No country in Europe is so kindly disposed towards the bicycle than the pancake-flat Netherlands: you’ll find bike paths in and around all towns, plus long-distance touring routes taking you deep into the countryside.
© Sander van der Werf/Shutterstock
A poignant and personal evocation of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Among the moving exhibits is the bookcase behind which the Frank family and friends hid for two years.
© Anamaria Mejia/Shutterstock
Of the string of wild and windswept holiday islands off the northern Dutch coast, Terschelling is the most popular, a fine spot for walks and bike rides amid the swelling dunes.
Literally millions of flowers are on show in these extensive gardens, which specialize in daffodils, narcissi, hyacinths and – of course – tulips.
This lively market town features an intricate old quarter of canals and picturesque bridges, plus a simply stunning cathedral.
With its distinct identity and feel, Texel is the most accessible of the Dutch islands, just a couple of hours north of Amsterdam by train and ferry.
Quite simply the best and most comprehensive collection of van Gogh’s work anywhere.
Hals was one of the finest of the Golden Age painters and this engaging museum has a fine sample of his work, particularly his dark and brooding later canvases.
#14 Southwest Friesland
Touring the small towns and villages of this region shows a whole different side to the country than the more urbanized southwest - it's peaceful and charming in equal measure.
Revamped and reconfigured, Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum displays a world-beating collection of Dutch painting, with Rembrandt to the fore.
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As an escape from Dutch urban life, the reedy marshes and lagoons of the Biesbosch are hard to beat.
© R.A.R. de Bruijn Holding BV/Shutterstock
#17 Indonesian Food
Thanks to the Netherlands’ colonial adventures in Southeast Asia, restaurants around the country prepare some of the finest Indonesian cuisine outside Indonesia.
One novel way of getting to the Frisian Islands is to try guided wadlopen or “mud-walking” from the mainland at low tide.
Celebrated by Vermeer, Delft’s centre is particularly handsome, and its market square is one of the country’s most beguiling.
This atmospheric, laidback city in the far south, squeezed between the porous Belgian and German borders, offers a worldly outlook and a superb old quarter.
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This beautiful inland lake, formerly the Zuider Zee, lies at the heart of the Netherlands and represents the country at its watery best, with charming old ports like Hoorn and Enkhuizen and former islands like Urk to explore.
Lake IJsselmeer with a view at the lighthouse of Urk © fokke baarssen/Shutterstock