Coronavirus might mean we have to wave goodbye to international travel plans — but who said you have to have a dull summer? We scouted out the top spots to enjoy with your family in and around Tilburg — and honestly, with an itinerary like this one, who needs an expensive exotic holiday anyway?
Everybody needs a change of scenery (and a change of pace) from time to time, and the lowlands has plenty to discover for the curious traveller — especially one that’s looking for an ideal family holiday.
You’ve likely been to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, so why not step a little off the beaten track and explore Tilburg and its gorgeous surroundings. We can guarantee you’ll be asking yourself why you’ve never done so before.
Here’s why we think Tilburg is an underrated hidden gem you definitely shouldn’t miss this summer:
1. You can enjoy plenty of lush greenery around Tilburg
Tilburg is the greenest city of North-Brabant and there are plenty of lush green spaces that the city has to offer. And what’s better than going on walks in nature?
We’ve got an answer: waking up in a cabin that’s right in the middle of it — especially when said nature is a beautiful national park such as the Loonse & Drunense Dunes. This is the perfect place to make memories, and take those family photos that you’ll be looking back on fondly for years.
Looking for peaceful surroundings to recharge in? Tilburg also has several lovely forest parks within the city such as the Wandelbos and Oude Warande for walks, bike rides and picnics. You’ll all go home feeling fresh and ready to take on the world again.
2. The largest wildlife zoo is just a stone’s throw away
On one of those fine days in the Netherlands when the sun and temperature were up and coronavirus numbers were down, we visited this unique park just south of Tilburg. It has been completely revamped in recent years and it shows.
The nature is glorious, and if you’re not gazing at beautiful animals in spacious enclosures then you can enjoy the boho festival vibe that they’ve created through tons of little jungle villages and tents playing music.
You can walk around the park — and it’s pretty big, so you can easily spend the whole day there. But don’t worry, if your legs get tired, you can also tour the park by boat! It’s completely free and about as close as you’ll ever get to a jungle cruise in the Netherlands.
There’s also the option of enjoying a Dutch safari from your own car as you truck around and spot the wildlife throughout the park. If you ever felt like enjoying an Indiana Jones-esque experience in the Netherlands, this is as close as you’ll get and it’s pretty sweet for all ages.
Both my kids and my in-laws loved it — and we all know these are tough crowds to please!
If you’re wondering what else Tilburg and North-Brabant have in store for you this summer vacay then head on over to our friends at Ticket to Tilburg for some seriously fun holiday suggestions!
3. Tilburg has activities that will excite your youngest ones…
After a day of admiring magnificent wildlife, you can let your inner child (or your actual, physical child) out in the iconic fairytale-themed amusement park, Efteling — one of the oldest and best-loved theme parks in the Netherlands (and Europe). Almost every Dutch person has fond memories from Efteling, so be sure you add it to your itinerary.
Efteling has plenty for the young explorer to marvel at — from the Fairytale Forest, to a steam train tour. If you’re an adrenaline junkie and this all sounds a little tame, never fear — the park won’t leave the thrill-seekers among you bored either. Rollercoasters such as the Python or Baron 1898 will definitely get your heart racing.
This theme park has something for everyone and is an ideal pick for an outing with the family. It’s sure to bring laughs and smiles for young and old.
This season a unique product is available. Namely a combination ticket for the Efteling and Safari Park Beekse Bergen. The combi ticket normally costs €72.00, but can now be booked for €60.00! Pay for one part of the combi ticket and the other part will be added after payment.
4. …as well as your older children
We know how difficult it can be to excite teenagers. If roller coasters won’t do it, maybe cruising through the hip streets of Tilburg on an e-step will. The city is full of incredible street art that will keep you busy exploring for an entire afternoon.
With murals ranging from ostriches to an octopus — you’ll never see graffiti or grey walls the same. Nothing beats the excitement of coming around the corner and spotting an artwork. Which family member will spot the most?
If that’s not enough to inspire your creative souls, make sure you also check out the Doloris art maze, after grabbing a snack at the Spoorzone.
5. You can marvel at contemporary sculpture and enjoy a nature walk at the same time
Want to do something different with the family, like escaping the hullabaloo and getting cultured? Stroll through Tilburg’s popular De Oude Warande (pleasure-garden) and admire this years’ Lustwarande STATIONS exhibition which is made up of works of art from 12 unique artists. The sculptures are there for you to see until October 3 — don’t miss this fascinating exhibition.
If you’re short on time, Tilburg is also great for a day trip. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the largest funfair in the Netherlands or the country’s most hip library, Tilburg has something for whatever mood you’re in. But we can definitely recommend booking something in the lush natural surroundings of Tilburg.
The relaxed pace of life in Brabant, the many nature reserves, the variety of theme parks and the city itself will ensure you get that proper holiday feeling.
Need even more tips on a day trip to Tilburg and North-Brabant? Head over to Ticket to Tilburg to find out what’s happening in the city right now.
Have you visited Tilburg before? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
Feature Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied.