There is so much more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam, despite the bulk of the tourists heading to the Dutch capital. Exploring beyond Amsterdam is definitely worth it. Here are 6 Dutch places that should be on your travel itinerary if you come to the Netherlands.
Don’t take my word for it. Those folk over at Lonely Planet know much more about travel than I do, and they say you should visit Texel too.
Texel is the largest of the Wadden Islands – it means you have to take a ferry from the mainland to get to it, which is a fun way to start your trip. The island is made up of white sand beaches, dunes and nature reserves. There’s lots to do for young and old from hiking and cycling to dairy farm visits, a seal sanctuary and museums. There’s a lot of sheep too, which can be entertaining whilst you cycle around the island…..and gives Texel a name for quality wool.
If you are a water sport fan then the Ijsselmeer is a great destination for you. The largest lake in the Netherlands, it was formerly known as the Zuiderzee until the Afsluitdijk closed it off from the sea. The dyke itself is worth a peek, and you can travel the length of this man-made piece of engineering.
You can read more about the IJsselmeer area, in particular about Medemblik in this post.
The political capital of the Netherlands doesn’t always make it on to a traveller’s ‘to visit’ list, but it should. There is so much to do in the Hague: visit museums like the Panorama Mesdag, Mauritshuis, Escher museum or Gemeentemuseum; go to a football game at ADO Den Haag’s Kyocera Stadion; take in a show or a dance performance.
The Hague also makes for a surprising ideal base for days out to the beach or walks in the dunes, Scheveningen being one of the most popular. There are festivals (like the Embassy Festival in September which is a cultural treat for all the senses), theatres, shows and special museum events on a regular basis.
Kasteel De Haar, Utrecht
This castle is a place I would happily live in. On my bucket list is to sit in the gardens and just spend an afternoon writing. It is stunningly beautiful. The gardens have an English country garden feel to them, and in typical Dutch style there are waterways to admire.
Whilst you are in the province of Utrecht, take a trip to Soestdijk Palace. This is the former home of Queen Juliana and the childhood home of Princess Beatrix (the present King’s mother). The royals lived here for around 60 years and you can tour the palace and take a stroll around the plentiful gardens and estate. There are also special events on from time to time.
If you are into theme parks then De Efteling is a great place to head to. There are attractions and entertainment for young and old, in summer and in winter. There’s a bit of a fairy tale theme to the park, and it’s a hit with kids of all ages. You can read about our visit there in this post.
Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more about other travel posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers: Explore Wild Nature in Latvia – Multicultural Kid BlogsSports to Try When Visiting France – La Cité des VentsA Journey in South Africa – Globe Trottin’ KidsSports to Try When Visiting France – La Cité des VentsChile – La Clase de Sra. DuFaultTomar, Portugal: the Last Templar Town – the piri-piri lexicon7 Places to Explore in the Netherlands – Expat Life with a Double BuggyExplore Buenos Aires – Hispanic MamaKid-Friendly Vacation in Puerto Rico – Discovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDon’t forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.