Friday 29 May 2020
Dutch destinations: get away from it all on the island of Schiermonnikoog

Dutch destinations: get away from it all on the island of Schiermonnikoog

If you are looking for a last-minute getaway for the Whitsun weekend, the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog is the perfect place – as long as you like the great outdoors. Earlier in May, broadcaster NOS reported that the island of Schiermonnikoog was crying out for visitors. The island is largely dependent on tourism and has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown. Having last been many years ago, we decided to take the plunge and head north. The weather... More >


Had enough of pretty Dutch scenery? It’s time for a dismal day out

Had enough of pretty Dutch scenery? It’s time for a dismal day out

If at times you’ve had enough of medieval canal houses, tulip fields and picturesque villages, help is at hand. Treurtrips (dismal days out) is a new guide to some of the places the Dutch tourist board would rather you forget. Decaying snack bars in The Hague, sad playgrounds in the north and gloomy blocks of flats everywhere – they might not feature in the guidebooks and the ‘how to settle in Holland’ handbooks, but they are, nevertheless, an integral part... More >


Dutch destinations: beat the crowds at seaside Scheveningen

Dutch destinations: beat the crowds at seaside Scheveningen

The time has come for DutchNews.nl to cover Scheveningen, the famous, and some might say infamous, seaside community that sits on the edges of The Hague. Brandon Hartley took the plunge to find out what else the resort has to offer apart from sunburn and crowds.  All right, first things first. Scheveningen is not everybody’s cup of tea. Those searching for some good old fashioned peace and quiet should head to one of the more laid-back towns in the Wadden... More >


No tourist traps! What might a sustainable visit to Amsterdam look like?

No tourist traps! What might a sustainable visit to Amsterdam look like?

With mass tourism now marring the quality of life in Amsterdam, Deborah Nicholls-Lee looks at initiatives to make a trip to the Dutch capital a more sustainable affair. A three-person line of defence along one side of the boat seems to work best, our nets semi-submerged and poised to entrap passing flotsam. We – two boat-loads of eco-conscious visitors – are cruising the Amsterdam canals on a plastic fishing trip with Plastic Whale, clearing the greasy waters of rubbish, while... More >


Dutch destinations: I thought I’d hate the Efteling. I was wrong

Dutch destinations: I thought I’d hate the Efteling. I was wrong

With the autumn half term 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’. Our children told us that they were the only ones at school who had not been to the Efteling theme park. Apparently, we had not parented them correctly and this was a deprivation of sorts. My husband and I had... More >


Dutch destinations: a mid-week in Amsterdam, avoiding tourist crowds

Dutch destinations: a mid-week in Amsterdam, avoiding tourist crowds

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. A couple of years ago Amsterdam launched a deliberate strategy to try and spread tourism by pinpointing the highlights outside the centre, and urging visitors to spend time there. At the same time, it has attempted to hijack attractions well outside the city –... More >


Dutch Destinations: miracles and Mondrian in Amersfoort

Dutch Destinations: miracles and Mondrian 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. An unexpected guide accompanies us on our 15-minute walk from the station to Amersfoort’s historic centre. ‘Sofie’ – as she is known – steers us through the city’s trafficky outskirts, her iconic swishing ponytail and stout mini-skirted form illuminated in red and green on the traffic... More >


Forget the skates. Visit the 11 cities of Friesland at any time of the year

Forget the skates. Visit the 11 cities of Friesland at any time of the 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. Fansels! (That’s Friesian for ‘of course’). 1 Dokkum (the only one of the 11 without a different name in Friesian) In olden times Dutch school children were taught that ‘Bonifacius was killed... More >


Dutch destinations: good food and great shopping in Haarlem

Dutch destinations: good food and great shopping in Haarlem

It’s the namesake of the New York City borough, the city saved by a finger in the dike 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.  Founded somewhere in the 10th century, Haarlem was given city status in 1245. It is located on a small bit of land above sea level which connects Leiden to Alkmaar and its geography provided the locals... More >


Weird places to spend the night in the Netherlands

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? Crane Hotel Faralda – Amsterdam It’s become one of the country’s most famous and downright bizarre hotels, but it’s also among the most expensive. A single night at Crane Hotel Faralda will run you upwards of €795. It’s hard to dismiss the view up there though, and the experience... More >


Dutch destinations: a weekend exploring the former island of Walcheren

Dutch destinations: a weekend 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. Beaches seem to be a key part of so many of DutchNews.nl’s destination guides – hardly surprising when you consider the length of the coastline, and how easy it is to get to from... More >


Dutch destinations: The Wadden Sea island of Terschelling

Dutch destinations: 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. Terschelling and Texel are the most touristy of the Wadden islands, yet both are very different. Texel is bigger and less dominated by holidaymakers. Terschelling is more an elongated sand dune and tourism is clearly its main source... More >


Blowin’ in the wind: traditional windmills you can visit in the Netherlands

Blowin’ in the wind: traditional windmills you can visit in the Netherlands

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. If you’ve never experienced the joys of climbing to the top of one of these ubiquitous structures, or merely drinking a biertje beside one, here’s a few that you can visit (and, in some cases, even spend the night in).  Zaanse Schans – Zaandam Okay, let’s get the... More >


Dutch destinations: 14 suggestions for that perfect spring break

Dutch destinations: 14 suggestions for that perfect spring break

With the weather turning warmer, what better thing to do with your weekend than go on a spring break? Since last year, DutchNews.nl has carried a monthly travel feature in which we give you the lowdown on a Dutch destination. Here’s a round up to inspire you to see more of the Netherlands. Enjoy suikerbrood and sailing in Sneek Explore Leiden without the tourist hustle Deventer is an under-rated gem Explore Utrecht from high up and from way down Get... More >


Thinking of renting a Dutch holiday cottage: here’s what you should know

Thinking of renting a Dutch holiday cottage: here’s what you should 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. It looks so great on the website – that May holiday bargain cottage for four, which will cost you just €319 for three nights. But, as we at DutchNews.nl have all discovered... More >


Dutch destinations: Go south and mooch around in Maastricht

Dutch destinations: Go south and mooch around in Maastricht

Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and it elegantly combines classic architecture with modern twists. Here you’ll find a vibrant bookstore and coffee bar in a centuries-old cathedral, electrifying boutiques located along cobblestone lanes, and what some say is the best bar in the country.  As one of the country’s most gorgeous (and strategically located) cities, it should come as no surprise that various empires have tried to seize Maastricht over the years. No one can... More >


Dutch destinations: Deventer is an under-rated gem

Dutch destinations: Deventer is an under-rated gem

Best known for its annual Dickens festival during the winter holiday season, Deventer is a picturesque city located east of Apeldoorn with a rich literary history. Here you’ll find gorgeous architecture, great cafes, and a very old kettle with a blood-soaked past. Deventer’s history goes all the way back to the Dark Ages, and it’s one of the country’s oldest communities. Historians theorise that it was likely founded by the English missionary Lebuinus in the mid 8th century. He constructed... More >


Make the most of the Dutch countryside – a few winter walks

Make the most of the Dutch countryside – a few winter walks

The Dutch are keen on walking and the countryside is riddled with signposted walks to encourage you to get out and about. Here’s a few suggestions to help you walk off the effect of all that festive food. De Rijp – 7 to 22 km The pretty village of De Rijp in Noord Holland is famous as a place to go boating, but it also offers several walks past tiny villages and, outside the breeding season, across fields into the... More >


Dutch Destinations: explore Utrecht from high up and from way down

Dutch Destinations: explore Utrecht from high up and from way down

DutchNews.nl destinations: Utrecht  Located on the eastern edge of the Randstad, Utrecht is a picturesque city full of history and culture – if you avoid the hideous concrete area around the main railway station – that is. From the top of Dom Tower all the way down to its iconic canals, there’s no shortage of cafes, museums, and other attractions to keep you busy for a weekend trip or an entire lifetime. Human activity in and around Utrecht dates all... More >


Dutch destinations: enjoy suikerbrood and sailing in Sneek

Dutch destinations: enjoy suikerbrood and sailing in Sneek

Most famous for its Sneek Week, a week long sailing competition and festival, the Frisian city of Sneek (Snits in West Frisian) has plenty to offer during the other 51 weeks of the year. Molly Quell goes north (again) to check out to eat more suikerbrood and see what the city has to offer. The area around Sneek has been inhabited since Roman times and received its city right in 1456, joining the other 10 Frisian cities that make up... More >