Spring in the Netherlands: Where to go instead of Amsterdam

Spring is a fantastic time to visit the Netherlands, with Amsterdam’s Tulp Festival, Kings Day and the colourful blossoms, longer days, and warmer air that bring new energy to the season. Whilst Amsterdam is a popular destination in spring, there are so many other places across the country to explore. Here are a few to add to your visit:


De Hoge Veluwe National Park


Just 8 kilometres north of the city of Arnhem, De Hoge Veluwe National Park is one of the most beautiful and popular attractions in the Netherlands.

With over 13,000 acres of varied scenery, this diverse landscape boasts everything from lush forests and heathlands to grasslands and sand dunes. 

The park is the largest nature reserve in the country. Uniquely, it is also privately owned and fully enclosed.

Built as a hunting park in the early 1900s, it is now home to an incredible abundance of wildlife, including deer, wild boar, and mouflon (a rare breed of wild sheep). 

Take a guided safari to spot wildlife, or simply look out for them yourself as you explore the park through one of the many hiking trails.  Spring offers the chance to spot wild baby animals, and the best time to see the park’s wildlife is to visit in the early morning or later in the evening. 

As is to be expected in this bike-friendly country, visitors to the park can also hire the famous White Bikes to explore the park on the Netherlands’ most popular mode of transport. 

Visit the owner’s main residence, Jachthuis Sint Hubertus and admire the architecture of this home perched by the lakeside. Make your way to The Kröller-Müller Museum, hidden deep in the forest. This fascinating museum boasts the most extensive private Van Gogh collection worldwide and one of Europe’s most beautiful sculpture gardens.



Often referred to as the ‘Little Venice’ of Amsterdam, the charming town of Giethoorn is postcard picturesque.

With its quaint bridges over pretty canals, thatched roofs, and lush riverbeds, this water-perched village is like something out of a fairy tale. 

Take a boat tour through the town on a traditional Giethoorn punter boat or via an electric boat which takes you past pretty traditional farmhouses and under hundreds of wooden bridges. 

Walk the Giethoorn Walking Route and stop for lunch at one of the sun-soaked waterfront terraces along the way. Giethoorn has an excellent food scene and many food lovers come from across the country to dine at the 2 Michelin Starred De Lindenhof restaurant.

Enjoy a picnic amongst the wildflowers along the waterfront, or simply spend the day strolling through the historic centre.

Visitors can also hire bikes from the village to explore the nearby wilderness of National Park Weerribben-Wieden.



Famous for its beautiful flower fields and flower bulbs that are exported around the world, the enchanting town of Lisse is a technicolour wonderland in spring.

Located at the heart of the flower bulb region between Haarlem and The Hague, Lisse thrives amid a sea of flowers during this season.

Visit the most famous flower park in the Netherlands, Keukenhof to see thousands of tulips and other flowers blossom. Enjoy the regional Dutch Flower Parade that passes through Lisse in April, starting in Noordwijk and ending in the historic city of Haarlem.

tulips fields in the netherlands

For more flowerful fun, hire bikes and cycle through the hyacinth and tulip fields on the cycling route from Haarlem. Visit the nearby Keukenhof Castle and admire the beauty of this Golden Age Manor House, or head to the seaside and enjoy a picnic lunch on the Dutch coast in the close by towns of Noordwijk, Zandvoort and Bloemendaal.

Lisse is best explored on a day trip from Haarlem, and with so much to see and do in the surrounding area, it makes for the perfect spring day out.



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architecture rotterdam netherlands
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the country, and with amazing architecture, museums, markets, and lively nightlife scene, there is so much to see and do in this bustling city. 

Explore the city on the water with a boat tour along the harbour or climb up to the top of the Euromast Tower for soaring views over the city. You can even have lunch in the restaurant at the top before ziplining back down to land. 

If food is your thing, head to Markthall Rotterdam where hundreds of bars, eateries, and restaurants take up this striking and iconic building. Look up at the ceiling to see an impressive mural of colourful art known as the ‘Horn of Plenty’. It is a truly unique setting to enjoy a delicious lunch. 

Spend the day exploring Museumpark where you can choose between six museums and galleries to visit. Buy the Museumpark ticket (around €30) for access to five of the museums excluding the Het Nieuwe Instituut

Visit the famous Cube Houses whose unique design by Piet Blom has become one of the city’s main attractions. Marvel at the impressive modern architecture of the Erasmus Bridge which contrasts the traditional Kinderdijk’s Windmills just outside the city.

Step back in time with a visit to the historic neighbourhood of Delfshaven before finishing the day in one of the many night spots and bars in Witte de Withstraat.



Utrecht is a beautiful city close to Amsterdam that boasts its own unique charm. With a plethora of historic buildings, pretty cobbled streets, and grand architecture, there is so much to explore in this fabulous city. 

Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Once a centre for trade and religion, the city is now a student hub, with a bustling energy that seeps through the historic streets. Enjoy exquisite views over the city from the top of the Dom Tower, which is the tallest church tower in the country dating back to the 14th century. 

visit utrecht in the netherlands

Rent paddle boats or book a cruise tour to explore the city from the canal or wander down the Oudegracht canal side and browse the waterfront cafes and shops. Visit the De Haar Castle and admire the Neogothic architecture and beautiful botanical gardens.

Spend an afternoon enjoying the exhibitions at the Centraal Museum or try your hand at playing ancient musical instruments at the interactive displays of Museum Speelklok. 

Wander around Cathedral Square to see the Dom Church from the ground and look out for the square’s street performers as you enjoy a picnic lunch. After a day in the city, escape the bustle with a stroll through Utrecht University’s Botanical Gardens. 

From bucolic landscapes and technicolour fields to charming towns and bustling cities, there is so much to discover in the Netherlands in spring. Wherever you decide to go, feel those winter cobwebs blown away at the turn of the season in this exceptional destination. 



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