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Road trip the Netherlands and explore the most stunning cities and beautiful nature.

Have you ever thought about going on a road trip to the Netherlands? I have lived in this country all my life and I can tell you, you have to see the Netherlands at least once in your life!

In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through the best places to visit in the Netherlands, offering a curated selection of destinations that capture the essence of this enchanting country.

From the timeless allure of Amsterdam’s historic center to the serene beauty of the Keukenhof Gardens, we’ll explore the highlights that make the Netherlands an unforgettable travel destination.

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netherlands road trip

The Netherlands road trip: Things to do

Tulip fields

Let’s start off with the thing that the Netherlands is most popular for. The stunning tulip fields! 40 minutes south of Amsterdam is a town called Lisse. Also known as the center of the bollenstreek. Lisse is known for its tulips. All around lisse you can admire the tulip fields (in spring).

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I’d recommend renting a bike in Lisse to cycle along the fields and take in its beauty as close as you can. Take a camera with you and enjoy!


For this one, we’re staying in Lisse. Keukenhof is probably one of the most touristy attractions in the Netherlands, and I fully understand that. As a kid, I visited Keukenhof a few times because it’s only 20 minutes away from my house. And I can tell you, Keukenhof is definitely worth visiting.

Every year they make it a bit different. But every year it’s just as beautiful.

Visit Keukenhof

Keukenhof is open from half March till half May every day from 8 AM till 7:30 PM. An adult ticket will cost you 18,50 euros and a parking ticket is 6 euros. It’s also possible to go there by bus.


My birth town. Leiden may just be one of the most beautifully historic cities in the Netherlands. With its gothic structures and its vibrant city center, this city will give you a wonderful experience. You can easily see the whole city in a day or two, as it isn’t that big.

If you don’t like the crowds, I’d recommend going on a weekday. On the weekends it’s always crowded. (This kinda goes for everything in the Netherlands, as most people tend to go out in the weekends)

Netherlands road trip

And there are lots of beautiful museums to visit in Leiden, like Naturalis, mill museum the Valk, Corpus, and many more. These museums all have different fees, so check them out before visiting.

Check out this site for information about the museums

Extra tip: Visit Hortus Botanicus. A gorgeous botanical garden in the center of Leiden.


When you travel the Netherlands, Volendam is a must-see town. Volendam is the best-known Dutch fishing town that has plenty to offer for an amazing day trip.

There are a few museums to visit here, a cute harbor, the best souvenir shops, and many restaurants.

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When in Volendam, make sure to get your picture taken in traditional Volendam clothing, and eat some delicious fish afterward while admiring all the Dutch ships in the old harbor.

The last time I visited Volendam, it was right before Christmas, and it was so cozy, with all the lights, nice people, and hot chocolate. However, you can visit Volendam any time of the year!

Volendam is less than half an hour drive up from Amsterdam.

De Hoge Veluwe

The national park the Hoge Veluwe is situated in the middle of the Netherlands. It’s a stunning park with lots of green and wildlife. You should absolutely visit the Hoge Veluwe for a long walk with lots of picturesque views.

If you’ll be visiting somewhere between mid-August and mid-September, there’ll be quite a pleasant surprise waiting in the Veluwe. In these 4 weeks, the breathtaking heather will be in bloom. These are little purple flowers, but entire fields of them. For as far as the eye can see.

Netherlands road trip

I’d recommend if you are going to see the heather, to go at sunrise. You’ll be able to take the most beautiful pictures and it won’t crowded at all.

To visit the Hoge Veluwe, you’ll have to pay around 11 euros. But for this price, you’ll get a nice extra: You can lend a bike to explore the park and leave it elsewhere at a designated place. This is a great (and the most Dutch) way to explore the park.


Of course, Amsterdam can’t be skipped on this list. The Capital city of the Netherlands has so many things to offer. There are plenty of museums, gorgeous architecture, shopping streets, and even a bit of nature.

Day trip from Amsterdam by train

The museums in Amsterdam are incredibly diverse. It goes from famous paintings to World War 2, to sex museums. Yep…

But if you’re a bit tired from all the museums, you can easily take a break in the Amsterdam forest. Here you can admire the blossom park (in spring), visit a goat farm, go canoeing or just hang out. If you don’t want to leave the city center, but you want to see some nature, visit the Hortus Botanicus. This is a gorgeous botanical garden right in the middle of the city center of Amsterdam.

3 days should be enough to visit the magnificent city of Amsterdam. Read this perfect 3-day itinerary for Amsterdam!

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People call Giethoorn, Venice of the Netherlands. Giethoorn is a Dutch town with no streets (not entirely true, but let’s not offend the Dutchies). When visiting Giethoorn you should rent a boat and just explore the village. There’s not really much more to it.

I haven’t been to Giethoorn yet, but from what I hear, it should be quite a unique experience. So check it out!

Day trip from Amsterdam by train

Giethoorn is about an hour and a half from Amsterdam. If you leave in the morning, there’ll be plenty of time to explore Giethoorn by boat.


Another historical city in the Netherlands is Delft. You may have heard of this city because it’s quite famous for Delfts Blue. It’s sort of a painting style with a particular blue color on white tiles, porcelain, or ceramics.

delft, the netherlands

But that’s not all there is to see in Delft. In this city, there are many historical buildings, some museums, lots of shopping opportunities, and there’s always a good vibe here.

Since my sister-in-law lives in Delft, I occasionally visit this city, and thus I know exactly where you should eat (from my own experience).

For some delicious burgers or vegetarian meals, visit café Het Walletje

To enjoy the best steak you’ll ever taste, go to restaurant Loetje.

And for a bit of every food style, go to Heinde En Ver. At this tapas restaurant, you can eat a lot of small meals. This restaurant is good for literally everyone.

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Zaanse Schans

Visiting the Zaanse Schans can be a great day trip from Amsterdam! It’s only about a 20-minute drive. This preserved historical village has the most picturesque Dutch sights and views.

At the Zaanse Schans, there are some museums you must visit, like the wooden shoe museum, the world of windmills, the bakery museum, or the open-air museum Zaanse Tijd.

Other things you can find at the Zaanse Schans are souvenir shops, restaurants, a cheese farm, and of course, many windmills.

Pro tip: Read this guide for visiting the Zaanse Schans, for helpful information and tips!

Netherlands day trips

The postcard-like green houses and windmills are definitely worth a visit!


This gorgeous city is a bit like Delft. It’s cozy, you can go shopping and there’s a lot of history in this city. There are many old churches and museums. There even is an old dome prison. I don’t know if you can enter the dome, but it’s just cool to look at.

Haarlem is a great place to go shopping, there are so many stores. In between shopping you could go and grab lunch or dinner at a cute restaurant, there are plenty to choose from. And if you’re not that into shopping, you should go and visit a museum or just admire the historical center.

Day trips Netherlands

Haarlem is around a 35-minute drive from Amsterdam or 20 minutes by train.


Kinderdijk is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Netherlands. This place is known for its many mills next to a canal.

To visit Kinderdijk, you should buy an entrance ticket beforehand. This ticket will grant you entrance to 2 museum mills, a short cruise down the mills, and some other extras. A ticket costs 16 euros per adult. To park your car (in Alblasserdam) it’s another 7,50 euros, this price includes a shuttle bus to Kinderdijk.

netherlands road trip

Kinderdijk is located east of Rotterdam at only half an hour’s drive.


Pampus is quite an unpopular activity to do when in Amsterdam. This little island is another UNESCO World Heritage site. Pampus a the Amsterdam island with a fort filled with history. You can get there by boat and explore the island on your own, or book a tour.

If you book your ticket online, you’ll get a small discount. A ticket to the island including the boat trip is 17 euros per adult (if booked online).

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In summer a boat from Pampus leaves from Amsterdam. All year round it leaves from Muiden, which is a great combination to visiting Pampus, as there is a stunning castle to visit in Muiden; Muiderslot. Check it out, it’s really worth a visit.

Kasteel de Haar

The largest castle in the Netherlands: Kasteel de Haar. This castle is so fricking gorgeous. In less than 40 minutes from Amsterdam, lies this stunning hidden gem.

Kasteel de Haar was built in the 12th century and rebuilt in 1892. To this day, the castle is as beautiful as ever because of its good maintenance. The castle has a beautiful interior and stunning gardens around. You should really check it out!

Ticket prices of Kasteel de Haar vary from 7 to 25,50 euros, depending on what you want to visit at this castle (park, castle, or Chatelet). A parking ticket costs an extra 6 euros.

netherlands road trip

A practical guide for visiting the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country like no other. It’s smart to read this guide before visiting; to get a little taste of what the Netherlands is like.

Getting to the Netherlands

If you’re from a neighboring country, it’s easiest to go to the Netherlands by train or car. This is cheap and shouldn’t take too long. However, most people are gonna have to fly to the Netherlands. We do have 2 airports, but you will probably (and should!) land at Schiphol, located near Amsterdam.

From Schiphol, many trains and buses will take you to the city center of Amsterdam (or other cities).

netherlands 7 day itinerary

How to get around

Getting around in the Netherlands isn’t hard at all. With an amazing train network, rental bikes everywhere, and car rental, the options are endless!


Many people visiting from Belgium, Germany, or France, choose to drive to the Netherlands, which instantly gives you complete freedom to explore the entire country. As I live in the Netherlands, I go everywhere by car, which is in my opinion the best way to get around.

We have incredibly good highways, that will direct you to your destination fast.


Did you know that in the Netherlands, there are more bikes than people? It’s not because every person owns 2 bikes (some do though…), I presume it’s because of rentals.

In the Netherlands, you can always find trusty bike rental services, but you can also get an OV-chipkaart (more about this below). With this card, you can ‘’rent’’ a bike to get from one place to the other.

OV (public transport)

OV means public transport. Many Dutchies own an OV-chipkaart, which is a card you can use to check in and out of buses and trains. But as I’ve told you above, you can also use this card to rent a bike.

On a week’s trip to the Netherlands, you don’t really need an OV-chipkaart, because you can pay with your debit card in buses and just buy train tickets at the station. However, if you’re in the Netherlands for longer than a month, and using public transport a lot, you should get one (most Albert Heijn supermarkets sell them at the service desk, for €7,50).


The local currency of the Netherlands is the Euro. This is the easiest currency in all of Europe, as many other EU countries also use it. The Euro is very similar to US dollars, in worth, which also makes it easy to use for Americans.


The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch. But this country has one of the highest rates of English proficiency in the world, even when you include English-speaking countries. So speaking English in the Netherlands is no problem at all, most Dutch citizens speak English fluently.


The most used small talk topic in the Netherlands is the weather. But why do people talk about it all the time?

Because it’s unpredictable.

But having lived in this country my whole life, I’m pretty used to it. It’s not that unpredictable when you live here. It’s unpredictable when you want to book your trip, because you may think it’s safe to come in summer, but then it’s raining all the time.

You just need to be lucky.

We’ve had 20°C and sun in February. We’ve had loads of rain, even storms, in July and August. The weather never does what it’s supposed to, so you just need to pray for good weather and maybe you’re in luck.

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

Best time of year to visit the Netherlands

There is no best time weather-wise. There is bad and worse, though.

But the best time to visit is between June and September. Temperatures will be very hot on a good day and there are tons of possibilities to avoid the heat (like floating in the sea).

Summer is a wonderful time in the Netherlands, however, my favorite time has to be Spring. This season is when the Netherlands welcomes the most tourists, because of the world-famous flower fields. April and May are incredible months to visit.

Read this flower fields guide, to find the best dates for your trip.

Dutch delicacies

I’m so lucky to live in the Netherlands. Because some of our delicacies are the best in the world. In this country, we have so many unique foods that you simply have to try. You shouldn’t be allowed on the plane back without having tasted:

  • Stroopwafels
  • Hollands nieuwe haring (by the sea)
  • Kroket
  • Oliebollen (in season from October til NYE)
  • Gouda cheese
  • Poffertjes
  • Snert (pea soup)

This is just a fraction of our local foods, but the most delicious ones. Make sure to try every one of them. You’ll thank me later.

Final Thoughts on the Netherlands road trip

So now that you know what places to visit, you should travel to the Netherlands soon. I know it’s only a small country that gets overlooked easily, but the Netherlands has so much to offer, as you read above.

Let me know what place you want to visit in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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