Things to do in Netherlands
Amsterdam - enjoy a Wetlands Safari
For a great day out for you and the family try the Wetlands Safari, located just outside of Amsterdam City. There you can canoe down the historic canals and marvel at the scenery made famous by painters such as Rembrandt. The tour lasts most of the day and includes a sumptuous picnic. After a day on the canals and marshland you will understand why there are no high rise buildings in the area.
Amsterdam - saddle up and go on a bike ride
Bicycle riding is a way of life in Amsterdam and in most parts of the Netherlands. There are so many bikes it makes sense to join them and enjoy a relaxing ride around the city taking in the sites whilst being healthy and environmentally friendly. There are plenty of tours to choose from or just rent a bike and do it yourself.
Hague - view the art of M C Escher
Although not the most famous of Dutch painters M C Escher is however well recognized for some of his mathematical and defying logic drawings and sketches. He is also famous for his lithographs and wood carvings often made using beech wood. Many of his works can be found in the former Queen’s Palace at The Hague where a permanent collection opened in 2002. This museum is closed on Mondays.
Hague - visit the miniature model city at Madurodam Park
Literally the smallest town in the Netherlands Madurodam Park is a perfectly 1952 built replica of a Dutch town, on a scale of 1.25. Little has changed since then in its layout but features that have been added include a model of Schipol Airport where there is a 3m plane that taxis down the runway. This model park has something for all ages and is well worth considering visiting.
Leiden - a great day out to The National Museum of Natural History
Now hosted in 2 adjoining buildings the National of Natural Museum History hosts over 10 million different items and there is something here that everyone can enjoy. Constantly changing displays and interactive areas mean that you can revisit as often as you like. A 4m globe of the earth is one of the central attractions. The museum is open every day.
Leiden - roam around the Saturday De Markt
The Saturday market in Leiden is where all the locals go to shop to buy the freshest vegetables and meats along with Dutch delicacies such as Haring (raw fish). Wander around looking at the wares and then stop off at one of the many little bars for a beer and something to eat. For tea or coffee visit Het Klaverbad which is the oldest shop in Leiden.
Maastricht - explore the historic St Pieterberg Caves
Created through centuries of mining marl, a product used to make fertilizer, there are over 200km of passageways in the Caves of St Pieter. Walking through these tunnels gives you a view of history both from the writings on the walls as well as the knowledge that they have been used for refuge during times of war all the way up to WWII. Be sure to take a jacket as it can be cool in the tunnels.
Rotterdam - enjoy Rembrandt and Warhol at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Opened in 1849 the Museum Boĳjmans Van Beuningen hosts one of the world’s most important art collections. It has over 80,000 items in its catalogue although not all are on display at the same time. All of the major famous painters and artists are included in the collection with works of art by Rembrandt and Warhol being the most popular. The museum is closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Rotterdam - enjoy the views from the Euromast Tower
For the ultimate lift ride go up the Euromast Tower in Rotterdam, right up to the observation deck where you will get stunning views of the city. As the lift ascends it rotates giving you a 360 degree view of the city. The observation deck and lift are open every day but may be closed during high winds or bad weather conditions. For the ultimate adventure experience abseil down or take the traverse line down to the ground.
Utrecht - experience the Railway Museum (Spoorweg Museum)
Housed in a former railway station the Nederlands Spoorweg or Dutch Railway Museum has undergone a recent renovation to make it a replica of a 19th century station, along with a Royal Waiting Room. There are a number of locomotives to look at including an early electric train that dates back to 1908. The museum is closed on Mondays except during school holidays and there is also a special train that operates from Utrecht Central Station to the Railway Museum.
Introduction to Netherlands
Commonly referred to as Holland, the laid-back Netherlands is one of the flattest and easiest European countries to explore. The Dutch government seat is in The Hague, but Amsterdam is the country's economic and cultural powerhouse. In fact, it is here that many travellers enter the country, arriving at the modern Schipol Airport. Amsterdam is home to outstanding architecture, great museums and a scenic canal network. It is also one of Europe's most liberal cities, with its red-light district and unique coffee shops in the old centre. Further south, visitors can combine a visit to the royal city of The Hague with a trip to Delft, a historic town famous for its blue-and-white pottery. Rotterdam is nearby; a vibrant port city with excellent nightlife and a growing arts scene. Outside these major cities, visitors can explore the Waterland region by bicycle. This is the best way to experience rural Holland, visiting traditional villages while passing ancient windmills and wooden houses on the way. Accommodation is generally expensive in destinations popular with tourists, but some great-value Netherlands hotels can be found in small towns and cities.