Outside the cities, the traditional image of the Netherlands with flat grasslands, windmills, abundant canals and historic towns can still be found. 

Near the city of Amsterdam, the Zaanse schans and the fisherman towns of Volendam and Marken offer a nostalgic picture of past times.  Zaanse Schans has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and traditional green wooden homes. Volendam and Marken are also known as relics of the traditional native culture, and sometimes older inhabitants can still be seen wearing the traditional costumes. The areas can be easily reached by car (about 20 minutes from Amsterdam). All major hotels can also arrange tours.

Kinderdijk, a village about 15 km east of Rotterdam also offers an insight into the history of the Netherlands as a country dominated by water. The village is situated in a polder. In order to drain the polder, a systems of 19 wooden windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is now the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Historical centers of towns such as Leiden, Haarlem and Alkmaar are also worth a visit. They offer canals, narrow streets and stone bridges, historical canal houses as well as traditional Dutch restaurants. Beaches along the Western coast are easily accessible from the major cities. The beaches of Zandvoort, Bergen and Bloemendaal are close to Amsterdam and offer sandy beaches, restaurants and lounge chairs. From The Hague there is easy access to the beaches of Scheveningen and Wassenaar.

For an outing outside the Randstad area, the Hoge Veluwe National Park offers 55 square kilometers of heathlands, sand dunes and woodlands. It is located in the province of Gelderland near the cities of Arnhem and Apeldoorn. A protected nature reserve, it also is home to a well-known art museum and sculpture garden, the Kröller-Müller museum. It has the second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh. Formerly the private estate and hunting grounds of the businessman Anton Kröller, the park still is home to many deer, mouflon and foxes. Visitor can take a safari with the park warden, go horse riding, cycling or fishing. See also: 


 Art, especially pictorial art, forms an important part of Dutch culture. During the Golden Age many famous painters attained international fame, and their works are well-represented in Dutch museums. The most renowned museums are located in the Museum Square area in the center of Amsterdam.

Museumstraat 1 Amsterdam
Open daily 9.00-17.00 
Tickets can be purchased online to avoid long lines.
The museum has 8000 objects of art and history on display, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200-2000, among which are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer.

-Van Gogh museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7, Amsterdam
Open daily 9.00-18.00, and until 22.00 on Fridays
Tickets can be purchased online to avoid long lines.
The museum is dedicated entirely to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries, and has some of his most famous works on display, such as the Sunflowers and the Almond Blossoms.

-Stedelijk museum
Museumplein 10, Amsterdam
Open daily 10.00-18.00, and until 22.00 on Thursdays

The Stedelijk Museum is Holland’s main museum for modern and contemporary art. Its collection includes mondern and contemporary art and design by artists such as Kandinsky, Chagall, Pollock and Matisse. A new wing by the Dutch Benthem Crouwel architects was added in 2012, which remarkable design soon  made it known as ‘the bathtub’ to visitors and locals alike. 

-Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Stadhouderslaan 41, The Hague
Open Tuesday-Sunday 11.00-17.00
The Gemeentemuseum is the Municipal museum of the Hague. The museum was designed by one of the country’s most well-known architects, H.P. Berlage. It is renowned for its large Mondrian collection, the largest in the world, and work by international modern and contemporary artists such as Degas, Monet and Picasso. Its collections also include a collection of 19th and 20th century prints, a collection of fashion items and jewellery, and a collection of musical instruments and European historical music. The GEM museum (contemporary art) and the Photography Museum of the Hague are located adjacently to the Gemeentemuseum and combination tickets are available at all three museums.