- Visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
- Follow in Van Gogh's footsteps in his home province of Brabant
- Discover the lesser-visited city of Maastricht
- Day-trip from Rotterdam to the windmills of Kinderdijk
- Hike and cycle the hilly landscape of Zuid-Limburg
- View incredible works of art at the Hieronymus Bosch Art Center
|Day 1||Arrive in Amsterdam & Visit the Anne Frank House||Amsterdam|
|Day 2||Take a Day Trip to Marken, Volendam, Edam & Zaanse Schans||Amsterdam|
|Day 3||Explore the University City of Leiden & Cycle to the Coast||Leiden|
|Day 4||Go on a Cycling Tour of Rotterdam||Rotterdam|
|Day 5||See the Windmills of Kinderdijk||Rotterdam|
|Day 6||Discover Van Gogh's Home Province of Brabant||'s Hertogenbosch|
|Day 7||Tour the Riverside City of Maastricht||Maastricht|
|Day 8||Cycle Through the National Landscape of Zuid-Limburg||Epen|
|Day 9||Enjoy a Free Day in the Countryside||Epen|
|Day 10||Depart Amsterdam - End of Trip|
Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam & Visit the Anne Frank House
Welcome to the Dutch Lowlands! After arrival at Amsterdam's airport, transfer to your hotel in the city center. You'll start exploring Amsterdam with a visit to the Anne Frank House. Learn about the famous story of a young Jewish girl who lived here during the Second World War; the museum is built around the secret annex where she and her family hid for over two years.
Several other museums are nearby. The Rijksmuseum is the most famous museum in the Netherlands, housing the country’s most important painting, The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn. Besides this masterpiece, you can see The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer, plus many other 17th-century works by Dutch Master painters. Right next to the Rijksmuseum, you will find another Dutch highlight: the Van Gogh Museum. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter created more than 2,000 paintings in just over a decade.
Later, take a stroll through the picturesque neighborhood of the Jordaan. Situated on the west side of the city center, the Jordaan is full of beautiful arched bridges, cobblestoned streets lined with trees, and numerous Dutch cafés where you can spend a cozy evening enjoying local food and beer.
Day 2: Take a Day Trip to Marken, Volendam, Edam & Zaanse Schans
After exploring the rich culture of the capital city, it is time to check out some other Dutch icons: wooden shoes, fishing villages, cheese, and windmills! Today, you will experience the beauty of the countryside north of Amsterdam.
Begin in the picturesque village of Marken, located on an island in the Markermeer lake. Explore the small town and visit a wooden shoe factory before catching the ferry to Volendam, Holland’s best-known fishing village. The quaint harbor is lined with cafés and fish vendors. It's a good place to sample local treats like kibbeling (traditional battered and fried fish nuggets). Next, your guide will take you to visit the centuries-old cheese market area in Edam. The market happens on Wednesdays in July and August, but the market square and waag (weigh house) itself are very much worth a visit even outside those times.
The last stop on your tour today is Zaanse Schans. During the 17th century, over 600 windmills were constructed in the area as part of an early industrial zone. The windmills were used to grind spices, produce paint and oil, and cut wood. A number of these windmills still exist and can be visited today, inside and out. After a busy day of sightseeing, you'll head back to your hotel in Amsterdam.
Day 3: Explore the University City of Leiden & Cycle to the Coast
After breakfast, take the train to the charming city of Leiden. A university city, it's full of wonderful museums, scenic canals, and inner courtyards lovingly called hofjes. The town center itself is gorgeous and busy with bicycles; Leiden University, founded in 1575, is the oldest university in the country. Visit the Lakenhal Museum, offering a collection of paintings from the past four centuries, including several works by Rembrandt. Or choose to visit the nearby Museum of Archeology or Museum of Ethnology, the Museum Boerhaave (focused on science and medicine), Naturalis (a museum dedicated to flora and fauna), Corpus (with exhibits on the human body), Hortus Botanicus Leiden (a botanical garden), or the unique Museummolen de Valk (a windmill museum).
Another wonderful aspect of Leiden is that it is located very close to the Dutch coast. E-bikes will be ready for you at your hotel today, and you will go on a self-guided bike tour to Noordwijk. On the way, you will pass by picturesque sand dunes. Once you reach the beach, go for a walk or enjoy a drink in one of many cafés. If you like seafood this is also the place to order a fresh catch. Return to Leiden in the afternoon by bike.
If you happen to be here in spring (March-May), you may wish to detour to see the region's many tulip fields in full bloom. It's possible to add a visit to the Keukenhof, the world's largest flower park, to your cycling itinerary today.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Go on a Cycling Tour of Rotterdam
After breakfast, take a quick train ride to The Hague. Known to the Dutch as Den Haag, it's the seat of the Dutch government and home to one of the most magnificent paintings in the country, Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. You'll have a chance to view it in person while visiting the Mauritshuis. The museum features a few of the 37 paintings Vermeer created during his life, as well as works by Rembrandt, Jan Steen, and Frans Hals.
In the afternoon, continue to Rotterdam. It's a city of many faces, known for its rough-and-tumble port history, trendy nightlife, upscale shopping options, and lively art scene. Above all, perhaps, Rotterdam is an architectural highlight of Holland. Enjoy lunch at a café before heading off on a private excursion to the Museumpark, a creatively landscaped outdoor space that connects Rotterdam’s major museums, including the Kunsthal Rotterdam art museum.
Continue your explorations of Rotterdam on a cycling tour that takes you to the newly built Central Station. As you walk through the city, stop to admire monuments like the Lijnbaan, a post-war Modernist shopping area, Theater Square, and the Timmerhuis, one of the most unique and sophisticated indoor markets in all of Europe. The tour ends near the iconic Erasmus Bridge. You'll spend tonight and tomorrow night at a hotel in downtown Rotterdam.
Day 5: See the Windmills of Kinderdijk
This morning you will board a waterbus (a public transport boat) and cruise over to Kinderdijk. Have lunch at the charming Grand Café Buena Vista before going on a walking tour of the area's windmills. Kinderdijk has sixteen 18th-century windmills, and this is one of the best places in the country to view these iconic structures up close.
Return by waterbus back to Rotterdam. You'll have the evening free to wander around the city center and dine on Dutch specialties in one of the city's many excellent restaurants.
Day 6: Discover Van Gogh's Home Province of Brabant
After breakfast, you'll take a train to ’s Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch for short. Den Bosch is the capital of the province of Brabant, the province where Vincent van Gogh was born and raised, and features a charming old town with beautiful buildings, historic churches, and many excellent cafés and restaurants.
Begin by visiting the Noordbrabants Museum, home to several paintings from Van Gogh's early period, and many paintings by other local artists like the great Hieronymus Bosch (or Jeroen Bosch as he is locally called). To dive deeper into Bosch's life and work, head over to the Hieronymus Bosch Art Center. You'll see reproductions of his fascinating and highly detailed works here — the center's ceilings are adorned with 3-D sculptures inspired by images from his paintings. Walking around the city center afterward, keep your eyes open and you'll see elements of Bosch's work on almost every corner, especially in colorful street art. Finish the day with a boat tour through the city and dinner in one of Den Bosch's many restaurants.
Day 7: Tour the Riverside City of Maastricht
Today you will travel further south to Maastricht. On the border with Belgium, not far from France, Maastricht is located on the banks of the Maas River. After checking into your hotel, you will go on a self-guided walking tour to see the highlights of the center, including the picturesque Sint-Servaas Bridge, the stunning churches of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwebasiliek and Basiliek van Sint-Servaas, and the famous Vrijthof Square with its many cafés, shops, restaurants, and bars.
Day 8: Cycle Through the National Landscape of Zuid-Limburg
A guided e-bike tour through the hills will bring you to one of the prettiest landscapes in the country today. Between Maastricht, Kerkrade, and Geleen lies the National Landscape of Zuid-Limburg. With forests, streams, and gently rolling hills, the land has a long history of human occupation, thanks to its fertile soil. That history is reflected in the many beautiful timber frame farmhouses, castles, monasteries, villages, and hamlets that seamlessly blend in with the green countryside. Take a picnic and enjoy a journey through this peaceful region. You'll end up at a country hotel near Vaals and Epen where you will spend the last two nights of the trip.
Day 9: Enjoy a Free Day in the Countryside
The last full day of the trip is free to enjoy as you like! The hotel staff will provide you with maps of the region's hiking trails and bike paths. After exploring more of the countryside on foot or e-bike, take your time savoring one last Dutch dinner before the trip comes to an end.
Day 10: Depart Amsterdam - End of Trip
This morning, it’s time to bid farewell to the Netherlands. Head to the Amsterdam airport or train station to make your way to your next destination. Safe travels!
More Netherlands Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Netherlands? Check out these other Netherlands itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.
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