hidden gems netherlands

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The best-hidden gems in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a small country, mostly known for Amsterdam, bicycles, and weed (only in Amsterdam). However, the Netherlands is so much more than just that. There’s unique nature, historical towns and unusual activities you can do. These are the best-hidden gems of the Netherlands.

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hidden gems in the netherlands

About the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a tiny country in western Europe. The capital city is Amsterdam. Most people speak Dutch in the Netherlands, but German and English are also common languages. In the Netherlands, we pay with the Euro.

When you visit the Netherlands, you will explore this country’s rich history. There are so many museums in every place that are quite interesting. Make sure to visit one!


Because the Netherlands is such a small country, you can drive from north to south in less than 4 hours. From Amsterdam, almost everything is less than 2 hours away. That’s incredibly practical!

roads in the netherlands

You can drive from Amsterdam:

  • To the national park the Hoge Veluwe in 1 hour.
  • To Rotterdam in 1 hour.
  • To the most Nothern city: Groningen, in 2 hours.
  • To Haarlem in half an hour.

Public transport

The Netherlands also has a pretty good public transport system. You can easily travel between all cities by train and there’s a huge network of buses. Some cities have trams and metros as well.

If you’re planning on visiting for over 2 weeks, make sure to get an OV chip card. You can use this card on public transport quite easily and it might save you some money.

trains in the netherlands

Best time to visit the Netherlands

The best time to visit is anytime when it’s not winter. It rains in the Netherlands… A lot…

In my opinion, the best time to visit the Netherlands is in Spring or Summer. However, Autumn can be a magical time in the Netherlands.

The weather in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the weather isn’t logical at all. In the summer of 2021, we had rain. All summer long. And now last April it started snowing out of nowhere. We had 3 considerable storms in March. Sometimes in February, we get a weekend of summer. Sometimes summer is summer. Other times summer is winter. It’s always different.

This country keeps surprising me weather-like, over and over again. But the good thing is, that the weather is predictable. If the news says it’s raining next week, it’s raining next week. If the news says it’s going to be sunny, it’s definitely going to be sunny.

But, overall, there’s generally good weather in spring and summer. Or well, it’s supposed to be good weather. So with a little luck, you’ll have a beautiful vacation in the Netherlands.

weather in the netherlands

Click here to check out the current weather in the Netherlands.

Hidden gems in the Netherlands

Everyone visiting the Netherlands always goes to Amsterdam, the Hoge Veluwe, and the Zaanse Schans. However, there are many more places you should visit. Here’s my list of hidden gems in the Netherlands.

1. Seringenberg Wassenaar

The first hidden gem, is like, really hidden. The only reason I know it is because I live near that place.


The Seringenberg in Wassenaar is a magical place that’s not crowded at most times (Sundays it gets a bit crowded). It’s located in a forest called: the Horsten.

The literal translation of Seringenberg is the lilac mountain. But seeing that the Netherlands doesn’t have mountains, this is not an actual mountain. It’s more like a high hill filled with lilac bushes. This purple hill looks and smells amazing!

Around the month of May, the Seringenberg will be in bloom for 2 to 3 weeks. It’s a little walk through the forest, to get to this hill. The Horsten is open daily from 9 am to 8:30 pm. A parking ticket costs 3 euros, and entrance to the forest is free.

The Seringenberg Definitely a fun gem to visit!

You can take a picturesque walk to the top and enjoy a beautiful view!

2. Texel

visit texel

Another hidden gem of the Netherlands is Texel.

Texel is a little island where you can get by boat from Den Helder. It’s a fun island to road trip through and there are a lot of things you can do, like:

  • Going surfing
  • Visit Ecomare (a sanctuary for seals and birds)
  • Visit de Schans Fortress
  • Take a look at Texels lighthouse
  • Hike one national park Duinen van Texel

Dutchies often visit Texel in summer, so it may get a bit crowded around July and August. I recommend visiting Texel in May, June, or September.

The ferry will cost you 25 or 37 euros, depending on the day you want to go. This goes for a ticket for passing with a car. There are also other options available. It’s a round trip, so you only have to pay once.

Get your ticket here!

3. Elburg

hidden gems in the netherlands

This hidden gem is a small town some Dutchies haven’t even heard of. Elburg is a historic town surrounded by city walls. With some cute restaurants, bakeries, and shops, Elburg’s a wonderful place to spend a day at.

At parking Elburg, you can park your car for free. From here it’s only a one-minute walk to the old town.

4. De Orchideeën Hoeve

hidden gems in the netherlands

So, you’re visiting the Netherlands… And you’re having the worst weather… Then the Orchideeën Hoeve is your go-to place.

The Orchideeën Hoeve is a great place for a tropical break. This jungle-like place is filled with butterflies, plants, tropical birds, and more!

You can just walk through this wonderful place and discover all its beauty. You can feed the fish, turtles, duckies, and some tropical birds (that’ll literally land on your head and arms).

An adult ticket is 16,50 euros. Get your ticket here!

The Orchideeën Hoeve is such a fun hidden gem to visit, make sure to keep it in mind!

5. National Park Dwingelerveld

Drenthe hidden gem
Walking the Vlonderpad…

For this hidden gem, we’ll be going to a province called Drenthe. This is one of the most beautiful provinces of the Netherlands, one you should definitely visit.

Especially National park Dwingelerveld was magical! We hiked this park a few times now, and it’s just the best! Every season gives this park a different charm. You can visit places like:

  • Vlonderpad (a super cute wooden pathway)
  • Sheep field Achter ‘t Zaand
  • Dwingeloose heather (in August/September in bloom)

The last time we visited was in fall and with the mushrooms and the warm colors, this park was absolutely stunning. And it’s free to visit!

Make sure to check it out!

Note: Here you’ll find a general guide to visiting the Netherlands + popular places.

6. Drents-Friese Wold National Park

visit Drenthe
You can stand on a glass platform at the top!

Another beautiful place in Drenthe is Drents-Friese Wold National Park. This park makes you feel like you’ve entered another world!

We especially visited this park at the Bosbergtoren, which is a high watchtower. At only 2 euros you can climb this tower and take in the breathtaking views from above.

This sure is a hidden gem, as not many people know of its existence.

You should visit this place when you’re in the Netherlands!

7. Groningen

must visit places in the Netherlands

Now it’s time for a hidden city. Although you may have heard of it, visiting Groningen will be like visiting a hidden gem.

As Groningen is a bit further away from Amsterdam, it discourages people to visit this beautiful historic city. But that’s such a shame as Groningen really is a must-visit place.

Groningen is so cozy, with lots of beer breweries and cute restaurants. This is one of my favorite Dutch cities.

Make sure to check it out!

8. Bourtange

hidden gems in the netherlands

Near Groningen lies a unique fortified village called Bourtange. From the sky, this town has the form of a snowflake. This beautiful historic town is one hell of a hidden gem, most Dutchies don’t know this place exists.

There’s a cute mill, an interesting museum, and a lot of historic sites in this small town.  

You can easily park your car at Bourtange parking for free. Then walk to the historic town in only 6 minutes.

Make sure to check it out!

9. Wageningen

hidden gems netherlands
Belmonte Arboretum is a great place for a little walk.

This last hidden gem has earned a pretty special place in my heart. Wageningen is my number one favorite town. With a historic center and beautiful nature, Wageningen is a place you must visit!

You can go shopping in the historic city center, walk through Belmonte Arboretum, and say hi to the cows at Wageningse Uiterwaarden.

For me, Wageningen is just a special romantic place, you should visit when you’re in the Netherlands!

Final thoughts on these hidden gems in the Netherlands

So, these are my favorite hidden gems in the Netherlands. You should really visit these places to get a really good taste of the Netherlands. And don’t forget to eat a stroopwafel.

Why do you want to visit the Netherlands? Let me know in the comments below!

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9 Wonderful Hidden Gems in the Netherlands You Must Visit

hidden gems netherlands
hidden gems netherlands

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