Top 10 things I love about the Netherlands

Things I love about the Netherlands

It’s currently raining here in Rotterdam, so I’m holed up thinking about how happy I am to be here and everything I love about this country. There are certainly more than this, but a top 10 list is always good. And hopefully this post will inspire you to visit the Netherlands too.

10 things I love about the Netherlands

1. Canals

When people think of the Netherlands, they probably picture beautiful canals. This is what first made us fall in love with this country. We arrived in Amsterdam and were awestruck. And every time we’ve returned, we’ve felt the same feeling. They’re so lovely and romantic and relaxing. And they’re a bit different in every city. We also especially like the canals in Utrecht.

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Get lost in the Canal Belt in Amsterdam.
Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Walk along the Oudegracht in Utrecht.

2. Windmills

Windmills are everywhere in the Netherlands. Earlier this year, we took a trip to Kinderdijk to see a whole bunch of them.

Windmills, Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

When we flew into the country a few days ago, we noticed them on water in the North Sea.

North Sea wind farm, the Netherlands

But my favorites are the ones that just pop up as you’re walking about a city.

De Otter windmill, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Windmill in Amsterdam.
Windmills, Kralingse Bos, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Windmills in Rotterdam.

3. Bikes

Everyone bikes in the Netherlands. I’m still learning how to do so in the cities without killing myself, but it’s such a great way to get around that I’m determined to master it. It’s also quite a flat country, so that should make things easier. And, the bikes make the cities look so much more aesthetically appealing!

Bikes in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Bikes in Amsterdam.
Bikes in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Bikes in Rotterdam.

4. Tulips

The tulips at Keukenhof are unrivaled. A trip there is a must if you’re a flower fan. The one photo below can’t do it justice, so here are 15 more pictures to inspire you to go!

Tulips, Keukenhof, the Netherlands

5. Cheese

Dutch cheese (kaas) is my favorite. Especially the oldest, darkest, most crystallized types. I love walking into a store and asking for whatever they recommend. I’m never disappointed.

De Kaashoeve, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
The most beautiful sight at De Kaashoeve in Rotterdam.

6. Stroopwafels

Stroopwafels are my favorite cookie hands down. Caramel goodness sandwiched between two tasty, spicy thin wafer cookies. I’ll eat any of them, but the fresh one I had in Volendam last year was definitely the most memorable. And the proprietor of this shop taught me how to make them too!

Stroopwafel, Volendam, the Netherlands

7. Bitterballen

Bitterballen are unique to the Netherlands. They are fried balls of a meaty roux, served with mustard. They are delicious and a great snack to accompany a few beers.

Bitterballen, the Netherlands

8. The beer selection

The beer selection in the Netherlands is ridiculously awesome. Being so close to Belgium, you can find pretty much any variety of Belgian beer here. But Dutch beer is also really great. And there are bars that specialize in it. Like one of our favorite bars in the world, Proeflokaal Arendsnest in Amsterdam.

Arendsnest, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Or our favorite brewery in Rotterdam, Kaapse Brouwers.

Kaapse Brouwers, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

9. Albert Heijn

Albert Heijn (AH to us) is a supermarket chain. I’ve loved supermarkets and food shopping my whole life, but AH takes it to a whole new level. It’s not the cheapest shop in the Netherlands, but coming from New York City, everything’s cheaper! It has the best selection of fresh food, premade food like salads and (at some stores) sushi, staples, stroopwafels, and even beer.

Albert Heijn, the Netherlands
This picture is a bit blurry because I move so fast in Albert Heijn!

10. The people

And I’ll end with a little something sappy. We’ve found the people here nothing but kind and helpful. And I love their straightforward, no nonsense manner … I feel like I fit in! We feel lucky to have made some wonderful friends here in the Netherlands and look forward to making more.

With Xandra and Afra in Volendam, the Netherlands

With Ine and Ruud in Den Bosch, the Netherlands

LAM, Den Haag, Netherlands

Fenix Food Factory, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

We’re excited to see if this list changes the longer we spend here. What do you love about the Netherlands? Let me know in the comments!

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10 best things to see and do and eat in the Netherlands including great sights and even better food

Reasons to visit the Netherlands like beautiful canals, things to see like windmills and tulips, and delicious food

11 Replies to “Top 10 things I love about the Netherlands”

  1. We look forward to discovering the Netherlands with you! Right now what we like best there are you and Justin.

  2. Looks like a wonderful place to be!

  3. I do hope to go back one day and spend some more time there. I loved everything about the place

  4. Lovely points made about the Netherlands! That view from the airplane is especially nice! I’d only visited Amsterdam for a very short trip too long ago, looks like I have to go back and note all these listed in your post!

  5. I have been to The Netherlands 3 times in my life. And I just love everything of this beautiful city. I have been almost everywhere except Giethoorn. You have maybe some photos on that place?

    enjoy your vacation. Any time you have questions of The Netherlands you can always contact me.

  6. Gouda and stroopwafels for me! Gosh you just made me realize I need to get myself to the Netherlands, argh…

  7. I absolutely LOVE the Netherlands. We’re moving back this week and I’m so excited for many of these things, especially the beer.

    As a side note, not every Dutch city has canals, but in general, they’re pretty cute. I DO love the ones on Utrecht.

  8. I looove all this things too! Especially stroopwafels. 🙂

  9. Great post! Are you living in Rotterdam? I love being here but definitely need to explore more of the Netherlands!

    1. Sarah and Justin says: Reply

      Yes we are in Rotterdam right now! Where are you?

  10. It difficult not to love The Netherlands after reading and seeing all this. I went there many years ago but would love to go back. At this point, I can appreciate more what makes the country unique including cheese and waffles.

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