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Discovering the Best of the Dutch Countryside

There are so many reasons to visit Netherlands countryside: the windmills, the tulip fields, the medieval castles and the landscape overall is wonderful and unique!

Just tell me! How many countries have you seen to have so many windmills per square meters?

And such a developed pumping system?

Actually, none of the countries on Earth has such a developed pumping system because the Netherlands is the only country located a few meters under the sea level.

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So, they constantly need to pump the water out from the mainland back to the sea.

Valkenburg Castle visit Netherlands countryside
Valkenburg Castle Netherlands

The Netherlands has so many hidden secrets and so many beautiful places to visit!

When you plan your trip to Netherlands you should include on your list the following places and activities:

1. A visit to Zaanse Schans or Kinderdijk

Both windmill villages are UNESCO World Heritage sites for a couple of years and are representative of dutch traditional life.

This is how people used to live in the medieval ages!

The windmills were the main tool in pumping the water back to the sea, so that is why they built them everywhere.

Kinderdijk Netherlands Countryside Windmills
Kinderdijk Netherlands Countryside Windmills

Nowadays the windmills have just a decorative role, most of them are not used to pump out the water.

Some of the windmills were transformed into hotels and restaurants and sleeping in such a place is a unique experience.

We chose to spend one night in a windmill, at Molen Hunsingo a very interesting place located 200 kilometres away from Amsterdam.

We loved the rooms, the food and the services and it was the best way to begin our countryside tour.

2. Try their local food when visit Netherlands countryside

We strongly recommend you to try some dutch dishes like:

  • Pea soup – a traditional soup with peas, vegetables and sausages
  • Hutspot- a mixed from potatoes, carrots and onions mashed together and eaten with any type of meat
  • Hachee- meat with vegetables stewed together

3. Explore Valkenburg Castle

This magnificent castle is the only castle located on a hill from Netherlands.

The medieval ruins lay on top of a hill and are located very close to Maastricht, 220 kilometres away from Amsterdam.

The history of the castle begins at around 1115, when it was built by Gosewijn I, Lord of Valkenburg.

Over the years the castle was many times destroyed and rebuilt.

It is believed that the ruins which still stand out are part of the castle built-in 1330.

Valkenburg Castle Netherlands
Valkenburg Castle Netherlands

The castle was confiscated by Napoleon troops in 1795 and was used also by the medieval knights.

The place has a very interesting history and worth paying them a visit.

The easiest way to get to the castle is in a rented car.

With a rented car, you can designate your own tour across the country without having any worry about the public transport schedule and route and is the most comfortable and easy way to visit Netherlands countryside.

Get the best price for your car rental today

4. Go to the seaside

Yes! You read correctly!

Why don’t you spend a whole day at the beach?!

Even if the water is a little bit cold and you cannot take a bath, the beaches and the bars from the nearby area are really great.

Netherlands sea seaside
Netherlands sea seaside

We suggest you spend a few nights at Sea Lodges Bloemendaal a really wonderful lodge located just 30 kilometres away from Amsterdam.

Each of the lodges has a private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen, a living room and 2 bedrooms.

They are located close to the beach, nestled between the sand dunes or hidden in the forest.

Which one is your favourite?

Sea Lodges Bloemendaal 5 ? Sea Lodges Bloemendaal 6 or Sea Lodges Bloemendaal 7 ? Check them out!

We didn’t take any baths in the sea while in the Netherlands because the water was too cold for me but we walked on the beach a lot.

It was such a great way to clear our mind and destress a little!

If you plan to visit Netherlands, you should check this article where we’ve picked the most amazing things to do in Netherlands during your holiday.

5. Buy some cheese from local producers

When visit Netherlands countryside, go to Edam or Gouda.

These are the original places where these 2 tasty kinds of cheese were invented.

Edam is a mild flavour cheese slightly nutty or salty with almost no smell if we compare it with other cheese.

Gouda instead has a mildly pungent flavour and has a creamy texture.

Edam Cheese Netherlands local producers
Edam Cheese Netherlands local producers

Both locations are pretty close to Amsterdam, Edam is 30 kilometres away while Gouda is 70 kilometres away.

You can take public transport or rent a car to explore both places in a single day!

The Netherlands is full of surprises and has many wonderful places waiting for you to be discovered!

A tour across the country is the best way to explore Netherlands!

Here are other interesting places to visit in Netherlands.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.

Mark Crone

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Great post. I’m in for everything you’ve suggested - the beach, smaller towns, soup, cheese, castles and more. Looking forward to travel after the virus and getting back to the Netherlands. Thanks for sharing,

Jam Macmac

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Great article, it made me wanna visit the Netherlands countryside. I've always dreamt of visiting Netherlands and this post just solidified my intentions of visiting it in this lifetime. It clearly shows how rich of a culture they have there.


Thursday 16th of April 2020

The countryside in the Netherlands sounds amazing! I’ve only been to Amsterdam but I would love to explore further out into the smaller towns and villages. Thanks so much for sharing and giving me some holiday inspiration! ☺️