Mon. Jul 15th, 2024
You will surely spend a lot of time visiting the Netherlands’ flagship attractions. However, when you have visited all sites on you must-see list and still have appetite for more, don’t worry. There are plenty of hidden and often surprising gems waiting for you across the country.

Record-breaking windmills

You rather don’t expect a cluster of windmills to be a little known place in the Netherlands. But one is! The town of Schiedam near Rotterdam is not visited by many tourists, but it offers a real gem – a group of the world’s tallest windmills. They were built so tall to catch wind from above the neighbouring buildings.

Kinderdijk - the Largest Collection of Working Windmills in Holland

Forging the wealth

If you happen to reach Arnhem in search of World War II battlefields, visit the outskirts of that city, where you will discover an amazing world from the past. It is where one of Europe’s most interesting heritage parks is. Take a peek into inside the numerous houses, farmsteads and workshops to find out how Dutch have been building the power of their state for ages.

Vanishing sea

Have you heard of a vanishing sea? When in the Netherlands, you will have an opportunity to see it live! The country shares an extraordinary natural phenomenon with Denmark and Germany – the Wadden Sea. Those unique waters lie between the coast and the Frisian Islands, and at low tide they become “watt”, i.e. a muddy tidal plain.

Fight for the land

The next two Dutch attractions are real treats for fans of technology! The are also a symbol of the struggle against nature. First, there is Beemster, the country’s oldest polder. Built in the 17th century in a dried out lake, it still shows its original structure and excellent precision of workmanship. It became an inspiration for further projects that allowed “seizing” some more land from the sea. Rent a bicycle and see that brilliant work of human hands. Related to drying of the land is also the steam pump station in Lemeer. Opened in 1920, it is the oldest still operating facility of this type in the world. The two sites were recognised by UNESCO and entered in the World Heritage List.

Life and death battle

The Netherlands went down in history of the Polish military effort during World War II. It was the theatre of operations of, among others, the 1st Armoured Division under General Maczek, who liberated Breda, and the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade under General Sosabowski, who took part in the ill-fated operation “Market Garden” and liberated the town of Driel. If you hold the subject of these events dear, you will find Polish memorials in both those places.

Great ships

Due to its strategic situation between the River Scheldt and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important port since almost its very establishment. Once, its waters were travelled by vessels of the East India Company, and today it handles some 50 ships heading for the Belgian port of Antwerp, one of Europe’s largest, every year. The town has actually no historic monuments, but you can sit on the beach or have a walk on the promenade and watch mighty ships slowly moving guided by Dutch pilots. It also has a Polish accent – the Polish submarine ORP “Orzeł” was built in the local shipyard in 1936-1939.

Bicycle madness

You must have noticed that the bicycle is the main means of transport in the Netherlands. Bicycles are ridden by schoolchildren, employees of corporations, shop assistants, and even the Prime Minister! Literally everyone. Bicycles are everywhere, and every corner of the country has adequate infrastructures. The town of Nijmegen, a little known place in the Netherlands, even has a fantastic Museum of Bicycles, where you can see the their history and various, sometimes sophisticated, attempts to improve them.


By Lala