What can I do in spring in the Netherlands?
Spring is here and what a better time to explore the Netherlands than this. There’s plenty to do in Holland at this time of year, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place. If you like walking, hiking, freebies, adventure or just lazying around, then this is the article for you.
So, here are 15 things to do in spring in the Netherlands:
1. Go and see the tulips!
Okay, we’re well into April now, so the tulips are beginning to be in full swing. If you fancy splashing some cash (only some cash), then head to the Keukenhof to walk through the gardens. If you want something a bit cheaper, catch a train, grab your bike or use your legs, and walk alongside the tulip fields in the same area.
What’s the Keukenhof? I hear you ask. Where have you been!? It’s a place full of beautiful gardens in the Netherlands, filled with the famous tulips and other spring flowers. It’s absolutely beautiful and a must-see. Plus there are lots of tulip fields next to it if you can’t get enough of it already!
2. Go to an Amusement Park
Nothing can beat an amusement park on a sunny spring day. Not too hot, not too cold and plenty to get yourself occupied. There are lots of amusement parks in the Netherlands and many are perfect for the whole family. We also have our own Dutch ‘Disneyland’ in the Netherlands called the Efteling and some even argue that it’s better. So if you want to take your little ones on a day out or if you’re an adult just looking for an adrenaline rush after a stressful week at work, then this may be just the thing you need!
3. Visit a castle
You may have seen our great article listing 7 (and a half) breathtaking castles. Well, have you been to any of them? Well now is the perfect opportunity to explore a castle near you and learn a little bit about its history. All of these castles have beautiful landscapes, so if you’re with someone who isn’t into history, then the place itself and it’s surrounding areas will win them over for sure.
4. Head to a Dutch beach
So, what could you possibly do with your time that’s worthwhile? The beach of course! The Netherlands has an array of beautiful sandy beaches – in fact, I’d go so far as to say that most of them are completely underrated (the Netherlands is not known for its beaches). If you’re a getting-drunk-in-the-sun-because-why-the-hell-not kind of person, then many of these beaches have beach bars, so you really can enjoy that mojito on the beach.
So, where is the best beach? Don’t fret, we have a guide for that.
5. Swim in an outdoor pool (or indoor) – Buitenbad
The Dutch are suckers for a swim -, especially in an outdoor pool. When the sun is shining (and the pools are open), the Dutch flock to these public pools to enjoy a nice swim and a sunbathe. It’s also every Dutch child’s dream and probably something they will be nagging their parents about, the minute the sun shines. That’s why it’s also a popular place to take your kids, so they can be occupied at the pool. Some pools even have slides and other fun activities to enjoy. Some of them may not be open just yet, but we’ve had a couple of warm days already and you’ve got to get out while you can. 😉 If not, there’s plenty of indoor ones too! Check out our guide for a full list!
6. Go and see some windmills
I always recommend this one, because I’m a massive windmill lover when it comes to a peaceful walk and new Instagram pictures. Two of the most popular places to go are either Kinderdijk or Zaanse Schans. Not only is it typically Dutch, but it’s just a great place to cycle or go for a walk, topped off with a warm chocomel or a beer. Want to see a windmill in the city or looking to visit a windmill that isn’t filled with tourists? Well, there’s no shortage of those either.
7. Go mudflat walking (hiking)
Looking for something typically Dutch and you live in the north? Or do you fancy travelling to the north (it’s not scary up in the north, don’t worry!) and trying something new? If you don’t mind getting down and dirty (and not in that way), then this may be for you. Mudflat walking is an activity that you can do across the mudflats in the Wadden Sea right here in the Netherlands. You have an experienced guide who will navigate you around the area showing you the landscape and the wildlife. It’s fun and it’s messy.
8. Go boating down the canal
Today may be the perfect day to get on your boat and go on a boat tour. You will never see a shortage of boats on the canals in the Netherlands unless there is a storm of course. But when the sun is shining, in some areas, it may start to look a little like King’s day. Okay, so maybe not quite that bad (or as orange either). But the boats are out in full force. Don’t have a boat? No worries – they are available to rent in most places, as long as you’re prepared to pay a small fortune. For the lucky few who have a boat (jealous), they are usually accompanied by a crate of beer, a large family or a guy that just wants to treat their dog (who hasn’t seen a cute dog enjoying boating with their owner?)
9. Visit a Dutch Island
Bored with the usual Dutch cities? You could always escape to an Island for a bit. Texel, North of Den Helder is the perfect place to get away for the weekend. The ferry is quick and cheap and it’s the perfect time to go. You may want to wrap up with 16 layers and build up some strong legs to combat the Texel wind on the bike – come rain or shine. However, when it gets really warm, the beaches there are beautiful. There are plenty of other Dutch islands to choose from as well and we’re currently compiling a list of all of them too.
10. Go to a Coffeeshop
It may be the most stereotypical thing in the world, but hey, why the hell not. If you’re in Amsterdam and looking for a list of great coffeeshops, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a chilled day and something to do to pass the time, you can always smoke up and let the day take you to strange places where everything is funny and life is just one big game of demolishing every single stroopwafel in sight.
11. Visit a National Park
Looking to be ‘at one with nature’? Then take a walk around one of many national parks that we have right here in the Netherlands. It may be a flat country, but it sure is pretty. There are 10 parks to choose from and all of them bring something different – with so many to choose from you’ll never have an excuse not to go out again (apart from all that rainy weather of course. 😉
12. Take a cruise
In the spring so many cruises leave from Rotterdam and Amsterdam to travel around Europe. So if you’re wanting to get away for a little bit, then this is something to consider. You can choose a weekend break or splash the cash and escape for as long as a month. We already have a guide to Rotterdam cruises! Check it out.
13. Visit a free festival
Feeling the pinch this month? Then there are plenty of free events happening all around the Netherlands. Some are music related, some are food related and some are just purely Dutch related (cough King’s day). So if you’re wanting to save those Euros, or you’ve just spent them all, then there’s no excuse not to go out now. The best part is that these events are located all over the country, so there’s likely to be one near you!
14. Celebrate King’s day!
One of the biggest days of the year is coming up in the Netherlands: King’s day. All over the country, there are many different events happening in not just the main cities, but every city in the country. We’ve compiled a guide to things to do in the 3 main cities and there’s certainly no shortage there. Looking to head to Amsterdam? Rotterdam? Or The Hague?
15. Take a road trip
So technically this involves leaving the Netherlands, but it’s still the perfect spring activity. The Netherlands borders two countries, Germany and Belgium. It also doesn’t take too long to go a bit further afield than that. So if you’re looking to a head somewhere brand new, then this could be an option. We have guides to road trips to Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. You could even head to Disneyland!
Can you think of any other things to do in spring in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments!