There are so many great things to do on a trip to the Netherlands. So when you visit, you need a Netherlands bucket list! The Netherlands is most famous for its flat landscape and liberal attitude towards sex and drugs. Amsterdam, the capital city, is a great place to ditch your car for a bike, so take a leisurely ride around the canals. Whether you prefer to explore the capital or lose yourself in stunning scenery, the Netherlands has something for everyone, especially the foodies among us (hello Stroopwafels). So without further ado, here is what we consider to be the top things to do on a trip to the Netherlands, certainly worthy of being on your Bucket List anyway.
Here’s our pick of the top things to do on a trip to the Netherlands
Tour Amsterdam’s Canals
Just like many other cities that are situated on the water, Amsterdam also has a great canal system. These beautiful waterways are a popular tourist attraction, and these tranquil routes can be explored via a water taxi or a boat tour which will take you to all the must-see places. Alternatively wander along the banks by foot or do as the Dutch do and ride a bike.
The Windmills of Kinderdijk
See 19 monumental windmills in the Alblasserwaard polder, in the province of South Holland. Located between Dordrecht and Rotterdam on the river Noord lies the village of Kinderdijk. Admire these iconic Netherlands windmills that date back to the 18th century. The 19 windmills, constructed between 1722 to 1761 are the most extensive collection of windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills can be seen spinning in all their glory from April to October so this is the best time to visit.
See what life in Holland in the 17th and 18th centuries was like by visiting the Zaanse Schans. See 5 working windmills (there were once 600), Dutch cheese being produced, watch a clog maker and more. To get this perfectly preserved glimpse into the Netherlands’ industrial past take a 30 minute bus ride from Amsterdam’s Central Station to this open-air museum which is located in the north of Amsterdam around 15 kilometers from the main city.
The Village of Marken
Marken is a very pretty village in the municipality of Waterland in the province of North Holland. Its famous for its characteristic colorful wooden houses and fishing boats: the main tourist attraction here. There is a direct bus connection from Amsterdam Central Station to Marken all year round and it’ll only take 45 minutes to get here.
Climb the highest bell tower in the Netherlands! Grote Kerk is also known as the St. Bavokerk, the cross-shaped, Gothic church dominates the Grote Markt in the centre of the city of Amsterdam (in the old part of town right by the old city hall). The original building is believed to have been built in the 13th century and was later demolished, only to be re-built. Many people from the Dutch Royal family were baptized here.
Anne Frank Museum
You can find the Anne Frank Museum on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam. The Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. Anne Frank died two months before the war ended and her home has been restored and is open to the public.
Visit the Netherland’s biggest and most well-known amusement park! Efteling is a fantasy-themed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands. It has been welcoming people to its ‘World of Wonders’ since 1952. The attractions reflect elements from ancient myths, legends and fairy tales. The park is segregated into zones, each focusing on different legends and myths. The magical world called the Raveleijn narrates a story of five siblings and their fight and victory over an evil monster.
Hoge Veluwe National Park
Hoge Veluwe National Park (Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe) is one of the largest continuous nature reserves in Holland and one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands. It’s located 8 km north of Arnhem in the province of Gelderland also near the cities of Ede, Wageningen and Apeldoorn. It is approximately 55 square kilometers in area, consisting of heathlands, sand dunes, and woodlands. Check out the Sculpture Park, and watch out for roe and red deer.
If you are short of time and cannot see the entire Netherlands, then Madurodam in Hague will come to your rescue. Here you will find a mini version of the Netherlands on a scale of 1:25 including all the top tourist attractions like the landmarks, windmills, canals and bridges. This mini city also has a harbor, an airport, and the railway system.
Finally… Eat Cheese
Edam cheese has been a famous Dutch export product since the Golden Age and is popular around the world for its round shape and red-hued rind. Edam cheese is named after its place of origin, Edam is a town in the northwest Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Shops in the Dutch town of Edam proudly display the local specialty.
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There is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and awesome things to do on a trip to the Netherlands.
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