Holland is a country with plenty of tourist attractions. With countless channels, and opening from the North Sea, the Netherlands has a flat relief that encouraged the development of many small towns and villages. Although most tourists choose to visit only Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Netherlands also boasts other cities that deserve to be explored. We propose three: Delft, The Hague and Haarlem.
This small city is located 16 kilometers from Rotterdam and is an interesting destination for a city break. Famous for its picturesque canals and because of Vermeer, who illustrated this city in one of his most famous paintings, Delft is an old city, where history and fascinating culture can be spotted at every street corner. With a superb architecture, dating mostly from the sixteenth century Delft is the perfect destination for those who want a trip less overrun by tourists.
Most tourist attractions in Delft are, of course, downtown, where you can take a walk to admire the two principal cathedrals: the Old Church of Century XIII and New Church, completed in 1496, they are in burial places of the most important Dutch princes and kings. From the Church Gothic tower, which rises to over 100 meters, you can admire the entire city. Nearby you can tour the royal ceramics factory De Porceleyne Fles. This is the only ceramic factory of the 32 that worked in Delft after four centuries. In fact, this city was famous throughout Europe for the delicate ceramic achieve here.
Also in Delft you can visit the Het Prinsenhof Museum, a small palace built in the Middle Ages, and the Science Center of the University of Technology from Delft, which will delight the little ones.
Although Amsterdam is the Dutch capital, The Hague is the government of the country, and the residence of the King. This city, the third largest in the country, is also an interesting destination for those who want to discover another face of the Netherlands. Any trip to Hague should start in the heart of the city, Binnenhof. This set of buildings from the middle of the XIII century was built around a huge courtyard. Currently these buildings house the Dutch Parliament, and official residence of the Prime Minister. The most interesting building in this ensemble is the Knights Hall, an impressive Gothic building that today is used for official banquets.
Also in The Hague is the famous Palace of Peace realized in gothic and neo-classical style, which houses the International Court of Justice. The interior was decorated with objects and materials brought in from all over the world, including Italian marble, wrought iron ornaments from Germany and wall panels from Brazil and the US.
In The Hague we admire one of the oldest panoramic paintings. Panorama Mesdag was painted in 1881 and represents the village of Scheveningen. The work is cylindrical, with a diameter of 120 meters and offers a 360 degree view of the small village which meanwhile became a district of The Hague. The painting is exactly in the place that was first realized more than a century ago. Don’t forget to visit Kurhaus, a colorful Art Nouveau building, or the Museum of Miniatures to learn everything in Scheveningen.
Third Dutch city that you should intend to visit is Haarlem. Just 20 kilometers from Amsterdam, Haarlem is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Haarlem is its eclectic architecture. The most imposing building in the entire city is the Kerk Grote or St Bavokerk Church. The thin tower can be seen from any corner of the city, and inside visitors will be fascinated by the superb decorations from the sixteenth century, including the famous Muller, considered one of the best such tools where Mozart played.
One of the most picturesque places in Haarlem is Bakenessergracht, where there are the oldest and most impressive buildings. Visit here Hofje van Bakenes park and mobile bridge over the Spaarne Binnen river where you can admire the Amsterdamse Port, the only old town gate that has remained.