The lights of Amsterdam shine even brighter throughout the holiday season, when the cool air wafts the pleasant scents of sizzling oliebollen (sweet dumpling) and fresh stroopwafel (thin baked waffle) across the city. The Netherlands offers some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, offering a wonderfully festive experience as you hunt through unique gifts from a huge variety of independent vendors. Christmas in Amsterdam presents stunning winter backdrops and a plethora of events and activities. Here are just a few of our favourite Christmas markets to visit in the land of Sinterklaas (the beloved Santa Claus of the Dutch) this winter.
At 7pm on the first Saturday of November, 57 of the best museums in Amsterdam open their doors to one of the biggest festivities of the year. A ticket for Museumnacht not only gets you into each of the city’s museums, but access to over 250 talks and activities too, like printmaking, cyanotype photography and even the chance to make your own home remedies. The streets transform into a massive carnival of art, science and history, with music and food stalls everywhere until 2am. That’s not to say the night’s over though. After the doors close, the party simply continues in the city’s many vibrant clubs.
Holland might not technically be a city, but since Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam equate to the same area size as greater London, you could easily argue that this region of Holland is just as compact as one – but as varied as a continent too.
The Netherlands is easy to explore by car, but the best way to experience it like a local is by hopping on a bicycle. As well as being one of the most convenient ways to get about the country, the extensive cycle network gives you a chance to see plenty of scenic sights along the way. If you’ve already biked around Amsterdam‘s famous Vondelpark and pedalled past the waterfront, check out these awesome cycle routes near the Dutch capital and start your own two-wheeled adventure.
The European music festival scene has some unforgettable experiences to offer, attracting visitors from across the globe who come to listen to amazing live music and soak up all-round good vibes. Here are four of the best weekender events coming up across the continent over the next few months.
There are some stunning expanses of nature to be found just a short venture from Rotterdam. Boasting everything from sand dunes, forests and lakes, these beauty spots contain a large variety of flora and fauna to discover. There are 20 Dutch national parks dotted across the country, so wherever you stay, there are plenty of idyllic settings to choose from. Here are just a few of the most popular.
With some of the Netherlands‘ most beautiful spots less than an hour’s train ride away from Amsterdam, it’s the perfect base from which to discover some of the country’s most famous historical sights and national delicacies. Start your journey at the capital’s Centraal Station and set off to enjoy a slice of Dutch culture. We’ve put together a few of our favourite day trips outside Amsterdam.
Along with wooden clogs and fields of budding tulips, the windmill is a true symbol of the Netherlands. Each year, visitors from around the world escape to the Dutch countryside for a glimpse of the many majestic sail-adorned buildings that have become the nation’s pastoral landmarks. To acknowledge the cultural importance of windmills across the country, the Netherlands will celebrate National Mill Day on the weekend of 13th-14th May 2016, an annual festival that sees 950 wind and watermills open their doors to visitors. To help you explore some of these iconic constructions, we’ve chosen some of the most beautiful windmills near Amsterdam that you can explore yourself.
On the 27th April this year, the Netherlands celebrates the annual King’s Day Festival with crowds of people wearing the national colour of orange and gathering in public spaces across the country. Known by the locals as Koningsdag, this nationwide event is held in honour of the incumbent Dutch monarch, which has been King Willem-Alexander since 2013. While the revelry can be experienced across the country, nowhere is the merrymaking bigger than in the capital. With street sales, boat parties and more, check out some of the best things to do on King’s Day in Amsterdam.
A boat tour can offer a new perspective of some of Europe’s most beautiful locations and landmarks, while offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. From a gentle canal cruise through the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to moonlight meanderings through Paris, the boat ride of your dreams is within grasp. If you like the sound of a sightseeing trip along the water with your loved ones, we have put together a few of the best European river tours.