Things to Do in the Netherlands

By Rachael Funk

So you’re headed to the Netherlands! Tourism is a huge industry in the Netherlands, so you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to exciting ways to build your itinerary. Obviously, you’ll want to hit Amsterdam to sink your teeth into a stroopwafel and hit a few museums, but here are a few other things you might be interested in including on your trip!

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Check out the public art in Rotterdam

Known for being a creative hub and inspiring creativity since its reconstruction after it was devastated in WWII, Rotterdam is a must-visit for the artistic traveler. The city is walkable and is bursting with color at every turn. The arched ceiling of the city’s market hall is covered in an expansive mural which is over 36,089 square feet, which likely makes it the largest work of art in the Netherlands.

Image posted by Instagram user @netevenleuker

Hop over to the hip neighborhood of Haarlemmerbuurt

In a single, densely packed half-mile of this Amsterdam neighborhood, you will find all kinds of great places to stop as you stroll by. Packed with specialty and concept shops, bakeries, delis, and more, this area is known to have some of the best shopping in the country. Peruse record shops, denim boutiques, and designer fashions before you pop by a bakery for a pastry and a charming cup of coffee or locally brewed craft beer.

Hit the district of Scheveningen for a seaside escape

Attracting about nine million visitors a year, this highly developed area mixes remnants from centuries-prior and modern convenience, all within easy reach of the shore. Meander down the pier, which stretches 1,246 feet into the sea, or rent some surfing equipment and hit the waves. The back of the beach is lined with “strandclubs,” where you can kick back with friends to get a bite to eat and enjoy the atmosphere. Don’t miss the view from the top of the Bungy Tower, where brave thrill seekers can take a leap and bungee jump over the sea.

Travel back in time in Zaanse Schans

Designed as an open-air museum, you can walk through a traditional Dutch village from the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit one of the five remaining working windmills in the area, see the sights of the shipyard, and snap a few pictures of the green wooden houses scattered throughout the village. This picturesque village also holds live demonstrations you can watch, such as clog making and handcrafting.

Image posted by Instagram user @lavietw

Take a trip to Book Mountain

A public library in the town of Spijkenisse, Book Mountain is a gargantuan structure of glass, wood, and books. The building is five tiered stories in the shape of a pyramid, with bookshelves winding around the brick walls. During the day, it is filled with natural light thanks to the nearly floor-to-ceiling glass that makes up the building. A book lover’s paradise, you can peruse the 70,000 books that are shelved on racks made of recycled KLP plastics.

Image posted by Instagram user @landon_wiggs

Take a lap around Electric Ladyland: the Museum of Fluorescent Art

A short jaunt from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is a peculiar little museum that specializes in “participatory art.” Upon entry, you will become a part of the art and get to be involved in the creative process during your visit. A guided tour will include demonstrations of fluorescent minerals which burst into color when exposed to different wavelengths of light. A great stop to make during an afternoon in the city, this psychedelic day trip will de-light the entire family!

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