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Dream destination - The Netherlands

Travel Forums Europe Dream destination - The Netherlands

1. Posted by dainadai (Budding Member 3 posts) 45w

dainadai has indicated that this thread is about the Netherlands

Well, for as long as i can remember I've wanted to see the Netherlands. But there's so much to see and not enough time.
I've been to Amsterdam but i have to go again, i really want to see Rotterdam this time around as well. I have about 2 weeks in March and i don't think i need more than 3-4 days max in Amsterdam. So where should i go? Netherlands all round - help me out! :)

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 45w

March tends to be a pretty decent time for the Netherlands, with the flowerfields starting to bloom (April is generally even better, but with the ridiculously warm winter we've been having, I expect March to be not bad at all, this year). Definitely do a few of the smaller cities (Delft (60 mins by train), Leiden (35 mins by train) and/or Haarlem (15 mins by train); Leiden and Delft are student cities with a great vibe, and decent canals - miniature Amsterdams in many ways, but frequently seen as much more pleasant). From either Leiden or Haarlem you could rent bikes (directly at the train station) and bike to the flower fields. (The Keukenhof opens on March 24 this year; should be about 1 - 1.5 hours by bike (maybe slightly more from Haarlem), with the last half of that through the flower fields. (There's also busses there, of course.))

I imagine you're not coming to the Netherlands for nature, but if you want a break from cities for a day, take a train to Santpoort Noord (30 minutes from Amsterdam; a few minutes from Haarlem), and walk west into the forest, which gradually turns into the dunes. It's quite a bit of hiking to reach the sea and then head all the way back, but doable.

Rotterdam is mostly a shopping city. I know it's very hip nowadays due to some new architecturally remarkable buildings and that the lonely planet is raving about it, but don't expect too much. The old harbour area is nice, though, and close the the markthal. Probably best to train to Rotterdam Blaak rather than Rotterdam Centraal.

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jan-2016, at 09:13 by Sander ]

3. Posted by Jackiewil (Budding Member 5 posts) 44w

Not going to the Netherlands for nature? It has such amazing country sides ! I think it's a must to take a few days at least to appreciate nature in such a place. I know that if i'll go i will :)

4. Posted by Ayanglobal (First Time Poster 1 posts) 44w

I agree, there are many things to see outside cities. Neeltje Jans exposition about how the Dutch combat living below sea level, set in the middle of the most spectacular Great Storm Barrier, use a free White Bycicle and discover National Park de Hoge Veluwe, Drenthe with the Hunnebedden and Westerbork, the northern islands (perhaps not in March) etc

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