The 10 Most Beautiful Villages in the Netherlands

The 10 Most Beautiful Villages in the Netherlands

The 10 Most Beautiful Villages in the Netherlands

Discover the beauty of the most charming villages in the Netherlands
The Netherlands, one of the largest countries in the United Kingdom, is a destination that captivates with its picturesque landscapes and charming towns. If you are planning a vacation in this beautiful country, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit the 10 most beautiful towns in the Netherlands. In this article, I will guide you through these impressive places, introducing you to their most outstanding landscapes and traditions. Get ready to explore a true earthly paradise on your next vacation.

1. Edam: Immerse yourself in the cheese tradition

The first town on our list is Edam, known worldwide for its iconic cheeses. In Edam, you can enjoy the famous “cheese auction” in the central square, where you can see the mills, their leaning towers and the carillon. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Edam post office and museum, housed in the oldest house in this charming village.

2. Marken: A fairy tale by the sea

Marken is another of the most beautiful towns in the Netherlands, located on a former island now linked by the mainland. Its landscapes seem to be taken from a fairy tale, with multicolored wooden houses, beautiful gardens and an incomparable peace. This place has become a true paradise for relaxation and is highly appreciated by those seeking tranquility. Do not forget to visit the port and the Protestant church, with its unique ornamentation.

3. Zaanse Schans: A journey into the Dutch past

Zaanse Schans is one of the most charming and visited towns in the Netherlands. It is famous for its windmills, some of which date back to the 13th century, and will transport you back to a pre-industrial era in the golden age of Holland. In addition to the mills, you will be able to explore what life was like in this town before modern water and electricity services. Zaanse Schans is a small place where its inhabitants are dedicated to the manufacture of chocolate, farms and cheese production.

4. Volendam: A jewel on the coast

Volendam is one of the typical places in the Netherlands and is famous for its fish & chips. The port area is the busiest for visitors. From here, you can embark on a cruise to the island of Marken, although you can also reach it by land. I recommend you explore the labyrinth of narrow and decorated streets that will lead you to discover the beauty of this charming town.

5. Hoorn: A seafaring experience

Hoorn is another of the charming Dutch towns, located north of Amsterdam. You can reach this beautiful place by train or bus from the capital. Hoorn is known for its seafaring past and its port, from where the ships of Dutch East India companies used to leave. Although currently it is still an important point for cruise ships that travel through the Dutch North Sea.

In addition to its port, you will love strolling through the center of the city, where you will find streets full of history and traditional houses from the old days of Holland. Do not forget to visit the Westfries Museum, where you can appreciate a wide collection of old objects that are part of the history of Hoorn, one of the most beautiful towns in the Netherlands. To enjoy the authentic local gastronomy, I recommend you visit La Rode Steen square, located on the main street of the town, where you will find a variety of restaurants and gift shops.

6. Haarlem: Cultural charm and historical beauty

Haarlem is a charming small town with around 152,000 inhabitants, located close to the Dutch capital. This place stands out for its culture impregnated with musical festivals that delight both the inhabitants and the tourists. Its beautiful old town is another highlight, where you will find a variety of places to enjoy the authenticity of Dutch gastronomy.

Two must-see places for visitors are the Grote Markt square and the Frans Hals Museum, where the works of this Dutch painter are exhibited, being a tribute to the art of the Dutch Golden Age. In addition, I suggest you explore the “Hofjes”, courtyards with gardens from medieval times that are hidden behind the modest streets of this charming Dutch town.

7. Giethoorn: An original place full of water

Giethoorn is not only one of the most beautiful towns in the Netherlands, but also an original and fun place. Its streets are unconventional, as they are full of canals and water, making boats the only means of transportation in the area. Here you can enjoy a unique walk through the canals and capture impressive images from the bridges.

If you want to have an even more memorable experience, you have the option to rent your own boat and explore the area at your own pace. Without a doubt, a visit to Giethoorn will give you an unforgettable adventure.

8.Bourtange: The star-shaped town

Bourtange is a charming walled town with fewer than 500 inhabitants, located in the Westerwolde region of the northeast of the Netherlands, close to the German border. Its construction dates back to 1593 during the Eighty Years War between the Dutch and the Spanish, with the purpose of controlling the only road that connected Germany with Groningen. Bourtange’s main attraction is its pentagon-shaped fortress, which makes it a picturesque place with cobbled streets, bridges, ponds and charming gardens.

9. Dokkum: The best kept secret in the Netherlands

If you are looking for a charming place in the Netherlands, away from mass tourism, Dokkum is the perfect choice. This cozy town in the north of the province of Friesland will take you back in time. The center of Dokkum is surrounded by walls and features stepped-roof houses and picturesque canals. In addition, you will find shops, cafes and restaurants that complement the calm and natural atmosphere of the area.

10. Heusden: Another charming fortified town

In the same vein as Bourtange, but in a larger version, is Heusden, a fortified town inhabited by 1,500 people. Located in North Brabant, west of Den Bosch, Heusden has experienced a tumultuous history. It was besieged and destroyed by the Spanish in 1569, then suffered from plague and fire in 1572. In 1680, lightning struck the castle, setting off an explosion in a store of 16,000 pounds of gunpowder. Furthermore, it was occupied by the Germans and bombed by the Allies in 1944. Despite all this, a visit to Heusden is worthwhile as it retains its historical charm and offers an unforgettable experience.

10+1. Sluis: The town of the locks

Sluis, known as “the lock” in Spanish, is a border town between Belgium and the Netherlands, in the Zeeland Flanders region. It is closer to Belgian cities such as Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and even Brussels (only 15 km away), than to Rotterdam or Amsterdam. In the Middle Ages, Sluis was located at the mouth of the Zwin, a former tributary of the North Sea that is now silted up. This historic fortified city has a rich history that is reflected in every corner. We recommend you visit the center, where you can stroll along the canal built by Napoleon, surrounded by cozy bars and restaurants. You can also admire the walls, the old gates of the town, the bell tower of the Town Hall and the mill. Sluis is a typical quiet and charming Dutch town that deserves to be explored.

Conclusion: Discover the true beauty of Dutch villages

In short, these are just some of the most beautiful towns in the Netherlands that you cannot miss on your visit to this beautiful country. From Edam’s cheesemaking tradition to Marken’s fairytale landscapes, each of these towns will provide you with a unique experience steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty.

Whether you want to relax in the tranquility of Marken, explore the historic windmills of Zaanse Schans, or immerse yourself in the sea life of Hoorn, these Dutch towns will offer you unforgettable moments.