Looking for traditional and mind-blowing Dutch landmarks? You’re in the right place! In this article, we talk about the best landmarks in the Netherlands!
The Netherlands is home to a beautiful collection of historically working windmills, traditional Dutch houses, cheese markets, bicycle-friendly alleys, charming canals, and much more — all of which are iconic landmarks in the Netherlands.
There’s so much to see in this small country that no single list of famous landmarks in the Netherlands can ever be exhaustive.
But we’ve still tried to include the best places to visit in the Netherlands in this article.
20 Dutch Landmarks That You Need to See
From rich history, endless flower fields, unique architecture to charming towns, Netherlands has a lot to offer, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy the diverse landscapes.
Either way, we’re sure you’ll want to plan your travel itinerary with our list as these are the highest-rated tourist attractions in the Netherlands. Let’s get to them!
1. Anne Frank House
Of all Dutch landmarks, the Anne Frank House is the most visited site in the Netherlands and is the best-known building in Amsterdam.
The house is where Anne Frank moved to escape capture by the German Army during the Second World War and wrote a diary that chronicled her life’s hardships in hiding.
Nowadays, the house is a biographical museum that showcases the annex where Anne and her family lived for two years before being arrested and deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
It’s a moving place, so take your time reading all displays, learning about their story, and appreciating the museum.
Kinderdjk is a village located in the province of South Holland at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a row of windmills designed to drain the polders and keep the excess water from flooding the low-lying areas. It is one of the most magical landmarks in Holland.
You can visit 2 of the 19 windmills from inside, one of which dates back to the 16th century.
Visit Kinderdijk for picture-perfect sceneries and an opportunity to learn about Netherlands’ centuries-old fight against rising waters.
3. Delta Works
The North Sea flood of 1953 caused extensive damage to the Netherlands.
To ensure that such a disaster never happens again, the Dutch built an extensive system against high water from the sea around the province of Zeeland called the Delta Works.
Built in the southwest Netherlands near Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant, the Delta Works consists of dams, locks, storm surge barriers, and sluices, the most notable and most significant being the Oosterscheldekering.
These structures have roads over them, and you can explore them while driving or walking.
4. De Haar Castle
Located just outside Utrecht, De Haar Castle is the largest castle in the Netherlands and an easy day trip from Amsterdam.
The castle has towers, moats, gates, suspension bridges, and fairytale structures straight out of a Disney movie.
Not just the castle but the surrounding gardens are equally stunning. You can see 200 rooms in the castle, the main hall, a ballroom, and several kitchens.
It is one of the most outstanding landmarks in the Netherlands and a must-visit to know what the castle would have been like in its glory days.
5. Amsterdam Central Station
Right in the heart of the city, Amsterdam Central Station is not only a significant public transport transfer spot but also an incredible landmark in the Netherlands.
Designed by Pierre Cuypers, the same architect who designed the jaw-dropping Rijksmuseum building, this Gothic-Renaissance Revival construction has an orange facade filled with details, coats of arms, a clock, and a compass.
Inside, under the 131 feet-high roof, tourists can find far more than a central train station.
Namely, this Dutch landmark has a piano for music lovers to entertain passers-by, a bunch of eateries, and shops.
While the front is very traditional, the back of the station is modern and boasts a glass roof with the city’s name on it.
Binnenhof (the Inner Court) is a vast complex in The Hague where political groups meet. It includes the Gothic Hall of Knights and the Torentje (the office of Prime Minister of Netherlands).
What’s admirable is its stunning Dutch architecture. Next to the Binnenhof, you’ll find one of The Hague’s most famous museums, Mauritshuis, which is also one of those Dutch landmarks that you shouldn’t miss out on visiting.
7. De Gooyer
The Gooyer or the De Gooyer Windmill is the tallest wooden windmill in the Netherlands. It is the sole survivor of the five mills that once stood in Amsterdam.
This 16th-century flour mill, crowned by four traditional Dutch blades, is located between Funenkade and Zeeburgerstraat. It has been registered as a national monument.
De Gooyer Windmill is privately owned and has been restored to its previous glory.
Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed inside. However, you can have a look at this historical site from outside while sipping beer at the brewery right next to it, Brouwerij ‘t IJ.
8. Dom Tower
Utrecht’s main landmark, the Dom Tower, is the oldest and tallest church tower in the Netherlands. It was built in the 14th century, boasting 13 bells that weigh 32 tonnes in total.
The tower is open to the public, and you will have to climb 465 odd steps to reach the top. From the top, you will be able to see both Rotterdam and Amsterdam on a clear day.
Beyond that, Dom Tower is amongst the most visited landmarks in the Netherlands.
Combine your visit to this tower with the adjacent cathedral to properly understand the French Gothic-style architecture.
Erasmusbrug or the Erasmus Bridge is an 800-meter-long bridge over the Maas River that links northern and southern parts of Rotterdam.
The suspension bridge stands out as a marvelous piece of architecture and is considered one of the most elaborate bridges in the Netherlands.
On special occasions, the bridge is lit with different colors during the evening, which looks magical.
You can take some stunning photographs of the Erasmus bridge with the skyline of Kop van Zuid in the backdrop.
10. Canal Belt
One of the things the Netherlands is known for is its canals, and the canal belt of Amsterdam is an excellent representation of the country’s waterway system.
Dug in the 17th century, this famous network of canals forms concentric belts around the city center, along which over 1,550 monumental buildings stand.
This ring area which includes the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht, and Singel canals, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with beautiful streets and one of the most famous landmarks in the Netherlands.
Evoluon is a uniquely shaped building in Eindhoven, Netherlands. It is shaped like a flying saucer but, in fact, looks like a UFO.
The architecture of the building is fantastic and has quite a futuristic design. Formerly a science museum, Evoluon is today a modern conference center.
Top innovation companies call Evoluon their regional home. It is made available for hosting events, meetings, and conferences.
Behind the building is a beautiful lake with fountains, where you can get excellent photographs.
12. Gouda Cheese Market
Just like windmills, Dutch cheeses are world-famous. The most popular among Dutch cheese varieties is the Gouda cheese.
The name of the cheese comes from the Dutch city of Gouda, located near The Hague.
The Gouda cheese market assembles every Thursday morning between April to September, and it’s an event worth experiencing.
You can watch the cheese bricks being brought in the market on wagonettes and sold in front of the Goudse Waag Building.
Gouda Cheese Market is one of the major attractions, and visiting it is definitely amongst the best things to do in the Netherlands.
Madurodam is a miniature park in the Scheveningen district of The Hague, where tiny buildings and models are displayed.
The miniature replicas are those of Dutch landmarks and historical cities. Every model at Madurodam is built at a scale of 1:25 and is carefully crafted and placed in the park.
Kids can enjoy the park as there are two playgrounds and plenty of live attractions with interactive elements.
Besides, Madurodam will give you an excellent idea of what cities and landmarks in the Netherlands you could visit.
14. Texel Lighthouse
The Texel Lighthouse is situated on the northernmost tip of the Dutch island of Texel. The striking red lighthouse was built on the top of an exposed dune in the year 1864.
The lamp at the lighthouse still shines every night; hence visitors are not allowed to the very top.
However, you can climb the 118-step spiral staircase to the sixth level and have a magnificent view of the North Sea and the Wadden Sea.
You can also visit the nearby beach, which gives a beautiful view of the lighthouse.
15. Gingerbread Houses on Damrak
Perhaps the most famous unofficial landmark in the Netherlands, these cute houses on Damrak are one of the most wanted photo spots in Amsterdam.
We call them gingerbread houses because they are super cute, narrow, tall, and full of details and windows — the typical architecture of Amsterdam. It’s hard to miss them!
If you want to take a couple of photos next to an iconic landmark in the Netherlands, this place should be at the top of your list!
16. Historic Windmills at Zaanse Schans
One of the best landmarks in the Netherlands located in the town of Zaandam is the windmills at Zaanse Schans.
Zaanse Schans is an open-air conservation area and a museum that houses working windmills which can still be visited today.
Thanks to a massive restoration project, many of these windmills were moved in Zaanse Schans from various parts of Holland and were housed in the current open-air museum.
Historic buildings, including seven museums, surround the windmills. You can get the best photographs by walking along the canal from where you can see all the windmills together.
17. Windmill De Adriaan
About a 15-minute train ride from Amsterdam is the beautiful town of Haarlem. Windmill De Adriaan sits alongside the scenic Spaarne River in Haarlem.
A 45-minute guided tour of the windmill will provide you with information about how energy from wind is converted into productive energy.
The mill has five floors inside that have been converted into museum sorts.
The sight of the Haarlem town from the balcony of the mill is stunning and is one of those places in the Netherlands that shouldn’t be missed.
You can see the mill blades in action on Saturdays and holidays; however, the small museum inside is open every day.
18. Royal Palace
One of the most distinguished landmarks in the Netherlands for modern architecture lovers is the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.
It is one of the three palaces in the Netherlands that is still under the King’s disposal.
Although it isn’t the residence of King Alexander, it is used by him for official receptions like royal occasions and gala dinners.
The palace is open to visitors on all the other days. The palace’s exterior is known for its marvelous Dutch architecture, while the interior can be admired for its magnificent chandeliers, beautiful paintings, and delicate sculptures.
19. Sint Janskerk
The 15th-century Sint Janskerk is a Gothic church located in the city of Maastricht. It is housed next to the Basilica of Saint Servatius on the Vrijthof and thus forms ‘church twins’ unique to the Netherlands.
A red-painted high tower is the characteristic of the Sint Janskerk. It’s striking on the skyline when you observe it from a distance.
You can even climb the tower (approximately 220 spiral steps) and have a bird’s eye view of the Maastricht city from above.
The church also is worth a look with beautiful murals and tombstones from the 14th century.
Considered by many the most beautiful flower garden in the world, Keukenhof is a colorful dream come true!
Located in South Holland, this fantastic landmark in the Netherlands opens for about one and a half months every year to show its colors and inspire millions of tourists.
With over 7 million flowers in the most creative displays, the park is a fantastic visual art that you can’t afford to miss!
Every year, the park chooses a theme and decorates each garden accordingly.
Beyond that, you can picnic, ride a bike, cruise on a whisper boat, or wander aimlessly. The park also offers a number of activities for the little ones!
The national museum of the Netherlands tells the story of 800 years of Dutch history, from 1200 to now.
In addition, it also holds a number of exhibitions with its own and international (or national) loans that are always worth the visit.
Some of the museum’s highlights are Rembrandt’s Night Watch, Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, and Vicent Van Gogh’s Self-portrait — all Dutch painters.
Over 2.7 million people visit the Rijksmuseum every year, except in pandemic years, of course, making it the most visited art museum in the Netherlands.
22. Austerlitz Pyramid
Austerlitz Pyramid is a 36-meter-high human-made pyramid located at the highest point of Utrecht Hill Ridge.
The pyramid is built of sand and earth and has a steel staircase to access the top.
After you climb the odd 100 steps up the pyramid, you will find a stone-built tower with information plaques about the history and design of the pyramid.
Surrounding the pyramid is a playground the young ones would love. There are also some walking trails in the woods that are nature lovers’ favorites.
23. Rietveld Schroder House
The Rietveld Schroder House, located on the edge of the beautiful city of Utrecht, is an architectural marvel built by a Dutch architect. It is one of those places in the Netherlands that every designer will love.
The house is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known to be way ahead of its time in design.
The guides that take you around the house are well informed and demonstrate the genius of foldable walls.
After a visit to the Rietveld Schroder House, you will want to build a similar house of your own!
Muiderslot or the Muiden Castle is a medieval castle located in the Muiden, 10 miles southeast of Amsterdam.
Today, the castle is a national museum and is open to exploring its intriguing rooms. Muiderslot has a collection of weapons, utensils, and armors from the 13th century, along with various beautiful paintings.
You can take an audio guide tour around the castle, which is truly magical and makes you feel like walking through a medieval era.
The area surrounding the castle is very picturesque and will give you beautiful photographs.
Read next: Best Castle Hotels in the Netherlands
25. Cube Houses
As one of the most famous landmarks in the Netherlands, the cube houses of Rotterdam are the city’s most iconic attraction.
Designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom, these houses are a unique residential development that stands out as they are yellow cubes tilted over by 45 degrees.
You’re free to walk outside and take pictures, but since this landmark in Holland is actually a residential building, be mindful of other people’s privacy.
To take a peek inside, you can head over to the Kijk Kubus Museum in this complex, where they have a decorated cube house to show you how it is to live in such a unique place!
When it comes to water management, the Netherlands is known for its innovative technologies.
The most notable example of this is the Afsluitdijk. It is a major driveway dam that is 20 miles long and is one of Holland’s most famous engineering constructions.
It saves the northern areas of the country from the ocean’s flooding.
You can drive, cycle or walk on the Afsluitdijk and admire the fantastic views of the North Sea.
There’s a monument dedicated to the workers who built this tremendous dyke which is worth a visit.
Final Thoughts on Landmarks in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is packed with incredible and historically rich places to visit, from Vicent Van Gogh’s and Anne Frank’s museum to historical and architectural landmarks!
Are you planning a trip to the Netherlands? That’s so exciting!
Which of the places above is your favorite landmark in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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