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Visiting the Netherlands: our tips before you go

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Joel Fulleda
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Discovering the Netherlands is undeniably opening up to unexpected moments and letting yourself be carried away by opportunities! With an extraordinary historical and cultural heritage, grandiose northern landscapes and an original and gentle daily life, this country is literally teeming with unsuspected treasures. Famous in particular for its bike rides, tulips and cheeses, it does not leave indifferent. Are you wondering how to get the ideal overview of this region and thus take full advantage of its major assets? Here are our tips for optimally preparing your surprising Dutch getaway!





Why travel to the Netherlands?

Do you remain unmoved by the evocation of a probable stay in these northern lands? At first glance, it is true that the Netherlands does not quite rhyme with escape, exoticism and travel. And yet… An in-depth exploration of this flat country is inevitably worth the detour!

With nearly twenty million visitors per year, tourism is a great place. Amsterdam, welcoming and easy to access, still welcomes, on its own, the majority of holidaymakers who come for a short stay. The Netherlands nevertheless offers travelers amazing cities marked by their dense history, authentic and sometimes even quirky activities and lush nature. This paradoxical country takes you into a tolerant, original and state-of-the-art world in which social diversity easily rubs shoulders with the effects of galloping globalization. This oscillation between tradition and modernity makes this excursion extremely rewarding!

When is the best time to visit the Netherlands? 

Durant l'été, you enjoy a mild and temperate climate. Despite the influx of travelers during this high season, bike rides along the canals remain privileged moments. Spring is a little rainy and especially intensely flowery moment. This period is ideal for scheduling a country foray through the beautiful flower fields which perfume the ambient air.





The tulips

Autumn, romantic and cool season, allows nature lovers to see it put on its beautiful colorful pageantry. Despite the intense cold and the regular rains, winter time, not very popular with travelers, is favorable for museum lovers. Uncrowded, they remain accessible to culture and history buffs… and give others the opportunity to warm up. 

The prices generally follow the fluctuation in tourist influx: they increase from April to September and tend to decrease in autumn and winter. Varied entertainment occupies an important place among the Dutch population, known for their open-mindedness and always on the lookout for a new opportunity to have fun, whatever the time of year.

What budget to plan on site? 

For a brief getaway to the Netherlands, a hundred euros per day will allow you to offset a large part of your expenses. If your preference is for a stay in soft mobility and accommodation in guesthouses, a budget of around sixty euros will then be sufficient. The average price of accommodation is between 70 euros and 115 euros per night. Without surprise, the price drops in winter and increases considerably in high season, especially if you are staying in tourist towns. Book a few months in advance to get the best deals.

The price of a meal varies between 5 and more than 25 euros, depending on the type of catering chosen. The outings are quite affordable : count between 5 and 14 € to spend an evening in a bar, 3 to 5 € to taste a good beer in a quirky place. Public transport is economical if you opt for one of the many passes on offer. Some will prefer the autonomy of the rental car. In this case, an additional 24 to 36 euros per day will be included in your expenses. Managing your portfolio will inevitably vary depending on your interests, the activities carried out and the way you approach the trip.





How to get to the Netherlands? 

Depending on your location, there are many ways to reach the Netherlands. An excursion by car, for a medium stay, allows you to bounce back as the opportunities arise. From Paris, allow 5 hours by road to reach Amsterdam. The Thalys from Paris is also an easy option : in 3:20, you comfortably reach the Dutch capital. Tickets are sold from 35 euros one way.

now coach services serve several major European cities. For a ridiculous price of 20 to 30 euros, you have the opportunity to reach Amsterdam from Paris, in just over 6 hours, or from Lille, in around 3h30. A short 1h15 flight also allows you to land in the blink of an eye in the capital. Ticket prices, inexpensive in winter, range from 140 to 240 euros. However, do not hesitate to ask yourself the question of the ecological relevance of this type of transport. Other alternatives can undoubtedly meet your expectations!

How to get around the country? 

The bicycle, emblematic means of transport of the country, is an interesting alternative to visit many places. For the record, the Netherlands has more bicycles than inhabitants. The main reason may not be due so much to environmental awareness as to the peculiarity of the unevenness of this flat country. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to getting from town to town. One effective possibility is to travel by train, via the Intercity rail network. Generally, many agglomerations are served on a regular basis. Why not combine train and bike with the Dagkaart Fiets?





Amsterdam bikes

Buses and trams allow you to travel with ease within cities and outskirts. Exploring the towns on foot remains an ideal way to take the pulse of a city center or soak up the unique atmosphere of rustic villages. Car rental is easy and fairly standard applied tariffs. However, be careful with the radars that abound in the territory. Speed ​​limits are also sometimes poorly indicated.

What to eat and drink in the Netherlands?  

Eat "on the fly" in front of a fish kiosk or try the eetcafes and other alternative places of the country! Don't be cautious, the tasting on the go is often more than conclusive. Of course, you will also be given the opportunity to select more chic restaurants to the delight of your taste buds. Don't forget to test the alcoholic institution that is the juniper, whether as a cocktail or combined with a good beer! Rejuvenate yourself simultaneously with a few bitterballens, a meat-based snack, perfect to enhance your aperitif.

A moment of strolling in the specialty cheese shops is to be planned in your agenda. In addition to the unbeatable Gouda, you will have the opportunity to test an impressive number of varieties. A great way to combine pleasure and discovery. Many national specialties will surprise you. Oorlog patatjes, or war fries, are presented in a cardboard cone with mayonnaise, satay sauce and onions. Raw herring, a Dutch culinary essential, can be eaten in any way. Other dishes, with delicate pronunciation, will upset your senses. Syrup waffles, poffertjes, stews… Dépaysement garanti !

In which region to stay? 

Beyond the average comfort hotel, in the Netherlands, the irreplaceable Youth hostels, les bed and breakfast, les economical and attractive campsites or even the amazing ones houseboats. 2 of these pretty, comfortable pontoon houses are a really trendy alternative and await, in Amsterdam alone, small groups for a night, a little expensive, but original. Accommodation prices vary considerably with the number of tourists, the proximity of a picturesque town or even the anticipation of the reservation. The periods of school holidays and certain long weekends are a sign of congestion in urban areas.

Houseboats in Amsterdam

During a short stay, staying on the outskirts is really recommended. This bet can pay off in terms of value for money. To get some distance from Amsterdam, sleep in Haarlem or Utrecht. If you prefer rustic places, the village of Volendam or the village with mills, Zaansz Schans, await you. For a longer stay, roaming by train or car can easily be considered. The distance to the charming countryside therefore widens the accommodation opportunities in atypical and authentic places. dotted along the coast or in the middle of nature.

What are the best walks to do in the Netherlands?

The bike mop is obvious in the evocation of the Netherlands. The surprising network of cycle paths allows you to explore the territory in a thousand and one ways. Embark, for example, for a timeless visit to the hamlets on the shores of Lake Ijsselmeer. After Amsterdam and Utrecht and their hectic life, Delft and its earthenware, be sure to explore the vast countryside. Get lost in the middle of polders ! Cross some marshy plains and smell the scent of the flower fields of the famous Keukenhof park tickle your nostrils! An excursion to the Netherlands would not be complete without a visit to the Kinderdijk mills, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Keukenhof garden

Want to breathe the air of the open sea? A ferry takes you to Marken Island. Stroll between the wooden houses of this traditional fishing village with its quaint decor. Lovers of wild nature? Win without delay the dunes of Zealand and surrender to their raw charm. Need a bit of adventure and seclusion? The Frisian Wadden Islands are all recommended. They are home to an exceptional biological diversity and welcome young and old alike for a moment away from the hectic world.

What are the main museums to visit?

Art holds a primordial place in this country with an intense history. Culture enthusiasts will be delighted to stroll for hours in the corridors of these teeming museums.

In Amsterdam, the Rijkmuseum exhibits the works of famous painters of the golden century. The Van Gogh Museum, meanwhile, offers fans the opportunity to dwell on the masterpieces of the artist and his contemporaries. The anne frank house moves and recalls the abuse suffered by many peoples during the Nazi occupation.

The Mauritshuis in The Hague is also home to beautiful paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. If you want to learn more about Zeeland's historic past, head to the Zeeuws Museum, located in Middelburg Abbey. In another register, the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam, an ethnographic museum, brings together an impressive collection of pieces from all over the world. Note that museum rats benefit from advantages over the sometimes expensive entrances by purchasing Amsterdam Card or Holland Pass.

Anne Frank House

Useful information 

Let's share some practical information to plan your stay in the best conditions:

  • formalities : no border control, however, bring your national identity card or a valid passport.
  • Language : the official language is Dutch. Dutch speakers have a high level of English, so you can easily converse in Shakespeare's language.
  • Currency : the current currency is the euro. Most international bank cards are accepted. Traveller's checks are not systematic, so plan to have a little cash.
  • Health : no vaccination is required and reimbursement of medical expenses is possible with the European health insurance card to be collected from your Social Security center.
  • Tips : Tips are part of the customs in the Netherlands. They are of course left to your discretion.
  • Saint-Martin Tourist Office : Check the official website of the tourist office to find out about upcoming events!

Immerse yourself gently in the heart of Dutch culture!

Are you planning to visit the Netherlands in the near future? Do not hesitate to share tips, tricks and tips in the comments!

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