The Netherlands is a very compact country and therefore very convenient in terms of travel. After all, not every country can be bypassed in a week, and trips along a large number of autobahns, interconnected in a single network, will only bring pleasure.
Most tourists start their journey by car from Amsterdam , because this is where they arrive from all over the world. You can rent a car directly at Schiphol Airport using this link . And from there go on your journey through the “low lands”, as the name of the country is translated as the Netherlands.
The first day
First we head to Muiderslot Castle. There is a parking lot next to it, and this is undoubtedly a plus. However, it is paid (2.4 euros per hour), and this is a disadvantage. Unfortunately, in the Netherlands, almost all parking is paid.
Also, keep in mind that the opening hours of the castle depend on the season. From April 1 to October 31, the castle is open daily, the rest of the time only on weekends. The castle is also closed at Christmas and New Years. It will take about 2-3 hours to examine it.
Then we go further to beautiful Utrecht . On the way, you can stop by the fortress city of Naarden. Parking lots are located next to the city wall, which, by the way, can also be climbed. In one of the parts of the wall there is a fortress museum, where you can walk through underground tunnels, see warehouses and the life of soldiers of the 18th century.
Utrecht is a city of two-level canals, which can only be found here. You can swim along the ancient canals and admire the city here . In the old days, trading warehouses were built at the very edge of the water, and on the level above, residential buildings and retail shops. Today, there are numerous restaurants and cafes on the site of the warehouses , and this is the best opportunity to relax after a busy day.
Here you can also visit the railway museum, the Schroeder house-museum (by appointment only), or climb the cathedral tower here .
You can choose a place to stay overnight using this link .
The distance in a day is 59 km, which will take a little over one hour.
We go further east. And our next stop is the Het Loo Palace with beautiful Dutch Baroque gardens . The interior of the palace will tell you about the life of the Oranje royal family. The doors of the palace are open to visitors all year round. It is better to check the visiting hours on this website .
Also, during the warmer months, you can take a walk in the park next to the palace.
We go further to the national reserve De Hoge Veluwe (Hoge Velove), or to the neighboring nature reserve Veluwezoom (Velovezom). Here in their natural environment you can meet deer, bison, foxes, rabbits and various birds, but these places are not only famous for this. They gained the greatest popularity thanks to their heather wastelands. From the beginning of August to the end of October, the heather blooms, and the smell of honey is in the air over the delightful landscapes. It is not necessary to walk along this vast territory; if you wish, you can rent a bike. You can also stay overnight here, in one of the neighboring villages of Hoenderloo, Rheden, De Steeg, or find a hotel in Arnhem here .
An alternative to the reserve can be an open-air museum about the history and life of the Netherlands in the 16-19 centuries. The museum is so huge that trams run on its territory. It will take at least four hours to examine it. And next to him is no less interesting place – zoo «Burger’s Zoo». Today it is the best zoo in the country. If you want to visit both of these places, then it is better to purchase a combined ticket.
Distance per day – 87 km, travel time 1 hour 20 minutes.
Now we go to the southernmost and most unusual region of the country – Limburg, where we will visit its capital, Maastricht. The difference in architectural styles is so great that sometimes it is hard to believe that this is still the Netherlands. The French have left a huge imprint not only on the architectural style of buildings, but also on local residents.
On the way to Maastricht, you can stop at the lovely village of Arsene to see the delightful gardens located next to the castle. The best time to visit is from July to September.
You can spend the night in Maastricht, there is a choice of hotels for different tastes. You can book a hotel using this link .
The distance per day is about 180 km, it will take a little more than two hours.
Now the middle of our journey has come. This is a great occasion for entertainment . To do this, we go to the Efteling amusement park with all kinds of rides and slides. You can stay overnight here .
During this day, you will travel about 135 km in an hour and a half.
We drive further west, where Rotterdam awaits us – a city of modern and unusual architecture. You can admire Rotterdam while sailing around, you can learn more about it here . Next, we will go to a small but very cozy Delft , which is famous for its painted porcelain. Here you can visit the main church, where Villem Oranier was buried, as well as climb the tower, from where a delightful view opens not only of the city, but also of the surrounding area. Weather permitting, the Hague and Rotterdam will be visible on the horizon .
The last place on this day will be The Hague , you can stay overnight here .
Distance – 95 km, which will take 1.5-2 hours.
Today’s route lies north, first to Leiden and then to Haarlem . From mid-March to early May, you can also visit the Keikenkoff Flower Park and admire the tulip fields in the surrounding area. Near Haarlem is the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, where you can walk along the dunes to the North Sea. In warm summer weather, do not forget to bring your swimwear. You can go back on foot or by bus.
You can stay overnight in Haarlem and find a hotel according to your taste using this link .
Distance – 65 km, travel time a little over one hour.
From April to October, we recommend taking a trip to the small fishing town of Enkhuizen and visiting the Zuiderzeemuseum, an open-air museum. You can walk from the parking lot next to the railway station, or you can take a boat that will take you to the museum.
From the museum, you can go on a boat further to the neighboring fishing village of Medemblik, then you can either go back, or take an old train and take it to Hoorn, after taking a walk along which, return back to Einkhausen and arrive by car to Amsterdam .
Distance per day – 140 km, travel time about two hours.