Tourist attractions in Holland create a surprisingly large source of income for this small European country earning the Dutch tourism industry millions in annual revenue. The majority of the eleven million foreign tourists who visit the Netherlands every year come from Holland’s eastern neighbour, Germany. Then there are visitors from the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and the United States.
There is a distinct preference for the peninsular area of North Holland the provincial capital of which is Haarlem together with Holland’s largest and probably most well known city of Amsterdam. Then there is South Holland, with its North Sea coastline and includes the cities of the Hague which is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament and the second largest city in Holland, Rotterdam.
Amsterdam is one of the most preferred tourist destinations, with the coffee shops and the red light district of de Wallen being especially popular. Amsterdam has a historic and popular canal area where you can regularly see tour boats sailing on the water. At the famous Museumplein you’ll find the famous Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the concert hall, the Concertgebouw. Amongst other tourist attractions are the Flower Market of Amsterdam and the Artis Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in Holland.
Other major cities, for example The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam are also popular destinations for the overseas tourist.
With the stunning North Sea coastline and the Wadden islands with their long beaches and dunes and lake for fabulous sailing Holland offers even more. Then there are the picturesque towns, for example Harderwijk and Elburg. Just outside of Harderwijk is the Veluwe an extensive nature reserve. It forms the largest forest in the Netherlands. There are several national parks amongst which De Biesbosch, which is one of the largest national parks in Holland.
Amsterdam attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to so many events. There is Sail, a tall ships event held every five years, Queensday, which celebrates the Queen’s birthday each April and the Amsterdam Marathon. 2006 was Rembrandt Year which marked the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth. It was a tourist success story, with an estimated one and three quarters of a million Rembrandt related visits, well over a half of these being foreign visitors.
Tourists often like a really typical Dutch experience, such as the traditional Dutch fishing villages of Marken and Volendam, the cheese markets of Gouda and Alkmaar and the windmills of Kinderdijk and the Zaanse Schans together with the Port of Rotterdam. The Keukenhof just outside the city of Lisse is a traditional Dutch attraction, renowned not only for its tulips, but also for many other types of beautiful flowers.
Home to a wide variety of scaled down reproductions of Dutch castles, public buildings, and large industrial projects situated at various locations around the country, Madurodam, known as Holland in miniature, is a park and tourist attraction in Scheveningen, the Hague. Visited by millions of people, Madurodam was opened to the public over sixty years ago.