Imagine the silhouettes of windmills surrounded by tulips blooming in various colors. The Netherlands boasts some quirky combinations of cutting-edge architecture, naughty urban pleasures and scenic landscapes. Hop on a bike (an absolute necessity in the low lands) and explore all the exciting things this windy country has to offer.
Here are our top 3 reasons to visit the Netherlands this spring:
#1 Cycling adventures
One of the most important components of life in the Netherlands is cycling. Locals literally live on their fiets (bike). Bikes are used to get around in the city and between cities, transport your groceries, furniture, pets and even children.
So, it would be a shame not to explore the country on two wheels. It is indeed the only way to feel the true Dutch spirit. Rent a bike from one of the numerous rentals and hit the road. Whether you want to roam around big urban centers like Amsterdam and Rotterdam or discover the charms of the blossoming countryside, you can easily do so on a bicycle. The Netherlands has to offer 32,000 km of cycling paths that are waiting to be explored. Choose among the endless cycling roads and plan your trip with a handy cycle planner that is also available in English.
If you are in the mood for something new, why not try bicycle hitchhiking in Amsterdam? All you have to do is look for a bike with a yellow backie and shout “Backie!”.
#2 Endless fields filled with flowers
In spring, the Netherlands turns into a paradise for every flower lover. March is the start of the crocus season, followed by the gentle daffodils and the fragrant hyacinths. Don’t miss on the iconic tulips that show their enchanting colors from mid-April to mid-May.
The best place to enjoy Dutch tulips is the Keukenhof or the world’s biggest flower exhibition, which is just 30 minutes away from Amsterdam. The garden is gorgeous in spring, showcasing over 7 million blooming bulbs, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips. The place is also hosting various flower-related events like a roses show, freesia show, and the world’s biggest lily show. Other major tulip farms are located in the Noordoostpolder and along the coast of the Hague and Leiden.
#3 Dutch café culture
Dutch cafés are laid-back and social spaces to talk, drink and celebrate life. Most of them are located right by the famous Dutch canals or have a gorgeous green garden. Soak up some sun (which is rare and highly valued in the Netherlands) while enjoying a tasty snack and a cold beer. Opt for a traditional Heineken or one of the exquisite Belgian varieties that are among the local favorites. When food is concerned, locals worship the taste of deeply fried kibbeling (cod) that is dipped in a fresh garlic or tartar sauce. Sweet lovers can enjoy a delicious stroopwafel (a waffle consisting of two sheets of baked dough and a syrupy caramel layer in the middle) that is best washed down with a latte.
If your mouth is watering and you long for a trip across the flat and colorful fields of the Netherlands, it`s high time to start planning your Dutch trip. Happy traveling!
A passionate writer, journalist, and explorer, Yoana Hristova (www.yoanahristova.com) has worked and studied in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway. Currently based in Bulgaria, she is always on the lookout for great stories that inspire us to travel, grow and discover what life has to offer.