Netherlands Travel Guide: 3 Amazing Destinations You Should Not Miss!

Netherlands travel guide 

When planning your trip to the Netherlands, don’t forget to check out our travel tips! Here we have compiled a list of essential information that will help you on your visit, including things to see and do. With our handy guide at hand, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in the Netherlands and have an amazing experience!

Netherlands travel guide - Windmills
The Netherlands is home to some of the oldest windmills in the world, and they are a beautiful sight. | Credit: Helena Jankovičová Kováčová via Pixabay

netherlands travel requirements

If you intend to travel to the Netherlands with a duration of stay of fewer than 90 days (in a 180-day period), you are not required to apply for a short-stay visa. However, certain conditions must still be met. Find out more about the Netherlands travel requirements for visa-free travel.

netherlands travel restrictions

In order to visit the Netherlands, you have to either present a valid paper or digital vaccination certificate produced by a country participating in the EU Digital COVID Certificate system (Malaysian Covid certificates are recognised in the EU under the same circumstances as the EU Digital COVID Certificate). Some additional notes:

  • Proof of booster vaccination is valid immediately following the administration of a booster dose. There is no expiration date for the validity period following booster immunisation.
  • Your immunisation record is valid 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Sinovac, Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca etc) or 28 days after getting the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.
  • Face masks are still required on planes and at airports beyond the security checkpoint.

See all the rules for entering the Netherlands.

1. amsterdam, the city of canals

“Well, is it a must to visit Amsterdam while travelling in the Netherlands?”

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question as it depends entirely on what you’re looking for when travelling. However, if you are interested in experiencing Dutch culture and history, Amsterdam is not to be missed. It is one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason. The city is rich in history, culture and attractions, making your visit a unique experience, as you’ll see in our mini Amsterdam travel guide.

Amsterdam
The Amsterdam townhouses overlooking the canals have endured for over 300 years. | Credit: AnsgarScheffold via Pixabay

What to expect: The intriguing canal system and renowned Dutch architecture.

Best time to visit: Autumn (September to November) is a great time to visit Amsterdam if you’re looking for a more subdued experience as you’ll find less crowds and better weather.

What to bring: The weather in Amsterdam can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to pack a hat, an umbrella or other type of headwear if you’re expecting rain.

amsterdam travel guideThe internationally renowned Rijksmuseum, opened in 1885, is dedicated to Dutch art and is currently the largest art museum in the country. | Credit: Abhishek Baadkar via Pixabay

Things to do in Amsterdam

1. Walk the famous canals – Amsterdam is known for its beautiful concentric canals, which make for a scenic and relaxing stroll.
2. Spend a day at Grote Zaal or Concertgebouw – These iconic venues host some of the world’s best classical music performances, making them a must-see for music lovers.
3. Explore the marketplaces – The markets in Amsterdam are filled with delicious food options, as well as unique items not found anywhere else.
4. Spend a day at Strand Blijburg or Sloterplas Beach – No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a day spent at one of the many beautiful beaches located around the city.

amsterdam travel guide 

1. Use public transportation. Amsterdam is known for its public transportation system, which makes getting around town a breeze. If you’re planning on staying in the city for more than a day or two, using public transportation will be your best bet.

amsterdam tram Gerard De Mooij via
Trams in Amsterdam run at a frequency of about 5-10 services per hour, so you can easily get from one end of the city to the other. | Credit: Gerard De Mooij via Pixabay

2. Beware of pickpockets. Amsterdam is a city full of tourists, and as such, thieves are always looking for opportunities. Keep your wallet in a secure place and don’t leave anything unattended.

3. Keep in mind the Amsterdam travel restrictions as you are prohibited from importing or exporting counterfeit products, protected animals and plants, animal products, and so forth.

2. Giethoorn, the “Little venice” of holland

What to expect: Wooden arch bridges and historic cottages. Also, the canals in Giethoorn are a beautiful sight to behold. If you’re a fan of canal cruises, you’ll definitely want to check out the options available in Giethoorn.

Best time to visit: Summer months (June to September)

What to bring: Even though Giethoorn is a relatively warm town during the summer, it can get chilly at night. Make sure to pack a warm coat if you’re planning on staying overnight.

netherlands travel guide
Expect boats, bridges and bicycles in Giethoorn—there are no cars or roads here! | Credit: Michel van der Vegt via Pixabay

Some people might say that Giethoorn is known for its beautiful canals and architecture, while others might say that it’s the perfect place to live if you want to experience all that the Netherlands has to offer. Either way, Giethoorn is definitely a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. It’s located just north of Amsterdam in the province of North Holland, and it has a long history dating back to the 13th century.

Today, it’s a beautiful town with plenty of attractions, including some of the best canal cruises in Holland! Not only is it easy to get to any of these destinations by public transportation, but you’ll also find plenty of attractions and activities nearby.

netherlands travel guide
Giethoorn is a great place to visit if you’re looking for lush landscapes for a scenic getaway. | Credit: Jian Wei Huang via Pixabay

Some of the attractions in Giethoorn include Museum Giethoorn ’t Olde Maat Uus, where actors recreate the rural region’s history, and the De Weerribben-Wieden National Park, filled with waterways and grassy spots. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to explore, as well as a wide range of cultural events and activities to take part in.

ice skating
Winter turns the Giethoorn canals into an ice-skating wonderland. | Credit: Michel van der Vegt via Pixabay

Extra tip: You can explore Giethoorn in style by using an electric scooter, better known as an e-chopper. Book your half-day or full-day slots here.

3. Keukenhof, the “Garden of Europe”

Keukenhof
Touted as the most beautiful spring garden in the world, Keukenhof’s famous tulip display takes place from March to May. | Credit: Ines Gil via Pixabay

What to expect: A 32-hectare park with an estimated 7 million flower bulbs

Best time to visit: Spring season (early to mid-May). It is highly recommended to visit Keukenhof during the weekdays to avoid the crowds.

What to bring: Sunscreen, lip balm, a hat or sunglasses and extra cash! Most importantly, a pair of comfortable shoes, as you’re going to be walking around for hours at a time.

There’s something special about the Keukenhof Tulip Festival in Amsterdam. Every spring, this botanical garden features over 7 million tulips in bloom, over a vast array of 800 different varieties, for a beautiful sight that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. In addition, visitors can also enjoy guided tours of the gardens and explore this colourful park on a bicycle.

tulip fields
Keukenhof features over 7 million tulips in bloom every spring. | Credit: MabelAmber via Pixabay

Extra tip: Why walk when you can take a boat ride across the flower bulb fields? The Whisper boat is an electrically powered boat that floats silently along the canals of the tulip garden, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the blooms. Find out more about the Whisper boat trip.

What to EAT & DRINK IN THE NETHERLANDS

gouda cheese djedj from Pixabay scaled
Gouda cheese is popular in the Netherlands because it has a particularly strong flavour and a hard texture. | Credit: djedj via Pixabay

1. Gouda cheese – This cheese is famous all over the world, but it’s especially loved in the Netherlands, where it is usually served melted on toast or in sandwiches. They’re also perfect for use in dishes like pasta and pizzas. Dutch cheese is usually served as part of a meal with bread and a salad or as a dessert. It can be eaten fresh or stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Croquettes Agencia Parque via Pixabay scaled
Croquettes became popular in the Netherlands throughout the 18th century. | Credit: Agencia Parque via Pixabay

2. Croquettes – These savoury pastries are made from mashed potatoes and meat, and are often served as an appetiser or as a light lunch. They are made from minced meat (usually beef or lamb), shaped into small balls, and then deep-fried. The balls are then served in a savoury sauce, often made from onions and spices.

dutch coffee coffee inmo koo from Pixabay scaled
The Dutch are considered among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, averaging 3 – 4 cups a day. | Credit: inmo koo via Pixabay

3. Dutch coffee – Dutch coffee is world-renowned for its unique taste and quality. It’s also a great way to start your day or wind down after a long day of exploring. The Netherlands is definitely one of the leading countries when it comes to exports of roasted coffee. In fact, in 2020, the Netherlands is the third-largest exporter of roasted coffee (with a total of 96,000 tonnes) in the world.

As you can see, a Dutch holiday is an exciting occasion to look forward to! But if you find it all a little daunting, or if you want assistance in planning your trip to the Netherlands, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to provide you with tailored advice on how to get the most out of your Dutch trip!

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