Weekends away in the Netherlands: where to go and where to stay

The museum gardens. Photo: By Jean-Christophe Benoist via Wikimedia Commons
The museum gardens. Photo: By Jean-Christophe Benoist via Wikimedia Commons

When we carried out our readers’ survey in October, two-thirds of you told us that you would be having a weekend away in the Netherlands in the coming year. So here is a round-up of this year’s travel features, to help you on your way.

I thought I would hate the Efteling. I was wrong
With the holidays upon us, your thoughts may be turning to taking the kids to an amusement park. Deborah Nicholls-Lee was dreading her visit to the Efteling, but it turned out to be the ‘best family day ever’. Read on

A midweek in Amsterdam – avoiding the crowds of tourists
Amsterdammers may go on a lot about over-tourism, but there is plenty to see and do in the Dutch capital which does not involve waiting in queues for hours, or fighting your way through the hoards. We know the secret places the tourists miss. Read on

Miracles and Mondriaan in Amersfoort
Home of monastic miracles and medieval architecture, but also birthplace of Mondrian, icon of Dutch Modernism, Amersfoort, in Utrecht province, is a rich blend of the new and the old with plenty to discover. Read on

Franeker’s famous planetarium. Photo: Erik Zachte via Wikimedia Commons

Forget the skates. Visit the Elfstedentocht cities at any time of year
The 11 cities of Friesland very occasionally host a gruelling 200 kilometre skating race – if temperatures dip below zero for long enough, and just recently a swimming marathon. But you can also travel the famous route by bike, by boat, on horseback, on foot… however you like. Read on

Good food and great shopping in Haarlem
It’s the namesake of the New York City borough and was the epicenter for tulip mania. Haarlem is a mere fifteen minutes from Amsterdam and should be next on your list of places to visit. And it is possibly the best place to go shopping in the Netherlands. Read on

Weird places to spend the night in the Netherlands
Normal hotels can be soooo boring. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the Netherlands that offers something beyond mere conventionality, why not try one of these unusual lodgings? Read on

Go south. Exploring the former island of Walcheren
Walcheren was once an island but a dam, several bridges and a lot of reclaimed land have put paid to that. Today, it is at the heart of Zeeland, with beaches, pretty villages to visit and plenty of things to see and do, whatever your age. Read on

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Blowing in the wind: traditional windmills you can visit
What’s the first thing that springs to mind when most people think of the Netherlands? If this were a question on a game show, windmills would probably be the number one answer. Here’s a few that you can visit (and, in some cases, even spend the night in). Read on

The Wadden Sea island of Terschelling
If you want to get away from it all for a few days, the Wadden Sea island of Terschelling is easy to get to, offers great empty beaches and has enough to keep you busy even if you hit a wet weekend. Read on

Thinking of renting a holiday cottage? Here’s what you need to know
The Netherlands is stuffed full of places where you can rent a cottage for a few days to get away with friends and family. Center Parcs is, after all, a Dutch invention. But there are a few things you should be aware of before you get too excited. Read on

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