Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Exploring the Major Cities of the Netherlands



Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. The urban area has a population of over a million people, and it is the financial and cultural capital of the country. Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful canals and bicycles, and abundance of famous museums, like the Ann Frank House and Van Gogh Museum. This city is very urbanized, and is shaped like a horseshoe, based off of the central railway station. It lies on the River Amstel, and is also connected to the North Sea through a canal. Amsterdam is full of beautiful architecture as well as pleasant houseboats along the canals.

It is also the most touristy city in the country, as over 3 million people visit it annually for cultural reasons, as well as some debauchery. There is a very developed network of youth hostels to accommodate the visitors.



Rotterdam is situated in South Holland, and is the second largest Dutch city, with a population of 600,000 inhabitants. The port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe. The city is divided into its northern and southern halves by the river Nieuwe Maas, which has a series of bridges and tunnels. The historical buildings were mostly destroyed during World War II, so the city is more modern and financial looking. It is going through some urban renewal projects, so many new buildings are being built and events are being organized. Rotterdam is a city of many foreigners, especially from Suriname, Turkey and Morocco.


The Hague

The Hague is located in South Holland, in its western region. It is on the North Sea, and parts of the town are popular beach resorts. It is the third largest Dutch city, with a population of 485,000.

The Hague holds the seat of government for the Netherlands, even though Amsterdam is the capital. The historical part of the city holds some buildings from the Middle Ages, and some fancy houses from the 18th century. It is a more spacious city than many others in the Netherlands. Lots of civil servants and diplomats live in the Hague, and there is a sizeable foreign population from several different countries, making it a fairly diverse city. It is home to several international organizatons, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.


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