One Day in Holland

• 23 October 2009

So the question is, what to do? My in-laws decided the best place to visit for a crash course in Dutch history & culture would be the Open Air Museum in Arhem. They were spot was a fantastic place to spend a half day and my kids enjoyed themselves so much.

Windmills. Check.
Train ride. Check.
Pretty Dutch Buildings. Check.
Bicycles. Check.
Tulips. Check.
Picnic. Check.

I can't wait to go back and see more of this beautiful country. What do you like to do in Holland? What is on your "must-see" list?


Sarah Kay said...

Delft! We lived in Holland for one summer and kept returning to Delft because of the charm. They had the most amazing flea markets on Saturdays. I got antique wooden shoes for 6 euro (not the bright yellow knock-offs); an abacus; an old wooden spoon; and a fantastic red thermos probably used mid-century (not old for the Dutch - totally old for me).

There is also a great boat that leaves from Rotterdam that tours windmills.

The Anne Frank Huis, of course. Sobering. Amazing.

And then there are the art museums. They weren't so practical with a 15-month child, so we skipped them last time around.

(As if your renovation wasn't enough. Now I have the travel bug just thinking of our marvelous time we had riding trains all over Europe during our internship abroad. Good, good times).

amy smart said...

Gorgeous photos! I also LOVE the pumpkin toadstools!

Shane and Becca said...

Hi! Such great timing--I'm going to Amsterdam next Spring and would love to get some ideas! After years of studying Dutch art history, I am finally going to the Rijksmuseum. That has been on my lifetime list. And, Delft is also up there...

Robyn said...

Now you have my attention!

Oh how I love The Netherlands!

Next time you must visit the Port of Rotterdam - it's not charming, but it's amazing to see how all of the imports and exports to all of Europe arrive and depart.

And then there's the Aalsmeer flower auction - another aspect of commerce, not charm - but mind blowing none-the-less.

For charm you must see Keukenhof (the flower garden), Kinderdijk (multiple windmills all in one spot), and my personal favorite -- the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuisen. It's an open air, traditional Dutch Village that has been completely rebuilt. It's to die for!

Mmmm . . . I could go on all day.

My heart belongs there!

Carolee said...

I would like to add another plug for Keukenhof, it's amazing when the tulips are in bloom. Also, the MC Escher Museum in Den Haag is very interesting. Enjoy!

Angela said...

My late husband’s family is Dutch and most of them still live in the Netherlands. Here are some of the things we do when we visit:

Go to Maduradam in The Hague, if you have children with you or you like miniatures, models, and/or train sets: “the miniature city offers you the highlights of the Netherlands on a scale 1:25.” The history of the place is very moving too.

The Eftling Theme Park is another great place to visit with children. It was originally a simple Fairy Tale Forest highlighting 10 Fairy Tales and was designed by the Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck. Over the years many rides and attractions have been added but the original charm can still be found. It is a delightful spot.

Indonesian food

For sure the KEUKENHOF, especially in the spring

Visit the Anne Frank Huis.

Buy cheese from directly from a farmer. There are several farmers that do this, you’ll need to do some research first but it’s great fun. I’ve always been with family when we’ve done this so I don’t know the details but farmers that sell cheese hang a sign on the road and you just stop in. It’s great fun.

Ride bikes.

michelle said...

I second Keukenhof, although it's only open for a couple of months. It's like a tulip amusement park. You can rent bikes outside to ride around the tulip fields - such fun.

I also highly recommend shopping in Amsterdam - favorites include Keet in Huis, Pol's Potten, Sissy Boy and Frozen Fountain.
Also in Amsterdam: Anne Frank Huis is a must, as is the Rijks. And go shopping/eating in the Nines.

Next time I plan on hanging out in Rotterdam and looking at all the pretty buildings.

Lisa said...

This is such a fun photo collage, they are very beautiful pictures!

Kyle and Lesley said...

A lesser seen site that is a must see is Kinderdijk. There are so many gorgeous, well conserved windmills there, and the setting is oh-so picturesque.

CMN said...

What a thrill to see these photos and think "I've been there too!" ;-)
I LOVED visiting the OpenLuchtMuseum and think it's terrific that your family was able to enjoy a visit too!

Other folks have left some great recommendations so I'll just add... the Anne Frank Huis? I'll admit that I was expecting it to be a little, um, well, trite or contrived. It wasn't. It was an extremely well curated and preserved experience and very moving. An absolute must.

Natasha - Kia Kaha Mama said...

I have never been to Holland, but your photos were a wonderful teaser, and your reader comments are wonderful, thanks! We have childhood friends from there, I look forward to visiting one day! Thanks for the suggestions...and inspiration! xo N

Lauren said...

Love the pictures of the kids at the coffee shop. Amsterdam is my favorite big city in Europe.

joolee said...

The Anne Frank house in Amsterdam is amazing! truly incredible - you can climb through the secret bookcase yourself. very sobering. I regret that I didn't get to go to the Rijksmuseum while I was there, so I'd do that if I were you.

Juleen said...

We live in Germany and our favorite quick family trip is to holland. We love the coast and found the best beaches in Bergen (Camperduin Beach). We spend all day flying kites and building sandcastles. There is also the charming town of Alkmaar nearby with darling home decor shops and on Saturday an open cheese market. On our last trip we rented a small motorboat (only 12 Euros per hour) and toured the canals of Alkmaar. Very charming.

likeschocolate said...

My favorite is the Van Gogh museum or taking an evening canal tour. Though I didn't drink the wine the cheese was delicious!

Stacie said...

of the many countries i have visited, holland is my favorite. such a peaceful, beautiful country. i second the keukenhof gardens in the late spring.... take a train to Zandvort and then bike to keukenhof from there... you get to experience the beauty and fragrance of the tulip and hyacinth fields not to mention the amazing beauty of the dutch homes on the dutch gold cost on the way.

I also loved the Kroeller- Mueller museum.

The dutch are such a civilized, endearing people...would live there in a heartbeat!

Brittons of Provo said...

I don't have a "must see" as much as a "must eat". I went to travel school and my teacher told me that they had street vendors that sold the delicious little dutch pancakes. They sounded so good I have wanted to get them ever since.

The Wadman's said...

My younger brother went to Belguim on his mission and a few months after he came home I was in London for school. I took a quick trip to Brugges where he was for about 6 months - and yes, I'm still so jealous of him. The open markets, cobblestone streets, canals, old churches, everything was perfect! I even didn't mind the freezing cold weather for once!

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