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Europe Places Travel Guide -> The Netherlands -> North Holland, The Netherlands

Windmills and Canals of North Holland
Photo: Windmills and Canals of North Holland

North Holland, The Netherlands

Noord-Holland (North Holland) a province of the Netherlands has interesting places to visit, from the countryside and picturesque villages to the larger cities, including Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Haarlem and Den Helder.

Bordered by the IJsselmeer (the large body of water to the east) and the North Sea on the west, the polders, numerous lakes and canals make it the Blue Heart of the Netherlands.

In the countryside, although flat, the landscape of Noord-Holland has forests, heath, dunes and beaches to enjoy. The polders, areas of land recovered from the sea, has serene scenery dotted by windmills and cows.

Cultivated areas are covered with fields of colourful flowers in the spring and market gardens.

Cities, Towns and Villages

The smaller towns and villages that you can find along the way in Noord-Holland are scenic and historical. So are the larger cities, including of course, Amsterdam with its tree lined canals and Amsterdam architecture. Haarlem, having become a city in 1245, still retains much of its architecture from the 17th century, particularly in the city center.

Volendam, an old fishing village on the IJsselmeer is where the locals and visitors are encouraged to wear traditional dress is one the province’s many attractions. Edam, famed around the world for the cheese it produces, has buildings dating back to the 12th century. Their cheese market, worth a visit alone, is open on Saturdays in July and August.

Arts, Music and Culture

The arts, music and culture are encouraged here. There are wonderful art and historical museums, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the historical Zuiderzeemuseum, by Enkhuizen.

At the Rijksmuseum, the largest national museum, you can see works by the great Dutch masters, including Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. The museum was purpose built in the 19th century and is dedicated to the arts, crafts and history.

The Zuiderzeemuseum in East Friesland is a newly opened museum complex, with both a museum of history and outside, an authentic reconstruction of a Zuiderzee town. The outside area, some 15 acres, has historic buildings, including a church, a warehouse for storing cheeses and houses from various Zuiderzee villages. It even has a harbour.

Noord-Holland History

Holland, along with the provinces of Gelderland, Zealand, Utrecht, Overijssel, Friesland and Groningen, joined the Union of Utrech, a republic of the Seven United Provinces and a joint declaration that they no longer recognized the Spanish king, Philip II, as ruler.

In 1840, North Holland was created after separation from South Holland.

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Hotels in Holland

You can find accommodation throughout the North Holland from luxury seaside hotels to budget backpackers and boutique hotels. Noord-Holland has a number of luxury resorts and hotels amongst the dunes by the sea.

Photo: Windmills and Canals of North Holland

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Europe Places Travel Guide -> The Netherlands -> North Holland, The Netherlands

Canal Scenes in Alkmaar, North Holland.
Photo: Canal Scenes in Alkmaar, North Holland.