major cities in the netherlands

What to see and do in the top 5 major cities in the Netherlands?

Are you planning to visit one city or several cities in the Netherlands? Then you’ve come to the right place! Read all about the top 5 major cities in the Netherlands in this blog. We will tell you what to see and do and give you some tips!

1. Amsterdam (872,922 inhabitants)

As you probably know, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands with 872,922 inhabitants (measured on January 1, 2021). There are many places of interest in Amsterdam. To kick off, the many museums that you can visit here. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Anne Frank House are among the top museums in Amsterdam. In addition, the Rembrandt House museum, the Amsterdam Photography Museum and the Tropenmuseum are recommended to visit!

We from Holland Private Tour always want to show tourists the hidden gems and for that you sometimes have to go off the beaten path. For example, go to cafe ‘t Aepjen, one of the oldest bars in Amsterdam. Or visit Straat Museum in Amsterdam-Noord and discover work by graffiti artists from all over the world.

major cities in the netherlands - Amsterdam

Street art of Anne Frank in Amsterdam-Noord.

2. Rotterdam (587,960 inhabitants)

Rotterdam is a beautiful city that went through a complete reconstruction after the Second World War. Which made it a cradle of renewed architecture. With 587,960 inhabitants, it is the second major city in the Netherlands. Extraordinary buildings that you should definitely see are the Cube Houses, the Markthal and Rotterdam Central. In addition, there is the Euromast, the highest observation tower in the Netherlands, which offers an amazing view of the city.

If you like art and culture, our tip is: go to the Kunsthal or Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Want to discover Rotterdam from the water? For example, join the Spido or a water taxi and sail along the beautiful buildings, bridges and the famous port of Rotterdam.

major cities in the netherlands - Rotterdam

Cube houses with De Blaaktoren on the left. This building is also called Het Potlood (=The Pencil) because of the striking pointed roof.

3. Den Haag/The Hague (547,757 inhabitants)

The Hague is also called the beautiful city behind the dunes, and we believe it is! With 547,757 inhabitants (1 January 2021), The Hague is the third major city in the Netherlands. It has a beautiful city center where the Binnenhof is located, the heart of Dutch politics. You can walk through the Binnenhof and you might even run into a Dutch politician! The Prime Minister, the highest political administrator in the Netherlands, also has his office here, in ‘het Torentje’. And next door is the Mauritshuis, where works by famous Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer are exhibited.

Our tip is: go to the Scheveningen district and get a breath of fresh air on the beach. You can also enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at one of the many beach bars.

major cities in the netherlands - The Hague

The Binnenhof and the Hofvijver.

Which major cities in the Netherlands would you enjoy visiting? Let us know!

4. Utrecht (359,376 inhabitants)

With 359,376 inhabitants on January 1, 2021, Utrecht is the fourth major city in the Netherlands. You can shop along the Oudegracht or in the renovated Hoog Catharijne shopping center. For special shops it is best to dive into a side street, because the real gems you score with local entrepreneurs!

If you go to Utrecht you cannot miss the Dom of Utrecht, this is a church in the middle of the city with a 112 meter high tower. It is also possible to climb this tower, after which you can see a beautiful view of the city. Castle de Haar, which is outside the center, but certainly worth a visit, can be seen in the photo on the right. Other noteworthy sights are the Catharijneconvent, the Rietveld-Schröderhuis and the Centraal Museum.

major cities in the netherlands - Utrecht

Castle de Haar in the Utrecht village of Haarzuilens.

5. Eindhoven (235,707 inhabitants)

Eindhoven has 235,707 inhabitants (1 January 2021), which makes it fifth among the major Dutch cities. Eindhoven is the birthplace of the now worldwide known company Philips. You will find the Philips Museum here, which offers visitors various possibilities to experience the history of Philips.

You can enjoy shopping in the city center. And for lunch, for example, go to the special building that you see in the photo on the right, called ‘De Blob’ (short for ‘Binary Large Object’). Just outside the center you will find Strijp-S, a special area of ​​Eindhoven where you will find a lot of street art between industrial buildings. There are also many nice restaurants here. Our tip is to discover this place by bike!

major cities in the netherlands - eindhoven

‘De Blob’ and right next to it ‘De Lichttoren’ with the Philips logo.

Would you like to discover one or more of these top 5 major cities in the Netherlands yourself? Or a different kind of private tour in the Netherlands? Get in touch with us!

Private Tours to the Best Cities in the Netherlands