I’ve been visiting the Netherlands for many years thanks to a long-time friendship with a local family. There’s no lack of things to fall in love with in this wonderful man-made country surrounded by the dikes. Amsterdam is the obvious tourist favorite with the romantic canals winding through the historic buildings. And the nightlife is not to be missed either. But I like to spend most of my time biking around the suburbs or visiting other cities like Utrecht and Rotterdam.
If you only make it out of the city to do one thing, visit the Zaanse Schans Windmills. Located in a colorful and quaint traditional village of the Dutch countryside, these iconic windmills are so fun to see and climb! You can actually go inside and antique working windmill. The little community also offers a tasting at the cheese factory and Dutch bakery. It’s all surrounded by a beautiful lake and hilarious goats that come to say hello.
Or, if you get a chance to make it to Rotterdam, make sure to start your trip by filling up on the best mini pancakes in the world called Poffertjes. Simple and sweet, these small fluffy pancakes are served with powdered sugar and syrup (yum!). The Markthal market has some super cool architecture ad artwork to view while you walk around the shops and tea bars. And for a panoramic view of the city, visit the Euromast observation tower or the Erasmus Bridge over the Rhine River. There’s so much to do in and outside of Amsterdam, which is why Holland is one of my favorite countries in Europe.