Noord-Holland is a captivating province located in the northern part of the Netherlands. With its picturesque villages, charming cities, breathtaking nature parks and vibrant coastlines this region offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, outdoor adventures, or simply a relaxing getaway, Noord-Holland has something for everyone.
The cities in Noord-Holland offer a captivating blend of history, culture, and vibrant atmospheres, making them well worth a visit. Here’s a short overview of why each city is worth exploring:
The capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a vibrant metropolis known for its historic canals, world-class museums, and lively atmosphere. Visitors can explore iconic attractions such as the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum, or simply enjoy the city’s charming streets, bustling markets, and diverse culinary scene.
Often called “Little Amsterdam,” Haarlem is a picturesque city with stunning architecture, art galleries, and boutique shopping streets. The city boasts attractions like the Frans Hals Museum, Grote Kerk (Great Church), and the Teylers Museum, the oldest museum in the Netherlands.
Famous for its traditional cheese market, Alkmaar is a historic city with well-preserved medieval architecture. Visitors can explore the charming old town, visit the Stedelijk Museum, and witness the traditional cheese market held from April to September.
Located on the banks of the IJsselmeer, Hoorn is a former trading city with a rich maritime history. It features picturesque harbors, historic buildings, and museums like the Westfries Museum, which showcases the city’s past as a center of trade and shipping.
Known as the media capital of the Netherlands, Hilversum is home to numerous radio and television studios. Visitors can explore the Media Park, visit the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, or enjoy the city’s green spaces and architecture.
The villages in Noord-Holland are enchanting destinations that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage and picturesque landscapes. Here’s a short overview of why these villages are worth a visit:
Located on a peninsula in the Markermeer, Marken is known for its traditional green wooden houses and a picturesque harbor. The village offers a glimpse into its rich maritime history, with museums showcasing artifacts and exhibits related to its fishing heritage.
Famous for its namesake cheese, Edam is a charming village with well-preserved architecture and tranquil canals. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, admire the gabled houses, and visit the Edams Museum to learn about the cheese-making tradition.
Situated on the shores of the IJsselmeer, Volendam is a popular tourist destination. Known for its traditional clothing, vibrant harbor, and lively atmosphere, the village offers opportunities to enjoy fresh seafood, visit museums, and take boat trips on the IJsselmeer.
Known for its iconic windmills, traditional Dutch houses, and charming canals, Zaanse Schans offers a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. This living museum showcases the region’s industrial past, with working windmills that were once used for milling purposes. Visitors can explore the interiors of the windmills, learn about their history, and witness the traditional craftsmanship that takes place on-site, such as wooden clog making and cheese production.
Just a short distance from Amsterdam, Broek in Waterland is a picturesque village characterized by its well-preserved 17th-century wooden houses. The village is ideal for peaceful walks or bike rides along the canals and through the countryside.
The nature reserves in Noord-Holland are breathtaking destinations that showcase the region’s diverse landscapes and offer immersive experiences in the great outdoors. Here’s a short overview of why these nature reserves are worth a visit:
Located near Haarlem, Zuid-Kennemerland National Park offers a mix of sand dunes, coastal forests, and open grasslands. It is home to diverse plant and animal species, including wild horses and Scottish Highland cattle. Visitors can embark on guided nature walks, hike through scenic trails, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches along the coastline.
Adjacent to Amsterdam, Waterland is a picturesque nature reserve characterized by its polders, meadows, and waterways. It is an excellent destination for cycling or boating, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the scenic countryside dotted with traditional Dutch villages.
Located near the coastal village of Schoorl, this national park is renowned for its impressive dune landscape, including the highest dune in the Netherlands. Visitors can hike or cycle through the rolling dunes, explore the diverse flora and fauna, and enjoy panoramic views from the viewpoints.
Designated as one of the Dutch UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Beemster Polder is an impressive example of Dutch land reclamation. Located near Purmerend, it features perfectly geometrical fields and historic villages. Visitors can explore the area by bike or car, learning about the innovative engineering and agricultural history of the region.
The coastal villages in Noord-Holland offer a delightful combination of natural beauty, charming atmospheres, and seaside relaxation. Here’s a short overview of why these coastal villages are worth a visit:
Known for its long sandy beaches and vibrant beach culture, Zandvoort is a popular coastal town. It offers beach clubs, water sports activities, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors can also explore the nearby Zuid-Kennemerland National Park or visit the Circuit Zandvoort, a historic race track.
Nestled between the dunes and the North Sea, Bergen aan Zee is a tranquil seaside village with a beautiful sandy beach. It is an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, or enjoying beach walks. The village also offers beachfront restaurants and cafes to relax and savor the coastal ambiance.
Accessible by ferry from Den Helder, Texel is the largest of the Dutch Wadden Islands. It boasts expansive beaches, nature reserves, and charming villages. Visitors can cycle along the island’s well-maintained cycling paths, visit the Ecomare nature center to learn about the local wildlife and seal rescue efforts, or explore the picturesque villages of Den Burg and De Koog. Texel also offers opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and enjoying fresh seafood at local restaurants.
Located on the North Sea coast, Egmond aan Zee is a popular seaside resort with a wide sandy beach and a lively promenade. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the beach, visit the iconic lighthouse, and explore the charming town center with its shops and restaurants.
Situated in the northern part of Noord-Holland, Callantsoog is known for its pristine beaches and relaxed atmosphere. The beach is backed by beautiful dunes, providing a peaceful setting for sunbathing, swimming, or taking long walks. The village itself offers quaint shops, cafes, and beachfront accommodations.
Nestled between the North Sea and the dunes, Wijk aan Zee is a small coastal town with a laid-back vibe. It is popular among surfers and beach enthusiasts due to its consistent waves and wide sandy beach. The town also hosts various surfing events and has a charming beachfront area with cafes and beach clubs.
While Noord-Holland may not have large-scale theme parks, it does offer a range of smaller amusement parks and playgrounds that are worth a visit. Here’s a short overview of why these attractions are worth exploring:
Located in Bennebroek, just south of Haarlem, Linnaeushof is the largest playground in Europe. It offers a wide range of attractions, including water playgrounds, trampolines, slides, climbing frames, and more, making it a fantastic destination for families with young children.
Situated in Anna Paulowna, Landgoed Hoenderdaell is a unique wildlife park and sanctuary. Visitors can observe various animal species, including big cats, primates, birds, and reptiles. The park also offers educational programs and guided tours.
Located in Enkhuizen, Sprookjeswonderland is a fairy tale-themed amusement park ideal for families with young children. The park features enchanting scenes, animatronic fairy tale characters, playgrounds, and gentle rides, creating a magical experience for little ones.
Situated in Tuitjenhorn, De Holle Bolle Boom is an indoor and outdoor play park that offers a wide range of activities for children. From indoor play areas to outdoor playgrounds, mini-golf, and pedal boats, there are plenty of options to keep kids entertained.
Situated near the picturesque town of Naarden, Speelpark Oud Valkeveen is a delightful amusement park for families. With a variety of rides, water attractions and play areas children can enjoy a day filled with fun and adventure.