When the chilly winter and the windy spring make way for summer, the Netherlands changes its way of living. Cities become more vibrant as Dutch people love to stay outside to enjoy their social life, and take advantage of the long summer days. But what do they do besides biking?
In this blog we will recommend you some summer activities that you can explore on your next visit to the Netherlands. We promise there is more to do than biking and Amsterdam.
Sunbathing at the lakes
Considering that the Netherlands is at below sea level, there are many lakes across the country that make them a very popular spot every summer among locals. For example, the Maarsseveense Plassen, it is a big lake and one of the cleanest lakes in the Netherlands near the city centre of Utrecht. This lake is surrounded by sand, so you can get the beach vibes, and has a free entrance. In the opposite side of the city, you will find Down Under, another top location with volleyball courts, indoor surfing, and possibility to do wakeboarding. This lake only opens on sunny days when above 22 degrees. Both are highly recommended and within biking distance from Utrecht Central station.
Kayaking or Boat Ride
You have probably seen all the boat ride options in Amsterdam, but did you know you can also kayak in some Amsterdam canals? Although you will mostly find boats among the canals, there are some alternatives to kayak in more quiet areas of the city. However, if you are looking to kayak in a quieter area, every Dutch region offers this activity. If you plan to visit Maastricht, you can opt to kayak in the Dutch-Belgium border we can assure you that you will not need to show your passport.
Boat rides are a trademark in the Netherlands and you do not have to own a boat to enjoy the ride. Same as kayaks, there are many options across the country to reserve a Canada boat or an electric boat. This is a great activity to do with friends and combine it with a picnic session.
Day Trip to Giethoorn
The Venice of the Netherlands as some might call it, is the perfect city tour to take in the summer as the nice weather mixed with the fairy tale atmosphere charms all its visitors. Located 120km away from Amsterdam and in the national park of Weerribben-Wieden, it is a place even more special as the city centre is not accessible by car. This the reason this village is internationally known as the village without roads. Rent a boat and dream alive! It is recommended to arrive early to avoid crowds and make a reservation at one of the different restaurants available to secure you a place.
Walk Through the Cosmopolitan Dutch City
Plan a day visit to Rotterdam. This city went from being a humble fishing village to the centre of world trade. Rotterdam can be seen as having had the most shocking and glowing transformations of the Netherlands. The city was reborn after the war and the depression into one of the most cosmopolitan places in the country. Its modern architecture attracts visitors from all over the globe. The cosmopolitan and industrial vibes mix with nature, as the city has several big parks where its inhabitants can lay down and relax on sunny days. Moreover, the city transforms itself for two days in July into Unlimited Rotterdam, a festival composed of live music and parades. Remember to take a selfie at the famous cube houses and grab a snack at the Markthal.
Fun Fact: Did you Rotterdam has one of the largest ports in Europe? It might not sound very impressive if you are not into the maritime and logistic world, but everyday there are cruise tours that depart to the Rotterdam port. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore Rotterdam from the water and be amazed by the immense size of the cargo boat and the number of containers at sea.
Albeit, not very popular to tourists, the Netherlands has islands in the Caribbean but also five islands in the north part of the Netherlands, in the Wadden Sea. If you have three days off and would like to explore more a very Dutch destination, then we suggest to choose between the Schiermonnikoog, Ameland, Terschelling, Vlieland and Texel, known as the five pearls in the north of the Netherlands. Texel is biggest island of the “Wadden” region and known for its lighthouse, a beer brewery with the same name. Being an island with a wonderful beach enables you to partake in a lot of adventurous activities such as parachuting, rafting with a group, cycling, food tasting and feeding seals. It is a nice island to visit to get away from the big bustling city. Why not go hiking or take a shore excursion?
Did you know the Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage? Make sure you are always responsible tourist.
Discover the Old Villages
When it comes to tourism, two of the most traditional and visited villages are Delft and Gouda. Delft is known for its blue pottery and can be combined with a day trip with Gouda where you can try out the Gouda cheese and even make a pitstop in Kinderdijk to make a walk along the big windmills and explore their inside that will take you back some ages.
Open air museum in Arnhem is a great summer activity to discover more about the Dutch history and experience how life in the Netherlands was in the past decades and century.
Whether you like the big city or prefer the quiet surroundings of the countryside, the Netherlands has plenty to offer if you like to have some time away from your home. So, whatever scene you prefer, city or nature, you will see that the country is unique, cosy, and open.
If you are a nurse and want to live the Dutch experience, contact us to follow free language courses, and within 3 months the adventure of your life as a Health Care Professional in the Netherlands will begin!