Monday, 25 July 2016

7 Places to Explore in the Netherlands Beyond Amsterdam

There is so much more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam, despite the bulk of the tourists heading to the Dutch capital. Exploring beyond Amsterdam is definitely worth it. Here are 6 Dutch places that should be on your travel itinerary if you come to the Netherlands.


Don't take my word for it. Those folk over at Lonely Planet know much more about travel than I do, and they say you should visit Texel too.

Texel is the largest of the Wadden Islands - it means you have to take a ferry from the mainland to get to it, which is a fun way to start your trip. The island is made up of white sand beaches, dunes and nature reserves. There's lots to do for young and old from hiking and cycling to dairy farm visits, a seal sanctuary and museums. There's a lot of sheep too, which can be entertaining whilst you cycle around the island.....and gives Texel a name for quality wool.


If you are a water sport fan then the Ijsselmeer is a great destination for you. The largest lake in the Netherlands, it was formerly known as the Zuiderzee until the Afsluitdijk closed it off from the sea. The dyke itself is worth a peek, and you can travel the length of this man-made piece of engineering.
You can read more about the IJsselmeer area, in particular about Medemblik in this post.

The Hague

The political capital of the Netherlands doesn't always make it on to a traveller's 'to visit' list, but it should. There is so much to do in the Hague: visit museums like the Panorama Mesdag, Mauritshuis, Escher museum or Gemeentemuseum; go to a football game at ADO Den Haag's Kyocera Stadion; take in a show or a dance performance.

The Hague also makes for a surprising ideal base for days out to the beach or walks in the dunes, Scheveningen being one of the most popular. There are festivals (like the Embassy Festival in September which is a cultural treat for all the senses), theatres, shows and special museum events on a regular basis.

Kasteel De Haar, Utrecht

This castle is a place I would happily live in. On my bucket list is to sit in the gardens and just spend an afternoon writing. It is stunningly beautiful. The gardens have an English country garden feel to them, and in typical Dutch style there are waterways to admire.

In the words of my sons: 

"This is the best castle ever!"
It should definitely be on your list when you come to the land of the Dutch. You can read lots more about this beautiful castle here.

Soestdijk Palace

Whilst you are in the province of Utrecht, take a trip to Soestdijk Palace. This is the former home of Queen Juliana and the childhood home of Princess Beatrix (the present King's mother). The royals lived here for around 60 years and you can tour the palace and take a stroll around the plentiful gardens and estate. There are also special events on from time to time. 


There are no cars in Giethoorn. If you want to get around you do it in a little boat. It's the Venice of the Netherlands and it looks gorgeous. Thatched roofs, lots of green, and lots of waterways. I haven't been there yet, but it's on my Dutch bucket list. Check out my Pinterest board for pictures, which I am sure will convince you to include Giethoorn on your trip around NL.

De Efteling

If you are into theme parks then De Efteling is a great place to head to. There are attractions and entertainment for young and old, in summer and in winter. There's a bit of a fairy tale theme to the park, and it's a hit with kids of all ages. You can read about our visit there in this post.
Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more about other travel posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers:
Explore Wild Nature in Latvia - Multicultural Kid Blogs Sports to Try When Visiting France - La Cité des Vents A Journey in South Africa - Globe Trottin' Kids Sports to Try When Visiting France - La Cité des Vents Chile - La Clase de Sra. DuFault Tomar, Portugal: the Last Templar Town - the piri-piri lexicon 7 Places to Explore in the Netherlands - Expat Life with a Double Buggy Explore Buenos Aires - Hispanic Mama Kid-Friendly Vacation in Puerto Rico - Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes
Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.

1 comment:

  1. I have been to The Netherlands once and yes, I did visit Amsterdam. But I also went to The Keukenhof Gardens to admire the tulips (they were fabulous) and the flower market at Aalsmeer. We went with a friend who sells plants hence the emphasis on plants! When I saw Texel I immediately wondered of that was where the sheep came from (they area popular breed in France) and it seems I was right! #TravelAtHome