Encompassing the north-west corner of the Netherlands, North Holland lies between the North Sea and the inland bay of IJsselmeer. It was established during the period of French rule when the country was known as the Kingdom of Holland. While North Holland’s provincial capital is Haarlem, the largest city in the province is Amsterdam.
Things to do in North Holland
With its world-class museums, centuries-old castles and traditional cheese market, North Holland is a must see.
Sightsee in Amsterdam. Serving as the vibrant capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famed for its enchanting canals and gabled houses dating back to the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. Get up close to works by iconic masters at the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum before experiencing life under Nazi occupation at Anne Frank House. At the Heineken Experience, you can discover what it takes to make one of the world’s most famous beers.
Visit Radboud Castle. Overlooking the harbour of Medemblik, Radboud Castle was built in 1288 by Count Floris V and served as a district court of justice during the early 20th century. Now open to the public as a museum, it houses exhibits about life in North Holland during the Middle Ages. Marvel at the centuries-old walls and battlements before trying on a suit of armour and experiencing the immense weight that knights once carried.
Feast on cheese in Alkmaar. Famed for its traditional cheese market, Alkmaar is a small medieval city with a beautifully preserved historic core. Coincide your visit with the weekly cheese market at the Waagplein to see how Dutch cheeses were traditionally weighed before sampling local varieties at one of the many stalls. Occupying the historic weigh house is the engaging Dutch Cheese Museum.
Getting around North Holland
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the main aviation gateway to North Holland and has flights to destinations across the globe. Trains connect to major towns and cities throughout the province while buses serve smaller destinations. Renting a car is the most convenient way of exploring North Holland.