Difference Between Holland and the Netherlands
By Claire Miles - February 16, 2022

If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you have been to Holland and The Netherlands – but that doesn’t mean they are the same thing. One of these words is the name of this beautiful European country, while the other is just a part of the country. In fact, did you know the country is divided into twelve provinces? Which one is which? You’re about to find out.

Table Summary

The NetherlandsHolland
Country: Kingdom of the NetherlandsTwo provinces: Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland
Boats and floating houses with Montelbaan Tower at Oude Schans at sunset

Getty Images / Moment / maydays


Between 1588 and 1795, the region now known as the Netherlands was called the Republic of Seven United Netherlands. Then, it was conquered by French troops in 1975, became the Batavian Republic, and was turned into a kingdom by Napoleon’s brother, Louis, who ruled the region. Even after Napoleon’s defeat, the Netherlands remained a kingdom, now called the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

At that time, the two provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland were the wealthiest and contributed the most to the nation. For this reason, the term Holland became commonly used as a synonym for the entire country of the Netherlands. The reason why we never know if we are visiting Holland or the Netherlands when we fly to Amsterdam is that the city is located in Noord Holland.

Holland VS The Netherlands

The Netherlands, or the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a country located in Western Europe with few overseas territories in the Caribbean. In Europe, the country consists of twelve provinces, including Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. It is in Noord-Holland that Amsterdam is located, while Rotterdam is in Zuid-Holland,¬†which is why so many people get the names Holland and Netherlands confused. So next time someone asks, you’ll get to show off your knowledge: Holland is a region in the Netherlands.