Must visit in Zuid-Holland, Provincie Zuid-Holland
The nineteen windmills of Kinderdijk - built in 1740 - are one of the most well-known tourist sites in the Netherlands. It is the largest group of windmills standing more or less together in my country and a perfect place to visit and to learn more about the everlasting fight of the Dutch against the water.
To be honest the views of the windmills, the water and the meadows are typically Dutch as long as you don’t turn around seeing the houses and factories coming closer and closer. But since the year of 1997 the windmills of Kinderdijk are an UNESCO World Heritage Site and I hope the scenery will not be spoilt even more.
Mostly tourists hope to have nice and sunny weather when visiting an outdoor site, but during our (last) visit with relatives from New Zealand to the mills of Kinderdijk we caught a rainy and STORMY day. This really bad weather has it own charm in a Dutch polder: walking (or trying to walk) against the wind, fighting with your umbrella and the frightening noise of the wind around the mill; additional advantage is the fact we were alone visiting the mills.
You can walk around and just see the nineteen mills, but try including a visit to the Museum Windmill(s), in fact the main attraction in Kinderdijk. See the inside of a mill, the small house of the miller, climb the steep ladders to the upper floor and enjoy the view of the mills (my ‘first’ pic has been made through a window of the top floor in the Museum Mill Nederwaard).
For openinghours and entrance fee (about € 7.50 for adults) see website.
It is great to see all these older and quite beautiful boats lying in the old harbour of Gouda. We cruised through it and then had to wait to get through the lock and into the Hollansche Ijssel, which gave me plenty of opportunity to take photos of the boats.
This is the oldest part of Gouda's harbour and many historical ships and boats are moored here, including the so called Bruine Vloot. It is a great pleasure to see these.
Gouda is a lovely town to visit, with it's most beautiful town hall, it's 'waag', a place where all the weighing of the cheeses was done, it's 'grachten' which are the beautiful and picturesque waterways woven throughout the old town. On a sunny day it is nice to visit the Market place, the building are stunning and there are great photo opportunities, or perhaps you could sit in one of the many cafes to watch the world go by, or on one of the many benches just to soak up the ambience of the lively and colourful people of Holland. In Holland people like to decorate their windows inside with plants and other things that show some of what they like or are interested in, I've seen window displays quite original with a collection of old model cars, trains or such-like. It makes me think that the Dutch are on the whole quite demonstrative and extrovert. Wherever we came we were always greeted with a friendly smile, and a helpful gesture. The over all impression I got in Holland was of a people that are industrious but also happy and contented with their lives, not worrying too much of what others thought of what was done. Apart from the old town centre, there is the Historical Harbour museum, this is lovely to cruise through and I would recommend this if you are with a boat, or if you take one of the city cruises which are laid on for people to avail of.
Delft is a very pictoresque town with its main attractions the Delftware factory (Porceleyne Flesch) and the New Church where Dutch royals have been buried for centuries. But that is not all by far. Go see!
My Delft page
Kinderdijk is a World Heritage site because it shows a unique series of 19 working windmills that keep the land dry. My Kinderdijk page relates the history of the Polder Dyke Boards (or Water boards), the administrative bodies that manage water and land in The Netherlands.
This is my favourite Dutch city which holds many more surprises than one would think. Even after the bombarding of the city center in WWII there are still old and delightful neighbourhoods left. Rotterdam had the opportunity (and taken it!) to add some exciting new architecture over the last 50 years.
It is by far the most dynamic of Dutch cities.
See my Rotterdam page as mentioned below. It is one of my major VT pages.
The Hague is the seat of government. The Queen works and lives here. The international court of justice is also in The Hague. Every year in June there is the biggest Asian market in Europe called Pasar Malam. A must visit!
Photo: Mauritshuis, a museum with fine art and old masters.
If you are planning to go to or passing through Eindhoven try and get tickets for a PSV game. The atmosphere was electric, the dutch are crazy for their footy and you can drink beer at the game! Tickets are hard to come by so buy them well in advance.
See what natural beauty Zuid-Holland has to offer in Nieuwkoop. Nieuwkoop is a small village (11.000 inhabitants) in the north-east of Zuid-Holland. Half of the municipality is a nature conservation reserve, called the Nieuwkoopse Plassen.
It is a lake with many small islands overgrown with reeds formed by the winning of peat (turf) a few hundred years ago.
More on this great place can be found at our Nieuwkoop page.
Rotterdam is one of the largest cities of Zuid-Holland. You can find a lot of entertainement, like the zoo, euromast, nice restaurants and everything else a large city should have...it's sure worth the visit.
Picture taken March 16, 2003
An underrated city in The Netherlands, I think. Because it has all the charm of historical buildings, canals and culture that this country is known by.