A Guide to the Netherlands

A guide to the Netherlands

 

I just got back from the Netherlands and I decided to share some helpful information with you all. In this guide to the Netherlands, I am going to share many tips and tricks to help you when you decide to go there.

 

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A few months ago I and my boyfriend decided to make this trip to the Netherlands. The idea was to visit some friends in Almelo. Once the idea was there we decided to actually visit some big cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Eindhoven.

As a matter of fact, we wanted to see all. We always wanted to visit the Netherlands but we always kept it for somewhere in the future. Now was the time to finally do it.

In February we started searching for flights and rent a car. We managed to take our tickets for 150 euro. The car was a bit pricey. We paid 30 euro per day plus the fuel and an insurance for 110 euro. This was the best deal.

When we started looking for hotels we were surprised to see that 97% of the properties were already reserved which was a bit of a problem. It was really really hard to find something nice and cheap. Not to mention, nothing there was actually cheap. Plus, if you want to be somewhere in the center you have to know the prices are a lot higher and there are no parking places. In the few hotels, we found they wanted to charge us 36 euros for parking per day.

 

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Our first stop of the trip was Almelo, where we slept in our friends’ apartment. Almelo is a really charming place. We really liked the spirit!

On our second day, our friends took us to Giethoorn. This place is also called “Venice of the North”. There are a lot of canals and sweet little houses everywhere. The best thing is to rent a boat for two hours and drive around the village. You can also take a walk to see everything and enjoy the nature. You are definitely going to like it. It’s magical.

 

Giethoorn - A guide to the Netherlands

 

The night we spent in Almelo again, eating their traditional food which was not so pricey. The streets were empty but once you enter the center you will see a different world. Keep a note that many of the restaurants and the bars are working till 10 o’clock. If you are not into noisy places but more of nature and relax stay you can book your stay here. Almelo is a charming place.

On our third day, we first went to Amstelveen where the house we slept in was. It was a beautiful and relaxing neighborhood. I was happy we stayed there because it was far away from the noisy and busy Amsterdam. At the same time, Amstelveen is not so far from the city and you can easily access Amsterdam by train or subway. I highly recommend you to book your stay at least 4-5 months earlier because the prices are going to be cheaper, especially if you plan to visit in April or May. If you are looking for a nice, quiet and magical place to stay you can book your hotel or a guest house in Amstelveen from here.

As I said before it is really easy to go from Amstelveen to Amsterdam. The ride is about 30 minutes to the center. The ticket for a one time ride is 3.90 euro. The best option is to buy a 24 or 48-hour ticket. We bought the latter and it cost us 12.50 per person.

 

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Amsterdam is a beautiful and lively place. The architecture of the buildings is amazing, one of a kind. Not to mention, the canals and nature. The city is full of people, mostly young people. As you may already know, it is legal to smoke weed there and many young people go there to do it freely. Another attraction is The Red Lights District. The prostitution is legal there too. And maybe that’s the two things I didn’t like about Amsterdam. When the night comes, it is full of people who are stoned, behave strangely, and they are acting like they had never seen naked women before.

Many people go there to see exactly this but I am more of nature and architecture person so I hope you get what I mean, it is just not my place. It has its beauty but the weed and the prostitution came too much for me.

There is actually a lot to see and enjoy there – the canals, the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Dam Square, and many other places. The prices for all of these are somewhere between 18 – 25 euro.

 

Amsterdam - A guide to the Netherlands

 

If you are a free spirit and want to fully live your life or if you are like me and want to see a beautiful and interesting place you can save your trip to Amsterdam from here. There’s something for everyone to see and it’s a must to go there and see their way of living and thinking.

We spent 2 days in Amsterdam. I must say it is really beautiful during the night with all the lights. There are also a few great places where you can eat for a fair price. They are all located in the city center and most of them one can find in Trip advisor.

The first one is a place called Bulls and Dogs. They have the best food ever and the presentation of the food is oh-so-amazing. They also have milkshakes which are to die for. The best place ever. I fell in love with it. It is a must stop in Amsterdam!

 

Amsterdam - A guide to the Netherlands

Amsterdam - A guide to the Netherlands

 

The second one I really liked. They make small pancakes in different variations. It is located on their market street. It is a father & son business. We met only the father and he was a wonderful man. You wouldn’t want to miss it! It is called Poffertjes!

There are sooo many places where you can try the famous stroopwaffles. I personally love them! Be sure to try them!

I really enjoyed eating in Amsterdam, the food everywhere was delicious.

 

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Markets In Europe

 

The next day, we woke up in Amstelveen and went to the Hague. We wanted to see the famous oceanarium “Sea Life”. The price was 33 euro for two people and I have to say I am a little disappointed because later that day we visited the Rotterdam Zoo which was 59 euro for two + parking fee and it was way more amazing. So my advice is to go to Rotterdam and see their whole zoo. Other than that, Hague was really nice for a walk. The city center is amazing. I wish we had more time to wander around though. We only spent 4 hours there. When you plan your trip to Hague be sure to have more time because 4 hours are definitely not enough. You can plan your trip from here at the best price!

 

Hague - A guide to the Netherlands

 

Later on, we had lunch at the Hague and we went directly to the Rotterdam Zoo. We spent there like 4 hours. It is a gorgeous place. This is also one of the oldest zoos. It really fascinated me. What I liked the most is that almost everywhere you can come close to the animals and even touch them! As you may already know I just LOVE animals! This was a paradise for me! Don’t hesitate to go there! You will step into another magical world!

 

Rotterdam - A guide to the Netherlands

 

After the very long walk at the zoo, we went to see the city center. It is a small city and you will need somewhere between 3-5 hours to enjoy the center and the main sightseeings. There are many castles in the area so be sure to organize your time very well. You will be amazed by the beauty of Rotterdam! To plan your visit to the magnificent Rotterdam click here.

We were very very tired in the evening so we enjoyed a nice meal in Rotterdam and drove to Eindhoven where we slept.

When we woke up we realized it is our last day in the Netherlands. The weather was not so good which was not the perfect scenario. But we were determined to make a tour of Eindhoven before our flight.

I didn’t know that Eindhoven is a really small city. We went to the city center at about 10 o’ clock in the morning and we realized there was no one except us. I was really surprised. It was a good thing though because we were kinda tired of the masses in Amsterdam.

 

Eindhoven - A guide to the Netherlands

 

We couldn’t find anything to do there. We had a long walk and saw the sightseeing and we went for a lunch.

You will need about 3 hours to take around the center and the stadium.

In a few hours, we went to the airport to return our rental car and we were ready to go back home!

 


 

The conclusion is that I really liked the nature and the architecture of the buildings there. I fell in love with the zoo. But personally, for me this is not my place, I can’t imagine myself to live there, especially in Amsterdam, where is full of tourists and the only thing you can smell is the weed. These are not my things. But be sure to visit the Netherlands because you will see incredible beauty, one of a kind! This definitely deserves the trip!

If you want to find inspiration and make the best out of your vacation to the Netherlands this travel guide will definitely help you!

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Have you been to the Netherlands? Do you like it? If yes – tell me more, if no – tell me more again! I want to learn about your experience!

 

With love,

Monica

 

 



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