Netherlands Road Trip: Best Itinerary for an Epic Trip!

This post may contain affiliate links, from which we earn an income.

Embarking on a road trip is one of the most liberating and exhilarating ways to explore a new country, and there’s no better destination than the Netherlands for your next adventure.

From the iconic windmills and tulip fields to the bustling streets and canals of historic cities, every mile you cover will be filled with breathtaking sights and unforgettable experiences.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-time visitor, our guide will help you plan your Netherlands road trip, ensuring you hit all the top spots and find a few hidden gems along the route.

Netherlands road trip

Is it Holland or the Netherlands?

In English, Holland is often used as the formal name for the Netherlands. However, Holland is actually a region within the Netherlands that consists of the two provinces of North and South Holland, whereas the Netherlands is the correct name of the country.

In 2019, the Dutch government decided to stop describing itself as Holland and instead rebrand and use its proper name – the Netherlands – as part of an attempt to update its global image.

Make sure you have travel insurance you can trust when visiting the Netherlands. We recommend True Traveller for their 5-star TrustPilot reviews, variety of cover options, best activities cover as standard, great prices, and excellent service.

Getting to the Netherlands

Whether you’re going on a road trip in the Netherlands by car, motorcycle, or campervan, self-driving is the best way to explore this unexpectedly fascinating country.

Our seven-day road trip itinerary shares all the highlights and top spots but is flexible enough for you to stop whenever you want, try new activities, visit places you see along the route, and have the freedom to change plans at the last minute.

Fly into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The world’s second largest hub airport enjoys direct flights from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, China and the UK. We recommend booking through Skyscanner for live deals and the best prices.

Are you planning to rent a car in the Netherlands? As one of the largest car hire aggregator companies in the world, we recommend Rentalcars.com because they have massive purchasing power which enables them to secure the best car rental prices, which benefits you when you’re planning a road trip.

For a real adventure, hire a motorhome or campervan in the Netherlands. We recommend Motorhome Republic, an aggregate booking site who pull together all the best deals from a number of rental agencies, to offer you a wide choice of options alongside an excellent English speaking expert motorhome Concierge Team.

Best Time to Road Trip the Netherlands

Exploring the Netherlands is a delight any time of year, but each period offers its own unique experiences and attractions. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect during each season to help you decide when to plan your visit.

Spring

Spring is perhaps the most iconic season to visit the Netherlands, especially for those eager to see the country’s famous tulip fields in full bloom. From mid-March to early May, the countryside transforms into a colourful patchwork of tulip fields.

Spring weather is generally mild, making it a pleasant time for outdoor activities like cycling, walking, and canal tours. However, be prepared for variable weather – pack layers and waterproof clothing.

King’s Day, or Konigsdag, is celebrated across the country on April 27th, is a nationwide party of street markets, music, and a sea of orange attire. If you’re in the Netherlands during this time, make sure to book accommodation in advance.

Summer

Summer in the Netherlands is a vibrant and lively time, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities and festivals. With temperatures ranging from 20° to 25° Celsius (68 to 77° Fahrenheit), summer is ideal for beach outings and enjoying the Netherlands outdoor spaces.

The season is marked by numerous music festivals, cultural events, and outdoor markets. Notable events include Amsterdam Pride in August and the Rotterdam Summer Carnival. Long daylight hours mean more time to explore cities, take canal cruises and visit outdoor attractions like the Hoge Veluwe National Park.

However, summer is also a busy season, so expect more crowds and higher prices for accommodation, flights and hire car. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes to explore the many parks and cities.

Autumn

Autumn offers a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere with beautiful fall foliage and fewer tourists. Parks and forests showcase stunning fall colours, perfect for hiking and cycling. Early autumn can still be quite mild, making it a good time for outdoor activities without the summer crowds.

The cultural season kicks off in September with events like the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. Packing a raincoat or umbrella is advisable, as autumn can be quite rainy. Take advantage of off-season rates for accommodation and attractions during this quiet time.

Winter

Winter in the Netherlands is magical, with festive celebrations and a cosy atmosphere. Christmas markets pop up in cities like Amsterdam, Maastricht, and Dordrecht from late November through December, offering seasonal treats and crafts.

If temperatures drop low enough, you might experience the joy of skating on frozen canals and lakes. Alternatively, there are many outdoor ice rinks in cities. The Dutch celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks and traditional treats like oliebollen (fried doughnuts).

Winter temperatures can be chilly, often ranging from -1° to 5° Celsius (30° to 41° Fahrenheit), so packing warm clothing is essential. Shorter daylight hours mean planning indoor activities like visiting museums and cosy cafes.

RELATED POST: Winter Destinations Europe: 23 Amazing Wintry Places

Looking for the best SIM card deals in Europe for your trip? Check out our guide to the best data SIMs in Europe and get the best deal for your trip to the Netherlands.

Netherlands Road Trip Map & Route

This 7 day road trip from Amsterdam to Haarlem visits vibrant cities, picturesque towns and some of the Netherland’s big hitting landmarks. Try Dutch cuisine, explore iconic windmills, take a boat trip (you must!) and soak up the open minded and progressive environment.

  • Get the Travel Guides
  • Get the Itinerary

Amsterdam – Leiden – The Hague – Gouda – Rotterdam – Eindhoven – Maastrict – Nijmegen – Zwolle – Groningen – Leeuwarden – Haarlem

  • Distance: 557 miles / 897km
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Drive Time: 12 hours

How to use this map – Use your fingers (or computer mouse) to zoom in and out. Click or touch the icons to get more info about a place, and click the arrow in the box top left to open the index. To add to your own Google Maps account, click the star next to the title of the map.

Day 1: Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the beautiful and vibrant capital city of the Netherlands, known for it’s pretty canals, collections of great art and bicycles – thousands of bicycles!

One of Amsterdam’s must-do tourist attractions is the Van Gogh Museum. It houses the most extensive collection of paintings and drawings by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, including his Sunflowers and The Bedroom.

Another must-see is the very moving Anne Frank House. It is dedicated to the story of Anne Frank and her family, who hid from the Nazis during World War II. A 20-minute walk from the Anne Frank House is the Rijksmuseum, home to an extensive collection of Dutch art and history, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer.

You are spoiled for choice in Amsterdam regarding cafes and restaurants. Enjoy the best burgers in town at The Burger Room or have lunch next to the river at Hanneke’s Boom (they will even pack you a picnic basket to go).  

If you prefer to swap art and history for the outdoors, make the most of Amsterdam’s network of canals. Enjoy a boat trip and explore the Amsterdam canal ring, one of the most unique urban landscapes in the world. Or do it the Dutch way and rent a bike to explore the area at your own pace.

Afterwards, head to Albert Cuyp Markt. This street-length market might remind you of Notting Hill or Camden Town in London, with plenty of vendors selling everything from vintage clothes and souvenirs to local treats and arts and crafts.

For an array of options, go to Food Hallen for a street food-style experience. Other good restaurants include Utrechtsedwarstafel and The Chupitos Club. For a luxurious treat, visit the renowned De Kas (book ahead) for an authentic farm-to-table experience focusing on plant-based cuisine. 

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Luxury: Staying at the Pulitzer Amsterdam combines historic charm with modern luxury. Set in 25 interlinked 17th-century canal houses, the boutique hotel offers impeccable service, elegant rooms, canal views, and exceptional dining, all close to top attractions.

Mid-Range: Hotel The Craftsmen uniquely blends history and artisanal charm. Housed in a series of historic buildings along the Singel Canal, the boutique hotel features individually designed rooms inspired by various crafts. Its central location and personalized service make it ideal for an authentic Amsterdam experience.

Budget: Hotel Des Arts has a charming blend of artistic ambience and comfort. Located in a historic building near the city centre, the boutique hotel features uniquely decorated rooms inspired by different art styles. With its cosy atmosphere and attentive service, Hotel des Arts is our favourite place to stay in the city.

Hostel: The Bee Hostel offers a vibrant and budget-friendly experience. Situated in a lively neighbourhood, this hostel offers comfortable dormitories and private rooms. With its friendly atmosphere and communal spaces, this is the ideal choice for travellers looking to explore Amsterdam on a budget.

RELATED POST: Amsterdam One Day Itinerary + Map, Tips & Guide

pink, purple and yellow tulips against a background of tall Dutch houses

Day 2: Amsterdam to The Hague

Leiden

Leiden, a charming city less than an hour from Amsterdam, is known for its old town, full of picturesque canals, narrow alleys, and beautiful buildings.

There are several interesting museums, including the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, a museum dedicated to archaeology that features an impressive collection of ancient artefacts from Greece, Egypt, and the Roman Empire, and the Museum De Lakenhal, dedicated to Leiden’s textile industry’s history.

Don’t miss the 14th-century Pieterskerk, one of Leiden’s most famous landmarks. Tour the interior to see the impressive stained-glass windows and the historic organ.

Wander through the beautiful Hortus Botanicus, one of the world’s oldest botanic gardens, founded in the 1500s. It features a wide variety of plants from all over the globe, including many rare and exotic species.

The Hague

The Hague, also known as Den Haag, is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and only fifteen minutes away from Leiden.  

Visit the Mauritshuis, a museum that boasts a world-renowned collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Rubens. Another noteworthy art museum is the Kunstmuseum Den Haag (previously called Gemeentemuseum), which features works by Mondrian, Picasso, and Degas. It also has an extensive collection of fashion and design.

The Hague is home to the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, which you can visit in the Peace Palace, which symbolises the city’s role in promoting international justice and peace. Afterwards, stroll through the beautiful Palace Gardens, which feature fountains, ponds, and a wide variety of plant life.

Have dinner at the gastropub Van Kinsbergen, or treat yourself to Villa Coucou for a Michelin-star experience.

Where to Stay in The Hague

Luxury: Hotel Des Indes The Hague offers a luxurious experience steeped in history. Set in a grand 19th-century building, the hotel features elegant interiors and opulent furnishings. It is located centrally and offers convenient access to The Hague’s cultural sights and government offices.

Mid-Range: ‘t Goude Hooft is housed in a beautifully restored 17th-century building with a charming mix of history and comfort. Located centrally, it provides convenient access to The Hague’s attractions, making it an ideal choice for a memorable stay in the heart of the city.

Budget: Stadsvilla Hotel Mozaic offers a blend of elegance and comfort in tastefully designed rooms. Located centrally, it allows easy exploration of The Hague’s cultural sites, making it a great spot to rest after a day’s sightseeing.

Hostel: Will and Tate City Stay provides well-appointed rooms and dormitories in a central location with easy access to The Hague’s attractions, making it the ideal choice for travellers within the Netherlands on a budget.

RELATED POST: Best Cities in the Netherlands for an Amazing Visit!

historic buildings along a canal with tall modern buildings rising behind

Delft Side Trip

Just a 30 minute drive south of The Hague, Delft, with its tranquil streets, medieval architecture, and picturesque canals, captures the quintessential charm of small Dutch cities. However, what sets Delft apart is its rich history and distinguished residents, making it a must-visit for enthusiasts of aesthetics and history. 

Notably, members of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange, have not only resided here but have also been married and laid to rest in Delft. The renowned Dutch Baroque Period painter, Johannes Vermeer, immortalized his hometown and its inhabitants in several of his masterpieces.

Delft is equally famed for its intricate blue pottery designs known as Delftware, which drew inspiration from Chinese porcelain styles introduced to the city in the 1600s. A visit to the Royal Delft Factory and Museum is a must when you visit this city!

Once you’ve covered royalty, painters and pottery, head for the lively markets, the little alleys with their fantastic ambiance, the wonderful canals, and beautiful canal-side houses with their extraordinary facades, and take pictures to your heart’s content!

bicycle on bridge and canal with cars parked along in the street

The Hague to Rotterdam

Gouda

Gouda is a charming city known for its cheese and beautiful Gothic architecture. On your way there, stop in Zoetermeer to visit the unique Nationaal Videogame Museum. It will make you feel like a child again!

Once in Gouda, explore the Gouda Cheese Market. This market takes place on Thursday mornings during summer. It is an excellent opportunity to see how traditional Dutch cheese is made and sold. If you’re passing through on another day, don’t be concerned. You can still visit the De Goudsche Waag, which houses a cheese and crafts museum. 

Explore the Museum Gouda, which features works by local artists and historical artefacts from the city’s past. Walk across the road from the museum to the Sint-Janskerk, known for its stunning stained glass windows, some of Europe’s largest. 

Next, walk around the historic city centre. Gouda’s old town has beautiful Gothic buildings, narrow streets, and charming squares. While in the centre, have lunch at Stroopwafels & Banketbakkerij-Tearoom Berg’s Bakery or the lovely and inclusive Brownies & Downies.

Rotterdam

Just 15 miles from Gouda is the city of Rotterdam, known for its progressive architecture, world-class museums, and bustling port. If you are interested in transportation history, stop to visit the Romeo Museum in Kleiwegkwartier just before you enter the Rotterdam city centre.

An excellent place to start in Rotterdam is the Euromast Tower, offering panoramic city views from its observation deck. 

Next, take a boat tour of Rotterdam’s port, one of the largest in the world. On a harbour tour, you can see the massive container ships and learn about the port’s history.

When in Rotterdam, the Cube Houses are a must-see. These iconic buildings, designed by architect Piet Blom, are tilted at a 45-degree angle and offer visitors a unique living experience.

Afterward, explore the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. It has an impressive art collection, including works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. If you have time before dinner, stroll through the beautiful Museum Park or Historische Tuin Schoonoord (garden).

Walk along the iconic Erasmus Bridge that spans the Nieuwe Maas River. It offers stunning city views and will get you to the southern area of Rotterdam. Here, you can dine at ‘t Zusje Rotterdam for great tapas or enjoy a visual feast for the eyes at the colourful and eccentric BY AMI Urban Bistro.

Where to Stay in Rotterdam

Luxury: The Hilton Rotterdam is a luxurious experience, perfect for a special occasion. Located in a landmark building, this upscale hotel features elegantly designed rooms with modern amenities. Its central location provides easy access to Rotterdam’s attractions, including museums, shopping districts, and dining options.

Mid-Range: Motel One Rotterdam is modern and features well-designed rooms with sleek, minimalist decor. Its central location makes it easy to explore Rotterdam’s cultural sites, shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife.

Budget: citizenM Rotterdam is located in the heart of the city. This innovative hotel offers stylishly designed rooms with cutting-edge technology and creative decor. With its unique blend of comfort and convenience, citizenM Rotterdam ensures a memorable stay.

Hostel: Hostel Ani & Haakien is located in a charming neighbourhood and provides budget-friendly dormitories and shared spaces for socializing and relaxing. Its central location allows easy access to Rotterdam’s attractions, making it an ideal choice for travellers looking to explore Rotterdam on a budget.

RELATED POST: 32 of the Very Best Things to Do in the Netherlands

modern foodhall in an arched tunnel-shaped building

Kinderdijk Side Trip

Kinderdijk is in the picturesque and water-rich region near Dordrecht to the east of Rotterdam. Here you’ll find the windmills of Kinderdijk, dating back to around 1740, which help to keep the Netherland’s feet dry!

Today, these 19 impressive windmills are emblematic of Dutch expertise in water management, earning them UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997.

Originally erected to safeguard the low-lying terrain of the Alblasserwaard from inundation, they create an iconic Dutch scene, frequently captured by photographers. When envisioning a classic postcard featuring a windmill, it’s likely to showcase the timeless charm of Kinderdijk.

A visit to Kinderdijk allows you to appreciate the intricate network of waterways, dikes, mills, and locks, unveiling the Dutch mastery of leveraging water for over a millennium. Kinderdijk is an absolute must-see if you’re interested in the fascinating history of Dutch windmills and water management so critical to this low-lying country.

Netherlands rural lanscape with windmills lined up along a canal

Rotterdam to Maastricht

Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a lively city about 70 miles southeast of Rotterdam. En route, stop at the Pannenkoekenrestaurant Dennenlucht in Breda to take a break and enjoy a traditional pancake and a coffee.

Once in Eindhoven, visit the Philips Museum to learn about the history of one of the world’s largest electronics companies, Philips. The museum showcases the company’s lighting, medical technology, and consumer electronics innovations. If you prefer art over technology, head to the Van Abbemuseum, which has an impressive collection of modern art, including works by Picasso, Chagall, and Mondrian.

Go back in time and explore the PreHistorisch Dorp. This theme park is a replica of a prehistoric and medieval village with dwellings and skills demonstrations by historical people.

Visit the Eindhoven Museum, an open-air museum that showcases the city’s history from prehistoric times to the present day. See reconstructions of historic buildings and learn about the city’s industrial past.

Walk in Strijp-S, a former industrial complex transformed into a trendy neighbourhood. Here, you will find several hip restaurants, bars, and shops to your liking. Try Rabauw Brewpub or Mood Strijp-S (great sushi!) for lunch.

Maastricht

Drive to Maastricht, a charming city in the southern part of the Netherlands. About halfway there, stop at the exquisite Kasteel Groot Buggenum to stretch your legs and enjoy refreshments in the scenic garden.

Upon arrival in Maastricht, visit the Vrijthof, the large square in the city centre. It is the perfect place to start exploring the city, surrounded by several historic buildings, including the Basilica of Saint Servatius and the impressive St. John’s Church.

Tour the Maastricht Underground to discover the underground tunnels and caves beneath the city. Learn about their history and how they were used during times of war. 

Visit the Bonnefantenmuseum, which boasts an impressive old and contemporary art collection, including works by Dutch Masters and international artists. You can also visit the Natural History Museum to explore the region’s flora and fauna, including fossils and skeletons of prehistoric animals that once roamed the area.

End your day with a lovely dinner at Le Bon Choix Maastricht or Spencer’s, set in the stunning Kruisherenhotel.

Where to Stay in Maastricht

Luxury: Kruisherenhotel Maastricht is housed in a former 15th-century monastery and blends historic architecture with modern design. Located in the heart of Maastricht, it features elegantly appointed rooms and exceptional hospitality.

Mid-Range: Maison Haas Hustinx & Spa offers luxury and indulgence in a historic 19th-century townhouse. Located in Maastricht’s historic centre, the hotel is on the doorstep of the city’s cultural landmarks, boutique shops, and gourmet restaurants, making it a great option for a stay in this charming Dutch city.

Budget: Hotel Beez, in the lively Wyck district, provides cosy, well-appointed rooms with modern amenities. The historic centre is a five-minute walk from the hotel, making it a good spot to stay at a great price point.

Hostel: Stayokay Hostel Maastricht offers a comfortable and affordable accommodation option in the heart of the city. Situated in a historic building, this hostel provides modern dormitories and private rooms, catering to both budget-conscious travellers and families.

Church with an elegent tall spire and surrounding buldings lit up at night

More Netherlands Travel Ideas

Maastricht to Zwolle

Nijmegen

Nijmegen is a vibrant city about 82 miles north of Maastricht. Once in Nijmegen, visit the Valkhof Museum. This museum is in a spot where once there stood a Roman fortress. Today it showcases the history of Nijmegen, from prehistoric times to the present day, through ancient artefacts, medieval art, and contemporary exhibitions. 

Another great museum to visit is the Africa Museum, which showcases the art and culture of Africa, with exhibits on traditional crafts, music, and dance. There is also a large outdoor park with replicas of African villages.

Stroll through the beautiful Valkhofpark or Hunnerpark, which neighbours the iconic Waalburg Bridge. You can cross this bridge that spans the river Waal to enjoy the great city and surrounding countryside views. 

While on the other side, you can enjoy lunch at Café de Zon. If you crave pancakes (on a boat, no less!), opt for Pannenkoekenboot near the Valkhofpark.

Zwolle

The charming city of Zwolle is approximately one hour away, known for its historic architecture, cultural events, and scenic surroundings. 

Start by exploring Zwolle’s most famous landmark, Sassenpoort. This historic gate, built in the 1300s, is now a museum that shows the history of the city’s defensive walls. 

Just a stone’s throw from Sassenpoort is the Museum de Fundatie. This museum houses a diverse art collection, including works by Dutch Masters and contemporary artists, in a beautiful historic building.

Visit the medieval Grote Kerk, the largest church in Zwolle. Afterwards, stroll through the well-preserved historic centre, which features many beautiful buildings, charming streets, and a vibrant shopping district with plenty of local boutiques and markets. 

Dine at Brasserie De Hofvlietvilla overlooking the water or Parkpaviljoen de Wezenlanden.

Luxury: Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Ter Borch offers an exquisitely refined experience. Nestled in a historic building near the city centre, the hotel features elegantly designed rooms and suites with luxurious amenities, and its prime location allows easy access to Zwolle’s charming streets and scenic canals.

Mid-Range: Librije’s Hotel promises an exclusive and luxurious experience in a beautifully restored 15th-century building, offering uniquely designed rooms. Located in the historic centre of Zwolle, it’s an ideal spot from which to explore the city’s cultural attractions and picturesque canals.

Budget: Hanze Hotel Zwolle is located in a historic building along the scenic Thorbeckegracht canal and features cosy rooms with modern amenities, making it an ideal base for exploring Zwolle.

Hostel: Hostel het Archief is budget-friendly and offers comfortable dormitories and private rooms in a vintage atmosphere. Guests can enjoy communal spaces for socializing and a friendly, welcoming environment in a central location.

traditional canal boats moored by a row of houses

Giethoorn Side Trip

Geiethoorn, often referred to as ‘Venice of the North’ or ‘Little Venice’ is a picturesque small town in the province of Overijssel. Giethoorn is renowned for its charming canals, quaint thatched-roof cottages, and lush greenery. What sets this village apart is its lack of roads; instead, narrow waterways wind through the village, and residents navigate by boat. 

The village’s history dates back to the 13th century, and its name, which means ‘goat horn’, is thought to originate from the goat farming activities that once characterized the area. 

Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the pretty waterborne streets, gliding past idyllic scenes of floral gardens and quaint bridges, and visit Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus, located in one of the village’s original farmhouses. 

Today, Giethoorn has become a popular tourist destination offering sightseeing boat trips, walking paths, and charming cafés along the water’s edge. Although you may see Giethoorn described as tranquil and peaceful, what once was a hidden gem has become a bit of a tourist trap, and in the summer months, it can be incredibly busy.

people in a boat on a canal in a Dutch village, with houses and a bridge in the background

Zwolle to Leeuwarden  

Groningen

Groningen is a lively student town 65 miles north of Zwolle. Stop at Wildevuur Galerie in Hooghalen to enjoy beautiful art and stunning gardens.

In Groningen, walk through the well-preserved historic city centre with its many beautiful buildings and charming streets. While in the center, visit the Groninger Museum. It boasts a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art and exhibits on the region’s history and culture.

Next, climb to the iconic Martini Tower, or Martinitoren, the tallest tower in Groningen. It offers breathtaking panoramic city and surrounding views.

For lunch, grab a local treat at the Vismarkt in the centre. Then go to the beautiful Prinsentuin, where you can relax and enjoy your lunch among the stunning green surroundings. The garden features a pond, a playground, and several sculptures.

Leeuwarden

Less than an hour west of Groningen is Leeuwarden, a smaller, more authentic version of Amsterdam and the capital city of the province of Friesland.

Rent a bicycle and go for a ride through the beautiful Friesland countryside. It is a scenic region, and you will see many picturesque villages, canals, windmills, and fields with cows and sheep on your journey.

Beautiful canals, impressive parks, and many museums, restaurants, and cafés make Leeuwarden really special. For the city’s best views, climb the Oldehove Tower. Another must-visit is the Fries Museum, showcasing the history and culture of the Friesland region, with exhibits on art, archaeology, and local traditions.

Walk through the charming city centre and enjoy dinner at ROAST or Restaurant Hana for Asian-fusion cuisine.

Luxury: Notiz Hotel is a contemporary hotel near the city centre featuring chic, well-appointed rooms with state-of-the-art amenities and sleek design. With its blend of comfort, elegance, and convenience, Notiz Hotel is a perfect spot for a special occasion or celebration.

Mid-Range: Post-Plaza Hotel and Grand Café is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century post office, combining elegant design with modern comfort. The stylish and well-appointed rooms are well-appointed, and the hotel’s central location provides easy access to Leeuwarden’s cultural attractions.

Budget: Bastion Hotel Leeuwarden is a modern hotel with well-appointed rooms, an on-site restaurant and fitness facilities. Located just outside the city centre, the hotel offers easy access to Leeuwarden’s city centre by bike or on foot.

traditional Dutch building by a canal with a bridge and bikes in the foreground

Leeuwarden to Haarlem

Haarlem

Haarlem is a city about 90 miles from Leeuwarden. Due to its proximity to Amsterdam and various transportation systems, it is the perfect place to end your Netherlands trip. 

The Grote Markt square is one of the town’s highlights. It is surrounded by historic buildings like the De Grote of St. Bavokerk, a former Catholic cathedral and now a Reformed Protestant church.

In Haarlem, you can visit the Frans Hals Museum to see an impressive collection of art from the Golden Age, including works by Frans Hals and other Dutch masters. Another notable museum is the Teylers Museum, which has exhibits of art and natural history specimens, including fossils, minerals, and scientific instruments.

Explore Haarlemmerhout Park in Haarlem’s town center, an excellent place for a walk or bike ride. Or take a boat tour of the city’s canals. Afterward, enjoy lunch at the popular Mooie Boules Haarlem, a food court with an array of tasty food options.

Luxury: MAF Haarlem Boutique Hotel is a unique and stylish hotel in the heart of Haarlem. The hotel features individually designed rooms that blend historic charm with contemporary luxury. Guests can enjoy personalized service and a cosy atmosphere, making this a top spot for your stay in Haarlem.

Mid-Range: Boutiquehotel Staats is located in a beautifully restored historic building that offers stylishly decorated rooms with a mix of vintage and modern elements. Located near the city centre, it offers walking access to cultural attractions, shopping, and dining.

Budget: Hello I’m Local is a centrally located boutique hostel featuring individually designed rooms with a charming, local flair and a welcoming atmosphere. Guests can relax in the communal areas, enjoy the outdoor courtyard, and partake in the friendly, social environment.

Hostel: Stayokay Hostel Haarlem offers comfortable and affordable accommodation in a location that provides good access to the city and beach. Situated in a modern building, this hostel provides dormitories and private rooms, catering to budget-conscious travellers and families.

historic houses along a street in Haarlem

Zaanse Schans Side Trip

Just a 30 minute drive from Haarlem, Zaanse Schans is a gorgeous slice of Dutch countryside that oozes tons of charm! 

This traditional Dutch village boasts typical green wooden houses, historic windmills, and a fascinating insight into local crafts in the Netherlands. Arts and crafts enthusiasts will be in their element here! 

Home to a weavers house, clog workshop, cheese farm, and many more must-see attractions, this open-air museum is a delightful showcase of the Netherlands’ rich heritage. 

After learning all about the two families who lived in the weavers’ house, you can head on over to the clog workshop for a free demonstration of how these popular Dutch shoes are made. 

Afterward, spend an hour or so learning more about the local region at the Zaans History Museum. Inside, they house everything from an old chocolate and biscuit-making factory to a small yet tasteful collection of local art. 

Before you leave Zaanse Schans, spend some time visiting the working windmills. These are an authentic part of Dutch history and offer an intriguing look into the country’s past. Big into art? Then make sure you visit De Kat; a windmill that produces vibrant paints, pigments, and much more. 

a group of traditional windmills set in meadows in the Netherlands

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out these top posts…

ferry from Spain to Morocco

Ferry from Spain to Morocco: Best Options & Top Tips

Spain is just a few kilometers from North Africa over the Straits of Gibraltar. This makes a visit to Morocco a tempting option if you’re in southern Spain and looking for a bit of adventure! Morocco is our winter escape and we’ve done this journey over a dozen times using various ferries, departure and arrival ports. Our guide has all the information you need including the best travel routes and essential tips for a smooth…
Read More Ferry from Spain to Morocco: Best Options & Top Tips
Norfolk England beaches

Norfolk England Beaches: Ultimate A-Z Guide

With some of the best beaches in the UK along its glorious 84 miles of coastline, from fine golden sand to nature-filled marshes and mud flats, Norfolk’s beaches are one of the reasons visitors flock to the county. In this guide, I cover every beach in Norfolk and share information about parking, dogs, tides and more. Hopefully, I can share a bit of that love for the beaches of Norfolk by encouraging you to visit…
Read More Norfolk England Beaches: Ultimate A-Z Guide
Grand Tour of Switzerland

Grand Tour of Switzerland: The Best Road Trip in Europe?

Driving the Grand Tour of Switzerland is like stepping into a living postcard. The country beckons travelers with its pristine Alpine landscapes, charming villages, and cultural experiences. Join us as we explore the Grand Tour of Switzerland and share the ultimate itinerary, a driving route that promises breathtaking landscapes, gourmet delights, and unforgettable adventures at every turn.
Read More Grand Tour of Switzerland: The Best Road Trip in Europe?
things to do in Hunstanton

Best Things to Do in Hunstanton Norfolk: 25 Top Attractions

Hunstanton is a lively resort town in beautiful West Norfolk. Known locally as ‘Sunny Hunny’, Hunstanton is one of Norfolk’s top seaside towns and makes a perfect base for a family holiday or day out. This round-up of all the best things to do in Hunstanton and the surrounding area, plus recommendations for places to stay and where to eat, will help you plan your next trip. Here are my top Hunstanton highlights.
Read More Best Things to Do in Hunstanton Norfolk: 25 Top Attractions
things to do in Essaouira

Things to Do in Essaouira: Top Attractions & Hidden Gems

Are you planning a trip but not sure what to do in Essaouira? Our Essaouira bucket list will come in handy during your next trip to Morocco, revealing cool hidden gems and top attractions in this relaxed coastal city. Use our local’s guide to quickly and easily see everything Essaouira has to offer. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this charming beach town, home to a traditional port, a relaxed Medina, and some of the freshest…
Read More Things to Do in Essaouira: Top Attractions & Hidden Gems

Love it? Pin it!

Netherlands road trip
road trip in the Netherlands
Scroll to Top