Make sure you pull yourself away from Amsterdam for a few days and really explore the cities and countryside of Holland.
Lying south of Amsterdam, these two Randstadt cities are distinctly different from other quaint old-world Dutch towns. After being destroyed in WWII, Rotterdam was re-built as a thoroughly modern city with glass and steel skyscrapers. Utrecht, although surrounded by an historic brick wall, is also marked by the development of contemporary architecture and infrastructure. However, both cities are still visited by many tourists who enjoy the range of historic monuments, museums, bars, cafés and restaurants (especially in Utrecht). To See/Do: Rotterdam: Boymans-Van Beuningen Museum, Delfshaven. Utrecht: Dom Tower, Catharijneconvent Museum.
The Hague (Den Haag)
The Hague, a popular beach town and home to Holland’s Queen Beatrix, will enchant you with its colorful mix of culture, history and natural beauty. Just a 45-minute train ride from Amsterdam, it offers an ideal change of pace for a day trip. You can tour the royal stables or the Peace Palace that seats the famous International Court of Justice, and then explore the Maurithaus museum, which presides over a shimmering canal and houses Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with Pearl Earring.” Stop by one of the various flea markets or hang out at a smokers’ “coffeeshop.” Wander down to Scheveningen and stroll along its beautiful wide beaches and Victorian promenade which becomes a hopping club scene at night. For in-town nightlife, check out the bars and cafés in the “historic passage” and around the square. Must see/do: Maurithaus, M.C. Escher museum, Scheveningen (the beach district)