Everyone has heard about our country, most likely you will know that it borders with Belgium and Germany, that our national color is orange, and that we speak Dutch. But what do you know about the different regions and provinces? Some of our dentists that decide to move to the Netherlands, have never visited the country before! And if people visit Holland, they mostly visit Amsterdam. But our country has so much more to offer than just the big cities and in this article, we would like to tell you more about those provinces.
If you’d like to start a new career in Holland chances are that you will start working in a smaller city. This is also due to the fact that there is less shortage of dentists in cities like Amsterdam ????
But let’s save those details for later and let’s focus on the country first.
???? Our country has 12 different provinces, divided by the colors on the map.
???? Two of our provinces are called: North-Holland and South-Holland = Holland.
❌ Therefore it’s not correct to say Holland, when referring to the whole country.
???? About 1/3rd of the country is below sea level but luckily we have our dams & dikes to protect us!
???? Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as well!
????️ Bonaire, Sint-Eustatius and Saba are special municipalities of the Netherlands.
???? We have two official languages! But luckily you only need to learn one when moving here 😉
???? Dutch people are one of the tallest people in the world!
???? Our country is very, very flat. The highest point is only 322,7 meters high and is located in Limburg.
Do you want to know more about Holland, The Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean? Check out this video below that gives an awesome explanation ????
A beautiful province located in the north of the country ???? Sailing boats, the Dutch islands, green fields with sheep and cows, a famous event week filled with parties, their own language and flag, the list goes on and on ⛵
Ok, I might be a bit biased since my roots are in Friesland but nevertheless I will try and give you an objective overview the province ????
????️ The capital of Friesland is Leeuwarden. This is also the biggest city in the province with 125.000 inhabitants. Still not such a big city eh?
???? Friesland is a bilingual province because besides Dutch, they also speak Fries! The second official language of the Netherlands. And no, it’s not a dialect!
????️ ‘Waddeneilanden’ – four out of five Dutch islands belong to the province of Friesland. Take the ferry, rent a bike, swim in the North Sea or visit the awesome Oerol Festival on Terschelling.
⛵ Each summer in August, the ‘Sneekweek’ is held in.. Sneek! Originally it’s all about the sailing competitions but by now it’s a famous event that attracts people from all over for the atmosphere and parties.
✅ In 2018 Friesland was voted nr 3 of best 10 places to visit in Europe by Lonely Planet.
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.360 in Friesland. The country’s average is 1.865 so this means there are less dentists per inhabitants in Friesland ???? (source KNMT)
✈️ The nearest airport is Groningen Airport but they don’t have flights to every destination. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is 1,5 hour by car or 2.15 hour by train.
???? There are some specific foods that come from Friesland such as ‘oranje koek’ (orange cake, which is actually pink) and ‘suikerbrood’ (sugar bread).
Do you live in Friesland and do you need some inspiration on where to go and what to do? Check out this website with Northern Hotspots: https://liefsuithetnoorden.nl/ ????
Friesland has so much more to offer than just the country side! What do you think.. worth a visit at least? 😉 I hope so!
The neighboring province of Friesland is Groningen! Just as green but less known for its landscape and more for its bustling city of.. Groningen. Yes, you read that right. The province ánd the capital both carry the same name.
???? The capital of Groningen is Groningen. A big city that’s known for its many national ánd international students since the RUG (University of Groningen) is located here. The city has about 203.000 inhabitants.
???? There are two famous festivals in Groningen: Noorderzon Festival of Performing Arts & Society and Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival. Both are well worth a visit for music and art lovers!
????️ The TT Circuit is located in Assen in the province of Groningen. A famous motorsport race track with yearly races.
???????? Every year on the 5th of May we celebrate liberation day in the Netherlands. Groningen is one of the cities with a big liberation festival.
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 1.575 in Groningen. The country’s average is 1.865 so this means there are less inhabitants per dentist, which is a good thing! The reason behind this is that one of the dentistry studies is located in Groningen. (source KNMT)
???? Food wise, Groningen is known for its ‘eierbal’ – a very confusing meatball with an egg inside. A perfect snack for after you leave the club or bar, because Groningen is also known for it’s good party’s!
✈️ The nearest airport is Groningen Airport but they don’t have flights to every destination. It’s actually located in the neighboring town of ‘Eelde’ but it’s easy to reach from Groningen City.
Do you live in Groningen and do you need some inspiration on where to go and what to do? Check out this website with Northern Hotspots: https://liefsuithetnoorden.nl/ ???? This website is for the 3 Northern provinces.
Drenthe is a province in the North-East of the country that borders with Friesland, Groningen, Overijssel and Germany. The perfect gateway to have different kinds of places (and another country) within reach. But let’s be honest, it’s more than just a gateway since the province itself has a lot to offer as well! ????
???? The capital of Drenthe is Assen. The city has about 70.000 inhabitants. It’s only 30 km away from Groningen City!
????️ Assen is known for it’s TT Circuit. A famous motorsports race track with early races!
???? National Park Drents-Friese Wold – one of the beautiful national parks in this region where you can hike, mountainbike and enjoy nature. The photo in this post says enough, right?
???? You will also find Camp Westerbork in Drenthe, a memorial center for the many, many jews and roma’s that were deported to other concentration camps in Europa from Westerbork. A historical visit that leaves an impression for sure.
???? In Assen you will find the Drents Museum. A museum with international exhibitions about archeology, art and contemporary realism. Their latest big exhibition was about Frida Kahlo.
????️ The oldest remains of settlements are found in this province, called hunebeds. Definitely worth a visit!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.365 in Drenthe. The country’s average is 1.865 so this means there are a lot more inhabitants per dentist available, which means the shortage here is higher than the national average!
✈️ The nearest airport is Groningen Airport but they don’t have flights to every destination. It’s actually located in the neighboring town of ‘Eelde’ but it’s easy to reach from Assen.
Do you want to know more about the province of Drenthe? Check out this blog with more tips about things to do and see: https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations/provinces/drenthe.html
Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands located in the eastern part of the country. The province’s name translates to “across the IJssel” (river), and it’s situated along the German border. It also borders the Dutch provinces of Gelderland, Flevoland, Friesland and Drenthe. Besides the capital of Zwolle, other significant cities are Almelo, Deventer, Hengelo, Enschede, and Kampen.????
Overijssel is also called the “Garden of the Netherlands” because it has a large amount of nature!
???? The capital of Overijssel is Zwolle. The city has about 130.000 inhabitants.
????Zwolle is known for its historical centre with diverse shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a great weekend getaway for shopaholics and lovers of good food and drinks! If you want a special experience, then you should reserve your table in De Librije. In 2004, De Librije became the second restaurant in the Netherlands to receive a third Michelin star. Since then De Librije has retained its three ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Michelin stars and has been at the top of the Netherlands ever since.
???? You should also visit the unique city of Giethoorn, the Venice of the North. Giethoorn is located in National Park Weerribben-Wieden where you can rent a boat and cruise around the village!
⚓The Dutch Hanseatic cities in Overijssel: Places like Zwolle, Kampen, Hattem and Deventer are examples of medieval towns.
☀️ ???? The most popular holiday region for summer holidays in Overijssel is the Vechtdal, a green holiday destination.
The National Park Sallandse Heuvelrug and its surroundings are ideal for nature lovers! You can enjoy long walks, cycling and horse riding.
????Enschede is the biggest city in the province, and it’s just a few minutes away from Germany. In the old days, Enschede was a major centre of the textile industry, but now it is a university city that also has business, scientific and technology areas.
Utrecht is the smallest province of the Netherlands, located in the middle of the country. This province borders the Dutch provinces of South Holland, Gelderland, North Holland and Flevoland. Besides the capital of Utrecht, other major cities and towns are Amersfoort, Houten, IJsselstein, Nieuwegein, Veenendaal and Zeist.????
???? The capital of the province is Utrecht. The city has about 362.000 inhabitants.
???? The train station Utrecht Centraal is the biggest and the busiest in the Netherlands! Every working day, Utrecht Centraal has around 216.000 people who get in and out at this train station.
???? Dom Tower of Utrecht is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. There is a famous sweet treat named “Domtorentje” (Dom Tower). ???? Domtorentje is a dark chocolate bonbon with a creamy chocolate filling, and you can recognize the relief of the tower on the top.
???? Utrecht is also known as one of the student cities in the Netherlands. You can study at the Faculty of Humanities, Law, Economics and Governance.
⛪ Amersfoort is the second biggest city in this province. Amersfoort’s most famous landmark is the Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren (Our Lady tower). This 98-meter-tall tower stands in the geographic centre of the country! It’s a beautiful city to visit and enjoy a great coffee in the medieval city centre.
????A national park just outside the Randstad, the Utrecht Heuvelrug, with its beautiful landscapes. You should definitely plan a bike or hiking trip to this park!
???? The Vechtstreek owes its name to the river Vecht, one of the most idyllic rivers in the Netherlands. This water area is ideal for an unforgettable bike or boat trip, a windmill visit, or a day at the lakes. Something for everyone in every season!
???? ???? ???? The international non-governmental organization, World Wide Fund of Nature (WWF), has settled the head office of its Netherlands branch in Zeist.
Zeeland is a province in the Southwest of the country that borders with Zuid-Holland, Noord-Brabant and .. Belgium! ???????? It’s an interesting province that consists of different islands. It’s known for its long coastline of 650 kilometers. Wherever you are, you’re never far from the sea! This might also explain the name ‘Zeeland’ because ‘zee’ means ‘sea’.
????️ The capital of Zeeland is Middelburg. The city has about 50.000 inhabitants. It’s a beautiful, small city with lots of monuments.
???? Zeeland is also known for its ‘Zeeuwse Mosselen’: mussels! It’s the best place in the country to eat fresh mussels. It’s called ‘black gold’ for a reason 😉
???? The flood of 1953: the flood of 1953 was the greatest natural disaster to occur in the Netherlands in the 20th century. The dykes breached and Zeeland was hit the hardest. It took the lives of 1837 people. You can learn more about the flood in the ‘Waternoodmuseum’ in Zeeland, or watch the Dutch movie ‘De Storm’ or Netflix series ‘Als de Dijken breken’.
???? Seal Safari – did you know you can see seals in Zeeland? Take a seal safari to spot seals in real life!
????♀️ With 650 kilometers of coastline, Zeeland has plenty of beaches to enjoy a good summer day. It’s also a popular place to surf so if you kitesurf, windsurf or wave surf, Zeeland is your place!
???? Deltawerken – after the flooding in 1953, the ‘deltawerken’ were built to protect Zeeland from the sea. It’s the biggest storm surge barrier in the world and definitely worth a visit!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.505. The country’s average is 1.865. This means that the shortage here is a lot higher than the country’s average. Zeeland actually has the biggest shortage of dentists in the country!
✈️ The nearest airport in the Netherlands is Rotterdam Airport. It’s an international airport but it has limited destinations. However, depending on where you are in Zeeland, it might be interesting to look into flying from Antwerp Airport as well since this might be closer!
Noord-Holland might be the most famous province in the Netherlands and it’s definitely the most visited because of our country’s capital: Amsterdam! A long coastline with dunes, beautiful old cities, the cheese market, old mills: it’s a province that has a bit of everything to offer.
???? The capital of Noord-Holland is.. not Amsterdam! It’s actually Haarlem, another beautiful city with about 163.000 inhabitants. Definitely worth a visit if you’re around!
???? Noord-Holland has plenty of beautiful beaches where you can surf, watch pretty sunsets, have lunch in a beach bar or just enjoy a day in the water. The beaches of Bloemendaal, Zandvoort, Callantsoog, Egmond aan Zee and Castricum, just to name a few!
???????? Museums: even though we could make a whole post about things to do and visit in Amsterdam, we cannot leave out all the wonderful museums Amsterdam has to offer in this post. From the Rijksmuseum to the Van Gogh and the Anne Frank House. If you love museums, this is definitely your kind of place!
???? Cheese market: if you like cheese and you would like a glimpse in how the tradition cheese market was in the past, you can visit the famous cheese market in Alkmaar that takes place between March and September on every Friday.
????️ Texel: Did you know that the Netherlands has 5 inhabited islands and that one of them is only a short ferry ride away from the tip of Noord-Holland? Texel is your perfect weekend getaway!
???? Zaanse Schans: The Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum full of old traditional wooden houses and windmills, located of the Zaan River. In this whole area you will find the old tradition houses, often recognizable by their green color. Conveniently, the Zaanse Schans is only a 10 minute walk from our office, so if you’re in the area: come and say hi!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 1.340. The country’s average is 1.865. This means that the shortage here is a lot less than in other provinces. This might have something to do with the Academic Center for Dentistry that’s located here. Therefore, it might be harder to find a job in this region, even though it’s not impossible.
✈️ The nearest airport is of course Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Wherever you are in Noord-Holland, the airport is never far and it offers flights to most destinations.
Zuid-Holland: iconic historic cities, vibrant big city life, plenty of coastline, tulip fields, art and history, it’s safe to say that his province has a lot to offer!
???? The capital of Zuid-Holland is Den Haag. This might be surprising to some, since the biggest city in the province is Rotterdam.
???? Den Haag (or The Hague in English) is the political centre of the Netherlands and the home of the court and government. You can visit ‘The Binnenhof’, which is the home of the Dutch Parliament and States General among other. If you’re lucky, you can even see our prime minister going to work on his bicycle!
????♀️ Scheveningen: Den Haag is one of the few cities in the Netherlands with a city beach called Scheveningen. It has a ferris wheel, a bungy jump, beach clubs and surf schools.
???? For people interested in art and museums, there is no shortage of places to go and visit in this province! Visit the towns of Leiden and Delft, that sometimes feel like an open-air museum themselves, visit an exhibition about the famous Dutch painter Vermeer in Delft or go to Museum De Lakenhal. If you want something out of the usual, then take a look at Naturalis in Leiden, the national museum of natural history and biodiversity.
????️ Rotterdam- even though most people have heard of Rotterdam, it still deserves some words. It’s where old meets news, where you’ll find amazing modern architecture, cool festivals and big city life vibes!
???? If you’re a fan of tulips, then you should definitely visit The Keukenhof, the world’s largest tulip gardens in the world. From Late March till mid May, this is one of the best places to be mesmerized by this typical Dutch flower.
???????? Zuid-Holland is also home to the amusement park called Duinrell. Especially the Water Park is one of a kind in the Netherlands!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.035 The country’s average is 1.865. This means that the shortage is relatively high in this province. However, there might be difference between the big cities such as Rotterdam and the smaller towns.
✈️ The nearest airport is Rotterdam/The Hague Airport. It’s an international airport and even though flights are limited, they do have some flights to Spain, Portugal and Italy.
You will find this province in the center and the east side of the country. It borders with Overijssel, Germany, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. Gelderland is also a popular holiday destination for Dutch people, that must say something, right? ????️
???? The capital of Gelderland is Arnhem with about 164.000 inhabitants. However, it’s not the biggest city in the province, which is Nijmegen.
???? The Veluwe is the biggest nature reserve in the Netherlands. It’s a forest-rich area where you can go on beautiful walks, long bike rides, camp or stay at a holiday park. It’s also the place where you can spot the Dutch ‘big five’: foxes, badgers, roe deer, wild boar and red deer.
???? The Kröller-Müller Museum is a museum most people haven’t heard of, yet it has the second biggest collection of Van Gogh, in the world! It also owns pieces of other famous painters such as Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondriaan and Claude Money.
???? Gelderland is home to the Apenheul, a forest full of primates roaming free. Yes, they are free to roam around! If you ever wanted to see monkeys from up close and learn all about them, the Apenheul will be a great visit.
???? Nijmegen is officially the oldest city in the Netherlands. It’s a student city where you can also find a dental university. It has a historic center with plenty to see and to do!
???? Paleis het Loo: In English it’s called ‘the loo palace’ and it’s a palace in the city of Apeldoorn. Since 1984, it’s a state museum open for the general public.
✈️ Gelderland has nearby access to several airports. Dusseldorf Weeze Airport in Germany is the closest but mainly budget airlines operate from here. Eindhoven Airport and Amsterdam Airport in the Netherlands or Dusseldorf International Airport in Germany are about equally far depending on where you are in the province. Your pick!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 1.880. The country’s average is 1.865. This meant that the amount of dentists available is not out of the ordinary compared to the country’s average. The fact that there is also a dental university in Overijssel, might help these statistics.
Have you ever visited this province in the Netherlands? And do you have tips for other must visit places in Gelderland? Let us know in the comments below!
Limburg is our most southern province that borders with both Belgium and Germany. You’ll find plenty of nature, the country’s hills, historical cities and plenty of cultural events in this part of the country.
???? The capital of Limburg is Maastricht with about 120.000 inhabitants. This is also the biggest city in the province. This historical city is a must-visit if you’re in the area!
???? Pinkpop is one of the biggest music festivals in the Netherlands, and it’s usually held on Pentecost weekend in Landgraaf, Limburg. It’s a three-day festival and it has a capacity of 60.000 people per day! It focusses on pop & rock music.
???? If classical music is more your thing, then you cannot miss out on the summer concerts of André Rieu in his hometown Maastricht. André Rieu is the world’s most successful violinist and best-selling classical musician of all times!
???? The Netherlands is a pretty flat country and a part of the country even lies below sea level. However, in Limburg you will actually find hills ánd the highest point in the Netherlands. It’s a hill of 322.7 meters called ‘The Vaalserberg’.
???? The Vaalserberg is also the location of the three-country point in the Netherlands, where the borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet.
???? National Park De Maasduinen is the place for outdoor activities in Limburg. You can go mountain biking, horseback riding or go hiking. This nature reserve is characterized by forests, heathlands, fens, lakes and shifting sands. You’ll find lots of flora and fauna around here!
✈️ Limburg offers plenty of options regarding airports. Maastricht Aachen Airport, located in Limburg, has several flights to countries like Spain and Italy. Other options include Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands, or Dusseldorf Airport and Cologne Airport in Germany.
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.145. The country’s average is 1.865. Therefore the shortage of dentists in Limburg is higher than in some other provinces.
Flevoland is Holland’s youngest province, and you’re 6 meters beneath sea level! Here, people literally live on what used to be the sea floor of the former Zuiderzee ????
???? The capital of Flevoland is Lelystad, and it has about 81.000 inhabitants. Interestingly enough, Almere is a much bigger city with 216.000 inhabitants.
???? When you think about the Netherlands, you might think of those stunning tulip fields. And Flevoland is the region in the country where you’ll find most of the Tulip farms between mid-March and May. There are special routes you can drive, walk or bike.
???? Flevoland is also home to the amusement park called Walibi. This is for the thrill seekers who love rollercoasters and adrenaline rushes.
???? A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise is a annual three-day music and performing arts festival in the Netherlands. It’s located next to Walibi, and it’s held every August. The festival is attended by around 55.000 visitors each year, and they attract some of the biggest names in the music industry. Together with Pinkpop (see our post about Limburg), this is the biggest music festival in the Netherlands. Not counting our electronic music scene of course!
???? The city of Almere is known for its modern architecture. Unlike many other Dutch cities, you won’t find any monumental buildings here but you can find architectural highlights, designed by famous architects. The oldest part of Almere was built only in 1976 (!).
✈️ Flevoland is relatively close to Amsterdam so if you have to catch a flight, Amsterdam Schiphol is only a short train ride away!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.220. The country’s average is 1.865. Therefore the shortage of dentists in Flevoland is quite high. After Zeeland, Friesland, Drenthe, it shares its fourth place with Overijssel when it comes to the shortage of dentists.
We’ve reached the last province of our series about the Dutch provinces: Noord-Brabant. Noord-Brabant is a province in the south that’s known for having it’s own character and traditions. You will find a dialect here called ‘Brabants’ and their carnival tradition is the event of the year in this region.
????️ The capital of Noord-Brabant is ‘s Hertogenbosch (but no worries, most people call it Den Bosch) and with about 156.000 inhabitants, it’s the fourth biggest city of the province.
???????? Eindhoven is the biggest city of the area, and it’s also the city of Technology, Design and Knowledge in the Netherlands. The biggest event is the annual Dutch Design week and the worldwide known company Philips also has its roots here.
???? Efteling: The Efteling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands, and also one of the oldest theme parks in the world. It’s themed around fairy tales, myths and legends. It’s not only fun for children, but also for adults and it’s definitely worth a visit.
???? Van Gogh: Most people know Van Gogh, but do you also know that Zundert in Noord-Brabant is the birthplace of this painter? There is a special bike route that starts here, and it brings you along places with a special connection to Van Gogh. The highlight is a special biking line inspired on the painting Starry Night with little lights that turn out when it gets dark outside.
???? Carnival! Noord-Brabant is the epicenter of carnival in the Netherlands. Every year in February, this region turns upside down for a few days with people dressed up in costumes, parades and performances. The names of cities even have their own ‘carnival’ name.
???? Bloemencorso Zundert is the largest flower parade, in the world. It takes place on the first Sunday of September. Floats are large artworks made of flowers and they’re entirely constructed by volunteers. Only dahlias are used to decorate and over 8 million flowers are being used.
✈️ Noord-Brabant conveniently has an airport, Eindhoven Airport. You’ll find flights to other European destinations from Eindhoven and if you’re destination isn’t departing from here, then Dusseldorf Airport might be a good option as well!
???? The ratio between available dentists per inhabitants = 2.175. The country’s average is 1.865. Therefore the shortage of dentists in Noord-Brabant is higher than in some other provinces.
Do you have any specific questions about the Netherlands or our provinces? We’re happy to answer questions you might have!