Provinces of The Netherlands

BY: Nads

 

The Netherlands have 12 provinces which are Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, North Brabant, North Holland, Overijssel, South Holland, Utrecht and Zeeland (it’s a mouthful, I know).

Now all of you are probably thinking … ‘ah sc… it, bring on Amsterdam, weed and crazy European sex’…Well, there’s actually more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam and its dirty pleasures. Here are 3 provinces in Holland you would want to visit.

 

Drenthe

 

Most tourists visiting The Netherlands would never think of making Drenthe number one on their list to visit. True, it’s filled with farmers and camping’s - which can be like living in the south pole when your dumb enough to go in winter - , people speaking the freakiest Dutch you can imagine and of course, fields, cows, hay, traditional houses, bikes, small towns and permanent red stop lights.

Ok so maybe Drenthe isn’t all that different to most Dutch provinces, but it does have some perks and good reasons to visit.

 

Drenthe is the province of the Hunnebedden also known as Hundebeds. Drenthe alone has 52 of the 54 Hundebeds that can be found in the Netherlands. A hundebed is a megalithic skeleton in a burial chamber over 5500 years old, which is constructed of huge boulders of about 25 tons each.

In addition, Drenthe has its own dialect of Dutch that’s called Drents. And listening to some old man in worn out skanky pants and suspenders speaking Drents, could pretty much make your trip worthwhile.

 

South Holland

 

The Hague is the capital of South Holland, and one of the most chilled and laid back cities by the coast. Everything in The Hague is done at a slower pace than in Amsterdam or Rotterdam. In summer, hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of restaurants and cafés open along the beach, and it gives you a very warm, summery, ‘I just want to drink like a fish ‘till I pass out’ kind of feeling.

Unlike Drenthe, The Hague has a lot of clubs, bars and cafés to go out to. Fiddlers and Crazy Piano’s are some of the more popular places for locals and tourists alike.

 

There are so many tourist attractions in The Hague, and here are just a few (go make yourself a cup of coffee, this is going to be a long one); The Peace Palace, Inner Court and Hall of the Knights, Escher in the palace, Haagse Bluf shopping centre, Omniversum (Observatory), the market, Lucent Dance theatre, Madurodam, Meermanno museum, Scheveningen, Prison gate museum, Noordeinde Palace, Hoek van Holland,The Great Church, The New Church, Netherlands Congress Centre,  ….. Coffee done yet?

 

Rotterdam, which is another notable city in South Holland, is a little different than the slow paced Hague. It’s architecture is strangely modern, and attracts worldwide attention from art lovers and architects alike. Next to Amsterdam, Rotterdam is one of the most buzzing cities in The Netherlands.

 

North Holland

 

Ah….the province you have been waiting for… North Holland is the home of industries, beaches, little old towns, water…. and lots of it…. and of course, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is without a doubt the most famous city in The Netherlands, and the reason for so many people to visit this little country. Yes, every other city has a red light district, coffeeshops and sex shops, but have you been to a coffeeshop in Amsterdam? Or in Amsterdam’s  red light district? Well if you haven’t, then you just can’t say you’ve been there.

 

Here’s an interesting fact: the capital of North Holland is in fact not Amsterdam, but Haarlem (most Dutch people don’t even know that). Some other things to do in North Holland besides smoking up a storm and walking until your legs turn to stumps are renting a canoe or going on a sightseeing boat through the canals of the farmlands and forests outside of Amsterdam. Alternatively, North Holland also has tons of beaches and nature trails to explore.

 

So there you have it, three of Holland’s most amazing provinces – in my opinion anyways. Now, you have one of two choices; either sit there on your uncomfortable computer chair and read some more articles about The Netherlands and how super duper cool it is, OR go rob a bank, buy a plane ticket and come and see it for yourself.