The Netherlands is a stunning nation renowned for its intricate canals, old windmills, and tulip fields. Despite the fact that the majority of tourists visit Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the small towns contain some of the country’s best-hidden treasures. Here are ten small towns in the Netherlands that you should visit.
Naarden is one of the most unique Dutch towns
The Dutch city of Naarden is located in the Gooi region of North Holland. King Phillip II of Spain developed the city into a fortified garrison town in 1572 after granting it city rights in 1300. The city is a rare example of a star fort complete with a moat and casemates beneath the ground. The Netherlands Fortress Museum, the Spanish House, and the large 14th-century Great Church formerly known as St. Vitus Church are located in Naarden.
Giethoorn, the most famous town in the Netherlands
Giethoorn, a small town in the Dutch province of Overijssel, is commonly referred to as “Little Venice” and “Venice of the Netherlands.” Once upon a time, the town was a pedestrian district, which meant that automobiles were not permitted. After the famous film Fanfare was filmed there by Bert Haanstra, almost two hundred thousand tourists a year began flocking to the area. Giethoorn is the only fully accessible boat, hence its nickname of “Venice of the North.”
Valkenburg Aan De Geul
Valkenburg aan de Geul is a small town in the province of Limburg’s southeast. The name refers to the nearby municipality of Valkenburg and the river Geul. Hotels, theaters, and a replica of the catacombs of Rome were built in the town during the 19th and 20th centuries, when it became a popular tourist destination. The mines, caves, and Valkenburg castle attract tourists to the city. Additionally, one can find Thermae 2000, a spa with water that is over 40,000 years old.
Thorn, white Dutch town
Thorn is a small town in the province of Limburg, near the rivers Witbeek and Meuse. It is sometimes referred to as “the white village” due to its whitewashed brick homes. What was once swampland was transformed into a monastery for noblewomen and then a thriving small town after receiving town privileges in the 13th century. The Abbey Church and the Municipal Museum are two of its most popular attractions today.
Maarssen is a small town in the province of Utrecht in the center of the Netherlands through which the river Vecht flows. Despite its diminutive size, the town is home to several museums, including the Netherlands Drugstore Museum and the Vecht Museum. It also has quaint hotels, restaurants and cafes serving regional cuisine, canals and waterways, and a year-round spa.
Zutphen, whose name refers to a type of wetland and means “south fen,” is a small city in the Dutch province of Gelderland. The Old City Hall and the Sint Walburgiskerk church are two of the city’s well-known historic structures. Previous visitors have compared their visit to traveling back in time. The city was voted to have the “best city center in the Netherlands for small cities” in 2006.
The small town of Goes is situated in the Zeeland province in the southwest of the Netherlands. The town was founded in the 10th century and experienced rapid expansion. By the 12th century, a market square and a Mary Magdalene-dedicated church had been established. It was granted city rights in the 15th century and is now the fourth largest economic hub in Zeeland. In addition to seeing the church and market, a boat tour of the city is recommended.
Gorinchem, also known as Gorkum, is a town in the Groene Hart region of the Netherlands. It has been suggested that renting a bicycle is the best way to get around this small town. The Grote Kerk, whose 19th-century bell tower still stands, the Gorcums Museum, which houses the city’s history, and the Lingehaven, a picturesque harbor on the river Linge, are among the most popular tourist attractions.
Sneek, a city in the Dutch province of Friesland, is well-known for its numerous canals. The Waterpoort, a type of watergate constructed in 1613, has been one of the city’s most significant landmarks for a long time, but it is not the only one. The town was founded in the 10th century and is home to the Martini church, the Sneek Townhall, and a fortress, all of which were constructed prior to the construction of the watergate.
Culemborg, also spelled Kuilenburg, is a small city in the center of the Netherlands, just south of the Lek River. De Hoop (8 meters tall) and Johanna (25 meters tall) are the most well-known of the city’s windmills from the 19th century. The foundation of a third mill, De Koornvriend, still stands. There are direct train lines from the major cities to the town’s railway station, making entry and exit relatively simple.