If you’ve ever thought about a trip in Holland, we can’t recommend it enough. You’ll find a country full of diversity, with a rich history and much to discover. If you’re planning a road trip in the Netherlands stick around, I have shared the ultimate route through this amazing country.
What do you need to pack for your trip in The Netherlands:
– An umbrella, it can rain unexpectedly
– Swimming clothes for beach days
– A good pair of walking shoes
– Clothes for warm and cold temperatures
– A camera and don’t forget your batteries and charger
– Transport, for making the trip through The Netherlands more easier
– A navigation system to plan your route
Schiphol – Amsterdam
If flying into the Netherlands, you’re likely to land at its biggest airport, Schiphol, near Amsterdam. We recommend arranging your transport beforehand so you don’t have added stress on your arrival and you have your car ready to collect on arrival. Dutch motorways are perfect to drive, so renting a car in Amsterdam is an easy process (unlike my experience driving in Tuscany last year!).
You need to make sure you don’t skip Amsterdam when visiting the Netherlands. The capital city is famous for a reason, and not only for its quaint canals, but also for its rich history and culture and some of Europe’s best museums including the Rembrandt House Museum, Body Worlds and The Rijksmuseum. If you’re into coffee as much as I am, you’re in for a treat. In Amsterdam are a hundred of cute little cafes, including one of our favourite Lot Sixty One, a charming (small) place for a good cup of coffee, or go to De drie graefjes for coffee, tea, cupcakes or a piece of delicious red velvet cake!
The fishers village Volendam
Done in Amsterdam? Get into your car and let’s drive to Volendam. This fishermen’s village is located at the IJsselmeer. It’s a charming village full of character: traditional, small houses and drawbridges surrounded by an idyllic view. Blend in with the local tradition as you dress up in typical Volendams costume and eat ‘Hollandse nieuwe haring’, which is a typical Dutch delicacy (Dutch raw herring with onions). If raw herring doesn’t take your fancy, there are plenty of nice restaurants to choose from at the waterfront. Of course, you’ll have to try some stroopwafels, poffertjes or speculaas cookies – so get ready to loosen your belt!
Crossing the Afsluitdijk
To get to the Wadden Sea Islands, you’ll have to cross the 32 kilometre-long dike that connects two parts of the Netherlands. In the middle of the dike there’s a viewpoint overlooking the IJsselmeer or the Wadden Sea.
Wadden Sea Islands
The pearls of the North of the Netherlands are Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. They are all worth a visit, as they offer very distinct characteristics. Choose one of them to leave the crowds behind and relax to the max.
Dutch Venice: Giethoorn
Giethoorn is a place in Overijssel, also known as the Dutch little Venice. A unique experience is guaranteed. This quaint Dutch town is full of narrow canals where people travel on small boats, showing just how much the Dutch every day life is connected with water. Get a ‘Punter’ boat and sail at the little canals through the bush, past the old farms and under the many old wooden bridges.
Heathlands that chance by season
The Veluwe is a fantastic nature reserve full of colorful heathlands, beautiful forests, sand dunes and wild animals. We recommend you get out of the car and go for a relaxing nature walk to discover this beautiful corner of the Netherlands.
Efteling Theme Park
From the Veluwe it’s just an one hour drive to the enchanting Efteling theme park. We visited last year and were blown away by it, as it is such a magical place and perfect for children of all ages, but also for a wonderful day for adults. The park’s on-site accommodation is spectacular, the Efteling Bosrijk village sits right in the middle of a forest surrounded by wildlife, but the cottages are modern and perfect for families.
Old mills in Kinderdijk
The UNESCO World heritage site of the old mills of Kinderdijk are a postcard-perfect Dutch sight. The Netherlands are partly under sea level and those mills are pumping out water for a big part of the land, so the inhabitants can live at dry pumped land.
From the Mills to the garden
The Dutch are obviously famous for its tulips, and you’ll find the creme de la creme at the Keukenhof Garden in Lisse, where you can find over 800 kind of tulips. This is one of the biggest gardens in the world and there is more to see than only a simple field of tulips: flower shows, artworks, inspiration gardens and so much more.
As you won’t be short of things to do and see on a Netherlands road trip! We’d love to know if you’ve been on a Holland road trip of your own, or whether you’re planning one? Let me know in the comments if you’ve got any good tips for our next one!