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Holiday in the Netherlands: combination of city and country

Planning a holiday in the Netherlands offers a wealth of possibilities. Perhaps a cheap weekend in Amsterdam? Or maybe an active holiday cycling or boating? Long, sandy beaches also make for a superb family holiday or relaxing break with friends. If you have no idea where to start with your planning, here are a few pointers.

Netherlands holiday ideas – city breaks

Amsterdam is the destination which instantly springs to mind for a Netherlands holiday. Amsterdam certainly has a lot to offer in terms of museums, nightlife, accommodation, and shopping, but other cities are worth exploring too. If you like nothing better than strolling through historic streets or sipping a beer in a pretty streetside cafe, Utrecht could be just your cup of tea.

The small town of Delft is famous for its blue and white pottery, but that's not all it has to offer. It's close enough to Amsterdam and The Hague for a day trip, but the town itself has a peaceful, relaxing vibe. Base yourself here rather than in a bigger city and you'll find better value accommodation, great local food, and good transport links to the rest of the country.

rotterdam canal netherlands holiday
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amsterdam view canals with bridge netherlands
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The most vibrant Netherlands holiday destinations

Amsterdam is the city with the Netherlands' biggest club scene. The range of clubs and bars coupled with a large student population means there's something happening each night of the week. Rotterdam is also known for its large clubs, many of which attract top DJs from all over the world. If your ideal night out starts with some great food, then consider Utrecht where the narrow streets of the old town are packed with restaurants serving cuisine from around the world.

Netherlands beachside holiday destinations

With over 450km of coastline, it's no surprise that the Netherlands have some amazing beaches. One of the best-known resorts is Zandvoort, close to Amsterdam. The town's wide, sandy beach extends for many kilometres along the coast so even in peak season, you'll have no trouble finding a private spot on the sand. To the north of the town, the beach merges into the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, with its abundant wildlife and extensive cycle path network.

Best active destinations in the Netherlands

If you enjoy spending your spare time keeping active, then a beachside holiday will tick lots of boxes for you. Most larger coastal towns offer everything from sailing to kitesurfing. Hire some equipment, book a quick lesson, and get out on the water to learn a new skill.

Inland, the active options are no less varied. The bike is king in the Netherlands, and cycle paths criss-cross the entire country. Saddle up, arrange some accommodation in towns and cities along the way, and explore the countryside at your own pace.