On this short trip, you will explore the central region of the Netherlands, known for its charming small cities and pristine forests. Begin by visiting Deventer, an enchanting historic city known for its narrow cobbled streets, quaint bookshops, beautiful squares, and excellent dining venues. Then base yourself in Otterlo for two days as you explore Hoge Veluwe National Park, home to the Kröller-Müller Museum, where you can view many of Vincent van Gogh's original masterpieces. Ride around the park and the surrounding countryside on an e-bike, looking for deer and wild boar, enjoying a picnic lunch, and sampling ice cream from a famous local institution. Enjoy the best of Holland away from the crowds!


  • Explore the cozy bookshops and picturesque squares of Deventer
  • Zoom around Hoge Veluwe National Park on an e-bike
  • Tour the world's second-largest Van Gogh collection 
  • Walk through one of Europe's largest sculpture gardens
  • Detour to a famous ice cream parlor for a sweet street

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Sightsee in the Historic Center of Deventer Deventer
Day 2 Continue Exploring Deventer Deventer
Day 3 Enjoy Nature & Art at Hoge Veluwe National Park Otterlo
Day 4 Discover the Region on an E-bike Otterlo
Day 5 Depart Amsterdam - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Sightsee in the Historic Center of Deventer

Lights on the water in Deventer

Welcome to the Netherlands! Your first destination is Deventer, located on the banks of the IJssel River. The best way to explore the small city is on foot. Stroll along the narrow streets to see monuments, squares, churches, museums, and antique shops. Stop into Deventer Koekwinkel, a popular institution that's been producing the world-famous kruidkoek (spiced cake) for over four centuries.

Deventer is also known as "the city of books." The oldest library in the country is located here, and there are many excellent shops selling new and secondhand titles. In the evening, join the locals for an outdoor dinner beside one of the city's picturesque squares.

Day 2: Continue Exploring Deventer

Downtown Deventer

Spend another day enjoying the charming city of Deventer. Brink Square is the beating heart of the city, lined with cafés, restaurants, and shops. On weekends, a colorful market takes over the square. Nearby, the impressive Lebuïnus Church is a highlight. The interior's gothic arches are a delight, and you can climb the tower for an excellent view of the city. If you're traveling with children, check out the Speelgoedmuseum, a popular toy museum. Have dinner in one of the city's many excellent restaurants in the evening.

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Day 3: Enjoy Nature and Art at Hoge Veluwe National Park

A forested path in De Hoge Veluwe National Park

The adventure continues with a trip to De Hoge Veluwe National Park, one of the largest forested areas in the Netherlands. It once served as the private hunting grounds for Dutch royalty. Check into your hotel in Otterlo, right next to the park gate, and travel by e-bike to the Kröller-Müller Museum. The museum has the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world, with almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. Among these are Cafe Terrace at Night (1888), Sorrowing Old Man (1890), and Country Road in Provence by Night (1890). You'll also find masterpieces by Georges Seurat and Pablo Picasso.

In the sculpture garden, one of the largest in Europe, stroll around hundreds of works sculptures by artists including Aristide Maillol, Jean Dubuffet, Marta Pan, and Pierre Huyghe. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the surrounding park on your e-bike. 

Day 4: Discover the Region on an E-bike

Dutch landscapes near the park

Today you'll spend more time exploring the park on your e-bike. On a self-guided tour, you'll pedal along quiet roads, keeping your eyes open for deer or wild boar — your best chances for wildlife spotting is in the early morning or in the late afternoon. Take a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way. 

On the other side of the national park, outside Otterlo, you'll find the small village of Hoenderloo. Locals all around the province of Gelderland know this town because of the famous ice cream parlor IJs van Co. It's a hole in the wall selling only one type of ice cream, but you'll see dozens of people queueing up to place their orders. It's worth a little detour to taste this famous treat for yourself! Then ride back to Otterlo for dinner and a relaxing evening. 

Day 5: Depart Amsterdam - End of Trip 

Colorful rows of tulips

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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