It's your first time in the Netherlands. The country where people wear wooden shoes while they eat cheese. Where everybody rides a bycicle while the wind is blowing and mills are always turning.... Ofcourse you want to visit Amsterdam with it's canals and old houses and see the colorful tulips in the fields. But there is much more to my country then that. And no, it is not all that you expect but check out this list of ten fun things to do in the Netherlands. I'm sure you will be amazed!
Have a wonderful holiday! I bett you will be back for more.
The canals of Amsterdam
The colorful Tulip fields of Holland.
Every year, in the months of March, April and May, all of Holland is exploding with color as thousands and thousands of bulbs come to bloom on Dutch fields. It's one of my all time favorite things to do in the Netherlands and a must see if you ask me!
You have probably heard about the Keukenhof but did you know that there is much more to see than that? What would you say about a drive along the most beautiful fields. Or what about taking a hike among the tulips, ride a (electric) bycicle or visit special gardens and events.
The Purple Hills of The Posbank (de Veluwe, Gelderland)
Another of my favorite colorful events takes place in the warm months of Summer as the fields of Heather come to bloom. Imagine walking through rows of Purple flowers with bees and butterflies buzzing all around you. Rays of sunlight peek through the clouds and warm up your face while Summer winds are blowing. Look for the herd of sheep as they find their way through the fields.
If you ask me the best place to enjoy the fields is at the rolling hills of the Posbank, near Arnhem. Just take a walk or rent a bycicle and enjoy the day. Life can't be any better!
Apple, pear and cherrie blossom in the Betuwe
When you are visiting Holland at Springtime, be sure to check out one of my other favorite things to do in the Neterlands. All over the country you can find the beautiful blossom of fruit trees. April and May are the best months to see the trees in full bloom. (Exact time is depending on the weather).
The best place to enjoy this explosion of flowers is at de Betuwe in the area surrounding small and lovely villages of Buren and Geldermalsen. You can go hiking between the fields or rent a bicycle and stop along route. At the end of the season be sure to vist the famous and beautiful Appeldijk with it's old trees.
The Canals and innercity of Delft
If you love the canals and old houses in Amsterdam you will surely love her little sister Delft. I have lived and worked there for almost a year and fell in love with this cozy city. Walk around in the inner city, gaze at the beautiful old houses and see how people enjoy city-life. Visit one or both of the churches and watch the city from the belltower. Sip a cup of coffee at the Market Square or in many of the other cafe's in town. If you like pottery you must visit the Royal Delft museum where they make the famous Delfts Blue.
Delft has enough to offer you througout the year. From Delft you are pretty close to Schiphol Airport, so it will be a perfect first or last stop on your trip and one of the fun things to do in the Netherlands!
The Mills of Kinderdijk.
A trip to the Netherlands is not complete if you haven't seen one or more windmills. You can find them in a lot of places all over the country but there are two spots where you will see a lot of them. The mills of Kinderdijk (as well as those at the Zaanse Schans) are within good reach from Amsterdam, The Hague or Rotterdam and are pretty amazing. Watch them from the water, take a hike among the mills, or get inside and see how they work. Whatever you choose, you will have a fun day!
Sand, sea and dunes.
The best way to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city is to visit the seaside. You can't miss out in the Netherlands because we have an amazing long coastline that stretches all the way from north to south. If you like hiking there are many beautiful sanddunes around Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. There are lots of outdoor things to do in the Netherlands. You can even go sailing, kitesurfing and diving!
A quick visit to the beach is always possible thanks to good public transport. The dunes are a great spot to find some Dutch wildlife like Foxes and Dear.
If you like Disney, you will love to spend a day at the Efteling, near Kaatsheuvel in the south of Holland. I loved this themepark when I was a child, but I still love to go there from time to time. Where else can you enjoy amazing rides while emerging yourself into the world of fairy tales? It is one of most fun things to do in the Netherlands.
The Efteling has won many awards over the years and is the second best rewarded EuropeanTheme Park by visitors.
Groningen and Leeuwarden
If you have time to go to the the north of Holland I can recommend a visit to Groningen or Leeuwarden.
Groningen is a fun University city with a beautiful center and many "hofjes" with inner courts and small houses.. Leeuwarden has that small town feeling. Both have canals which you can explore by boat, nice shops and old buildings full of history. If you like Streetart there is a lot to discover in Leeuwarden and you can even do a free Street Art Tour!
From both cities you have quick and easy acces to the UNESCO site of the beautiful West Frisian Islands or Waddeneilanden, one of my top things to do in the Netherlands. If you visit in Springtime there are even some smaller fields of tulips (read about this in my blog about the Tulip fields)
West Frisian Islands (or Waddeneilanden in Dutch)
The West Frisian Islands are a serie of 14 bigger and smaller Islands at the Dutch north coast. (Noord- en Zuid Holland) The buisiest of the Islands is Texel which has a few villages, the most quiet ones are uninhabited. There is one for every flavour! In Summer the islands can be busy, but at other times you wil find them to be peaceful and quiet. Taking a few days to feel the fresh island breese is certainly one of the best things to do in the Neterlands.
For your trip you can choose to stay on one of the islands, but a more fun way is to go island hopping. The good system of ferries can transport you from the mainland to- and between the islands. Cycling and hiking are the best ways to explore the islands or you can get o a boat and see the islands from the water. Perhaps you will see one of the seals that inhabit the area.