North Holland

Haarlem showing a windmill and a river or creek

Visit iconic Amsterdam, beachside Haarlem, Alkmaar’s cheese markets and the multicolored tulip fields in the “Noord.”

Enjoy the natural beauty and immerse yourself in the cultural delights of North Holland.

Ride your bike like a Dutch native around Amsterdam’s historic canals, sample the cheeses of Edam and Alkmaar, explore the coastal dunes and national park around Haarlem and tour art galleries and museums.

Fly to Schiphol Airport, located in the Haarlemmermeer, a lowland reclaimed in the 1800s from a body of water that separated North Holland from South Holland. Board a train to beautiful Amsterdam, a wonderland of 17th-century houses, numerous canals, intimate cafés, grand palaces and mansions. Don’t miss the Van Gogh Museum, the astoundingly huge Rijksmuseum and the Rembrandt House. Numerous little canal house museums give you a glimpse into the lives of wealthy merchant families during the period between the 17th and 19th centuries.

A short trip away by train or bicycle is Haarlem, full of historic churches and charming narrow streets filled with cottages and unusual boutique shops. Spend a few hours wandering through the Frans Hals Museum, which celebrates Haarlem’s most famous Golden Age portrait painter and his contemporaries. Not far from Haarlem, find the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, where you can hike through coastal dune habitats to the beach.

When you explore the little towns surrounding Amsterdam you’ll find each has its own flavor, quite literally. Edam has the famous eponymous cheese and Alkmaar is known for its Friday cheese market. Zaanse Schans has historic food-production sites, from a 17th-century bakery to a liqueur distillery and working spice mill as well as numerous wooden windmills.

Between Alkmaar and Den Helder are North Holland’s famous tulip fields, at their prettiest from March through May. Continue north to the West Frisian Islands to see the nature reserves of Griend, Rottumerplaat and Rottumeroog, islands in the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage area. Camping is popular in summer, especially in June, when Terschelling Island has a week-long theater festival. Plan a sailing trip or take your bike on the ferry to explore the islands’ historic lighthouses and windmills.

Popular cities in North Holland

Amsterdam featuring heritage architecture, night scenes and a city
Known for Museums, Biking and Boating
Wander around a fairy-tale lattice of canals and captivating neighborhoods, where old-world charm is fused with modern luxury and world-famous nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Dam Square
  • Anne Frank House
  • Leidseplein
Haarlem which includes street scenes
Known for Shopping, Cathedrals and Historical
Relax on a scenic beach after exploring churches, markets and intriguing museums in this tulip-filled land in northwest Netherlands.

Reasons to visit

  • Frans Hals Museum
  • Grote Markt
  • Teylers Museum
Waag which includes cycling and street scenes
Known for Historical, Cheese and Biking
Love cathedrals, history, and museums? Get away to Alkmaar!

Reasons to visit

  • Waag
  • Stedelijk Museum
Known for Beach view, Sea and Poolside bars
Laze on the beach, experience the thrill of motor racing or stroll amongst the dunes of a nature reserve in one of the Netherlands’ most popular coastal playgrounds.

Reasons to visit

  • Zandvoort Beach
Known for Historical, Museums and Monuments
Explore Enkhuizen: its museums, monuments, culture, and more!
Known for Relaxing, Excursions and Biking
Come to relaxing Naarden and enjoy its boating, castle, and cathedral.