The Netherlands is small, but man, oh man, is it full of magical cities and lovely little towns. It’s a country that needs to be explored and visited. Don’t just plan a trip to Amsterdam and think that’s all. There are many great spots to view, and fall is one of the prettiest times to do so. As well fall can be a great time to visit a small country like The Netherlands because of the declined number of visitors, and the weather is still warm. Here are a few towns/cities to tour on your visit to The Netherlands.
Utrecht is a city that reminds me of Cambridge, MA. It seems to be small yet very quaint; it’s a student city. Except in Utrecht, you have canals and history that goes back to the Roman Empire. As well the streets of this student city are filled with cafes and shops. Tourists are attracted to this town. They flood the streets in search of history, leaving barely any room to move around. Yet, nothing is more charming and romantic than walking around the fall canals of Utrecht. It’s a city that leaves you wanting to explore some more and find out what else is charming here to see.
Amsterdam is a large city, frequently associated with the red lights district and coffee shops. Hit coffee shops don’t just sell coffee. It’s a place that carries more weed selection than Ikea has furniture. This city attracts millions of tourists a year for different reasons. Some only visit the “fun side” of town. The other half explores a more historical side of the city by visiting all the fantastic museums. However, I love this city for the architecture and the canals. Nothing is more magical than the small bridges, away across the canals packed with bikes, and decor according to season. The oddly shaped buildings that are older than some trees in the city add a certain charm or charisma to Amsterdam. The magic of fall, the brown brick building, and bridges full of bikes is what I came to love in this busy full of life capital.
P.S also, if you’re looking for a full guide to Amsterdam read Madeline Rae Away – great tips on what to do around the city.
Hilversum a small family town located in North Holland. Shops, restaurants, and bars occupied the city center. Here life is much quieter than let’s say in Utrecht. The town sleeps after six pm except on Thursdays. Weekend mornings are meant to spend with your family at home. It’s the kind of city that people tend to move to start a family. However, I love this location, not for the quite Sundays by the fireplaces. I love it because Woods and Parks surround this town. A nature walk is beautiful at any time of the year, maybe even magical. During fall, the ground is packed with yellow foliage. The trees are overflowed with color, that’s the magic of nature and this city.
Marken a magical little town by the sea. The first time I got to visit this place, it was in the summertime. The village was overcrowded, full of wandering tourists. Yet, I felt a compelling connection to this location. It reminded me very much or a traditional Russian village, except it wasn’t. This was a much more sophisticated and tricked out place. Here the roads are paved, the streets are clean, and all the houses old but very tidy and neatly planted next to each other. All of that cannot be said about a Russian village.
Marken left me in aw, I thought about this place as the perfect retirement community, where the air is clean, and the ocean breeze is strong. It’s the kind of town I wanted to show to my mom. All thought she and I are far from retirement; it never hurts to wonder. This time going back in late October, Marken was even more appealing. The crowds of tourists were gone. The street empty, except for locals whispering gossip and greeting neighbors. Occasional, the local cats would make a fuss between one another. Other than that, the town was quiet and pleasantly welcoming. Fall was the perfect time to explore this charming little village.
Haarlem once an important port still surrounded by a barrier wall painting a perfect picture of a medieval city. The cobblestone streets and gabled houses are time-transforming, taking you back centuries. Over time this city became a significant district of flower-bulb-growing, as well as gaining fame for the tulip fields, art museums, and “hofjes- is a Dutch word for a courtyard with almshouses around it.” Haarlem is a beautiful city that does a great job of preserving its origins, the fundament of traditional living in The Netherlands. To visit Haarlem is a treat, and during fall, it’s that much more worth it.