Information and Tourism
There is a lot going on in South Holland. At the region's core are several bustling urban centres, including Rotterdam and the regional capital, The Hague (Den Haag). Outside this urban heartland, Holland has a rich landscape of rivers and lakes, sand dunes and sandy beaches and, of course, mile upon mile of open countryside.
The South Holland coast is home to plenty of family friendly beaches and popular seaside resorts, including the likes of Scheveningen. Coastal reinforcements are very much in evidence here and although the region hasn't seen any serious flooding since the 1950s, this coastal stretch is embroiled in an ongoing battle with the sea. A short distance away are the islands of South Holland.
The Dutch bulb fields are a spectacular sight for visitors to this region at springtime. The multi-coloured strips of flowers in the fields around Keukenhof (the Garden of Europe) are transformed into the blossom-covered floats that take part in the region's annual flower parades. The floats travel between Noordwijk and Haarlem, wafting their floral scent along as they go.
Trying to decide just which towns and cities to visit when you are in the region might be something of a headache. Dordrecht is one of the oldest cities in the country and therefore boasts more than a smattering of historic buildings. In fact, there are over 1,000 historic monuments. On the other hand, Gouda, home of the famous Dutch cheese of the same name, comes with a network of canals and a town hall that wouldn't look out of place in a book of fairytales. To top them all, Leiden has over 2,500 monuments, including churches and windmills, and Royal Delft looks as if it has just stepped out of a painting by Vermeer.
In contrast with such historic destinations in South Holland, Rotterdam is a thoroughly Dutch city. It is also where you will find Europe's busiest port. To get a better view of Rotterdam, head up to the lofty heights of the Euromast observation tower, where you can see the city laid out before you. Then, head down as the sun sets to enjoy Rotterdam's lively night scene.
From Rotterdam, it is but a short hop to The Hague, the stately seat of the Dutch government and elegant official residence of the Dutch royal family. Along with parks and palatial buildings, there are also museums, wide boulevards and plenty of top-notch restaurants. Nowadays, The Hague is also well-known for being the home of several international organisations, including the UN International Court of Justice.
South Holland Information and Fast Facts
- Country: The Netherlands
- Main administrative centre: The Hague
- Biggest city: Rotterdam
- Population: approximately 3.6 million
- Language: Dutch
- Area: 1,090 square miles / 2,825 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO SOUTH HOLLAND
World Guide to Rotterdam, Netherlands
The second-biggest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam, Rotterdam boasts a truly unique appearance, since many of its buildings are fairly modern, being rebuilt after WWII. Rotterdam has been transformed with many stylish structures.
World Guide to The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague is Holland's third-largest city and is perhaps best known to the Dutch as either Den Haag or alternatively 's-Gravenhage. Once the capital of the Netherlands, The Hague is home to the popular seaside resort of Scheveningen.
Map of the Netherlands