The capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is a city on the Amstel River and is among the most beautiful and picturesque of Europe. Still, that's not all there is to North Holland. There's Haarlem, the province's capital, which is a scaled-down Amsterdam, as well as Alkmaar and its dairy prowess, as well as other treasures.
In a country brimming with culture, spectacle and color, Amsterdam is the clear leader. The city, which is full of interconnected waterways and crisscrossed by bridges, has a beauty built on its seamless mix of nature and urban splendor. It's also a city of wealth, with many Dutch celebrities among its residence; art, with its Rijksmuseum housing extraordinary works by Rembrandt and Vermeer and the Van Gogh Museum bearing much of the legend's work; history, with its windmills, churches, synagogues and Anne Frank House; and limitless hedonism in its Red Light District. Moving around is easy as public transportation is readily available and the city is extremely flat. In all, it's an excellent destination for travelers with all kinds of tastes.
Nearby Amsterdam is Muiden Castle at Muiderslot, perhaps the most popular castle in the Netherlands. The construction that now stands was built in 1370 and was used primarily as a courthouse and state prison. It sits at the mouth of the Vecht River, an important local waterway. It has several interesting flourishes such as a stairway with uneven steps and an angle that makes it harder for right-handed swordsmen to fight.
The Dutch parks and lodges are the perfect place to collapse after a long day—or an exciting night—on the blocks, boulevards and bodies of water of North Holland.
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