Hiking tips

Summer tourism in the Netherlands: our favorite tips for tourists

A beach near Vlissingen, Zeeland. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands is a great place for a summer vacation and you also avoid the crowds at Schiphol.

Brandon Hartley
Visit the Efteling. I spent a good chunk of my childhood summers at the theme parks that populate Southern California so I’m actually nostalgic wistfully queuing in the scorching sun just to get fired while being surrounded by herky-jerky animatronics of varying degrees of quality. Efteling is easily one of the top three destinations on the continent for this sort of thing.

Zuza Nazaruk
The very anticipation of summer in the Netherlands is something I enjoy very much. Seeing people in shorts and flip flops when it’s really not that hot, it’s funny. I also like discovering tiny café terraces that only open on sunny days.

I love hiking on the islands of Texel and Terschelling, ideally without a phone or at least an internet connection. The nature is very pretty there and it is a great place to rest. This year, I am also very excited about the European Conference for Science Journalism, which is taking place in Leiden.

Gordon Darroch
You don’t have to put up with the crowds in Amsterdam – try one of the equally pretty provincial towns, but smaller, cheaper and with fewer hawkers. Haarlem, Delft, Dordrecht and ‘s-Hertogenbosch are good options. Once beyond Utrecht, the countryside is set up for walking and cycling, as well as the classic Dutch challenge of wadopen: wade through the shallow waters of the Waddenzee to the islands at low tide (tip: invest in a cheap pair of shoes, because you will never want to wear them again).

Deborah Nicholls-Lee
For a car-free trip to Zeeland, take the train to Middelburg, the provincial capital. Its pretty café terraces, its medieval architecture and its bric-a-brac are only a few steps from the Cityhotel Wood, where we found stylish, spacious rooms at reasonable prices and an excellent breakfast. Take the 56 bus to Pauwenburgweg and stroll through the beautiful Van Woolderenpark. Cross the dunes and you will eventually arrive at the huge unspoilt beaches just west of Vlissingen.

Molly Quell
If you are not from the Netherlands, come and visit. It’s great in the summer, and not too hot. If you live here, take a weekend trip to places like Dordrecht or Breda and Leeuwarden. They are all nearby, they have quaint museums and very good food. Be a tourist even if you live here.

Robin Pascoe
Hire a boat, wherever you are, and just cruise around on the water. Forget the organized canal tours with the obligatory white wine and kaasblokjes (aka Trip Advisor’s World’s Best Vacation Experience) and rent your own. If you do it in a small group, it won’t cost you more than a few euros each. Don’t forget to pack a picnic.

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