6 Dutch Cities You'll Want to Discover
Which cities come to mind when you think of the Netherlands? Surely, the Dutch capital – Amsterdam, then Rotterdam, The Hague and maybe Utrecht… Not many workationers know about the other hidden gems on the Dutch map - just waiting to be discovered! Serviced Apartments has properties spread out all over the country, in cities including Arnhem, Breda, Enschede, Haarlem, Hilversum and Leeuwarden. Check out our tips below on what to see and do in these not-so-obvious places.
Arnhem – a city in the East of the Netherlands, in the province of Gelderland. Known for the luscious nature surrounding it, a few impressive castles and… for being home to some of the world’s top designers, like Viktor & Rolf and gsus located in the Fashion Quarter. Perfect for a short stay cityscape. Check out our recommendations below:
- Park Sonsbeek – an absolute must-see. It’s an idyllic park right next to the city centre, crossed by a river and dotted by numerous birch trees and ponds. Within the park there are historical monuments, such as the watchtower Belvedère, The Steep Garden, The Great Waterfall and The Ice Cellar.
- Arnhem Museum – with an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art.
- Arnhem Wine Museum – did you know that one of the oldest wine cellars of the country can be found in Arnhem? Here, you can learn all about the production process and… enjoy a glass on the spot.
- National Park De Hoge Veluwe – a stunning nature reserve, whether you want to go trekking, cycling, or even visit a museum.
Breda lies in Noord-Brabant, just by the Belgian frontier. It’s known for its big celebrations of carnival in February, when the locals dress up in costumes and parade down the streets. It also boasts with many historical buildings dating back to the Nassau Era. Here’s what you can see:
- Old Town – perfect for walking to check out the buildings, such as the Great Church or Begijnhof (Beguine houses engulfing a lovely garden). Take some photos or grab a bite at one of the many cafés.
- Breda Castle – home of the Orange-Nassau dynasty since the 12th century, it has been listed as an important UNESCO site. Built and rebuilt over the hundreds of years, it was finally converted into a splendid palace by Count Henry III.
One of the most eastern Dutch cities, situated in the province of Twenthe. Whether you’re searching for a dose of beer or culture – Enschede has attractions for every taste:
- Tour the Grolsch Bierbrouwerij – learn about the history of the brewery and the process of making beers. And last, but not least: don’t forget to enjoy a pint or two!
- Volkspark – enjoy a walk in one of the oldest parks, and greatest examples of an English landscape garden in the country.
- Rijksmuseum Twenthe – a broad collection of art mainly from the 18th century, include some stunning works from Kunhert, Rungius and Rusdael.
- Oude Markt – and of course, you can’t miss a stroll through the historical town square containing architectural wonders, such as Jacobuskerk and Grote Kerk.
This city has a remarkable charm with its medieval canal houses and winding streets. It actually gained its city rights 55 years before Amsterdam. Laying on the route between Leiden and Alkmaar, Haarlem quickly became central to trade and politics. Beer-connoisseurs will be happy: the city is famous for its many craft beers, including the popular Jopen and Uiltje. Some things to see in Haarlem:
- Teylers Museum - step into the oldest museum of the Netherlands to see artefacts ranging from masterful paintings and drawings to ancient fossils and minerals, instruments and books. The buildings Oval Hall dates back 200 years!
- Grote Markt - admire the historical houses and the profound Grote Kerk. Perfect for walks and… very Instagramable. If you come by on Saturday, you can also visit the local market.
- Gouden Straatjes - If you’re into shopping, be sure to visit the Gouden Straatjes. Here, you can find many boutique fashion and specialist shops.
While Hilversum may not be one of the obvious choices for visiting, you may end up pleasantly surprised. The city has some great modern design, an impressive media park and is surrounding by nature parks.
- Goois Nature Reserve - If you are an avid hiker, the Goois Nature Reserve will impress you with its vast woodland landscapes with the odd meadow and grazing sheep.
- The Hilversum Town Hall or Zonnestraal (known as the Sunbeam Sanatorium) impress with their characteristic modernist design. In fact, the latter has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Institute for Sound and Vision - Last but not least: check out the Institute for Sound and Vision. It’s a wonderfully bizarre construction with plenty of interactive exhibits.
Most travellers visit the capital of Friesland to admire the ecclesiastical buildings, check out the nature and… get an impression of the Fries language and culture!
- Oldehove and the old town – a stunning, but unfinished medieval construction. Why unfinished? The building began to slant and after some attempts of rebalancing the whole, the building process was stopped and never continued again. Just as most Dutch cities, you can discover the most by walking and cycling through the old town.
- Ameland and Terschelling islands – to the north of the city, there is a chain of magnificent islands separating the continent from the sea. Think: dunes and charming villages. Every year birdwatchers can admire over 50 species of birds flying to the island. Ideal for walks or renting a bike.
There you have it: a skim through 6 less known Dutch cities, just waiting to be discovered. ServicedApartments.nl provides options to stay all over the country. Pack your camera, walking shoes and… dress warmly want een zwaluw maakt nog geen zomer.