6 Active Things to Do in the Netherlands

Soest, Netherlands

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Guest post by Ask The Dutch Guy.

The Netherlands attracts over 15 million visitors each year.

People come to the Netherlands to see world-famous landmarks such as Anne Frank’s House, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam’s canals, and other places of cultural interest. Apart from the romantic boat rides and educational museum visits, below are six more activities that you should definitely consider trying out in the Netherlands.

Here are 6 fun and active things to do in the Netherlands.

Active Things to Do in the Netherlands

1. Go on a Safari Tour in Safaripark Beekse Bergen

Zebra

Zebra | Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Province of Brabant is a vast paradise to some 1.250 animals, including cheetahs, zebras, and giraffes. Amazingly, the park allows its visitors to interact with the animals. One of the most fun parts for most is when rangers feed the animals and explain to visitors the eating habits of the wild animals and their diets.

Safaripark Beekse Bergen offers four options: a walking tour, car, boat, or bus.

  1. The walking safari tour is a 4-kilometre hike through the vast plains to see animals in their natural habitats. This is a chance to see lions, hyenas, elephants and more. The tour is designed both for adults and children to enjoy.
  2. The car safari tour will take you to where the giraffes, cheetahs and zebras move about freely. Halfway through this tour is a hearty meal and drink at the Kongo Restaurant.
  3. The boat safari tour is a relaxing 30-minute cruise to see some ring-tailed lemurs, rhinos, and monkeys swinging on the trees by the bank.
  4. Finally, the bus safari option is very adventurous and educational, as a ranger will talk about exciting facts about wild animals. The bus will occasionally stop to allow tourists to touch and smell things. The tour is made up of two completely different routes, each of which takes approximately 45 minutes.

2. Visit Efteling Amusement Park

Roller coaster

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Efteling is a fantasy-themed park with more than 30 attractions.

This fun and unique destination is one of the oldest theme parks in the world and the largest theme park in the Netherlands.

More than 100 million people have visited Efteling in the town of Kaatsheuvel in Loon op Zand since its humble beginnings in 1952. Back then it used to be a simple nature park with a playground and a special Fairy Tale Forest. Through the years, it has grown in popularity and the number of featured attractions, and today it is a major theme park for both adults and children.

Europe’s largest fountain, Aquanura, is located in Efteling. Visitors love watching the water ballet as the fountain bursts in sync with accompanying lights and sounds to create a truly spectacular show.

3. Roam With Animals at Burgers’ Zoo

Grey monkey

Photo by Julia Volk from Pexels

Royal Burgers’ Zoo is one of the largest and most popular zoos in the Netherlands.

Visitors love strolling through the zoo’s eight different themed sites, which are Dierenpark (the original zoo), Safari, Bush, Mangrove, Desert, Ocean, Avonturenland (the playgrounds), and Rimba (rainforest). A thing worth mentioning is that animals roam freely in Burgers’ Zoo, naturally inhabiting the area as part of the big ecosystem. They are definitely not cramped nor put in confinement, and so visitors can see them behave naturally, as they would in the nature.

Around 1.5 million people come to Burgers’ Zoo every year.

4. Go on a Hike in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen

Sand dunes by the sea

Photo by Melanie Wupperman from Pexels

The Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is a vast 3,400-hectare protected dune reserve that produces 50 million cubic metres of drinking water each year, supplying clean drinking water for Amsterdam. At the same time, it’s a place where people come to relax, get a whiff of fresh air, or to go on a picturesque hike.

Located to the south of Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is only a 30-minute drive from Amsterdam, near the coast between Zandvoort and Noordwijk. With hundreds of dunes comprising the land, the reserve is home to wild foxes, deer, and a variety of plant life, as well as the most extensive array of toadstools and mushrooms in the Netherlands.

This beautiful reserve offers an excellent place for families to hike, bird watch, take carriage rides, and simply spend time in nature. Sadly, bicycles are not allowed in most of the park — to help protect the dune landscape.

There is a dedicated cycle path connecting the park to the coastline.

5. Get Lost in the Garden of Europe

Tulips at Emirgan Park, Istanbul

7 million tulips, daffodil and hyacinths in one place?

Known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof in Lisse is the world’s largest flower garden, encompassing a vast 32-hectare piece of land. More than 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the garden each year, and people come to see them as they bloom in spring. Although the garden is open for a short time only – late March to late May, when the flowers are in full bloom, it still attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The park is composed of several water gardens, fountains and ponds located in different gardens and styles. The English garden features winding paths, while the Historical Garden is enclosed with a variety of different bulbs. Juliana Pavilion is the oldest one, and there you can learn more about the history of the tulip, there’s a permanent exhibition there. When you are feeling hungry, go to Wilhelmina Pavilion and have a lunch or some snack with a cup of tea.

The spectacular sight of 7 million tulips, daffodil and hyacinths is truly stunning.

Seeing them is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

6. See it All in Madurodam

Yellow houses in Rotterdam

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

Madurodam is a miniature park featuring several 1:25 scale replicas of famous Dutch buildings, landmarks, monuments, castles, industrial projects, and public buildings.The park even features running miniature cars.

The park also has hands-on experiences to make each visit more interactive and fun for visitors of all ages. For instance, you can load containers onto a cargo ship in the miniature port of Rotterdam or help a plane take off at Schiphol airport.

Located in Scheveningen, The Hague, Madurodam has been visited by well over 50 million people since it first opened in 1952. It was originally established as a monument to the resistance hero George Maduro, and park revenue is put towards the Madurodam Support Fund Society, which benefits children in need.

Of course, these aren’t the only things to do in the Netherlands. There’s plenty more to do, enjoy, and experience in this lovely country. Visit Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Nijmegen, and other major Dutch cities, and don’t miss also smaller towns and villages for their art, culture, and history.

Featured photo by Iván Rivero from Pexels

1. Book Your Flight. Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation. Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance. World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.


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