I LOVE the Netherlands!
I was lucky enough to travel to Amsterdam for a friends wedding, with a stop over in Utrecht! I decided to put together my own list of essential things you must do in The Netherlands!
On Your Bike!
The terrain of the Netherlands makes it ideal for two wheels and getting on a bike is a really fun way to explore. Start with a night-ride of Amsterdam at its romantic best with lit-up bridges and canals.
Two hundred and fifty miles of cycling lanes cover the whole country, with popular itineraries including the 570-km Dutch Coastal Route or Nederlandse Kustroute around the North Sea and Waddenzee coast. Long-distance rides are the perfect way to discover the differences between the twelve Dutch provinces, and you’ll find biker-friendly accommodation everywhere.
Check out these guys for some epic routes!
Dip Into The Past
The rich history of the Netherlands is just waiting for you. Reconstructed indoor and outdoor sections of the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen will familiarise you with the life of locals in past centuries, while Amsterdam’s 14th-century Begijnhof is a former convent with a peaceful courtyard.
Also in the capital, the Verzetsmuseum provides an insight into living under and resisting Nazi occupation. Hear about the same period from a different perspective at the house of Jewish teenager Anne Frank, who wrote her famous diary while in hiding.
Through it all, nature survived and the Amsterdam Tulip Museum reminds us of Holland’s colourful springtime flowers, with all the information on the bulb’s history.
The country has a rich artistic heritage with painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals, Van Gogh, Hieronymus Bosch and many more.
Amsterdam’s jewel is the Rijksmuseum, housing not only works by Rembrandt and many others, but also Delftware blue-and-white pottery and an Asian Pavilion. Head to Rotterdam for another fine collection of Dutch and European old masters at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.
Holland’s extensive network of canals fits its level landscape perfectly and many medieval cities were built around them, like Vermeer’s birthplace of Delft.
Hire a houseboat or barge to proceed at a slow pace along the 6,000 km of navigable waterways, or take the Waterbus and ferry from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk to view nineteen windmills built in 1740. Wander among the dykes on foot or by boat, and step inside two of the windmills.
Check out Euro Canels for more info on local waterways!
You’ll be spoilt for choice of cafés, bars and coffee shops but a highlight has to be Amsterdam’s Brouwerij ‘t IJ, where beers are brewed in its onsite thatched windmill. Along the way, snack on pancakes or a variety of cheeses, sip a cocktail, or sample Dutch or Indonesian cuisine in one of the many restaurants.
Try a traditional “brown bar” patronised by locals or for true relaxation, make for the nearest cannabis café for good quality weed and hash. Recent laws have tightened up on rights for tourists, but head shops and cannabis seeds banks can sell you all manner of equipment and goodies! Just take it easy 😉
The Netherlands awaits!