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Visit the Netherlands - Places to See
Den Haag (The Hague)

The Hague is 50 minutes by train from Amsterdam, and is the Seat of the Dutch Government.

Palace Huis Ten Bosch: On the Bezuidenhoutseweg... the official residence of Queen Beatrix. The park around the palace is very peaceful... but you are able to see very little of the palace because it's behind walls and trees.

Blnnenhof: A complex of buildings (palaces)... the inner court is where government business is conducted. The Ridderzaal, or Knight's Hall, is the 700-year-old building dominating the complex. Bus 3,4,5,7,8,12,22.

Mauritshuis Museum: Located at 29 Plein. T-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Closed Mon. This 17th century palace museum houses one of the best collections of Dutch paintings... outstanding Rembrandts, Vermeers, and Rubens. The museum has been completely renovated and re-opened in 1987.

Gemente Museum: Located at 41 Stadhouderslaan. 'F-Sat 10-5, Sun 1:30-4:30. This museum has a little of everything... but the painting galleries are dedicated to modern art... and the world's largest collection of Mondrian. It's a great place to see his progression from Realism, Impressionism, to his mature style of Minimalism. Bus/tram 4,10,14,65,88.

Schevenlngen: An attractive promenade and pier... a nudist beach and casinos.

Madurodam: Located at 175 Haringkade. The number one tourist attraction... a 5-acre miniature city, meticulously crafted on a scale of 1/25. Everything works... trains move, boats float, windmills turn, etc. A very popular and interesting attraction... Tram/bus #1,9,22,65,89. Hours 9:30-10:30.

Gevangenpoort Museum: Located at 33 Buitenhof. A Medieval horror chamber with torture rooms and instruments still intact. Tours every hour on the hour. M-F 10-5, Sat/Sun 1-5.

Peach Palace: Located at 2 Carnegieplein. The International Court of Justice meets here.

Japanese Garden: Located on the grounds of Park Clingendael. The entrance to the garden is on Wassenaarseweg.


Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum

To reach Haarlem, take the train from Amsterdam... every 15 minutes. When you reach Haarlem, you can walk through the interesting town or look for the bus stop "Perron D", and take bus #2 or #70, asking the driver to let you off at the Hals Museum. Walking is preferred because the town has charm.

Frans Hals Museum: Located at 62 Groat Heiligland. This museum is the perfect marriage between setting and subject matter. It was originally an Old Men's home and is perfectly preserved, practically in its 17th century state. Besides the interesting period-rooms, the star attractions are the works by Hals... including some of his most famous pieces as well as his last two works. The town of Haarlem loved Hals. Because he had so many children and spent money unwisely, the town provided him a home and an income. They continued the pension for his wife, after the artist died.

Grote Markt: The city square, where you'll find the Town Hall, which was originally a 13th century palace for Royalty.

St. Bavo's Church (The Great Church): Late Gothic, from 1390-1520. Beautiful interior with the famous Tuller Organ dating from 1738, on which a young Mozart once played.

Teylersmuseum: Not far from the Grote Markt... located at 16 Spaarne. This is the oldest museum in Holland with an interesting collection of fossils, gems, and 2 rooms of paintings and drawings, including works by Rembrandt, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Hours 10 - 5.

Miscellaneous: Because Haarlem is such a clean, charming town... and only 15 minutes from Amsterdam (Frequent trains), you may want to make it your headquarters, if you do not like the scene in Amsterdam.


Delft

Delft is one of the best-preserved old Dutch towns and the home of the artist Vermeer. The pottery made here is synonymous with its name (Delftware). One needs only a couple of hours to see the town. It's 50 minutes, by train, from Amsterdam, or take the bus from Den Haag for more frequent trains. You will be glad you took the time for this charming town... It's clean, beautiful, and peaceful and looks the way one thinks Holland should look.

Tetar van Elven Museum: This museum contains works by Vermeer and de Hooch.

Het Prinsenhof: The one-time home of William of Orange. M-F 10-5.

Town Hall: One of the most prominent buildings in Delft.

Old Delft Canal: The canals in Delft are among the most beautiful in Holland... filled in many areas with water lilies. Walk around, or take a cruise, and see the beautiful architecture reflected on the water.

Nieuwe Kerk: This 14th century church is the burial place of the Royal Family. There are great views from the tower. If you arrive during services, you will not be allowed to enter as a tourist.

Royal Delftware: Located at 196 Rotterdamscheweg, this is the factory where the pottery is still made in the traditional way. Legend has it that the original formula was taken from Dresden to Delft, but the Dutch deny this.

Canal Trips: Check at the train station to see where the cruises begin.

Miscellaneous: Delft is a peaceful town... very quiet... not on the main tourist route. People are very pleasant and friendly, and aren't out for the tourist buck. This is a town to visit before the hoards of tourists discover it.


Rotterdam

Rotterdam is 60 minutes by train, from Amsterdam... or 15 minutes by train from Den Haag. It is the 2nd largest city in the Netherlands. One generally does not go "out of the way" for Rotterdam.

Boymans van Beuningen Museum: 18-20 Mathenesserlaan. T-S 10 - 5, Sun 11 - 5. Closed Monday. An excellent collection of Flemish and Dutch... Bosch, Rembrandt, and the moderns... from Van Gogh to Kandinsky. Tram #5, or Metro: Eendrachtsplein.

Euromast: The highest tower in Holland. Great views from top. Tram #6,9.

Delfshaven: Picturesque harbor area... great for walking. Tram #6,9.

Harbor cruise: The cruise takes 75 minutes... departs every 45 minutes from Willemsplein Landing. Tram #5, or Metro: Leuvenhaven.

De Ster: A restored, old windmill. Hours 9 - 4. Tram #7,9.


Otterlo and the Kroller-Muller Museum

To reach Otterlo... take the train from Amsterdam to Arnheim... takes one hour and 15 minutes... and then a bus to Otterlo. The bus will be waiting in front of the Arnheim Railway Station and is marked Hoge Veluwe. It's totally coordinated.

Kroller-Muller Museum: Tue-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Closed Monday. This museum was donated by Mrs. Kroller-Muller, who spent a fortune developing the interplay between architecture, art, and nature. Located in a huge park called Hoge Veluwe, the museum has excellent lighting, a great sculpture garden, and a huge collection of Van Gogh paintings (89 painting and an additional 200 drawings)... plus great works by Cezanne, Seurat, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec. There's also a cafeteria. The Van Gogh's equal those in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The grounds of the park are a nature-lovers paradise. When you pay your bus fare on the bus from Arnheim, admission to the park is included. Once inside the grounds, you'll see many white-colored bicycles. You are free to use them... picking them up at various locations and depositing them at other locations.

This museum is well worth the time it takes to get to it.

Note: The city of Arnheim is nice but tends to be a bit modern and by itself may not warrant much time.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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