Guide To Visiting The Netherlands
Think of a holiday in the Netherlands and Amsterdam is the first place that comes to mind. The city gives you the chance to relax by the 17th century canals, explore the museums and browse the vintage shops. However, there is much more to this small country than just its capital city, with a range of treats just a short drive away. We’ve found a few top spots to get you started planning your trip…
Peak tourist times: June – August
Neighbouring countries: Germany, Belgium
Official languages: Dutch, English, Papiamento, Frisian
After the nonstop energy and crowds of Amsterdam, The Hague is a peaceful diversion. As well as being the seat of the Dutch parliament and the International Court of Justice, it is a city rich in the arts. Pay a visit to the Escher museum and the Mauritshuis, which houses a number of masters including Vermeer’s ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’.
Imagine the Dutch countryside and Kinderdijk is probably a pretty close representation of the image in your mind. Its19 windmills are perfectly preserved and sit dotted across picturesque wetland. The windmills were built in 1740 as part of a water management system to prevent floods, and gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997. Take a walk or cycle the route around the structures and visit one to learn about life in the mills.
15 miles west of Kinderdijk is Rotterdam, Europe’s biggest port. The cube houses are incredibly Instagrammable (and available on Airbnb!), and the Erasmus Bridge and mind-blowing market hall are both worth a visit.
If it’s escapism you’re looking for head to Giethoorn, the “Venice of the Netherlands”. Ancient thatched cottages line the canals, which are spanned by cute wooden bridges.
Wadden Sea and Islands
The coastal wetland is another UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a large number of animal species including harbour seals, grey seals and porpoises. Head out to the Dutch Wadden Islands, a beautiful spot for walks and bike rides amid the dunes. As well as travelling by ferry, you can get to some of them by guided Wadlopen or ‘mud-walking’ at low tide.
Each spring, Keukenhof Gardens turns into a feast for the senses! Over 7 million bulbs bloom into a technicolour spectacle of tulips, daffodil and hyacinths. Although the garden is only open for a few weeks each year, March – May, it is worth planning your holiday to coincide with the experience.
Dutch cheese is renowned around the world, and Alkmaar is known as the city of cheese in the Netherlands. Experience the unique theatre of a cheese market every Friday, or visit the Cheese Museum to find out about this history of cheese making and its place in Dutch culture.
Travelling around the Netherlands? Don’t forget to tag @KumhoTyreUK (Twitter) @kumhotyre_uk (Instagram) in your photos and tell us about other sites you’ve been to in this spectacular country. Or simply contact us here to share with us your adventure. Happy travels!