Nature Lovers vs. City Dwellers
There are two types of people: those who are drawn to anything green and those who belong in the urban jungle. It just so happens that The Netherlands is abundant in both. Whether you’re into wandering through parks and forests or discovering Dutch cities, we’ve put together the perfect sightseeing list for you!
- Vondelpark - if you are in the capital, you should probably begin with Vondelpark. It deserves its status as one of the most beautiful parks in the city. It is the perfect place for cycling, strolling, or relaxing in the warm months. We suggest dropping by the Vondeltuin for a brunch, or a chai latte at De Roos.
- Amsterdamse Bos – located just outside of Amsterdam, this forest feels like a national park. It’s the perfect place to get away for some peace. Or… to engage in some sports, such as kayaking or paddleboarding. The kids might want to check out the goat farm or play in the grass maze. If you’re visiting in May, you cannot miss seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom.
…if discovering new neigborhoods is more your cup of tea, then be sure to see:
- De Jordaan – for classic Dutch, postcard-worth sights, go to the Nine Streets, Westermarkt. Noordermarkt.
- De Pijp – come here for a dose of Amsterdam School style architecture and hip bars taking you back to the 70s.
- Noord – if an alternative, industrial setting is more for you, the North part of Amsterdam is a reconstructed former seaport. Go to Pllek for an ecological meal (made from their own vegetables!).
- Scheveningen Beach - even if you can’t pronounce the name, you should definitely pay this beach a visit. A kilometer-long stretch of white sand lined with beach bars and the famous Ferris wheel. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and build stamina, you should visit the dunes.
- Clingendael Park and Japanese Garden - one of the most beautiful estates in the country! It dates all the way back to the 16th century and has been reconstructed from a French design to the English landscape style. Adjoining the park, you’ll find an absolutely stunning Japanese garden (watch out for the opening dates!). Behind the manor, there’s a children’s playground and a picnic place. For a cup of coffee with a view go to IJgenweis café.
For the urban lovers…
- Schilderswijk - apart from the obvious city centre, this neighborhood is definitely worth a visit. Its cultural diversity is reflected in the restaurants and services, such as the Hamam spa. De Haagse Markt is also a must-see.
- Chinatown – visit this place for a full-on Asian culinary and cultural experience. Make a note of the authentic Chinese gates.
- Trompenburg Garden and Arboretum – for a whiff of fresh air in nature, visit this stunning former estate which consists of very old beeches and oaks. You can grab a refreshment or lunch at the lovely Theehuis de Uithoek.
- Kralingse Plas and Bos – if you have some spare time, head out to this magnificent lake surrounded by an urban forest. There are plenty of picnic spots and even a café or two.
And, for some city highlights, check out…
- Delfshaven – despite the large-scale bombing of the city during WWII, this neighborhood was largely preserved. Walk the cobblestone streets and admire the fine historical buildings dating back to medieval times. Don’t miss the windmill, or the beers at De Pelgrim Brewery .
- Cool district – trust the name! Go and see the crooked yellow houses and the Avant-garde Witte de Withstraat lined with trendy bars, art galleries, vintage shops, and museums. Go for a hearty dinner at Williams Canteen , or grab a cocktail at Spikizy .
- Genneper Parken – ideal to visit any time of the year! Admire the windmills amidst the stunning nature. There is also a charming farmhouse - Geneper Hoeve - where you can get acquainted with the resident animals .
- Henri Dunant Park – a great place to relax on the grass under a tree… with the extra lush lawns. Lots of children's facilities.
- Rietven – if you have a free day, you can visit this serene nature reserve in North Brabant. Best reachable by car in 20 minutes.
For the city experience…
- Strijp-S - a former industrial park transformed into a cultural melting point. Check out bars, art installations and browse through the creative boutiques. Visit the Down Town Gourmet Market for a fusion of flavours.