When people think about the Netherlands, they think of Amsterdam. And it is a truly beautiful city. Most Dutch people I know, never visit the city much, because of how touristic it is. There are loads and loads of visitors every year, smoking weed, visiting the sex museum and cycling on the wrong side of the road. It’s a very popular city. But did you know there are actually a couple of cities that look a lot like Amsterdam, but are a whole lot less crowded? Here’s three Amsterdam-like cities in the Netherlands to avoid the masses!
Delft is a famous Dutch city that, just like the other cities in this blogpost, has the same canals and quaint little houses that Amsterdam does. It’s cute and pictoresque and easy to photograph without hundreds of other tourists! Make sure to check out the market square and the library.
A city famous for it’s cheese and cheese markets, Alkmaar is really lovely. It’s not too crowded, except in the summer and it’s close to Amsterdam. Don’t miss the cheese museum and markets.
My favourite city has to make the list: Utrecht. It’s what we Dutch would call gezellig, great for shopping, gaming in the arcade and it has the best pancakes in the country. Check out my city guide for all the highlights!
Happy Kingsday! Time for another post about the Netherlands! When you think of Amsterdam, you don’t immediately think of beach, but there is there is an official Amsterdam beach! I must admit that I, along with most of the other Dutch people, think it a ridiculous habit to put ‘Amsterdam’ before anything that’s vaguely in the area. But it’s good for the tourists.
Amsterdam Beach, better known as Zandvoort-aan-Zee, or just Zandvoort, is a city on the westcoast of the Netherlands, some 30 kilometers from Amsterdam. It will take you about 40 minutes to reach by car, half an hour by public transport and and hour and 45 minutes by bicycle. Zandvoort is most famous for it’s formula 1 racing track and also the beach.
Sea Cottage Zandvoort
I got an offer to enjoy a romantic getaway at Sea Cottage Zandvoort, complete with a nicely filled picknick basket, romantic films and a bottle of champagne. As we’re still in quarantine and the borders are closed, there are not a lot of places we could go, and spending some days on the beach sounded like a lovely getaway.
We started our first day by seeing the flower fields in bloom, close to Zandvoort, in Noordwijkerhout. It was too early for tulips, but we saw daffodils, other flowers and lambs! We had an amazing time and then drove to Zandvoort to the Sea Cottage we booked. It was lovely, and the beach was only 300 meters away.
The package we booked included a picknick basket, with cheese, bread, donuts, a bottle of wine, some nuts and other things to snack on. When we had dropped our stuff off, we quickly grabbed the basket and walked to the beach, where we sat down in the sand and had a lovely picknick. It was wonderful.
We watched the sunset, read a bit back in the cottage, and came out at night for some kibbeling, which is something you have to eat when you’re on a Dutch beach and one of my favourite dishes. It’s fried fish with garlic sauce and absolutely delicious.
The next morning, we headed out to get ourselves some breakfast. We decided to go to a place called Hippie Fish because the photo’s of their dishes on their instagram looked absolutely delicious. It’s too bad that we couldn’t have breakfast inside because of the covid rules, because the place looked super cosy, but luckily, they were open and had takeaway.
We ordered the breakfast box for both of us and I got some coffee while we waited, whilst taking pictures of the beach and the beach bar.
When we got our boxes, we drove back to the cottage, which wasn’t all that far away, but we were lazy and didn’t wanna walk a kilometer back and forth, so we decided to drive. The breakfast box contained a strawberry waffle, a detox juice that sounded delicious but unfortunately, they were out of, so we got orange juice instead, and chia-mango pudding. It all smelled so good and we couldn’t drive fast enough to the cottage to have our breakfast!
And it was absolutely delicious! Especially the waffle. I don’t really care for citrus fruits, so boyfriend got my pudding and juice (maybe I should have just ordered the waffle?) but he was all the more happy for it.
After breakfast we checked out and decided to wander through Zandvoort some more, before our next stop. I hadn’t been here before, usually when we go to the beach we go to Zeeland, especially since my inlaws live there. But it was nice to have a change of scenery and some days off, enjoying ourselves and not having to do anything.
As traveling still isn’t an option, I’ve been exploring my own country. I have to say that I’m surprised at my findings. There’s a lot of places I didn’t know existed and loads of things you can do in the Netherlands, that I hadn’t heard of. Time to make another list: Six things I wanna do in my own country.
Hey guys! How are you doing? I hope you all had a great easter! I didn’t do that much, besides visiting my sister and start spring-cleaning. Last week, I was once again tired of lockdown and bored out of my mind, so we looked for some fun things to do. A friend recommended a visit to the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, which I’ll roughly translate to Amsterdam Dunes. I seriously never even knew there were dunes so close to Amsterdam, let alone a nature reserve filled with deer! But there were, so the choice to visit was easily made. We bought our tickets (that only cost a few euro’s) online and next morning, we drove to Amsterdam!
There are multiple entrances but we drove to the Vogelenzangseduinweg (birdsong-dune-road) because that was what our friend recommended. To give you a rough idea, we drove through a couple of Dutch cities such as Heemstede and Haarlem, that are also well worth a visit. The dunes are actually part of Amsterdam, and by car it will only take you half an hour/40 minutes to get from city center to the parking lot. So if you’re visiting Amsterdam and you are getting tired of the bustling cities and being run over by bicycles, grab a car, bike or train and visit these dunes!
The dunes are the first thing you see upon entering. And though it is just heaps of sand with the sea nowhere in sight, it’s still pretty cool. Running over the hills, rolling off of them, it can be a lot of fun.
The name is a little bit misleading, however, since there is so much more than just dunes. Behind the dunes is an enormous nature reserve, about 34 square kilometers and it’s filled with wildlife. We had seen loads of pictures of deer and foxes so naturally we were hoping to see them.
And we did! They’re actually hard to miss, because there truly are a lot of them. We first saw a couple in the distance, but they were behind a fence. Then, when walking further, a group of maybe 15 deer stood on our side of the fence, and we just stood there and looked at them, until something scared them and they came running. They ran over the path we were walking on, ducked to be able to go underneath the gates and then they were in the no-humans-allowed zone. We could still see them, but the fence was there for their protection. So we left them in peace, hoping we would find some more deer to properly photograph.
Besides deer, there were also numerous birds to be heard. It was wonderful to hear them all singing, especially when the rest of the forest was quiet.
We didn’t have to wait long to see more deer. Whenever we saw them in the distance, we sneaked and walked slowly, camera in hand, to try and take good pictures of them. Sometimes we got close, but they always noticed us (or other visitors who were completely ignorant and talked loudly in the forest, scaring the deer, and causing them to run farther and farther away) and got away quickly. It was a lot of fun and we did manage to get some amazing pictures and a couple of videos.
There are so many deer living in the woods that it’s not all that good for the forest and the grass. They eat everything and there were parts of the forest that looked like a wasteland, because the deer had eaten every bit of grass they could find. Because of this, the township of Amsterdam has decided to regulate the number of deer. It makes me sad. Of course, I can see that there are too many deer in these areas and that it’s bad for the growth and the environment, but the fact is that if we humans didn’t need so many new roads, houses, bigger cities and factories, that the deer would have bigger areas to live in and then there wouldn’t be so many problems.
It was interesting to see these wastes. I’ve heard the stories about deer eating everything and ‘having to be regulated’ but never actually saw the damage.
We stayed in the forest for quite a bit so eventually it was time to have lunch. And what better place to have lunch than in a tree? There were so many trees with branches that were just asking to be climbed, and we happily obliged. We saw no exotic animals while we ate, though we did see a group of joggers that did some exercises close to us. Pretty sure they hadn’t seen us, but it was a funny sight for us.
After that, we thought it was time to go home. We wanted to give the deer some rest, because we had followed them for quite some time, so we decided to go another way back to our car, still fingers crossed that we would see a fox. We didn’t, unfortunately, but I just see that as a reason to come back one day.
We had such a lovely day. The sun was shining and seeing the deer in their own environment was really special. The forest and the dunes were also really beautiful and we had an amazing time. I certainly will come back here again.
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Amsterdam is the capital city of my home country, The Netherlands. I never liked the city much, thinking it too crowded with tourists and cyclists. But I have come to love the quaint little houses, the cobblestone streets and the canals. Amsterdam is so much more than prostitutes and weed, though that is what a lot of tourists come here for. Which is too bad, because Amsterdam has a rich history, lots of amazing museums and yummy food. Time for an Amsterdam guide!
After visiting Wondr, we wandered through the streets of Amsterdam. We had quite some time to kill but after wandering the lovely streets and visiting the Waterstones, it was time for our next stop, namely: the cat café, Kopjes.
After we spent quite some hours in the fun museum of Wondr, we wandered through the city of Amsterdam. We had reserved some seats at the cat café on the opposite side of the city and we decided to go for a walk.
You guys, I just discovered the BEST museum in the Netherlands! Put this on your bucketlist and book your flights to Amsterdam, because you will want to visit Wondr!
The world is opening up again, and I couldn’t be happier! From the beginning of this month, the museums, bars and restaurants have opened again, and from June fifteen, the Dutch border opens for European tourists (Except for Sweden and the UK, I’m sorry!). Time for a trip to Amsterdam!
I had discovered a new museum in Amsterdam just a few weeks prior to the quarantine, so when we heard the good news, I immediately bought tickets for opening day. And we had such an amazing time. Wondr Experience is a pop-up museum that is essentially an adult playground (no, not like that). I haven’t had this much fun in ages! Pools filled with marshmallows, rooms filled with confetti and glitter, walking through paintings. It’s the most playful museum I’ve ever been to!
I was planning a daytrip to Amsterdam before the corona virus hit my country. I had one amazing day in the city already, and there are so many things I still want to do, like buying chocolates at Polarberry, visit the Anne Frank house and take a seat on the highest swing in Europe. Time for a two day itinerary for Amsterdam!