Five things to do during the Dutch summer when it (inevitably) rains 

When you come from New Zealand, you have a tendency to blithely sweep all European countries under the term “Europe” with no real regard to the different climates. Since the Netherlands is in Europe and it is summer, surely this will mean it will be tropical? Not the case. It is July something and I am in my bed writing this with three blankets and a hot water bottle. Un-bloody-believable.

The climate in the Netherlands is influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean meaning the summers are moderate in comparison to other places. The weather is exceptionally changeable and it is not uncommon for rain, sleet, hail, sun, and wind to all occur in the same day.

So what can you do when it is raining in the Netherlands? You could sit inside and gen up on everything Dutch by reading DutchReview? or alternatively, check out these five tips.. 

#1 Visit museums

Many cities in the Netherlands have a fantastic range of museums. Here is a breakdown of some of the best museums across the country

1. National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden: This museum contains numerous treasures from old and rich cultures such as the famous collection of Egyptian mummies and mummy sarcophagi.

2. De Pont in Tilburg: De Pont museum is a hub of contemporary art all housed in a former will-spinning mill.

3. Maastricht underground caves. Okay it’s not technically a museum but it is impressive nonetheless. These subterranean passageways and halls were built over several centuries, forming a huge network of tunnels.

4. The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam: The National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) contains countless treasures from old, rich cultures. The famous collection of Egyptian mummies and mummy sarcophagi is world-class.

#2 Have some online fun

What’s better than some good old procrastination on your laptop or phone when it’s pouring outside? So let’s get you some tips.

Firstly, check buienradar to see if that rain is going to stop anytime soon.

Second, there are many interesting websites out there that have some merits. How about these awesome charts and maps from visualcapitalist? Or learn Dutch by watching entertaining video’s about learning Dutch?

Third, why not treat yourself to a game of blackjack, this game has ever since been one of the most popular casino games. Blackjack will always be the game of choice whether you are easing into the weekend or at home on a rainy day, because you’re not going to spend that money in the sun anyways. Be sure to walk into the game with a good strategy in mind ensuring that your bankroll sees consistent growth. Your skills and experience will determine the outcome of your game, and such as will show you how to quickly move from being a blackjack newbie to a more experienced level. They also offer some nifty tips on how to play the game of blackjack as well as managing your bankroll to maximize your winnings.

Fourth, plunder this awesome website called DutchReview for tips on travel, buying a house or just look at pretty pictures of the Netherlands. Yeah, epic website, I know…

#3 Watch Dutch movies on Netflix

The most effective way to learn another language is through brain-soaking. This is the process of drown your brain in the language you are learning – through speaking, listening and reading. A clever way of doing this is watching Dutch films. Here are a couple of recommendations:

  1. Bankier van het Verzet (The Resistance Banker): A second world-war film about the Dutch resistance.
  2. Those who feel the Fire Burning: A documentary about refugees fleeing oppression in their war-torn countries

Want to go the extra mile? Download Language Learning With Netflix (LLN) which is an app that allows viewers to watch foreign language shows in both the original language and English.

#4 Eat out

Dutch cuisine isn’t hailed around the world as spectacular. The traditional dishes focus around stewed seasonal vegetables with meat – simple and straightforward. But there are some well-established and up and coming cafes and restaurants that are worth checking out. Try the most typically Dutch food or check out the latest food court that has opened up in Amsterdam.

Bitterballen – a traditional meat-based Dutch snack served with mustard


#5 Why not go swimming in an indoor pool?

There are many swimming pools all over the Netherlands and the rain is the perfect excuse to rejuvenate indoors. Just to name a few:

1. Oostelijk Zwembad in Rotterdam: Its architecture mirrors a nostalgic atmosphere, but you still have the pleasure of enjoying their modern facilities.
2. Sportfondsenbad Amsterdam-Oost: A place to enjoy, relax, or even train – they have Turkish steam baths, jacuzzi, and other recreational activities. According to their website, they are the oldest swimming pool in the Netherlands, where they will be turning 90 years old in June!
3. De Houtzagerij Zwembad: right in the centre of the city, they offer lessons for all age groups, where they have extra heating on the weekends.



Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


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