If you’re about to plunge headlong into an adventure in the Netherlands, or if you’re just wondering whether it would make a nice place for your next trip, it’s worth finding out about some of the amazing things you can do there. Netherlands is one of the most interesting and most vibrant countries in Europe, best known for the eclectic capital, the city of Amsterdam. However, the Netherlands has a lot more to offer than just museums and canals if you decide to do more, although the canals and museums are also interesting. The towns are picture perfect pretty, something that would appear on a postcard. There are also big cities like Rotterdam and The Hague which are a lot more dynamic. The Netherlands is a small country which means that you would be able to see it very quickly and absorb plenty of what it has to offer. You can get out and visit the countryside which is often the highlight of the trip for many people because of the famous traditional villages with iconic windmills and tulips. The best way to move around is on a bike and much of the Netherlands is fortunately flat, making it easy for people to ride a bicycle. You can easily navigate the landscape and enjoy the great nature, as well as cities.
The Netherlands has so much to offer, it’s hard to narrow the list down to just 8 things, but we’ve tried to choose the best to ensure your trip is the most memorable it can possibly be!
1. Spot Windmills
The Netherlands is famous for its picturesque windmills, so this is one of the first things you should be making sure you don’t miss. Big and beautiful, they represent the Dutch history of the country, and had many different industrial uses. There aren’t as many left as there should be, considering how amazing they are, but there are enough that you shouldn’t have any trouble incorporating one or two visits into your itinerary so you can admire the cleverness of our ancestors and the beauty of the architecture. Those who want to see the Netherlands of the 17th and 18th century can enjoy Zaanse Schans which are located about 15 kilometers north of Amsterdam and are styled as a museum in the open, meaning you can explore the history of the Netherlands and learn while enjoying the pleasant history of this area. Some of the sights are a shipyard, a grocery store, a wide range of old wooden houses, a pewter factory and so on. You can also see the wonderful old windmills and learn how there were 600 of them in the old days. There are only five now, but you can see them all and this includes an iconic oil mill and saw mill where you can find fun live demonstrations.
2. Visit The Garden Of Europe
Aptly named, this is one of the most stunning gardens there is. It’s full to the bursting with vibrant blooms and spiraling colors. Tulips are the particular favorite there, but with over 70 acres of land, it has something to offer to everyone. Take a meal in one of the restaurants and bask in the rainbow hues of nature’s most beautifully dressed plants. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon or even a morning since there are so many tasty meals to try in these restaurants and they all come with an excellent view. You can bask in the beauty and sunshine of this garden.
3. See The Anne Frank Museum
Perhaps one of the more solemn sites to see, it’s nonetheless a must-not-miss for any history buff. Many people have read The Diary of Anne Frank, and have been touched by her amazing, tragic story. “Visiting the museum dedicated to her memory will bring you a little closer to her, as it’s on the site where she hid from the Nazis during the Second World War. Nothing could make for a more memorable, emotional visit, as the attic where she and her family concealed themselves is still much as it was,” explains Scott E. Austin, psychologist at Ukwritings and Boomessays.
This is one of the most famous attractions in Amsterdam and it’s a moving visit. Anne Frank died two months before the war ended but her diary and this building remain there, to tell the story of one brave girl in the face of the war as well as the story of those times and the suffering people went through. Visiting this museum is an emotional journey full of elements that will move you and it shows a personal view on the story we all know and love.
4. Go To Madurodam
If you want to see all of the Netherlands at once, but your time or finances are limited, Madurodam is the answer you’re seeking. Built at 1:25 scale, this miniature version of the Netherlands is complete with windmills, canals, bridges, houses, and a railway station. You can feel like a giant wandering through a beautiful city, and take in all the most famous landmarks. This is a very impressive display and you should definitely take a look, even if you do have enough time to travel through the whole country. It’s impressive because it can seem as if the entire country is right in front of you.
5. Explore Valkenburg
Nestled in the Guel Valley, Valkenburg shelters the only hilltop castle in the Netherlands, so it’s another must-see for any history buff or castle enthusiast. The valley is stunningly picturesque on its own, and the town offers amazing spas, as well as the Velvet Caves, which open in November to house the Christmas Market. Valkenburg is the perfect destination for anyone who likes history or simply loves picturesque European towns. this castle dates back to 12th century, near the neighboring 14th century basilica, St. Nicolaaskerk Basilica. Town is famous for many things and it will give you a truly amazing experience of the Netherlands as it was in the old days.
6. Check Out The Wildlife
If you need some time away from ancient buildings, the Netherlands has lots to offer in terms of amazing country walks and stunning scenery.
“The Amsterdam forest is home to kingfishers, grass snakes, and soft-eyed highland cattle, while the National Park shelters deer and many different species of birds. It’s easy to get out of the cities and away into the country, and from here you can relish the peace and restorative calm of nature,” says William S. Ostrander, travel blogger at Academized and Essayroo.
You can visit the Artis Royal Zoo which can offer you amazing experiences with animals from all around the world. They are all located in spacious compounds and have enough room to be happy. There is also an aquarium where you can see some of the most interesting fish and other sea creatures. However, if you prefer to see more of the native wildlife, the National Park can offer you some amazing sights. It’s an easy day trip and it’s covered with many quirky exhibits like the sculpture park. There is also plenty of animals that you can see and you can do plenty of bird watching.
7. See The Hague
Back into civilization, it would be hard to visit the Netherlands without a trip to the Hague. It’s not in the capital, but still houses the Netherlands’ Supreme Court, Cabinet, the Council of the State, and the UN’s International Court of Justice. That makes it a pretty important building, and it’s beautiful to look at! The city surrounding it has lots to offer in terms of restaurants and historic sites, including churches going right back to the 13th century. You can see the Hall of Knights which is an impressive court complex dating from the medieval period. There is a huge courtyard covered in cobbles and it’s one of the centers of Dutch politics and the spot where the Opening of Parliament ceremony is conducted each year. You can take a guided tour and enjoy one of the most important buildings in Dutch history.
8. Wander Through Kasteel Del Haar
This is the largest – and perhaps most impressive – fortification in the whole of the Netherlands. It has a 250 acre park surrounding the amazing castle. It dates from the 14th century, but was rebuilt in 1892.
The Netherlands has so much to offer in terms of beautiful walks, site-seeing, and historical places. There is something for everyone, and your problem is likely to be finding time to do all the things available. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful canals, which are a highlight of Amsterdam, and try a water taxi for a closer look at the stunning historic networks that rival Venice’s beauty.
Ellie Coverdale is a travel and lifestyle writer for Big Assignments and Eliteassignmenthelp. She loves to share her experience and insight on the world, and how to maximize your opportunities for adventure! She also writes articles for Oxessays as a teacher.