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Insider's Tips From Three JourneyWomen in Holland...


#7 Friesland...

In this land of lakes you’ll find a VERY unique planetarium built (by candlelight) in the late 1700s by Eise Eisinga (a self-taught astronomer) in the ceiling of his house, using 10,000 handmade nails, and with the controls and pulleys inside his cupboard bed -- literally a bed in a cupboard. (He must have indeed had a very understanding wife.) Eise Eisinga Planetarium is still working after all these years, with no parts ever having to be replaced. Website:

Visit nearby Hindeloopen for beautiful, characteristic hand-painted furniture, and Makkum, for gorgeous (but pricey) ceramics and tiles. (Tichelaar’s Royal Ceramics and Tile Manufacturer, Turfmarkt 65, Phone: (0)515-23-1341)


#8 Groningen...

Pieterburen is home to the world’s smallest hotel – one room, with a cupboard bed and state-of-the-art bathroom (Grand Hotel de Kromme Raake, Hoofdstraat 12, Phone: (0)595-49-1600). Be sure to make a side trip to still-life, still-living, famous Dutch artist Henk Helmantel’s home and gallery. Website: And don’t miss the “sight-to-behold” Groninger Museum in the swinging university town of Groningen. Website:


#9 Drenthe...

One of the highlights here, in this stunning countryside perfect for biking, is the hunebed center (Hunebedcentrum) in Borger. Hunebeds are very old dolmans or giant granite stones or boulders in a grouping, and thought to be prehistoric tombs – all mysteriously lying in a southwest direction with entrances to the south. They are even older than the famous Stonehenge configuration in England. Great for children to see and learn about too. Website:


#10 Overijssel...

The highlight here is Giethoorn, the ‘Venice of Holland’, where transportation is only by canal. Fabulously picturesque village with many traditional Dutch, thatched-roof houses. In late August is a special celebration (Gondelvaart) featuring a parade down the canals, in decorated and illuminated gondolas, and an enchantingly lit-up village to boot. But no matter when you go here, be sure to bring your camera.


#11 Limburg...

Maastricht is a very European city oozing with charm and complete with old city walls. Outdoor cafes, good food and good shopping, plus plenty of cultural things to do make this a must on your ‘venturing out in Holland’ itinerary. Website:

And while you’re in this province, don’t miss the virtually all-white town of Thorn. Very picturesque, especially for those of us who glory in white. And for those of you needing a real respite, head to the spa of Thermae 2000 in Valkenburg. Website: Now there’s a vacation.


#12 Zeeland...

The Delta Works tour of the Storm Surge Barrier, which took 30 years to build, is a ‘must-see’. Find out how the Dutch expertly control all the water in their land below sea level. It’s a marvel. Great education for your kids too. Website: Fantastic water theme park here also. Website:


Here's Holland...

You can find all the details on these destinations – and so many more in our guide, 'Here’s Holland'. Also provided is a wealth of information for getting around, including: car rentals, hotels and restaurants, casinos, places of worship, clubs & organizations… you name it. There are 492 pages of ideas for your trip – including maps. Special offer: FREE US shipping if you order 'Here's Holland' direct from the publisher (half-off on shipping to Canada). Write: Please quote Journeywoman as your source.

This article was posted in 2008


For more on Holland click here





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