Holland’s Gems

The Take 12 Trips Challenge is a new initiative encouraging would-be travellers to take a trip somewhere each month. While the challenge doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go abroad, we’re going to give you some great ideas for easy, interesting and great-value trips around Europe.

Holland is a country which packs a lot into a small area. Famously as flat as the pancakes eaten at breakfast-time by the locals, the countryside is decorated with a patchwork quilt of tulip fields and the cities are lined with criss-crossing canals and wonderful architecture, mixing both the cutting edge and the classical.

For your first trip why not visit one of Holland’s delightful towns or cities, outside of Amsterdam. All easily accessible and perfect for a short break.


Utrecht is a small but beautiful university city with a rich medieval history, making it a fascinating place to explore. As one of your 12 trips, pay a visit Dom Tower, the city’s highest point and also one of its most central and enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the whole city from the top. On a clear day you can even see as far as Amsterdam from the 13th century tower, making the climb worth every one of the 455 steps!

For more information on Utrecht, have a read of our blogger Katie’s account of the city – ‘Utrecht Uncut’, she visited with us last October.


Cheese is one of Holland’s most famous exports, so you may be surprised to see that Edam isn’t actually packed with tourists on a pilgrimage to sample the rubbery red balls of cheese of the same name. In fact, Edam is a fairly neat and compact little town with a pint-sized square, Damplein, and a museum which tells the story of the area.

Did you know, Edam cheese was the most popular cheese in the world especially at sea…because Edam cheese could mature very well and could become very old, it was easy to bring it along to eat while travelling.



Groningen is a vibrant and youthful town with a lively and sizable student population, making it a popular nightlife destination. The city also has the Groninger Museum, an outstanding art museum which focusses on modern and contemporary art from national artists, the ideal place for a trip out! Groningen is also a national leader when it comes to cycling in the city, with countless bikes on the road to ease congestion, but why not head out of the city and explore some of the large, empty coastline nearby?


For another seaside option, try Noordwijk. The beaches around the city are among the most popular in the Netherlands, with the town’s population doubling during the summer as tourists from Germany and other parts of Holland flock to the gorgeous, open coastline.

The Hague

The Hague is Holland’s royal city and the home of government, despite not being the capital. It is also home to Scheveningen, Holland’s most popular beach resort, making it the perfect city for a quick getaway. Pay a visit to the Mauritshuis or the Gemeente Museum for opposite ends of the artistic spectrum, or the Bredius Museum, with a super collection of fine art.

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