Everyone’s familiar with Holland’s infamous capital city, but there are so many more memorable Dutch cities to visit in the Netherlands than just Amsterdam.

While Amsterdam is undoubtedly a popular and vibrant city to visit in the Netherlands, exploring other Dutch cities can provide a more well-rounded and authentic experience of the country. From the enchanting canals of Utrecht to the historic charm of Delft and the modern energy of Rotterdam, each Dutch city is a vibrant chapter in your Dutch adventure and, thanks to Holland's amazing transport links, easily reachable from wherever you are in the Netherlands.

So get ready to uncover the Netherlands's hidden gems and dive into our handpicked list of the 10 most beautiful (and less crowded) Dutch cities to help you embrace your inner Dutchie.

The 10 Best Dutch Cities (Other than Amsterdam)

1. Rotterdam

Rotterdam river with fishing boats in the sunshine
First on our list of the best Dutch cities is the infamous Rotterdam. Thanks to the short distance from the UK, the Netherlands’ largest city makes for a quick and easy getaway from the UK, meaning you can enjoy the taste of another culture in no time at all.

In summer, Rotterdam comes alive with its plethora of outdoor events. One of them is the Rotterdam Summer Carnival which celebrates the best of Caribbean culture. You’ll also find music festivals to suit every taste making it a must for all music lovers. Once you’re finished you can lounge on beach chairs at the peaceful Parqiet, chill by Kralingen Lake or explore the edgy Weelde district which even has its own farm. A trip to Rotterdam means you’re definitely not going to run out of things to do.

Close off your busy day sightseeing with a cooling dip in the Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre pool and a refreshing cocktail in the contemporary bar afterwards.

2. Eindhoven

Cyclists go through a meadow in Eindhoven
Famous for being a hub of design and innovation, Eindhoven is a tech lover’s dream. Pay a visit to the informative but fun, Eindhoven: Journey to the Future, DAF and Phillips Museums to broaden your knowledge on the evolution of the tech industry in the Eindhoven area before sampling some delicious Dutch beers at the city’s countless distilleries and breweries. Once you’re done with your refreshments, head to the 200-acre Genneper Park where you can join in on activities like mini golf, kayaking, swimming and more.

To finish your day, kick back and relax at the quirky Social Hub Hotel that’s just a stone’s throw away from the train station.

3. Utrecht

Cyclists looking onto the Utrecht canals and bars and restaurants
Only 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam lies the charming province of Utrecht. Embodying traditional Dutch characteristics (thinks canals, cobblestone streets, and wonky houses), this Dutch city has been steadily growing in popularity. Plus there are endless things to do in Utrecht thanks to the canals flowing through the lively city by:

  • stopping for a pick-me-up at one of the several canal-side bars
  • sampling delicious Dutch delicacies at the canal-side restaurants
  • exploring the city by water with a rented kayak or boat
  • sitting back and relaxing on a canal cruise
  • enjoying a picnic and some classic Dutch beer on the green canal banks

Our favourite Utrecht hotels include the cosy NH Centre Utrecht with its cosy and comfortable decor for a home away from home and the luxurious Anthony Hotel thanks to its unbeatable fine dining restaurant.

4. Volendam

colourful Dutch houses look over a river in the sunshine
Volendam's very Instagrammable fishing village is just 20km from Amsterdam and has everything you would expect from a quintessential Dutch town. Armed with five centuries of rich history, the isolated fishing village is the best place to see traditional houses, and also:

  • Edam cheese markets
  • wooden shoe factories
  • famous Eindhoven windmills

If you’re considering a trip to Volendam, wander along the harbour to experience the bustling town. To top off your day, book a night at the Van der Valk Hotel to immerse yourself in its serene ambience overlooking a small lake.

5. The Hague

The Hague beach on a summer day
Home to the country’s government, Royal Family and United Nations, there’s no disputing that The Hague is an important place and not one to miss if you’re considering venturing outside of Amsterdam. The Hague is steeped in history with countless museums and art galleries to please history fans and art lovers alike. If this sounds like you, stop by the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery to view the Dutch Golden Age art and afterwards to the Louwman Museum to browse the vast collection of antique vehicles. If you’ve got little ones in toe, you can’t miss the miniature theme park Madurodam. But if you’d rather be outside enjoying the sun, do like the Dutch and head to one of The Hague’s famous beaches, easily accessible by public transport.

Our top pick of The Hague’s hotels has to be the stylish Best Western Plus Grand Winston thanks to its endless facilities and unmissable fine dining restaurant.

6. Maastricht

old bookshop Maastricht
As the country’s southernmost city, Maastricht is nestled between the borders of Belgium and Germany. If you’re dreaming of an escape to the countryside, the 2.5-hour train from Amsterdam Centraal will provide you with just this — think sweeping Dutch landscapes, decorated with windmills and farms. Make the most of the good weather by playing golf, going on a bike tour or hiking through stunning nature trails. When you’re finished enjoying the great outdoors, head to the Dominicanen, a bookshop housed in an old church. Our top pick for Maastricht accommodation? It has to be the four-star Amrâth Grand Hotel de l’Empereur for a dose of refinement and relaxation.

7. Gouda

Gouda cheese market
Next on our list of the best Dutch cities is Gouda. Aside from its delicious Gouda cheese, this medieval city has so much to offer travellers wanting to soak up Dutch culture in a limited time frame. Ranking among the oldest cities in the Netherlands, the city is bursting with historical buildings and show-stopping landmarks. Must-see highlights include the Waag, Sint-Jnaskerk, and the city hall famous for its gothic architecture. And of course, no trip here is complete without sampling its cheese. Visit the cheese markets or the Gouda Cheese Experience to be walked through the production process. Gouda’s small size also makes it the perfect destination for a day trip so spend the night at the Mainport Design Hotel Rotterdam, just a 20-minute train journey from Gouda.

8. Leiden

Leiden canals in the sun with traditional Dutch houses
Famous for its university, Leiden’s picturesque cobblestone streets and nearby beach make it an ideal destination for travellers seeking some peace and quiet while still enjoying an array of cultural activities. While visiting this incredible Dutch city, history lovers can visit the National Museum of Antiquities before wandering the streets while taking in Leiden’s unique architecture in the form of historic churches, the Stadhuis van Leiden and the Leiden University building. Is history not really your thing? Not to worry because there are countless other options such as:

  • exploring the tranquil botanical gardens
  • soaking in the sights (and the sun) on an open-top canal cruise
  • browsing the stalls at the famous Leiden Street Market selling delicious cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables and vibrant flowers.

Our hotel recommendation is the typically Dutch Golden Tulip Leiden Centre Hotel thanks to its phenomenal breakfast that is sure to fuel you before a day of sightseeing.

9. Arnhem

arnhem is one of the best Dutch cities to visit in the Netherlands
Arnhem is another must-see Dutch city that deserves a spot on your itinerary. Located in the eastern part of the Netherlands in the Gelderland province,  Arnhem offers a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. When spending your holiday in Arnhem, we recommend:

You can take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Arnhem in only 1 hour and 10 minutes. Once you arrive in Arnhem, you can marvel at this Dutch city's impressive train station that looks like something from a sci-fi film.

10. Venlo

venlo is one of the best dutch cities to visit other than amsterdam
Last on our list of the most beautiful Dutch cities to visit other than Amsterdam is Venlo. Although not as widely known as some of the other Dutch cities mentioned, Venlo is a true Dutch hidden gem nestled in the southeastern Netherlands on the border with Germany. Venlo offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty and promises a memorable experience for travellers seeking Dutch authenticity beyond the beaten path. Here's what you can't miss:

  • Explore the medieval charm of the city centre with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings, such as the imposing St. Martinuskerk.
  • Immerse yourself in Dutch horticulture at the enchanting Jochumhof, a monastic village and botanical garden dating back to the 19th century.
  • Delight your taste buds with local delicacies at Venlo's bustling markets, where fresh produce and regional specialties abound.
  • Discover the rich heritage of the region at the Limburgs Museum, offering insights into Limburg's cultural, historical, and artistic legacy.
  • Embark on a scenic boat tour or cycle along the picturesque Maas River, soaking in panoramic views of Venlo's charming waterfront and lush landscapes.

Accessible by train from major Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, Venlo invites you to uncover its treasures and create lasting memories in the heart of Limburg, a distinct Dutch province bordered by Germany and Belgium.

Is Three Days Enough to Visit the Netherlands?

tulip fields in the netherlands is one of the best places in the netherlands to visit
If you're planning a trip to the Netherlands, you might be wondering if three days are enough to truly experience the beauty and culture of this remarkable country. While it's true that the Netherlands has a lot to offer, a well-planned three-day itinerary can still provide you with a memorable taste of Dutch life.

Here's how you can make the most of your three days in the Netherlands:

  • Day 1: Amsterdam - Start your trip in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital and a city that boasts a unique blend of history, art, and vibrant street life. Explore the iconic canals, visit world-class museums like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and take a leisurely stroll through picturesque neighbourhoods like Jordaan and De Pijp. Don't forget to try some traditional Dutch treats like stroopwafels and herring from street vendors.
  • Day 2: Day Trip to a Nearby City - While Amsterdam is fantastic, consider taking a day trip to one of the nearby cities mentioned in our previous section, such as Utrecht or Leiden. These cities offer a more relaxed atmosphere and a chance to experience authentic Dutch culture without the hustle and bustle of the capital.
  • Day 3: Rotterdam or The Hague - On your final day, you can choose between exploring the modern and innovative city of Rotterdam or the historically significant city of The Hague. Rotterdam offers a contemporary vibe, with its architectural marvels and cultural events. On the other hand, The Hague is rich in history, boasting museums, palaces, and beautiful beaches.

While three days may not allow you to explore every corner of the Netherlands, it's certainly enough time to get a taste of the country's diversity and charm. Whether you're captivated by Amsterdam's bustling streets, the serene canals of Utrecht, or the cultural richness of Rotterdam and The Hague, your three-day journey of the best Dutch cities will leave you with lasting memories of the Netherlands. So, is three days enough to visit the Netherlands? It won't make you an expert on the country, but it's certainly a wonderful start to your Dutch adventure.

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