Places to visit on the Dutch and Belgian waterways
With a vast network of rivers, one of the best ways to discover the Netherlands and Belgium is from a river cruise. Here we present the four best places to visit using their scenic waterways.
Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, the Netherlands
Explore the timeless scenery of the waterways through the Netherlands and Belgium and discover a variety of unforgettable treats.
Dubbed the ‘most beautiful spring garden in the world’ Keukenhof Gardens, situated in the Dutch town of Lisse, becomes a myriad of colour for just eight weeks a year. An incredible seven million bulbs are planted annually throughout the 79-acre park, with bright pink tulips, golden daffodils and deep blue-hued hyacinths becoming just some of the floral star attractions in the seven themed gardens on show here. Now the second largest flower garden in the world, the sheer size and beauty of these extraordinary gardens is sure to amaze both gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
As Belgium’s capital, cosmopolitan Brussels is bursting with impressive buildings such as the Palais de Justice, the dome of which dominates the city’s skyline. You’ll find the histroric city centre a surprisingly intimate and pleasant place for a stroll, where you can explore museums and stylish boutiques. One of the country’s most famous exports is chocolate, and in Brussels you’ll find a variety of little artisan chocolate shops, where you can seek out a tasty souvenir or two.
Home to 19 UNESCO-protected windmills, the quaint village of Kinderdjik provides a fascinating glimpse of what the Dutch landscape looked like during the 16th Century. An example of human ingenuity at its best, the windmills were in use until 1950 – pumping water into reservoirs to avoid the landscape flooding. There are three different types of windmill to be seen here, including the tall Dutch mills, the octagonal thatches smock mills and the shorter hollow-post mills.
From its humble beginnings as a fishing village in the 13th century, Amsterdam has boomed. Now the capital of the Netherlands, this compact and pedestrian friendly city features elegant architecture overlooking a serene network of tree-shaded canals. There is a variety of interesting sights to discover, including the impressive Royal Palace which sits on historic Dam Square, and the grand 19th-century Rijksmuseum which is home to a vast collection of art an antiques, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Dyck.
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