North Holland is my favorite province, but I have a bias to it since I’ve lived there for five years of my life. I have traveled around North Holland with family, friends and my baseball team. I feel nostalgic thinking about all the little things of this province. The lifestyle is chill and friendly and I remember having some great calming moments just riding my bike around my town or to another city. There are four destinations that come to mind when I think about my favorite places in North Holland.
Amsterdam is a truly dutch city while still being multicultural. The architecture is uniquely dutch and historic often with a contrast of contemporary. The city is built around a circuit of canals and is covered with museums, there is plenty to do. Last summer I was visiting the Netherlands and some of my friends and I went to Amsterdam on my final day before I took a plane to Edinburgh. We visited museumplein, bought cheap snacks at Jumbo (dutch supermarket), got lost and finished the day trip in a thrift shop. I love spending days with friends like this, especially in my favorite city. That’s just one of the great days that I remember spending in Amsterdam. I love seeing the boats driving through the canals under the tall and thin apartments. I love the openness of the parks and I love the different cultures showcased in the city.
Alkmaar is a small city that I know very well. It is known for its cheese market which is held during the summer. Last summer I actually found myself at the event, where I tried dutch style Herring for the first time. Didn’t like it. The city revolves around a big church called Grote Kerk, which means big church and there is a series of shopping streets that lead outwards from the church. Grab a bagel at Bagels and Beans next to the music store. Then walk further and find the square at the cheese museum. Or explore the red and grey side streets. To end the day you can walk on the trail around the west and east side of the city and stumble upon a tiny cafe or a dutch windmill while having a mini escape from the city. I spent many days with my friends either going to Mcdonalds or watching my friend play the violin in the theatre.
Bergen is practically where I lived, well It was pretty close. My friends and I would bike to Bergen during our free periods at school and buy snacks at Albert Heijn or frites at Bello. Many laughs were shared during these moments. The town is small but often has people out and about shopping or riding their bikes. In Bergen you will find a rich and modern culture with the fashion store Smodzy or the different restaurants like Fabel’s which surround the Ruinekerk (ruin church). Personally my favorite places to eat are Tarek and Bello. Besides the city center, you can explore the dunes west of the town which take you into a different world. In the dunes you’ll find sand at your feet and trees creating a forest around you. If you travel farther into the dunes you’ll end up in another one of my favorite places.
Bergen Aan Zee
Bergen Aan Zee means Bergen at the sea. It’s where Bergen meets the sea. What I think about when I think of Bergen Aan Zee is tall yellow grass and tranquility. From the C.F. Zeiler Boulevard, you’ll have a wide view of the North Sea and the sandy beach. Locals love to come here to party or relax and the beach is a highly instagrammable spot. There are even surf lessons offered on the beach. Last summer I tried surfing, but I couldn’t even get two feet on the board. If you’re hungry there are spots like Zilte Zoen at one of the entrances to the beach. There is also an aquarium by the sea. I recommend going to the beach for a fun and interesting beach day with friends.
These four places are just my personal favourite destinations In North Holland. There are so many more great places in this province though, like Hoorn, Haarlem, Texel, Shagen and Zaandam. I love the lifestyle of North Holland and the rest of the Netherlands and I feel at home there. Luckily, I will back in late November of this year and next summer. I will try to experience new things like visiting the NDSM-Werf in Amsterdam.
Have you ever been to North Holland? What place in the world makes you feel tranquil and at home? Tell us in the comments and please share this post with your friends. I’ll see you in the next post.
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