Think you have seen and done it all in Holland in the summer? You think Amsterdam is represenative for the rest of our beautiful little country? Think again! Never again get bored during the hot season in NL and get to know the WHOLE of the Dutch lands with this Top 10 AMAZING Things To Do in The Netherlands during Summer. Enjoy!
1. Visit Amsterdam (the real one)
Though Amsterdam is not representative for the whole country, visiting the capital is still an absolute must – especially during the summer. But not necessarily the way most people visit the capital. Instead, tour through the whole city (including the ‘outskirts’) and experience the true power – the melting pot – of this magnificent city. You can stay at a hotel in diverse and vibrant Amsterdam-West while exploring the whole city from there. By public transport – but even beter by bike or foot. Yes – if you are willing and able, seeing the capital of the Netherlands by foot is an amazing experience – especially during the hot season (it does actually get hot these years here).
You could do the whole city within just a couple of hours – main attractions included.
Do it with friends and family, buy some good food and stroopwafels (= the typical Dutch syrup cookie) at the nearest supermarket and off you go. Google Maps is your best friend now!
Spontaneously decide to eat and hang at top places you encounter during your walk, or plan ahead. Or, even better: strike up a conversation with locals, make some new friends and practice your Dutch in the process. It’s your fissa! (fissa = slang for party).
Obviously, by walking Amsterdam, you’ll burn alot of fat, see alot of great people – and you can end a perfect day with a good dinner, clubbing or relaxing back at your hotel or Airbnb.
R E L A T E DRead more about top things to do in Amsterdam and also check out our partner Lilly Likes Amsterdam here!
2. Visit at least 1 Dutch theme park
The Netherlands has its own share of cute little theme parks, some of us like to take very seriously (especially the smaller ones among us). The nice thing is they’re spread over the whole country, so there’s always one close to you. But, just to mix things up: why won’t you go in the opposite direction of where you’re residing at the moment?
This is LDO’s own Top 5 of the Best Dutch Theme Parks:
There’s a theme park in almost every Dutch province! You’ve got Slagharen and Avonturenpark Hellendoorn in the east. De Efteling is in Brabant and Walibi can be found on the island of Flevoland, next to Almere.
A relatively new park is Toverland. Literally: Land of doing magic. You can imagine why your kids will have an amazing time here, and you too, probably – since the place got a solid 4,6 stars on Google Reviews. This magical place for the whole family is located in Sevenum, in the province of Limburg, between Noord-Brabant and Germany.
So how to get to Slagharen? Slagharen, like the rest of the Dutch theme parks are easily reached by car!
Slagharen is the small, cute cowboy-styled park where you can actually stay in a small house with..A pony! It’s a place where you can really come to yourself. Like in other theme parks in Holland, there are still some colonial remnants visible unfortunately (for example, there is a ‘Wigwam’ field you can book for the night). If this is too unwoke for you, the even smaller park Hellendoor is probably a better fit.
Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is the youths first taste of adrenaline boosting fun in the region of Twente, in the east of the Netherlands. If you live in Twente, you probably live in the bigger cities like Almelo, Enschede or Deventer – all in the province of Overijssel. Reaching this park is then easy for you. This park is located in the town of Hellendoorn and a perfect way to introduce your young kids (or yourself) to rollercoasters and crazy boats!
Walibi Holland: the big one, for real thrillseekers!
There was a time when you could ride rollercoasters like Superman the Ride, La Via Volta and the Eraser – when the park was still affiliated with Warner Brothers. Currently, Walibi Holland is connected to Nickelodeon, which makes it a good fit for families with small children. Most of the same rides are still available and if you’re a thrillseeker, you should definitely go there and try the Goliath – which packs the steepest ride in the Netherlands yet, dropping you in a near straight line!
De Efteling is alot of Dutch people’s favorite, and once you see the entrance – and certainly after entering – you quickly see why. It’s adorable, magic and provides a great get-away for the whole family.
#3 of The Top 10 AMAZING Things To Do in The Netherlands during Summer: For the REAL adrenaline-junkies..
The Euromast is the top of the city of Rotterdam – which now packs at least 170 different nationalities, becoming exponentially more international every day. If you’re planning to go to this unique rival of Amsterdam, you simply can’t skip the Euromast!
Restaurant and hotel under the stars of Rotterdam
Here you enjoy the most beautiful view of Rotterdam City. You can also eat at the restaurant after a romantic getaway in the hotel, on top of Rotterdam. Isn’t that a thing on someone’s bucket list! The Euroscoop brings you all the way to the top, from where you can enjoy Europe’s highest abseil spot yet, while you descend the Euromast by rope…
Visit the website of Euromast here.
..or what about some jumping around in Hilversum?
Flight Deck 53 is a trampoline- and free-running park in the royal monument of the Clemenchurch in Hilversum. Going here is therefore actually culturally enriching!
At Flight Deck you and your kids can come and jump freely, even during the summer vacation. There are camps, special hours for different age groups and there is the option of organizing your little one’s birthday here.
Hilversum is that also quite expatty-city neatly hidden between Utrecht and Amsterdam, with great connections for both the car and the train. The city is actually not hidden at all, because it’s also the center of most mainstream Dutch media – called Hilversum Media Park. Combine some jumping around with friends and family with eating and/or going out in Hilversum or surrounding popular cities. Just perfect! To book tickets, go here.
4. Organize a BBQ with family, friends and neighbours
You can do it in a local park, if this is allowed in your municipality. Check it first. Even better is to do it in your own garden and invite friends, familiy and neighbours – giving you a great opportunity to practice your Dutch too.
If you want to do a typical Dutch barbeque, you wil need
- Cheese (blocks, available in every average supermarket)
- Chicken, meat and/or fish
- Cola and 1 other soda
- Juice based on preference
- Salt and pepper
- Some veggies to fry or make a salad
- Fries (also available in your local supermarket, in the freezer area)
- Obviously all the necessities for a BBQ, which are available in Dutch supermarkets around and in the summer season (including tables and chairs and/or a big blanket to sit on)
5. Go to the Dutch beach (no joke)
Yes – we actually have beaches in the Netherlands! Ever been to Scheveningen, Zandvoort or Wijk aan Zee? You can get to Wijk aan Zee by bus from Amsterdam, and you can reach most other beaches also easily by public transport or bike from within the nearest cities.
Scheveningen also has great (fried) fish. Moreover – it’s the only place you can go for a BUNGEE-JUMP in the Netherlands! At Bungy Jump Holland, you can jump from 60 meters above sealevel, with a view over the whole of The Hague and Scheveningen. Let’s get it on!
6. Visit the local parks!
Each big city in the Netherlands has at least one top, green park you can visit. Amsterdam has several – Vondelpark being the most popular one – which you probably know if you live in that respective city and have some kind of actual life (just joking). Big events are organised in these parks, young and old spend complete days there, love is being made, fights are fought, etc. etc.
In short: memories and stories are made in these parks – and that alone should be enough of a reason to visit them. Tip: try to go early on off-peak days. And by early, we mean between 8 AM and 1 PM – because afterwards the crowds start to come.
7. Go camping like a Dutchie
Every Dutch kids has done it: camping, whether in a tent or combined with some kind of survival element – we all have been there and done that. And not once – but at least 2 times. The first time would be during primary school and the second time during high school. And then there’s always that friend or kid in your street that goes camping every single summer with his family..
You could join that kid and his family, or you could just ask them for some tips on how to go about camping in and around the Netherlands yourself. Not all camp sites are clean and family friendly though, so do your research, ask for pictures and read reviews.
If you do find a good place to camp, you’ll have the time of your life: there are amazing places you can stay just across the Dutch border, in Belgium, France and Germany – providing you all the flora and fauna those countries have to offer.
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8. Hang out for a FULL weekend (Friday included) in your favorite Dutch place
Did you know Amsterdam is a city where you can actually lose yourself – in the most positive sense? Everyone’s that lived there long enough could go there now and bump into old friends and aqcuintances that are seemingly stuck in time. Some people stay young forever in Amsterdam!
During a good summer you can spend whole weekends outside, going from friends to the park to the club…And back. This is when those Amsterdamories are made (copyright LearnDutchOnline.nl). If you need a REAL break and need to forget everything, do this:
- Set up a meeting with at least 1 close friend in a place of your choosing in NL
- Don’t worry about what to do or where to go exactly; just do what you (both) like
- Go with the flow; meet new people; do new stuff!
- Continue following these steps as long as you like
If you diligently follow these steps, there’s NO way you will be bored. Definitely not in Amsterdam (which will be our favorite city forever, since we’re from there).
9. Do a road trip through the Netherlands..
..and stay at least 2 full days wherever you stop. Don’t forget to include the big cities, but also go to the more rural areas. Tips on some true Dutch gems can be found here. Twente and Brabant are musts, as wel as Groningen, Maastricht and Friesland (still the Netherlands, don’t be confused by their own language).
Explore the country by yourself – by foot and bike!
You can easily combine your road trip with visiting true natural protected places, like these ones. Don’t forget: you can easily do a road trip by bike in the Netherlands, if you don’t have a car or don’t want to use one. Being a small country has its perks! You do need a good bike, health and backpack in order to do Holland while cycling though..
10. ..while visiting all the major Dutch cities and touristic sites!
This includes Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam, Zaandam, Volendam, Edam, and also Eindhoven, Groningen and Maastricht. And..The Dutch islands.
Don’t forget to go outside of the cities to enjoy some amazing national preserved parks. You’ll probably end up filling your whole summer with truly exploring the Netherlands like this!
BONUS: 11. Learn Dutch this summer..
The summer might be the best time for you to start learning Dutch online. You can keep your Dutch language skills fresh with just one or two hours of lessons a week. You can follow online Dutch lessons wherever and whenever you want – whether you’re on a sunny beach in Spain or at a cabin in the jungle of Thailand.
Another important reason to learn Dutch during the summer is that it will remove your boundaries for when your holiday season is over. Most of us get lazy during the hot season, while we can easily use this time to improve ourselves (and our Dutch speaking and writing skills!).
If you can put yourself to learn Dutch during the summer – you’ll have the motivation to do it anytime, and everything you learn now will give you an edge when you start following MORE Dutch lessons, after the summer! Sign up for one of LDO’s Dutch course here now.