Where to go for a holiday in the Netherlands? (by a local)

The Netherlands may not be the first holiday destination you think of, yet the country has a lot to offer. We have beaches, nature reserves, cities and a lot of historical sites. The Dutch also love good food and cosiness (we call it “gezellig”), so you’ll feel at home here pretty easily. 

But what are the best places for a holiday in the Netherlands? These are a local’s tips!

Beach holidays in the Netherlands

The entire west coast of the Netherlands is by the sea. So here you will also find a lot of nice seaside resorts, but not all of them are suitable for a holiday. 

In the southwest of the Netherlands, Zeeland is one of the best holiday destinations and has a pleasant holiday atmosphere. Zoutelande is one of the most popular places for a beach holiday because the beach faces south, giving it a Mediterranean feel. 

Do you prefer to stay close to the big cities? Then book a stay in Kijkduin. This beach is close to The Hague but less busy than Scheveningen. From Kijkduin, you can easily travel to The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft, Leiden and even Amsterdam if you want to see other parts of the country. 

And finally, there are the Wadden Islands. This is a group of islands in the north of the Netherlands. The largest island is Texel, known for its many sheep. Vlieland has kilometres of beaches, and Terschelling is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. 

Nature cottages

Nature cottages are a popular way to spend the night in the Netherlands. These are often tiny houses in the middle of nature. 

You can find these cottages, among others, near the Veluwe, located in the centre of the country. This is a vast nature reserve where you can enjoy hiking and cycling. 

In the country’s south, you will find the Loonsche and Drunense Dunes in Brabant. As the name suggests, here you will find primarily huge sand plains. Really beautiful to see, as it’s a pretty uncommon landscape in The Netherlands. 

If you go even further south, you arrive in South Limburg. This is the only part of the Netherlands with hills. You’ll find castles and the famous triple-border point in which the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are connected. 

City break

The Netherlands is also an excellent place for a city trip. Most people go to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Here you will find the famous canals with canal boats, the Palace on Dam Square, the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum. 

Want to experience the canals without the many tourists? Then Delft and Leiden are just as magical but less touristy. 

The Hague is the city where the Dutch government and the International Criminal Court are located. The city has several historical buildings and its own beach (Scheveningen).

Rotterdam is an industrial city that was largely destroyed during World War II. The buildings are, therefore, less historic. However, you will find many shops, a large zoo and several museums. 

Other noteworthy cities are Gouda, Middelburg, Maastricht, Groningen, and Den Bosch. 

Holiday parks

Many Dutch people with children often opt for a holiday at a holiday park. These bungalow parks typically include water parks, sports fields, and playgrounds. Here, children can enjoy themselves safely while parents can relax. 

You can find these holiday parks throughout the Netherlands. Some of the best are Efteling Bosrijk and Vakantiepark Duinrell, right next to an amusement park. Or Safari Resort Beekse Bergen, where you can spend the night overlooking wild animals. 

By the water

Finally, many Dutch people choose a holiday by the water. We don’t mean the sea, but one of the many lakes or rivers in the Netherlands. 

One of the best places to stay by the water is Friesland. This is a province in the north of the Netherlands. It consists of several lakes where you can rent a cottage with a boat, or perhaps even more fun, rent a boat to go out on the water for several days.

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