Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Archaeology Travel Guide The Netherlands

Famous for windmills on picturesque waterways and vast fields of spring blooming tulips, the Netherlands is an interesting place to visit throughout the year. Whatever your interests, archaeology and history, art and architecture. From prehistoric megalithic tombs to landmarks and memorials that mark the horrific events of World War II. The birthplace of famous artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Mondrian, whose works are displayed in some of the world’s finest art galleries and museums. Romanesque and Gothic buildings and iconic medieval gabled houses stand side-by-side with innovative and cutting-edge contemporary architecture.

Reasons to Visit the Netherlands

Architectural History,

Castles & Palaces,

Art Galleries & Museums,

… and Windmills & Waterways.

About Our Netherlands Travel Guide

Interesting Things to Know About the Netherlands

The Netherlands, often referred to as Holland, is one of four constituent countries that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The other three are islands in the Caribbean, and are Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten. A further three islands, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, are municipalities within the country of the Netherlands, and together are known as the Caribbean Netherlands.
Schipol’s runway is 4.5 m below sea level. In fact, about 20% of the country in Europe is below sea level. A further 50% is less than one metre above sea level. For this reason the country’s name in Dutch (Nederland), English and many other European languages means ‘The Low Countries’. The reason for this unusual geography results from centuries of badly controlled peat extraction. And from the 16th century onwards land reclamation started in earnest.
There are over 1,000 fully functional traditional windmills in the Netherlands. A collection of 19 windmills make up the Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also more than 1,000 museums in the Netherlands. Of these 42 are in Amsterdam, where you can see 22 paintings by Rembrandt and 206 by Van Gogh. You will also see a bridge or two. Apparently there are 1281 bridges in Amsterdam.
The Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter of fresh flowers. But the tulip, which everyone associated with the country, originates from Turkey. The Dutch are credited, however, with creating the drink jenever, now better known as gin and associated with the British.
As of 2022, there are 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Netherlands. Of these, 11 sites are recognised for their cultural significance. The Wadden Sea, shared with Denmark and Germany, is an intertidal zone in the North Sea and listed for its natural importance. One of the cultural sites is on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, and covers the historic town and harbour of the island’s capital Willemstad. There are a further three sites on the tentative list.

What's On in the Netherlands 2024

Website page for the exhibition about mummy portraits.

6 October 2023 – 20 May 2024,
Allard Pierson Museum

Exhibition page for the Frans Hals Exhibition.
16 February – 9 June 2024, Rijksmuseum

Until 31 October 2024,
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Find Places to Visit in the Netherlands

Five Popular Attractions in the Netherlands

Explore the Netherlands more deeply

Where to Go in the Netherlands

From ancient megalithic tombs known as hunebeds to  Frisian culture and heritage with its own language. Provinces: Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen.
An area of spectacular natural beauty dotted with picturesque medieval cities and castles. Provinces: Gelderland and Overijssel.

In this the culinary region of the Netherlands, explore Van Gogh’s life and work in and around his birthplace. Provinces: Limburg, North Brabant and Zeeland

Home to the four largest Dutch cities, Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Provinces: Flevoland, North Holland, South Holland and Utrecht.

Historic Cities in the Netherlands

What to See in the Netherlands

A painting by Rembrandt depicting Iron Age people making an oath of allegiance to the Batavian leader against the Romans.

Roman Ruins & Museums

From around 55 BC to around 410 AD the southern area of what is today the Netherlands lay within the Roman Empire. First in Gallia Belgica, then, following Emperor Domitian’s acquiring new lands along the Rhine in the early 80s AD, the area was in the province of Germania Inferior. The empire’s boundary here was the Rhine River, this stretch of the frontier being the oldest section of the Roman Limes. While that part of the Netherlands to the north of the river did not fall under Roman rule, it was certainly not beyond the empire’s influence.

Hanzesteden in the Netherlands

In the 14th century, when Amsterdam was only a tiny settlement, many towns in the northern provinces of the Netherlands joined the Hanseatic League. Established as a trading union amongst Baltic Sea ports, joining the league ensured wealth. The Medieval prosperity of these Hansa towns can still be seen in the historical buildings and features from the 14th and 15th centuries – making them fascinating and picturesque places to visit today.

Castles & Palaces

Many Dutch castles were built between the 12th and 17th centuries, for defence, residence, and administrative centres. Following centuries of conflict, neglect, and in some cases several changes of ownership, many Dutch castles have been sensitively restored. Today, these castles are home to museums, or are tourist attractions in their own right, offering visitors an engaging insight into Dutch history and culture.

Holocaust, WWII and the Third Reich

From the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg to the Schwerbelastungskörper in Berlin. From Templehof airport to the Colossus of Prora, the Nazi beach resort on the north coast. There are a number of Third Reich sites, either redeveloped since the war or left in ruins, that are open to the public. There are many more memorial sites, such as the Topographie des Terrors, the Sahsenhausen Conecntration camp near Berlin and the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich.

Art Galleries & Museums

The Netherlands has an estimated 1,000 museums and art galleries. With an impressive breadth of topics and aimed at people of all ages. From the archaeology museums dedicated to the Neolithic communities and their megalithic tombs to some of the finest art galleries with their collections of modern and contemporary art. These collections are housed in buildings that have their own fascinating history, as well as contemporary state-of-the-art and innovative museums of the future.