The Randstad: Places to Explore


  • Arnhem

    In war log and movie terms, Arnhem may be known as the basis for A Bridge Too Far but this historic city is certainly not out of reach for military buffs who like to combine their field research with great... Read more

  • Delft

    For many travelers, few spots in Holland are as intimate and attractive as this charming little town. With time-burnished canals and cobblestone streets, Delft possesses a calm that recalls the quieter... Read more

  • Dordrecht

    Claiming to be the oldest town in the province of Zuid Holland, Dordrecht lies just east of the main road leading south to Antwerp and Brussels. Thanks to its location amid a tangle of Rhine and Meuse... Read more

  • Enkhuizen

    Like Amsterdam and its near neighbor, Hoorn, some 19 km (12 miles) to the west, Enkhuizen was one of the principal harbors of the Dutch East India Company, thriving on overseas trade with the East Indies... Read more

  • Haarlem

    A breath of fresh air just a short train ride, but a million miles, from throbbing downtown Amsterdam, Haarlem was the very first center of Dutch art. Walking past the charming hofjes (historic almshouse... Read more

  • The Hague

    It's easy to see The Hague as nothing more than Amsterdam's prissy maiden aunt—it's the Netherlands' seat of government, home to the Dutch royal family, and site of the International Court of Justice... Read more

  • Hoorn

    Hoorn's development came to an abrupt halt in the 17th century when England, not limited to flat-bottomed boats that could clear the sandbars of the Zuider Zee, eclipsed Holland in the carrying trade... Read more

  • Middelburg

    Middelburg, the ancient capital of the province of Zeeland, has one great advantage that has helped ensure its safety in this water-dominated area: it is on the rise of a slight incline. The town was an... Read more

  • Nijmegen

    If every cloud has a silver lining, then Nijmegen is no exception. Ravaged by World War II—being so close to the border with Germany, the town was inadvertently bombed by the Allies—it wears a split personality... Read more

  • Rotterdam

    Rotterdam looks to the future like almost nowhere else. The decision to leave the past behind wasn't made entirely through choice however—the old town disappeared overnight on May 14, 1940, when Nazi bombs... Read more

  • Utrecht

    Birthplace of the 16th-century Pope Adrian VI (the only Dutch one), Utrecht has been a powerful bishopric since the 7th century and is still a major religious center.... First settled by Romans, Utrecht achieved... Read more

  • Veere

    Put quite simply, Veere is one of the prettiest towns in the Netherlands, and well worth a stop to explore its quiet streets and admire its elegant architecture. Now a village of 2,000, it was 10 times... Read more


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