North Holland, Netherlands

The province of Noord-Holland is located in the northwest of the Netherlands. It consists largely of an elongated peninsula between the North Sea, the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer. In the south it borders on the provinces of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht, in the east on the province of Flevoland and in the north on the Afsluitdijk on the province of Fryslân. The capital is Haarlem. The province had 2,741,369 inhabitants on December 31, 2013, the largest city is Amsterdam.

Holland was the most important province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (1588-1795). In 1795 the Batavian Republic was proclaimed. After a coup d'état in 1798, the historical provincial borders were fundamentally changed. The republic was divided into eight departments with as equal a population as possible. Holland was divided into
the department of Texel
the department of the Amstel
the department of Delf

The department of the Schelde and Maas and the department of the Rhine were also partly on Dutch territory.

The new division did not work, after which the Department of Holland was installed in 1801 with the old provincial borders of Holland. In 1806 the Batavian Republic was replaced by the Kingdom of Holland. A year later, the department of Holland was divided into the departments of Amstelland (corresponds to Noord-Holland) and Maasland (corresponds to Zuid-Holland). After 1810 the Kingdom of Holland became part of the French Empire, Amstelland came to Utrecht as the département Zuyderzée - Zuiderzee - and Maasland was renamed the département Bouches-de-la-Meuse - estuaries of the Meuse.

After the French left the Netherlands in 1813, the division remained unchanged. In the Basic Law of 1814, the departments were replaced by provinces or regions. Zuiderzee and Maas estuaries were united in the province of Holland.

The new province received two governors in 1814, corresponding to the former departments of Amstelland and Maasland. Vlieland and Terschelling returned to Holland from Friesland, but the Dutch areas south of the Meuse remained with Noord-Brabant.

In order to weaken the dominance of Holland, it was divided into Noord- and Zuid-Holland when the constitution was amended in 1840. In 1942 the German occupiers added the islands of Vlieland and Terschelling to the province of Friesland.

A not insignificant part of Noord-Holland is the West Friesland region. This is a part that originally belonged to Friesland - before the development of the Almere into the Zuiderzee. For many centuries, the West Frisians resisted the eventual "incorporation" into the County of Holland. West Friesland has been bordered by the West Friese Omringdijk (West Frisian Ring Dike) since the 13th century. The usual naming of the province of Fryslân and the Wadden Islands as "West Friesland" or "West Frisian Islands" in Germany does not correspond to the historical and geographical circumstances. Incidentally, the island of Texel, which has never belonged to either Friesland or West Friesland, but even has Dutch city rights (1415), is counted in a group to which it simply does not belong. The Dutch name Waddeneilanden is much more correct.



The province of Noord-Holland is divided into six regions, which, however, have no administrative tasks. These in turn are divided into cooperation bodies between the different communities. In Germany, that would correspond to the districts.

Amstelland actually means the country south of Amsterdam along the Amstel River, but here it is listed together with the city, especially since the suburbs of the metropolis and Schiphol Airport are growing more and more into the hinterland.
Amsterdam Schiphol Aalsmeer Amstelveen Diemen Hoofddoorp

Connoisseur country
Located in the west of the province on the North Sea coast, the dune-rich Geestland also includes the provincial capital Haarlem and the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
Haarlem Zandvoort Bloemendaal Halfweg Heemstede IJmuiden

Waterland in the Zaanstreek
Waterland is the still swampy, water-rich region north of Amsterdam on the edge of the Markermeer. Named after the river Zaan, Zaanstreek is the oldest industrial region in the Netherlands with historic windmills that processed wood, oil and paint. Today a typical residential area with many commuters.
Zaanstad Purmerend Volendam Marche

Gooien Vechtstreek
Het Gooi consists of heathland, forest and meadows as well as small lakes, it is the oldest settlement area in the Netherlands and there are many nature reserves on the southern edge of the IJsselmeer and Gooimeer. Vechtstreek is named after the river Vecht, which has many beautiful old towns and flows in from Utrecht. The area is also known for its lakes and good sailing opportunities.
Hilversum Muiden Naarden Weesp

North Holland Schereiland
The area around Alkmaar (Groot-Alkmaar) is also partly seen as the northern continuation of Kennemerland or as the western connection to West Friesland. It stretches along the North Sea coast with dune landscapes. West Friesland lies in the middle area away from the North Sea with some old towns within the ring dike. The northern part Kop van Holland describes the area with and around Den Helder.
Alkmaar Bergen Den Helder Hoorn Medemblik Enkhuizen Schagen

The island in the Wadden Sea, most southwesterly and largest of the so-called (West) Frisian Islands.




Bergen aan Zee
Den Helder


Radboud Castle



Dutch is the official language in Noord-Holland. Although most Dutch people learn German and English at school, it is important to remember that not every Dutch person speaks German. Especially among young people, German is not a favorite foreign language. In addition, the Dutch feel arrogant when spoken to in German in restaurants, on the street or in shops. You could then be quickly avoided by very conservative Dutch people. However, most Dutch people speak English very well. So first make yourself understood in English. It also helps to learn small snippets or phrases of Dutch before you travel. You will be credited.

In the Netherlands one also likes to hear Dag meaning Daach (= good day) and Tot ziens saying tot siens (= goodbye). Other words are Dankje wel say Dangkië wèll (= Thank you very much) and an Alsjeblieft say alsiëblieft (= You are welcome).


Sightseeing features

The old towns of Alkmaar, Enkuizen and Hoorn
The Zaanse Schans open-air museum
The Dutch capital Amsterdam
The island of Texel



Noord-Holland has a pronounced maritime climate that only rarely allows real extreme values. But there is often a strong wind. The province has generally moderate temperatures in summer and mostly not particularly low temperatures in winter. Characteristic is the large amount of sun in spring and early summer, especially by the sea. There and on Texel are the sunniest spots in the country.



Noord-Holland is a peninsula between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer. More than half of the area consists of drained areas (polders).

The island of Texel in the Wadden Sea also belongs to the province.



Archaeological finds show that Noord-Holland (NH) was already inhabited between 450 and 550 AD. Pots, jugs and bowls from this period were found in the vicinity of Bloemendaal, which archaeologists believe were imported from the Rhineland. The excavations suggest that trade relations between Noord-Holland and the Rhineland existed in the 5th century.

Holland was long a personal union (Dutch personele unie) consisting of the counties of Hainaut (Dutch Henegouwen) and Zeeland at the time of John II in 1299. During the Eighty Years' War, the province of Holland played an important role in the resistance against the Spaniards. After the "Unie van Utrecht" (Utrecht Union, 1579), Holland became part of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces (Republiek der zeven verenigde Provincien). In 1807 Holland was redivided into the areas of Amstelland and Maasland, which remained in place until 1814.

In order to limit the province of Holland's dominance in Dutch politics, it was divided into the provinces of North and South Holland when the constitution was changed in 1840. Only in 1848 could the provincial deputies (Lid van de Provinciale Staten) be elected directly by the population through a change in the law. In 1919, women's suffrage was introduced.



The Provincial Parliament (Dutch Provinciale Staten) has its seat in the Provinciehuis in the provincial capital of Haarlem. According to the population of the province, the parliament consists of 55 seats.

In the provincial election on March 20, 2019, the parties obtained the following shares of the vote: FvD 15.33% (9 seats), GroenLinks 15.26% (9 seats), VVD 14.52% (9 seats), D66 9.94% ( 6 seats), PvdA 9.78% (6 seats), CDA 6.81% (4 seats), PvdD 6.07% (3 seats), PVV 5.60% (3 seats), SP 5.01% ( 3 seats), ChristenUnie 3.13% (1 seat), 50PLUS/PvdO 2.76% (1 seat), DENK 2.40% (1 seat), others 3.40%. Voter turnout was 56.34%.

The next provincial election will take place on March 22, 2023.

At the head of the province is the king's commissioner. Since January 2019, this has been right-wing liberal Arthur van Dijk. The college van Gedeputeerde Staten, i.e. the government, has been formed by a coalition of Greens, right-wing liberals, left-liberals and social democrats since 2019.



In 2011, the regional gross domestic product per inhabitant, expressed in purchasing power standards, was 145.99% of the EU-28 average. In 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.5%.

In 2013, the commercial areas covered 12,007 hectares.
In 2014, 278,700 companies were based in Noord-Holland, of which 6,010 were in agriculture and fisheries, 33,390 in industry and construction, 168,180 in commercial services and 71,120 in non-commercial services.
Tourism: In 2014 there were a total of 170 museums in Noord-Holland.