the Muiderslot and see how people used to live here.
#10. Inntel Hotel Zaandam
There are few hotels that are special enough to get a spot in a top 10 of a destination’s attractions. For the Inntel Hotel Zaandam we can only make an exception from this. The design of this hotel is so special that people get off at Zaandam train station especially to see and photograph this hotel. Opened in 2010, the Inntel hotel consists of an accumulation of nearly seventy typical Zaan houses. All but one are painted in the traditional green colours. The blue house on the corner is the so-called ‘house of Monet’. It is an ode to the painting ‘La Maison Bleue’.