North and South Holland make up two of the twelve provinces in the Netherlands. Locates in these provinces are Amsterdam in the North, and Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden in the South. Each city has its own unique personality.
The Hague, where I live and work is the political and legal city. Most people you meet will tell you that it is a boring city and is for the rich. The great thing about this place The Hague is that it is a city by the beach. With in a thirty-minute bike ride you leave the city center and you are at the beach. The traditional old European city turns into a beach town. The area of Kijkduin where I live closely relates to a retirement village Florida. The other beach area Scheveningen is the more active center. The Netherlands a generally flat country is actually quite hilly at the beach, which makes for great running. The hills are actually man made to keep water from over flowing the country.
Amsterdam, the city of dams, is the party capital of the Netherlands. It is where everyone says to go if you want to have fun. I have visited the city a couple of times. It is a truly beautiful city. Like The Hague, it is an Old city with lots of very old buildings. Amsterdam always makes for a very good weekend. And like The Hague it is very international. The city is also very small and easy to navigate, I normally just wonder around the city. On of these days I will make it to the Van Gogh and/or Ann Frank Museums. Every time I am in Amsterdam the line for those museums are insanely long.
Rotterdam is the business capital of the Netherlands. A lot of companies and businesses are based in Rotterdam. Rotterdam is probably my favorite city, just for aesthetic reasons. Unlike the other cities, Rotterdam has the feeling of a very young city. Rotterdam has an interesting history. During World War II all but two buildings in the city were bombed so the city had to be completely rebuilt. This distinguishes the city from other cities in The Netherlands because it is not as heavily planned. There is not one city center in Rotterdam but scattered areas. Rotter also has some of the most interesting buildings I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I broke my camera so I do not have pictures.
Lastly, there is Leiden. It is another beautiful city with fill with damns. Leiden is a student city with a very well known university. Leiden is a student city, so it was empty while we were there. There is not much to say about Leiden, I was only there for a couple of hours and did see much. As it is summer the city was actually pretty empty.