Best Summer Activities To Do In The Netherlands
Check out the Efteling.
The Efteling is a Dutch amusement park in the south of the country, near Tilburg. It is a bit expensive, but it is definitely worth the money. You can easily spend your whole day there going on rollercoasters, river boats and dark rides. Almost every year, new attractions are opened. Two spectacular rollercoasters have even been added in the last three years. Plus, you can walk beneath the trees of the Fairy Tale Forest and enjoy fairy-tale depictions, almost like you’re visiting a living picture book!
Spend a day at the beach.
Scheveningen Beach is probably the most beautiful beach in the Netherlands. The beach is wide and it is safe to swim in the North Sea. Remember to take your sunscreen and a parasol! The large pier has been reopened and has a big Ferris Wheel and zipline. You can also find fantastic food stalls and small restaurants all around the pier and the beach. Make sure to try to the ‘poffertjes’ (mini pancakes) and the fish and chips. If you eat outside, beware of bold sea gulls because they will attempt to nick at bite or more!
Roam the Keukenhof gardens.
If you love gardens, flowers and nature, then the Keukenhof is a must-visit. You have to plan your visit carefully, because this garden is open only two months a year. But when it’s open, it displays a big variety of flowers; especially the renowned Dutch tulip. There is also a really big green house with many special and exotic plants. You can also enjoy Dutch food and drinks and take pictures with an old fashioned windmill.
Visit the Rotterdam Zoo.
In my opinion, Rotterdam Zoo is the most beautiful zoo in the Netherlands. It does take a train ride to get there if you are staying in Amsterdam, but it will be worth it. Rotterdam Zoo has a tunnel through a sea enclosure and is also known for its polar bear twins and the massive savannah area with giraffes and zebras. Rotterdam Zoo is also the home of the gorilla, Bokito. This male silverback was in the news some years ago after it had escaped its enclosure, but I can assure you that the zoo is safe! Every day there are a number of activities around the animals, organized by the staff, which you can participate in.
Take a kayak trip outside Amsterdam.
Skip the long boat tour in Amsterdam and visit a nearby city with more beautiful canals, such as Leiden or Utrecht. Both are accessible within 40 minutes of Amsterdam by train. These cities are smaller, yet just as beautiful. It is easy in these cities to rent a kayak for an hour or two and discover the canals yourself. These cities are less crowded and therefore it is easier to cycle there too.
Something for a rainy day.
Sadly, not all summer days feel like summer in the Netherlands. Sometimes it is just raining and you have to stick to some indoor activities. If you are staying in Amsterdam, get on a tram to the nearest museum. The Rijksmuseum is big enough to spend at least a couple of hours in it. If you are not so interested in museums, you could try out the Heineken Experience!
Another water activity here! Giethoorn is known as the Venice of the north. There are very few roads in this tiny Dutch village so people transport on small motorized boats. You can get on a big tour boat with a guide who will tell you all you need to know about the small village and its history. You can also rent a small boat for you and your friends and explore yourself.
Have a festival of a summer!
The Netherlands is known for its numerous music festivals. Each city has at least some sort of Jazz gig, World Music day or a multi-day festival. There are over thirty annual festivals per year, ranging from electric pop to metal and hip-hop to funk. Pinkpop, a festival held each year around the Pentacost weekend, is the oldest ongoing annual festival of Europe and was held for the first time in 1970. This year the line-up consisted of Green Day, Kings of Leon and Imagine Dragons. So set a tent and spend three days in the sun!