The Netherlands is a constituent, and the main, country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country is located in the Western Europe, and it is bordered by German, Belgium, and the North Sea. Netherlands is one of the countries with the high rate of urbanization in Europe and the world with over 75% of the population living in urban areas. The country has some of the biggest and important cities in Europe. The Dutch cities are important financial, commercial, administrative, political, traditional, and cultural centers. The cities give insight into the level of the development and the expected future trends in Netherlands. The biggest cities in the Netherlands are looked at below.
Amsterdam is the capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the most populous municipality in the country. The metropolitan area of Amsterdam has a population of 2,431,000 with the urban areas having a population of 1.3 million people. Amsterdam is found in the province of North Holland in the western part of the country. Amsterdam, as the name suggests, originated from a dam of River Amstel. It began as a fishing village but became an important port in the 17th Century during the Dutch Golden Age. Amsterdam is the commercial and cultural capital of Netherlands and a top financial center in Europe. The city also has the oldest stock exchange in the world. Some of the Amsterdam attractions include Ann Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, historic canals, and its red-light district among other attractions.
Rotterdam is located in the South Holland region of the Netherlands. Its history can be traced back to 1270 when people constructed a dam for safety on the Rotte River. The city was given the city rights in 1340 by the Count of Holland. Rotterdam developed into a major economic and logistics center. The city currently hosts the largest port in the whole of Europe. With a population of 1,181,284, Rotterdam is the second largest city in Netherlands. Rotterdam is famous for the vibrant cultural life, the maritime heritage, and the Erasmus University. The city also has some of the world’s famous architecture. The strategic location of the city has facilitated its success in the area of logistics.
The Hague is found along the western coast of the Netherlands. The city is the third biggest in the Netherlands with a population of 1,054,793. The Hague is the headquarters for the Dutch government, the Supreme Court, the Parliament, and the Council of State. The city is also home to most foreign embassies and international organizations including the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. The Hague was established in 1230 when the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, William II, began building a palace named Binnenhof there. By the 16th Century, The Hague had become the seat of the government of Dutch republic. After the separation of the Belgium and the Netherlands in 1830, Amsterdam became the capital of the Netherlands while The Hague remained the seat of the government.
The Dutch city of Utrecht is the most populous city in the Utrecht Province. The city is in the eastern corner of the Randstad and has a population of 656,342. Some of the buildings in Utrecht date back to High Middle Ages. The city has been the Netherlands' religious center since the 8th Century. Utrecht City has an important transport system, cultural events, and hosts the Utrecht University. Utrecht was the most significant cultural city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age when it was overtaken by Amsterdam.