The Netherlands (or Holland, as it’s more commonly known) sits at the heart of Europe and is often visited by travellers crossing the continent by car or train. It’s not hard to see why it has become so popular when you drive around The Netherlands, with its world-class museums, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cities, the country has something to offer every type of traveller. However, this also means that The Netherlands can be slightly more crowded than many other European countries, so how do you avoid being just another tourist in the crowd?

1. Bike around

One of the best ways to explore the Netherlands is by bike. You can cover a lot of ground quickly and easily, and there are plenty of scenic routes to take. Plus, biking is a great way to get some exercise while you travel. If you don’t have your own bike, it’s easy to rent one in major cities like Amsterdam or Utrecht. The Dutch countryside is full of picturesque places that make for ideal cycling destinations.

2. Walk around

The Netherlands is a small country, but there is so much to see and do. Walking around is one of the best ways to discover all that this country has to offer. From the canals of Amsterdam to the windmills of Kinderdijk, there is always something new to explore. Plus, walking is a great way to meet locals and get insider tips on where to go and what to see. 

3. Enjoy a canal cruise

A canal cruise is one of the best ways to see the Netherlands. You’ll get a unique perspective of the city as you glide down its canals. Plus, you’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful architecture up close. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a few of the country’s famous windmills. You can choose from cruises that last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Take your time and soak in the scenery—it’s an unforgettable experience.

4. Go on a free walking tour

One of the best ways to explore a new city is by going on a free walking tour. This way, you can learn about the history and culture of the place while getting some exercise. Plus, you’ll be able to see some of the main attractions without spending any money. Free walking tours are offered in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and other cities. It is often suggested to join one that starts from the town hall or market square. A good website for finding these types of tours is ToursByLocals.

5. See nature at Keukenhof Gardens

No trip to the Netherlands is complete without a visit to Keukenhof Gardens. Situated in Lisse, this flower park is bursting with colour and beauty. With over 7 million bulbs planted, Keukenhof is a must-see for nature lovers. The best time to visit is between mid-March and mid-May, when the tulips are in full bloom. You can walk through gardens of these colourful flowers at your leisure or explore the nearby shops. 

6. Try Dutch cuisine

One of the best ways to discover a new culture is through its cuisine. And there’s no better place to start than with Dutch food. Try traditional dishes like stroopwafels, hutspot, and pannenkoeken. Or go for something a little different and order kroketten, frikandel, or Bitterballen. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to find something delicious. When it comes to drinks, try wijn from the Amstel River Valley (an area near Amsterdam) or slootwater—a type of seltzer water made from local wells. If beer is more your thing, sample some Heineken, Grolsch, Amstel Light, or Pilsner Urquell on tap. For dessert? You can’t miss speculaas – an iconic Dutch biscuit that tastes even better when it’s eaten alongside a cup of coffee.


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