7 Top Attractions in the Netherlands to Enjoy This Summer

Newcomers to the Netherlands have had it rough this last year. The COVID-19 pandemic limited everyone’s access to public spaces of all kinds – especially the typical attractions and “must-sees” of the Netherlands.

Fortunately, this weekend most public spaces opened their doors (with limitations and rules in place…) and started welcoming tourists once again. This includes museums, theme parks, tours, and all the “must-see” attractions for people traveling as tourists.

In this article, Octagon has pulled together a list of the 7 top attractions in the Netherlands for you to start organizing your summer agenda.

1. Rijksmuseum

Rijk

The Rijksmuseum is home to some of the most iconic art pieces in history from renowned Dutch artists like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Vermeer. People travel from all over the world to view works such as Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and experience the Netherlands’ Golden Age through art.

You can expect to uncover the history of the Netherlands from the Golden Age to the modern-day, through 8,000 objects and 80 rooms through one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions.

Visit the Rijksmuseum: The Rijksmuseum is open by appointment only. However, once you arrive you can stay in the museum until closing time. Opening hours are from 9 am – 5 pm daily. For more information about their regulations and to book your visit, please check out the Rijksmuseum website here.

Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam

2. Zaanse Schans

In case you fancy a relaxing half-day trip from Amsterdam, there is nothing like a romp through Zaanse Schans to experience a typical, idyllic view of the Netherlands. This remarkable Dutch town brings to life the history of Holland in the 18th century. Along with the windmills, you will find a quaint collection of wooden houses, cheese factories, pewter foundry, and craft warehouses. Delving into the heritage of the region, you can experience the old technique of baking, the craft of Dutch iconic clogs, or treat yourself to the finest chocolate and cookies.

Visit Zaanse Schans: Zaanse Schans is a public outdoor area where you can freely stroll outdoors. As of this weekend, almost everything at the Zaanse Schans is open to the public: There’s even a calendar available online where you can check out the restrictions/limits of each attraction at the Zaanse Schans: https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/plan-your-visit/

Location: Kalverringdijk 23, 1509BT Zaandam

3. De Efteling

The Efteling is like the Dutch’s answer to Disney World. It is a unique theme park featuring a world of fairy tales and has been around since 1952. A visit to Efteling is worthwhile a short break, where you’ll be lulled into an enchanted world of ancient myths such as elves, unicorns, and trolls. The amusement park is also home to many fun rides with plenty of twists, turns, and a marvelous view.

Many tourists choose to skip this attraction because of its distance from Amsterdam and the rest of the Randstad. If you’re planning to live in the Netherlands for more than just a trip – The Efteling is a great place to visit and really understand Dutch culture.

Visit Efteling: Most attractions at Efteling are now open, but due to the measures and maintenance, some remain closed. One hour before opening time, you can see a forecast of which attractions are open or closed. Furthermore, obtaining a valid entrance ticket and reserving an online timeslot is mandatory for visitors at Efteling. To reserve your visit, please check out the Efteling website.

Location: Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel

4. Walibi Holland

If you are a hardcore thrill-seeker, Walibi Holland is the place to be for out-of-this-world insane spins and speeds. This amusement park is, without doubt, the fastest and most thrilling tourist attraction in the Netherlands, particularly popular with younger visitors. If you love a taste of speed and a smidgen of thrill, Walibi offers the opportunity to take on some hair-raising rides with its rollercoasters.

Visit Walibi Holland: Walibi has been open for several weeks but is still subject to restrictions. For the duration of the measures, a limited number of attractions will remain closed until further notice. In the meantime, you can book your seats on the rides that offer virtual queues. To find out how it works, please refer to Walibi’s overview of the most frequently asked questions.

Location: Spijkweg 30, 8256 RJ Biddinghuizen

5. Madurodam

Madurodam is a major tourist attraction in the Scheveningen district of The Hague in the Netherlands where you can visit all the Dutch icons in one day. This miniature modeled theme park is a replica of famous Dutch landmarks, with hard-to-believe attention to detail, especially, of the paintings at Rijksmuseum. Walking through the display of the miniature will also undoubtedly give you the history of the country and some fun facts about Dutch culture and traditions.

Visit Madurodam: From the 5th of June, all attractions at Madurodam have opened again. It’s time to choose the day and time of your arrival and book your ticket!

Location: George Maduroplein 1, 2584 RZ Den Haag

6. Amusement park Duinrell

Duinrell is not the place where you would typically find tourists — but it’s a “no-so-well-kept” secret of the locals and perfect theme park to visit during the Summer.

Duinrell has got something for everyone, from the most cautious theme park visitors to the biggest daredevils. It’s a perfect place for families to enjoy it. For small children, there is a huge playground to run and stomp until they can barely move, as well as some children’s shows to keep them entertained. For adults, Duinrell is full of spectacular rides that will make you scream right from the start all the way to the finish line.

The best part of this amusement park is the infamous Tiki Pool, one of the best tropical heated pools in Europe. No aircon, no problem — Tiki Pool offers a great time beating the heat. You can stay cool under the summer sun by enjoying some chill splash, and a cool breeze as you speed down the turbo slides!

Visit Duinrell: The Amusement Park and Tiki Pool are opened! However, they have separate opening hours, so it would be handy to check their website prior to your visit.

Location: Duinrell 1, 2242 JP Wassenaar

7. The Amsterdam Dungeon

The Amsterdam Dungeon is a walkthrough experience that hurls you into the 500 years of Amsterdam’s dark past. You are led across the grounds for theatrical shows featuring witches, inquisitors, and torturers. Will you be able to brave the journey through the labyrinth of terror or a witch burnt at the stake? Not only is it an unsettling experience of the most stoic horror fans, but it’s probably also a fun way to learn unforgettable history lessons.

Visit Amsterdam Dungeon: The museum is now open. You can book your ticket now, with the confidence that it will be covered by their booking guarantee. You can change your ticket dates up to 5 times on Amsterdam Dungeon’s portal if your plan encounters any disruption. 

Location: Rokin 78, 1012 KW Amsterdam

Follow Octagon Professionals for more Tips for Expats

At Octagon Professionals, we are a team of expats who have lived in the Netherlands and have embraced it for all its qualities and quirks.

Our team is passionate about helping expats and newcomers find their place in the Netherlands. If you’d like to stay in touch and read more tips by us, follow us on social media.

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