1. Embark on a canal boat tour in Amsterdam
Needless to say, this is an absolutely mandatory thing to do at least once in Amsterdam. Yes, it’s a top touristic attraction and people waiting to get in a boat are everywhere, but this is the only and the best way to admire the great architecture of the city. I live in the Netherlands for 5 years and I did it several times. It’s amazing. You can also walk, walk, walk, but it’s not going to be the same experience! Buy a ticket and get in the boat!
For more tips on how to have a great time in Amsterdam, check out my recommendations here: Who doesn’t want to go to Amsterdam?
2. See the Gargantuan Gates that prevent high seawaters from flooding in the Rotterdam Port
Well, I am not sure if this is kinda top experience, but for me, this is the equivalent of climbing at the top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This an engineering mind-blowing invention and it’s not only available to watch on Discovery. The Gates are massive! I’ve been at the Rotterdam port twice and every time I was impressed to see how big it is compared to the entire country of the Netherlands. And these Gates have been conceived and constructed to prevent the country from flooding! Just amazing!
If Rotterdam is on your radar, check out my top things to see and do there: Destination Rotterdam, the most modern city in the Netherlands
3. Have a dinner or just a glass of wine with the perfect view on the Utrecht’s canals
The city center of Utrecht is compact and concentrated around the canals. The canals are the main attraction of the city. There are myriads of restaurants and cafes for all the tastes and preferences on the canals and it’s so nice to have a dinner or just a drink with the great view all around you there!
For more information on Utrecht, read my article here: Canals in Utrecht, what else?
4. Go for a Mud walking (Wadlopen) in Pieterburen in Friesland
This is an activity you can only do in the Netherlands and Northern Germany. It’s a 3-hours walk in the wild nature in the mud guiding you to the North Sea. On your way, you can see and admire wildlife living there from crabs to fish and if you are lucky sea dogs. For me, this was an incredible experience and I enjoyed it so much! However, it’s recommended to do it in the summer (warm period of the year) as your feet will wet the entire walk.
5. Participate in the Balloon Fiesta Barneveld
Participating in the Hot Balloon Fest in Barneveld was once in a lifetime memorable experience for me and my husband! We had a great ride in a hot air balloon and enjoyed the view on Amersfoort and the region from the above. There were 35 hot air balloons in the air at the same time. But the best of it was that we could take part in everything – preparing the balloon for the ride, enjoying the ride and have a glass of champagne at the award certificates ceremony!
6. Eat Bossche Bollen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch
s’Hertogenbosch is a Dutch city famous with many tourist attractions like St. John’s Cathedral – the biggest cathedral in the Netherlands, its historical boat tours around the smallest canals that could ever exist, Hieronymus Bosch’s Art Center and many others. But while in Den Bosch do like the citizens of Den Bosch do – eat a Bossche Bol. A pastry full with sweet cream and chocolate. Yummy!
7. Immerse yourself in the Tulips
And the award-winning Dutch experience for me is a day in the Tulips’ fields. And the best place just to immerse yourself in the tulips is Hillegom. Check my article and find out more about Hillegom: The Tulip Road
8. Ride a bike in the Dutch villages
Keep calm and ride your bike in the Dutch countryside. Gorinchem is the best place I could recommend for that. Gorinchem is a small town in the middle of the country where you can have it all-in-one: windmills, Dutch houses, canals, bikes, a huge park and all this without the tourist crowd! Check my review on Gorinchem here: Dutch weekend destination: Amersfoort, Gorinchem or s’Hertogenbosch
9. Appreciate Dutch art and design in Mondrian’s house in Amersfoort
Passionate about art and Dutch design? Then do not miss out Amersfoort and Mondrian’s house. It keeps all his belongings and his work. For more information on Amersfoort, please check out here: Dutch weekend destination: Amersfoort, Gorinchem or s’Hertogenbosch
10. Visit the Dickens Festival in Deventer around Christmas time!
Christmas markets all around Europe are flourishing in many countries, but if you have seen enough already, I would recommend to head to Deventer and enjoy the 19th-century atmosphere there during the Dickens Festival. Before planning it, check out my recommendations here: While everybody is rushing to German Christmas markets, visit the Dickens Festival in Deventer, the Netherlands
Did you already pack for the Netherlands? Get ready!
Thanks for reading!