• Fokke Baarssen

Tourist in my own country 10 things to do in the Netherlands

Updated: Jan 5, 2019


Canal streets of Amsterdam

I love to drive somewhere and discover my own country as a tourist and wandering around. In the Netherlands everything is nearby we live somewhere in the middle.

10 things you can do in the Netherlands if you visit the first time or already been here before or even if you live here.

I do not go deep in because you can easily write a book over Amsterdam there are so many things to do to and see. Here a short list what to do in the Netherlands on vacation in Europe.


  1. Wandering in Amsterdam

  2. The windmill village Zaanse Schans

  3. Giethoorn the Venice of the North

  4. Discover the Tulip fields near Urk in Flevoland and eat fish at the old harbor

  5. Go North and visit Friesland mentioned in Lonely Planet must visit 2018

  6. The boulevard of Scheveningen

  7. Kinderdijk the Windmill village

  8. The sand dunes at Bergen or Egmond aan zee

  9. Gardens of the Keukenhof

  10. Veluwe national park


Zaanse Schans Netherlands

Wandering in Amsterdam

Wandering in Amsterdam means? Keep looking three times before you cross the street the bikers are everywhere.

We lived close to the city Amsterdam so we often go in the weekend to the city for some shopping or just walk true the Streets and look around. I never get enough of the 9 Streets, This neighborhood is full to bursting with vintage and designer shopping, specialty stores and cozy cafés.

There’s a never-ending selection of things to do in Amsterdam in any weather.

Hop on your bike, get lost by the canals, visit Rijksmuseum or van Gogh museum, catch the ferry to Amsterdam North and visit the NDSM wharf, take a canal cruise, buy some tulips at the bloemenmarkt, discover park life at the Vondelpark, go for some street food at the Food Hallen, take a beer at the many terraces of the Leidsche plein

The 9 Streets

Dancing house Damrak

Keizersgracht at night Amsterdam

Amsterdam canals at night

Ice rink during winter at the Rijksmuseum

Canal boat at night Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canals

Sunset over the city Amsterdam

Adam tower Amsterdam Netherlands sunset

Amsterdam North NDSM Wharf

Anne Frank graffitiy NDSM werf Amsterdam Noord

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam North

Zeedijk Amsterdam

The windmill village Zaanse Schans

A pleasant day trip from Amsterdam is a visit to the picturesque Dutch village Zaanse Schans, approximately 15km north of the city.

The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You should be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry and the various windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops. Make a cycling or sailing trip, browse the shops or treat yourself at the pancake restaurant.

Zaanse schans windmill village, cheese farm at inght

Zaanse schans windmill village

Zaanse schans windmill village

Zaanse schans windmill village

Giethoorn the Venice of the north

There are no cars or roads here; tourists leave them out of the village and have to travel by water or on foot over the lovely wooden bridges.

Take a boat trip around the sparkling waterways of Giethoorn, a tiny village in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Known for its stunning naturescapes and cute cottages.

Venice of the North Giethoorn is a historic little town in the Netherlands nestled amongst a never-ending series of canals and waterways. The only way to navigate most of the town is by boat. In fact, the postman still delivers mail to local residents by boat to this day.

As the main cog in Overijssel’s canal system, Giethoorn – just like capital city Amsterdam – has earned the moniker ‘Venice of the North’. And just like Venice, you can tour the canals with a seasoned guide.

Enjoy the views of quaint thatched-roof cottages as you gently glide along Giethoorn’s picturesque canals. Cruising the canals of Venice of the Netherlands is a beautiful way to discover Giethoorn.


Giethoorn the Venice of the North

Giethoorn the Venice of the North

Giethoorn village Netherlands

Giethoorn village Netherlands

Discover the Tulip fields in Flevoland, and eat fresh fish at the old harbor of the former island Urk

On the road to the North on your way to Giethoorn or Friesland, you will pass Flevoland.

Every year between April an May the tulip flowers start to blooming and the land change to a colorful painting.

Be amazed by the colors and the variety of tulip fields.

The tulip route through Noordoostpolder is the longest continuous car route in Europe,

The tulip route is only available during the Tulip Festival which runs from about mid-April until around the beginning of May.

During the Tulip Festival, the route will be clearly indicated by special signposts, leading you past Noordoostpolder's most beautiful tulip fields and finish it at the former island of Urk visit the small village with many fish restaurants.

Urk is a charming little fishing village in the Flevoland region. A must see as it is one of the most traditional villages in the Netherlands. It's not a tourist destination like Marken or Volendam so still many things to see without the crowd.


Lighthouse of the former island of Urk

Lighthouse Urk

harbor of Urk

Tulip fields

Colorful field of tulips Noordoostpolder Flevoland

Milky Way over a yellow tulip field Noordoostpolder Netherlands

Go North and visit Friesland

The West Frisian Islands and Frisian Lakes are what attracts the majority of tourists to this province. The islands are located in the Wadden Sea and are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Accessing these islands is an experience in and of itself with mudflat hiking being the primary mode of transportation.

The town of Sneek is famous for their butter cake, known as Drabbelkoeken In the province’s capital city of Leeuwarden, travelers can visit the Fries museum to learn more about the area’s history and culture.

Boating and mudflat hiking are popular activities in the Friesland province and something that every adventurous traveler should try.

The Friesland province is one that is sparsely populated with a mere 160 people per square km. This makes the region a great destination for those seeking solitude and peace.

While the province does have a train system, railways only connect in major cities. Smaller cities can be access via bus, rental car or by boat in some cases. Much like the rest of the Netherlands, Friesland is a bike-friendly area and can easily be explored through its many biking routes.

More info at https://www.friesland.nl/en


Leeuwarden Friesland Netherlands

Sloten Friesland Netherlands

Sloten Friesland

The boulevard of Scheveningen

Scheveningen is known for its beautiful views, amazing pier and the famous water sports that take place. During the summer months, this district becomes a beach resort wherein tourists from all across the world come to vacation.

The district is the perfect place for biking.

There are two main methods of public transportation offered.

  • Trams: The local trams will bring guests to and from The Hague. There are two trams in operation. These trams are tram 1 and tram 9.

  • Bus: Many people choose to take a bus from The Hague right to the northern beach. Bus 22 is both affordable and fast.

Scheveningen is the perfect location for tourists. There is ample transportation, beautiful beaches and a person never has to go far to find food, fun or gambling. There are hotels all along the boulevard and the lighthouse provides an indescribable ambiance.

The beach is separated in parts or zones. While most people head to the Bad (bath) part, the others are also worth noting. The following separations are seen:

  • Haven: This is the typical port that boasts fishing boats. This is where guests can go to buy delicious fish as well as eat freshly caught fish.

  • Dorp: This is actually where the former fishing village was located. There is not much to see here, but many tourists do go to this part to take pictures.

  • Bad: This is the hotspot for bathing. This is where most people go to and it is packed with fun and excitement at every corner.


Ferris Wheel De Pier is Europe's first Ferris Wheel over the sea

fun on the beach during Spring at Scheveningen pier

many restaurants clubs on the beach Scheveningen

Lighthouse of Scheveningen

art at the boulevard of Scheveningen

Kinderdijk the Windmill village

Discover the splendid windmills of Kinderdijk to see how the Dutch have been controlling the waters for over 1000 years. It’s a unique spectacle!

For nearly a thousand years, the Dutch have been clever in dealing with the water that surrounds them. The sustainable blend of nature and technology used to keep Kinderdijk dry is so uniquely valuable that the area and its windmills were granted UNESCO World Heritage status. From now on, the whole world can come by to experience what we have achieved here!

You won’t find a windmill complex like Kinderdijk anywhere else in the world. The ingenious system of windmills and pumping stations has been keeping the soil dry here for nearly a thousand years now, in a constant struggle between human brains and the power of the water.Visitors come from all across the world to experience this unique piece of history for themselves. Since Kinderdijk is a monument to the history of humankind, we were officially included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Now, we stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the most famous and most amazing places on earth. The story of Kinderdijk is now a genuine part of world history, kept safe for future generations to visit and experience.


Kinderdijk the Windmill Village

Moonrise at Kinderdijk the Windmill Village


The sand dunes by Bergen aan zee or Egmond aan zee

Besides bathing in the sun and swimming in the Sea the area offers beautiful dunes and forests where you can walk or bike. The nearby Dunes of Schoorl absolutely belongs to one of the most beautiful ones. You can find the tallest and widest dunes of the Netherlands here. The view is beautiful, looking over the North Sea you just dream away.

At the beautiful wide sandy beach of Bergen aan Zee, you are, of course, Besides bathing in the sun and swimming in the Sea the area offers beautiful dunes and forests where you can walk or bike. The nearby Dunes of Schoorl absolutely belongs to one of the most beautiful ones. You can find the tallest and widest dunes of the Netherlands here. The view is beautiful, looking over the North Sea you just dream away.

At the beautiful wide sandy beach of Bergen aan Zee, you are, of course, able to bath in the sun and swim in the North Sea. rented sunbeds, loungers and windscreens. Bergen aan Zee is a true paradise for windsurfers, board- and kite surfers.

Bergen aan Zee, where you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea at the beach. It is great to go out for dinner at the terrace of one of the many beach pavilions. There are several restaurants near the beach. Beach pavilions for a cup of coffee, a refreshment or an ice cream.

Not only during summer the beach is attractive, it is possible to make beautiful beach walks all through the year.

Because of the way the village is built, it offers you a tranquil view. This is partly because of the wide lanes with a lot of green and the big houses with gardens at the border of the dunes. The center with all its cozy terraces, cafés, restaurants and boutiques. Villas, houses, hotels, and apartments are built in valleys or on top of the dunes.

Bergen aan zee beach Netherlands

Bergen aan zee Netherlands

Gardens of the Keukenhof

Keukenhof is the perfect place to enjoy millions of flowering tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other bulb flowers..The most beautiful spring garden in the world will offer you a unique sensation of scents and colours.Opening times chek the website,most times it opens end March until end May.



Keukenhof flower garden Netherlands

Keukenhof flower Garden

Keukenhof

Veluwe

Shifting sands, beautiful forests, blooming heathlands, flocks of sheep and gently flowing streams… That is the Veluwe!

Discover the Veluwe and its beautiful nature reserves, such as De Hoge Veluwe National Park and Veluwezoom National Park, famous museums such as the Kröller-Müller and Het Loo Palace, pleasant towns. The Veluwe will never cease to delight you.

This ridge of hills is covered in some of nature’s most spectacular landscapes, including forests and woodlands, small lakes, swamps and epic sand drifts. Because of its varied habitats, many animals call the Veluwe more particularly, the Hoge Veluwe National Park - their home.

The Veluwe is a favorite vacation spot for Dutch locals as it provides a pleasant escape from daily life without having to travel too far. Camping in tents or cabins in the park is popular throughout summer when visitors hike the many trails.

National park Veluwezoom is the oldest National Park in Holland. This landscape of hills, forests, heathlands and sand drifts has been a protected area since 1931. You can freely walk and explore the roads and paths of the region, or take advantage of one of the many opportunities to discover the Veluwe by horse, bicycle or mountain bike.

Hoge Veluwe National Park is one of the largest continuous nature reserves in Holland, measuring in at 5,400 hectares, or 13,343 acres. Hike or cycle through this beautiful natural landscape on a white bike, free of charge, or visit the Kröller-Müller Museum, with its sculpture garden and largest private Van Gogh collection in the world.


Picknick on the hills of The Posbank Veluwezoom Netherlands

Misty morning over the heather blooming hills Veluwezoom Posbank Netherlands

Blooming Heather fields Veluwe Netherlands

Autumn Speulderbos Veluwe


#travel #Netherlands