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Top Netherlands Attractions

Delfshaven, Rotterdam

What better way to appreciate Rotterdam's uniquely modern silhouette than by spending time in the one district spared from World War II bombing and the city's subsequent reconstruction? Situated along the River Maas, Delfshaven is a favorite neighborhood among locals and visitors for its easygoing, twinkle-lit entertainment.

Delft

It doesn't get any Dutcher than Delft. This picturesque city, Vermeer's hometown nestled between The Hague and Rotterdam, is famous for its signature blue-and-white pottery. The last remaining Delftware factory of the 32 once in operation, De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, is still flourishing, as it has since it was established in 1653.

Escher in Het Paleis Museum, The Hague

Superbly repurposed, this former queen's palace is now a museum devoted to the Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher. Besides the exhaustive collection of his paintings and prints, you'll be treated to thoughtfully curated biographical material and an interactive exhibition of various optical illusions starring none other than you.Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

Located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in the province of Gelderland, the Kröller-Müller may have the most fantastic museum backyard on the Continent. Yet its contents are even more impressive; the world's second-largest Van Gogh collection hangs alongside Picassos, Gauguins, Mondrians, and Seurats.

Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

Expansion and renovation are expected to keep the Mauritshuis closed until mid-2014, though during that time one hundred of that museum's best Rembrandts, Rubens, Vermeers, and Holbeins will be on view at this nearby museum

Museumpark, Rotterdam

Beginning in 1994, celebri-techt Rem Koolhaas (a native Rotterdammer himself) transformed it into a swath of tree-happy green connecting the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Kunstal, the Chabot, the Natural History, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum—all of which you can enter at a discount with a single Museumpark ticket.

The Storybook Holland Towns

Hans Brinker would have no problem walking into any of the Storybook Holland towns—Volendam, Market, Monnickendam, or Broek-in-Waterland—and fitting right in. Set with cobblestone streets paved with nostalgia and punctuated with curiosity shops and postcard-pretty harbors, each of these villages is an open-air museum, an invitation to explore the Holland of your dreams.

Waterland Neetlje Jans, Vrouwenpolder

Besides cheese and tulips, don't forget that the Dutch are also expert at dealing in and with water. This fascinating museum details the country's two millennia of taming the tides and pays due respect to the daddy of all dikes: the Delta Works, which was built after the devastating North Sea flood of 1953.

Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem

Many consider this Golden Age 17th-century artist to be the first modern painter. A fantastically adept and naturally gifted man, he could turn out a portrait in an hour, and each captured the emotions of a moment, a smile or a grimace, in a sort of proto-Impressionism.

Updated: 2013-11-20

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