14 fun things to do during spring in the Netherlands
Spring is considered one of the best seasons in the Netherlands – the weather is getting warmer, there is less rain and the tulips are in full bloom. There are many fun things to do during this season, so we have made a list for you with 14 different activities.
1. Bike like a local
Cycling is a big part of Dutch culture, since the average Dutch person cycles around 979 kilometers per year. Grab your bike and experience the Netherlands like a true local this season. One of the most famous bike routes in the Netherlands is the bike route to the windmills at Kinderdijk, but if you would like to avoid crowds, we recommend to go to the Veluwe in Utrecht.
2. Spot tulips and visit flower fields
Spring is the best season to check out the many tulip and flower fields in the Netherlands. The flowers and especially the tulips are in full bloom around this time of the year. Most flower farmers prepare the whole year for this season, so do not let their work go to waste. Here are the best places to spot flowers:
- Noordoostpolder is one of the biggest and best places in the Netherlands to spot tulip fields
- The Keukenhof is the biggest flower garden of Europe, so definitely a must visit. Make sure to go during office hours or to at least avoid peak hours, since it can be very busy in the weekends
- Pick flowers on your own at Pluktuin Noordwijkerhout
3. Watch a movie in the open air
As winter draws to an end, Pathé is scheduling their annual rooftop cinema events. Take a friend, partner, colleague or one of your children, score some popcorn and watch the latest movie under blankets at the roof top cinema of Pathé Leidsche Rijn.
4. Get your adrenaline pumping in theme parks
If you like to get your heart racing, then you must visit one of the many theme parks in the Netherlands. You could for example go to Efteling, which is fun for both children and adults. Walibi is a great option if you are really into fast rides and roller coasters, but if you are more into water glides then Duinrell will do.
5. Visit outdoor markets
Spring is a great season to visit outdoor markets in the Netherlands. There are general markets and theme markets, such as flea markets and flower markets. These are a few of our favorite markets in different Dutch cities:
- The Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam: one of the best markets to eat, get groceries and to go shopping
- The antique- and book market in The Hague: for everyone who likes to shop vintage
- The flower market in Rotterdam Blaak: get great quality flowers for great prices
6. Walk a ‘barefoot path’
If you are someone who likes adventure, challenging your friends and getting dirty – walk a barefoot path. In different places in the Netherlands, you can walk a barefoot path (Blotevoetenpad). This is an adventurous path you have to walk with your socks and shoes off. We recommend for you to check out the barefoot paths in Schoorl and in Twello.
7. Have a picknick at the cherry blossom park
A great place to have a picknick with a friend is at the cherry blossom park in Amstelveen, which is about five minutes from Amsterdam by car. There are about 400 cherry blossom trees in the park, which makes a beautiful scenery. Make sure to avoid going in the weekends or around peak hours like 12pm and 3pm, because it can definitely get crowded. And don’t forget blossom is only during a limited period, so make sure you go on time, because after a month there is no blossom blooming anymore.
8. Visit the Zandvoort F1 track
Visiting the Zandvoort F1 track is a thrilling experience for motorsport enthusiasts. The track has a length of 4.3 kilometers, which makes it one of the shortest circuits on the F1 calendar. They often have events with free entrance. After watching an event, you can visit Mickey’s Bar for a drink and test your own driving skills at Racesquare.
9. Gouda cheese market
We already mentioned visiting outdoor markets, but this market deserves a special mention: the cheese market in Gouda. Held in the historic town of Gouda, the market showcases not only the city’s famous cheese but also traditions. Watch how cheese carriers in traditional clothing carry large amounts of cheese and negotiate prices with buyers. Enjoy live music, dance performances and local delicacies.
10. Explore the dunes
Experience the beauty of the Dutch coastline by taking a walk through the dunes. This is the perfect opportunity to practice the Dutch term ‘uitwaaien’, which basically means to go out in windy weather (often during seasons other than summer). Whether you prefer to go solo, bring a friend or a furry companion, the dunes offer a serene and peaceful environment. Once you have finished your walk, indulge in some delicious cuisine at one of the beach tents.
11. Be a tourist and check out windmills
Windmills are one of the defining features of the Netherlands, and spring is an excellent time to visit them. You can explore the windmills at Kinderdijk by bike or the windmills at Zaanse Schans by public transport, bike or car. This is a great opportunity to learn about the history of these iconic structures and to see what’s inside a windmill.
12. Visit Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Rainy days still exist during spring in the Netherlands. If it is one of those days, enjoy one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful botanical gardens at Hortus Botanicus. After walking through its gardens and different green houses, you can enjoy a drink in their café.
If you are feeling adventurous and do not mind getting a little dirty, consider wadlopen on the Wadden Islands. This unique experience involves walking on a mudflat during low tide. Don’t forget to wear old shoes, as your legs may get muddy up to your knees.
14. Visit museums
The Netherlands is home to some of the world’s most famous museums. Whether you are an art aficionado, history buff or just someone who likes to learn more about history and art, there are plenty of museums to visit. In Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum showcases over 8,000 artworks and objects, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Mauritshuis in The Hague showcases Girl with a Pearl Earring from Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is dedicated to the Jewish experience during World War II.