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The Beginner’s Guide to Planning a Holland America Cruise Vacation

holland city trip

Looking for the perfect cruise? Look no further than a Holland America cruise voyage. Holland America has a long legacy of providing fun and luxurious cruises to destinations around the globe, making it a perfect choice for first-time cruisers and experienced passengers alike. If you’re looking to take a cruise with Holland America for the first time, this guide can help. We’ll go over the basics you need to know to make your dream vacation a reality. From choosing the right ship to packing well, this guide can teach you what you need to have the best time of your life.

Planning Your Cruise

Searching for the right cruise line is the first step in planning your trip. There are many different cruise ships to choose from in Holland America’s fleet, and each has its own unique features and amenities. Take a look at the different ships to see what they offer and which destinations they visit. Once you have chosen a ship, do your research to find out all of the available options and prices to see what fits into your budget. Then, you can narrow down your options accordingly.

Once you have decided on your cruise, it is time to make the reservations! Cruise planning can take some work initially, but it is well worth it to experience the majestic beauty of the seas. Make sure to book your reservations as far in advance as possible to avoid any delays or problems. This can also help you secure a better price than you’d get purchasing a last-minute ticket.

When planning your cruise, be sure to consider your desired itinerary and price range. Some factors you may want to consider when choosing a cruise include the itinerary, price, ports of call, and the types of activities offered. Certain ports of call are better for particular interests – for example, cruise ports in Europe are known for their scenic tours, while Miami is a port destination that has a lively nightlife scene and beautiful beaches.

Packing for Your Cruise

Cruise packing can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation and common sense, it can be a breeze. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Make a packing list – Once you have decided what you will need for your trip, it is easy to start packing. Make a packing list and cross off each item as you pack it. This way, you won’t forget anything important.
  • Bring the right luggage – Make sure you bring the correct luggage for your cruise. Most cruises are easier to navigate if you bring a suitcase you can carry easily by yourself.
  • Pack light – If you can, try to pack as light as possible. It might seem like extra work at first, but it will save you time and money in the long run. This can help you save room for souvenirs you’ll bring home.
  • Bring important documents – Don’t forget your passport and credit cards. Keep them secure at all times.
  • Get travel insurance – While cruising is definitely an adventure, accidents do happen. Protect yourself by getting travel insurance before your trip.
  • Arrive prepared – No matter how careful you are, there is always the potential for something to go wrong on a cruise. arrive prepared for everything by packing your essentials and knowing what to do if something does happen during your trip.

Planning a cruise can be daunting, but this guide makes it easy. From finding the right cruise ship to packing your suitcase, following the tips in this guide can help you have a great time.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


holland city trip

Top 10 city trips Netherlands

Netherlands Citytrips

The world famous canals of Amsterdam

The world famous canals of Amsterdam

Relaxing city breaks in holland.

Whether you visit cultural hotspot Amsterdam, take a stroll in the historic city of Maastricht, visit the Royal City of The Hague (Den Haag) or go shopping in hip and trendy Rotterdam, the Netherlands offer you great and relaxing city breaks. Shopping, fantastic museums, trendy festivals, the finest restaurants, stunning nightlife and unique architecture are the key ingredients for a perfect weekend getaway in Holland. What are the top 10 best citytrips in the Netherlands?

Prinsengracht canal Amsterdam

Holland's most popular city trip destination

Maastricht city trip

The most foreign city in the Netherlands

Markt Rotterdam

Discover the 2 nd city of the Netherlands

The Hague sightseeing and things to do

The Hague (Den Haag)

Take a stroll in the royal city of the hague.

City Center Utrecht

A small big city

Groningen City Trip

Largest city in the north

Haarlem city trip

Capital of north-Holland


The northernmost city in southern Europe

Den Bosch

Admire the historic city of Den Bosch


The city of William of Orange, Vermeer and Bill Clinton

What do visitors say about top 10 city trips netherlands .

holland city trip

Visitors rate Top 10 city trips Netherlands with 4 out of 5 stars

Average is based on 39 votes

Thema Citytrips

Nijmegen city trip

Nijmegen city trip


The Hague City Trip

Amersfoort Citytrip

Amersfoort Citytrip

City trip runner-ups.

Eindhoven city trip

  • 2. Roermond - Roermond is a popular destination for a city trip. On one hand you have the old town with squares and terraces. At the other hand you have the Designer Outlet Centre where you always can find a bargain. The Outlet is on walking distance, just outside the city center.
  • 3. Arnhem - Arnhem is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands along the Rhine river. The city provides easy access to Veluwe National Park.

Nijmegen city trip

  • 5. Amersfoort - Amersfoort is a pleasant city, just 15 minutes away from Utrecht. Amersfoort has an old city center. Famous monuments are de Lange Jan (the centre of the Netherlands) and the 15 th century Koppelpoort .

Almere city trip

Where to stay ?

Campingguide Netherlands

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  • Wadden Islands

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Haarlem, Netherlands

The best cities to visit in the Netherlands (that aren’t Amsterdam)

We all love 'Dam, but there are plenty of other Dutch cities to explore. From Rotterdam to Utrecht, these are some of the best

Fleurine Tideman

When I tell people that I’m from the Netherlands , the first thing they mention is Amsterdam . I get it, Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit, with plenty to keep you entertained all day and night. However, it’s also becoming far too crowded and disorderly. It seems like a week doesn’t go by without news coming out about overtourism in the Dutch capital , and Amsterdam is now  actively trying to deter tourists .

So why not turn our attention elsewhere? From Ameland to Rotterdam, this country has plenty of other incredible cities to explore. In any case, next time you hear that someone is from the Netherlands, you’ll at least have something else to talk about. 

Fleurine Tideman is a freelance writer who splits her time between Rotterdam and London.  At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our  editorial guidelines  and check out our latest  travel guides  written by local experts.

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The best Dutch cities to visit


1.  Rotterdam

Let me immediately state my bias: I’m a proud resident of Rotterdam . Aside from its thriving art scene, Rotterdam is a foodie’s dream destination, with buzzy food markets like the Markthal and Fenix Food Factory. As a large part of the city was destroyed in WW2, Rotterdam is also home to unique architecture. Many local architects were given free rein when it came to rebuilding the city, which has made Rotterdam the vibrant and unique city it is today, with an aesthetic that seamlessly blends new and old.


2.  Haarlem

If you’re looking to stay close to Amsterdam, Haarlem is your best choice. This quaint city is a 16-minute train ride from the capital, and far cheaper to stay in – many Amsterdam residents end up moving here to commute to the capital, although Haarlem itself has plenty to offer. You can easily spend an afternoon in the Frans Hals Museum learning more about this legendary Dutch painter. Outside of the city, you’ll find endless tulip fields to serve as a backdrop for your holiday photos – just be sure to ask the farmers for permission first!


3.  's-Hertogenbosch

Don’t worry, nobody’s expecting you to be able to pronounce that! Even the Dutch find it too tiresome to say, so we usually shorten it to Den Bosch. The perfect city break for those looking to soak up some history and culture, Den Bosch is known for its great museums, including the North Brabant Museum and Design Museum Den Bosch, as well as its medieval architecture and fortified city walls. People from across the region flock here for the markets on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Be sure to sample a traditional Bossche bol, which is essentially a huge profiterole covered in chocolate –  lekker !


4.  Maastricht

This list wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the south of the Netherlands. Maastricht, with its Gothic spires and cobbled streets, feels like it was plucked straight from the pages of a fairytale. Bordering Belgium, the city offers a unique blend of Dutch and Belgian culture and architecture. My perfect afternoon? Visit Boekhandel Dominicanen to shop for books in a converted medieval church, then head to Bosch Brewery for a tour and classic beer tasting.


5.  Arnhem

Visiting Arnhem will allow you to combine your city break with a touch of nature, as the city is surrounded by countryside and situated beside the Veluwe, one of the Netherlands’ largest national parks. Look out for w ildlife like deer, foxes and Scottish Highland cattle, which were brought here to maintain the heathland. The city itself is known  for its vibrant art scene: Arnhem’s Museum of Modern Art is a must-visit, as is the Netherlands Open Air Museum, which showcases traditional Dutch farmhouses and windmills. Get to know the city by wandering its  shopping streets or joining a guided street art tour. 


6.  Utrecht

Instead of visiting Amsterdam, why not head to ‘Little Amsterdam’ instead? With its rows of cute Dutch houses and terraces perched along the canals,  Utrecht feels like a shrunk-down version of Amsterdam without the crowds of tourists.  The best way to explore Utrecht is through a canal boat tour. During my student years there, I loved taking visitors along the canals and introducing them to traditional Dutch pancakes at Theehuis Rhijnauwen. Visit Olivier for a pint with a twist –  this Belgian beer pub sits within an old church (we do love a church conversion in the Netherlands)!


7.  Ameland

Technically a municipality, Ameland is my favourite of the Dutch Wadden Islands. This tiny stretch of paradise, home to four villages and two nature reserves, feels like it was plucked from the past. Visiting Ameland always makes me feel like I’m the main character in a movie, pensively strolling along sand dunes, marshes and forests. The best part? It couldn’t feel further away from Amsterdam’s overcrowded streets. 

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The Sacre Coeur cathedral is located in the North of Paris, close to the Paris North train station which we seeduring our 5 night Paris tour packages from Sri Lanka

2 Days, 3 Nights Start From €256

3 Day Paris Trip from Amsterdam

Castles are common in Europe and are main attractions.

6 Nights,7 Days Start From €640


Bruges has very many medieval buildings which we see during our 5 night Belgium tour package from Netherlands.

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Breathtaking Belgium Holidays

Venice is also called the city on water in Europe as well as the city of Marco Polo which we see during our one week Italy tour packages from Sri Lanka.

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Visiting the Disneyland Paris will surely bring back your childhood memories during our 5 night Paris tour packages from Sri Lanka

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Picturesque Paris + Disneyland Holiday

london day trip from amsterdam will surely bring you to visit the London city highlights.

1 full day Start From €122

Day excursion to London (England**)

City trip from the Netherlands to Lille-France is a must do.

Day excursion to Lille (France)/ Dagje Lille

City trip from the Netherlands to Berlin helps you to see wonderful attractions.

1 full day Start From €99

Day excursion to Berlin (Germany)

Dusseldorf Christmas market Day trips from Holland

Day excursion to Dusseldorf (Germany)

City trip from the Netherlands to Disneyland Paris is an excursion for the whole family.

Day excursion to Disneyland Paris (France)

City trips from the Netherlands to Paris includes visiting the Eiffel tower.

1 full day Start From €74

1 Day Paris Tour from Amsterdam

Day excursion to Bruges allows you to see the medieval buildings in the old city.

Day excursion to Bruges (Belgium)

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Are you planning to visit any one of the european cities from the netherlands we are here to help you to arrange one of the best city trips from the netherlands. there are so much to choose from.  ranging from paris to dusseldorf to  london , we have very many day trips from  the netherlands ., the location of the netherlands is so that in close proximity of 300km (around 3-4 hours ride) you can reach three countries. for example you visit belgium within 2.5 hours from  amsterdam. germany is 3 hours ride from amsterdam. in the same manner, taking the boat for 2 hours from ijmuiden brings you to newcastle in the uk. at the same  time london is to be visited from the netherlands either by  train or by our guided bus tours. the location of the netherlands makes it efficient and easy to make city trips across neighboring countries in europe., also if you like to go on a day trip within the netherlands, we also have very special offers for you. the city trips in the same  country includes last minute special offers to any city in the netherlands. are you living in the randstad where the big cities such as amsterdam, rotterdam, utrecht of the hague is located then you might be interested to visit another city in the east or in the south which can be more quieter. for example in the province of zeeland, you get to see many dikes and reclaimed landscape. in the east of the netherlands, you will be able to experience the farming lifestyle of the people. in the middle of the country are the nature reserves veluwe and hoge veluwe. the north of the netherlands comprises the islands with a magnificent dune landscape. we will help you to select the best city or village experience and get the best value for your money..

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Hanseatic city of Zwolle ladies on Pelserbrug over Thorbeckegracht

Discover amazing Dutch cities

Dutch cities have it all, whether you want to enjoy our rich history, marvel at modern architecture, relax and unwind in beautiful green surroundings or indulge in fine dining. We’ll give you the inside scoop on our cities so you can find the perfect place for your next visit. Although the Netherlands may be small, you won't find a bigger variety of cities anywhere else!

Historic cities

holland city trip

Amersfoort has a compact city centre that is just perfect for a day on the town.

holland city trip

Zwolle: cycling, walking, culture and shopping

Discover the green 'cycling city' of Zwolle! The historic city center offers plenty of shopping opportunities and places to grab a delicious lunch on a terrace, surrounded by a beautiful city canal.

holland city trip

Discover this historic Hanseatic city and its many monuments.

holland city trip

From the best things to do and the best places to eat to the best places to spend overnight. These are the highlights of Gouda.

holland city trip

Discover all about Leiden here. Visit the best attractions, museums, and secrets of the city.

holland city trip

The good life in Breda

Historic attractions, great food and shopping, Breda has it all!

holland city trip

Middelburg: the capital of Zeeland

Middelburg glows with an irresistible flair between twisty alleyways and historic buildings.

holland city trip

Discover history in Dordrecht

Discover Dordrecht, the oldest city in the Netherlands.

holland city trip

Maastricht: City in a landscape of rolling hills

Maastricht positively brims with culture, creativity and welcoming charm. Experience this Limburg gem like a true local and enjoy the beautiful nature, great food and friendly people.

holland city trip

Groningen: where past and present converge

The beautiful city of Groningen brings young and old together and has something to offer for everyone.

holland city trip

Arnhem - A city of history, culture and creativity

From fashion and design, great shopping and cultural hotspots to fantastic restaurants and lush green spaces, Arnhem has it all.

holland city trip

Soaking up culture in Amsterdam

What makes Amsterdam one of the most vibrant cities in the world?

Bustling cities

holland city trip

Utrecht: The most cycle-friendly city

Find out why Utrecht is regarded as a cozier alternative to Amsterdam.

holland city trip

Rotterdam: The premier port of Europe

Rotterdam is a dynamic city with its own unique character. Find out why the city is well worth a visit.

holland city trip

Read all about Delft here. The city became world-famous as the place where Vermeer was born. Discover the old canals, buildings, and Delft Blue pottery.

holland city trip

Leeuwarden is the best kept secret of the Netherlands. Discover the historic city centre, visit the best museums and shopping streets.

Modern cities

holland city trip

Eindhoven: Design capital of the Netherlands

Eindhoven is Europe’s design capital and one of the most beautiful hidden gems of the Netherlands. Discover it for yourself.

holland city trip

Almere: The youngest city in the Netherlands

The newest city in the Netherlands might just surprise you with all it has to offer. ‘Ally’ is an open-air museum of modern architecture.

holland city trip

The Hague: Green city by the sea

Many associate The Hague with the International Court of Justice. But did you know that it’s home to historical monuments, beaches, fabulous museums and a vibrant shopping centre?

Cities with big canals

holland city trip

Haarlem – a big city with a small-town feel

Fancy a day trip? Visit Haarlem to explore its rich history and enjoy the lively culture!

holland city trip

Discover Den Bosch, with beautiful monuments and history, St. John’s Cathedral, great restaurants, fun shopping streets, fascinating museums and the works of Vincent van Gogh and Jheronimus Bosch.

holland city trip

A lovely old city centre, the famous cheese market, and the dunes and beach nearby: Alkmaar has it all!

Diverse cities

From the medieval charm of Utrecht and the green oasis of Arnhem to the futuristic skyline of Rotterdam and the finest museums in Groningen , there’s always an amazing city nearby in the Netherlands. Interested in modern architecture? Then head to Almere . See fantastic design and street art in Eindhoven . Stroll through the small streets of Zwolle. Or cruise along the charming canals in Dordrecht , Leiden and Amsterdam .

Cultural enrichment

Dutch cities are famous for their huge number of museums . We have the highest museum density in the world, so it’s easy to get your cultural fix. Discover Dutch Masters such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Learn about the origins of our merchant spirit in the picturesque Hanseatic cities. Sample craft cheeses in Gouda and Alkmaar . Or experience the deep connection many of our cities have with water . Whichever city you choose to visit, the beauty of nature is never far away and the cities themselves are getting greener ! From the DakAkker rooftop farm in Rotterdam and Leeuwarden’s vast city parks to The Hague , our green city by the sea, and the combination of Arnhem with the Veluwe area . There’s no doubt about it. Dutch cities offer an incredibly diverse range of experiences.

Enjoy the good life

Finally, if you simply want to relax and treat yourself, you’ll be spoilt for choice in cities such as Maastricht , Den Bosch , Breda and Amersfoort. These are just a few of the cities where you can enjoy fantastic cuisine, delicious beers and the friendliest people in the most beautiful places, often in historic buildings.

View the cities from a different perspective

holland city trip

Greener Cities – The green cities of tomorrow

Join us as we travel to the cities of tomorrow and discover how the Netherlands keeps innovating to make its cities greener, more sustainable, and more livable.

holland city trip

Street Art NL: the best tips

See Street Art online, fun outdoor art & city tips for your bucket list.

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17 Places to Visit in the Netherlands That Aren't Amsterdam

By Caitlin Morton and Katherine LaGrave

17 Places to Visit in the Netherlands That Aren't Amsterdam

Amsterdam is probably the first stop on anyone's trip to the Netherlands—and for good reason. But there is so much more to this small country (about one-third the size of Pennsylvania) than its capital city. Think rows of windmills, fields of tulips , and cities bursting with culture and charm. Luckily for you, it's all just a short drive or train ride away from that main city hub. Here's a list to get you started.

This piece was originally published in May 2018. It has been updated with new information.

This image may contain Outdoors Garden Water Cottage Housing House Building Arbour and Plant

Affectionately referred to as the "Venice of the Netherlands," this village's thatched roof farmhouses and wooden arch bridges can be explored via bike lanes or canals—either by boat, or by ice skating during the frozen winter months.

Beemster Polder

Beemster Polder

About thirteen miles north of Amsterdam, the Beemster region is an example of a Dutch polder—a flat piece of green farmland formed by draining a body of water. Aside from its cultural significance (it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999), Beemster Polder is a gorgeous landscape, complete with little canals, windmills, and lush, green fields. Make sure to stop by Middenbeemster, which, like most towns in the country, is impossibly charming.


The canals of Utrecht have two stories, where centuries-old wharf cellars now serve as spots to enjoy food and drinks at water level—something unique to this city. You can also enjoy the towering churches and cozy cafes of Utrecht via cycling, as it's one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. It's also the perfect place for history buffs, with sites like the Dom Tower and Centraal Museum offering glimpses into the country's past.

De Hoge Veluwe National Park

De Hoge Veluwe National Park

This park is one of the largest in Holland, and within its 13,343 acres, counts rare wildlife, some of the most iconic buildings in the Netherlands, and the Kröller-Müller museum, which showcases a collection of nineteenth and twentieth century art in addition to the largest private collection of Van Goghs . Zoom around on a (free) white bike—the park has 1,800 available for rent.

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Many people flock to Delft for its eponymous blue pottery, but don't overlook the unspoiled town's Renaissance architecture and Vermeer Centre museum (the Dutch painter, famous for such works as Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Milkmaid , was born and died here).

This image may contain Nature Outdoors Building Countryside Housing Shelter Rural Hut House and Shack

Texel Island

Texel is the largest and most populated of the West Frisian Islands, also known as the Wadden Islands, due to their location in the Wadden Sea. The island offers landscapes unlike anything else on the mainland, including sweeping sand dunes, salt marshes filled with lavender , and beaches lined with bungalows.

Image may contain Roof Building Outdoors Nature and Triangle

Beloved by photographers and available to rent on Airbnb, the Piet Blom-designed cube houses are reason enough to visit the country's second-largest city. But so are the bars and restaurants, soaring Erasmus Bridge, and LED-lit Market Hall.

This image may contain Machine Water Motor Engine Nature Outdoors Plant Grass Land and Turbine

The village of Kinderdijk is probably what comes to mind when you imagine a bucolic Dutch countryside—in other words, lots of windmills. The 19 monumental mills were built in the early eighteenth century to prevent flooding and keep soil dry, and the mill network has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997.

Image may contain Roof Home Decor Door and Outdoors

Located in the province of Limburg (near the Belgian border), Thorn is postcard-pretty with cobblestone roads and white-washed brick buildings. Its can't-miss attraction is the tenth-century abbey church in the town center.

This image may contain Clothing Apparel Footwear and Plant

Zaanse Schans

If you're looking for a snapshot of Dutch history, head to Zaanse Schans: Here, in this collection of windmills and houses, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are brought to life. Don't miss the cheese factory .

The Hague

Amsterdam may be the capital, but the Dutch parliament meets in this stunning city on the North Sea. Within its Gothic Inner Court lie some of the country's best museums , including an homage to M.C. Escher and the Mauritshuis (which houses Girl with the Pearl Earring ).

This image may contain Human Person Clothing and Apparel

Alkmaar has many intriguing museums and lots of medieval architecture worth checking out, but most travelers flock here for one reason: cheese . The town is known for its traditional cheese market, which takes place on Friday mornings from April to early September.

This image may contain City Urban Road Town Building Street Wheel Machine Path Transportation Vehicle and Bike

Often dubbed "Little Amsterdam," Haarlem has all the appeal of the capital city with none of the crowds. Make a point to visit Jopenkerk , a brewery housed in a converted fourteenth-century cathedral.

Image may contain Rug and Weaving

You can't visit Holland and not expect to see some technicolor tulips. There are many places around the country to view the beautiful flowers , but the Keukenhof Gardens (open from March to May) and sprawling fields around the town of Lisse are a sure thing.


This picturesque fishing village is Holland’s best-known for a reason: it's filled with colorful wooden houses, bobbing fishing boats, and seafood stall after seafood stall dishing up fish and chips, smoked eel, and pickled herring piled high with onions.

Wadden Sea

This coastal wetland—a UNESCO World Heritage site , and the "largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world"—is home to a number of animal species including the harbor seal, grey seal, and harbor porpoise. There are some 50 islands here; the Netherlands "owns" five of them.


If you like technology and design, head to Eindhoven. Don't miss the Van Abbemuseum (modern and contemporary art), Strijp-S (a creative and cultural center housed in an industrial park), and the Inkijkmuseum (a micro museum located in a former washhouse). Looks can be deceiving: Cutting-edge Eindhoven is one of the oldest cities in Holland.

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    ... Holland Aquatic Center | Windmill Island Gardens | Holland City Hall & Firehouse No. 2 Historical Marker | Holland Princess Dinner Cruises | Macatawa Ale

  10. The Netherlands 2023: Best Places to Visit

    THIS IS HOLLAND. 2,085.

  11. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in The Netherlands

    Customizable. 3. Outback Tours. from. $452. per group (up to 7). Private tour :Traditional Holland and Amsterdam city tour from Brussels Full day. Bus Tours.

  12. 17 Places to Visit in the Netherlands That Aren't Amsterdam

    ... ride away from that main city hub. Here's a list to ... Looks can be deceiving: Cutting-edge Eindhoven is one of the oldest cities in Holland.

  13. Netherlands Itinerary

    Start in small-town Haarlem (an ideal jet-lag pillow) and save big-city Amsterdam for your trip finale.

  14. Netherlands Holidays

    If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will