Over the Easter holidays, I got to visit one of my favorite countries, The Netherlands. This is my third time visiting, and I was able to do a lot of fun things. After all of my trial and error of visiting the country and making my way around, I have compiled a list of all the cool things the country has to offer. Although Amsterdam is a really cool place to visit, most of the things to do that I will be talking about are not in Amsterdam, but are accessible via public transport.
Efteling is my favorite amusement park. You can easily spend a whole day here seeing all the park has to offer, and is great for all ages. The park opened in 1952 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. One of Efteling’s most iconic attractions is the fairy tale forest which offers mini-scenes of everyone’s favorite fairytales, such as Hansel and Gretel and The Little Mermaid. There is a great variety of rides from rollercoasters and swings, and there is also a train that takes you to different sides of the park. Efteling is definitely worth the visit, and tickets are typically around €50, which I recommend buying in advance. Additionally, you can bring your own packed lunch and drinks into the park to save money.
- Visit the Keukenhof
The Keukenhof is very unique to The Netherlands and is worth the visit. You need to purchase tickets in advance for this attraction, and they do sell out quickly. When purchasing tickets, you book for a certain time slot that grants you entry until the attraction closes. I recommend going earlier in the day if you are able to to avoid massive crowds and the heat. Tickets are available online for €19, and parking is around €6. Once you are inside the Keukenhof, make sure you grab a free map and follow the walkways to see classic Dutch windmills, field of tulips, different indoor gardens, and more. It takes around 2-4 hours to walk through the whole site, but it depends what paths you take. I recommend bringing food with you if you plan on being there for a while as there are a few different spots along the paths where you can stop to have a picnic. While there, you can also go to the top of a windmill, or pay to do a canal ride along the tulip fields. It was so pretty to see all of the flowers, and is worth every penny.
- Markthal, Rotterdam
I had never been to Rotterdam before this year, but it was a really pretty city. While I did not get to see as much as I wanted to, I had the chance to go inside the Markthal. The Markthal is a really unique place that was opened in 2014 which features dozens of different shops and restaurants all under the same roof. The architecture of the building is really unique and is very open. The variety of food available is immense and there were different stands offering bubble tea, tapas, sauchissions, ramen, cocktails, sushi and more. Rotterdam is very accessible via the train, and one of the stops is right by the Markthal. There are so many other things to explore in Rotterdam as well, such as the Cube Houses (which are right across from the Markthal), the Erasmus Bridge, going to the top of the Euromast, and seeing the Europort.
- Apenheul Zoo
Apenheul Zoo is a primate park in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. This is a very unique zoo that has free roaming monkeys and apes. The zoo itself is home to more than 35 species, and there are many different exhibits to explore. The zoo is also home to the largest insect hotel in the world. Tickers to Apenheul are €25 and can offer a full day of fun! Make sure to pack your walking shoes as the zoo is quite large.
Of course, Amsterdam is the biggest tourist city in The Netherlands and as such has much to offer. From the Anne Frank House to the Van Gogh Museum, there is something for everyone of all ages. Make sure to book ahead for everything you want to do before you arrive as there are long lines, and booking for these events has been back logged due to COVID. Make sure you walk along the canals, or you can even take a boat ride down the canals to see Amsterdam from the water. Biking is a convenient way to get around, just make sure you don’t walk in the bike lane!
Those are all of my personal highlights from visiting The Netherlands. I hope some of these recommendations and tips come in handy!