With this one week itinerary for The Netherlands, you’ll be all over the Southern part of The Netherlands. This area of The Netherlands is very different from one another with the province of Zeeland that consists of several islands and ends at the North Sea. The province of Noord ( North) – Brabant is well known for it’s industrial and also historic cities combined with a typical Burgundian touch. And the Dutch province of Limburg is famous for its ‘vlaai’, the Burgundian lifestyle and for having the highest point of The Netherlands that includes a beautiful landscape. Gelderland is a province in The Netherlands that is home to many Hanseatic towns and big nature reserves.
Now, you will be getting a relatively small taste of what every province has to offer. And you can stay in any of these Dutch provinces in The Netherlands for weeks in its own, however, if you want to find some of the best places to visit in the Southern parts of The Netherlands, then you will discover that in this itinerary with insider tips.
Depending on which airport in The Netherlands you are arriving you can change up this itinerary for Noord (North)- Brabant, Zeeland, Gelderland and Limburg in The Netherlands. But you will discover the best way to travel as soon as you put these places to visit around The Netherlands in any sort of maps.
I have calculated the last day as a travel day so that you have plenty of time to get to the airport you’re flying from or the train station that your high-speed train is departing from.
The best 1 week itinerary for The Netherlands outside of Holland which will be your perfect trip and vacation
The Netherlands has so much to offer. I, of all people, should know that. Visiting tons of places in my home country has been amazing. I have seen so many things, visited so many spectacular sites and discover The Netherlands for what it is. I’m born and raised in The Netherlands and noticed how different every province and region (and within a region) are. With this itinerary I will take you on a quick visit through four provinces (out of the 12) in The Netherlands:
We start our adventure in Limburg, continue our way through either Gelderland or Noord-Brabant (or both) and finish our trip through The Netherlands in Zeeland.
Day 1: Visit Maastricht and find out what you have to do in one of the most beautiful destinations in Limburg
The Dutch part of Limburg is a great province for sightseeing. From the South of Limburg, The Netherlands, to the North. It’s very easy to spend a weekend, or even one week in Limburg as there are many attractions and places that you can visit. One thing for you to remember is that Limburg is not in Holland, but The Netherlands.
When you’re wondering what things you should do in Limburg, The Netherlands, then one of the first things that come to mind is to visit Maastricht. Maastricht is one of the most beautiful places in The Netherlands and it’s one of Limburgs best destinations to explore. In Limburg, one of the places you should first travel to is Maastricht. There is even an airport nearby if you’re looking for flights to Maastricht, Limburg, The Netherlands. In this itinerary for The Netherlands, we are only visiting the South of Limburg, not the North of Limburg.
For your first day in The Netherlands, it’s okay to take it a little easy. You’ve either come from a flight or train ride and travelling usually makes one a bit tired. If you’re travelling from Amsterdam to Limburg, or even Rotterdam or Eindhoven, find the best way to get to Maastricht with the Dutch National Railways here.
First, it’s time to get your butt of the train and to make your way to your hotel or B&B in Maastricht to settle in. Book your stay in Maastricht through Booking.com now!
Now it’s time to explore the city of Maastricht and it’s things to do. Remember: If you are visiting Maastricht in December and January, you can also visit one of the best Christmas markets of The Netherlands and Limburg!
Depending on the time that you are arriving, I would recommend you to do at least the following things on day 1 in Maastricht:
- After you’ve arrived in the city: Eat something. You don’t want to explore the city on an empty stomach. I have recommendations in the article of one perfect day in Maastricht below.
- Explore the city with my free walking tour, which is one of my favourite things to do in Maastricht. Or simply get lost and wander around.
- Bake a ‘vlaai’. This is a traditional sort of flan of the Limburg province, but it’s only possible at one certain time of the day. So look out for that, but that can all be found below.
- Eat regional dishes such as Zoervleis. Where? Have a look at the article below and you’re settled.
Day 2: Maastricht & Explore one of The Netherlands most beautiful castles
One of the things I would recommend you to do when you visit the Limburg region and province is to explore amazing Dutch castles. One of these Dutch castles is the perfect short day trip from Maastricht.
After your breakfast at the B&B or hotel in Maastricht, the first activity that we’re going to do on day two of our The Netherlands itinerary is to bring a visit to Castle, or Kasteel, Hoensbroek which is one of the things you have to do in Zuid (South) Limburg, The Netherlands. It takes you around 53 minutes to get from Maastricht to Hoensbroek Castle by public transport. So you’d have to remember that you’re travelling for around two hours in total.
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After you’ve explored the castle and its museum, it’s time to return to the city of Maastricht.
The final things I would recommend you to do in Maastricht are:
- Visit one of the amazing museums that I am recommending in my one day in Maastricht article
- Buy a piece of ‘vlaai’ for your trip to Nijmegen or Grave, if you’re leaving at day two. And then it’s time to get to the train station and onto your next destination.
- If you’re staying in Maastricht for two nights, then I would buy another piece of vlaai as well. You can never have too much of that.
- If you’re spending two nights in Maastricht then you will have time to visit the Sint Pieter fortress, as well as are able to walk through Maastricht longer: Don’t forget to walk next to the Meuse river when the sun is setting. The view is breathtaking.
From Maastricht, which is one of the most southern cities in The Netherlands, we have to go up North for quite bit to get to Grave or Nijmegen.
Travel from Maastricht to Grave: Around 2 hours and 30 minutes
Travel from Maastricht to Nijmegen: Around 1 hour and 50 minutes
Depending on your preference you could either leave Maastricht in the morning of the 3rd day, or at the end of the 2nd day. I would recommend you to leave at the end of the 2nd day so that you don’t have to travel anymore for the next day.
Day 3: Discover one of The Netherlands idyllic small towns: Grave or visit Nijmegen for one day
Another option for day 3 of this itinerary for The Netherlands is to visit Nijmegen. As Grave is a small historic Dutch town in The Netherlands, there are not a lot of things to do. Nijmegen is a bigger city nearby Grave where you can definitely spend one full day. However, if you’re interested in visiting sites to see in The Netherlands that not many tourists visit, then Grave is still beautiful to visit.
And if you want to combine both Grave and Nijmegen in your The Netherlands one week itinerary (as you’d have to go through Nijmegen to get to Grave by public transport anyway), then I would recommend you to either skip one of the upcoming cities and have Day 3 and 4 as Grave and Nijmegen. Or, to add one extra day (which is the best option here) and make it into an 8-day itinerary for The Netherlands.
As of now you’ve either arrived in Grave or Nijmegen or are planning on doing both.
Grave is one of the places you have to visit in Noord- (North) Brabant, The Netherlands. Although it’s a typical small Dutch town, it represents some of the best that Brabant has to offer. The town of Grave is absolutely stunning and the atmosphere is lovely. There’s a big river on the outskirts of town, beautiful traditional Dutch houses and plenty of good food to eat. If you’re looking for what to do in Noord- (North) Brabant, The Netherlands, then you’re settled now.
Depending on the time that you are arriving, I would recommend you to do at least the following things on day 3 in Grave:
- Do a self-guided walking tour through Grave that can be found in the article below
- Visit De Graafs Museum
- Buy traditional Dutch candies at Snoeperij Heintje
- Discover old shops and interesting galleries such as De Tierelantijn second hand store and Atelier 276
Nijmegen is one of the oldest cities of The Netherlands as it dates back to the Roman Empire and this Dutch city is definitely worth a visit if you have the time. I would spend at least one day in Nijmegen. Nijmegen is located in the province of Gelderland, but it’s very close to the small town of Grave. From the beautiful river views of the Waal to the beaches. And from great food to discovering cute streets in the centre. Nijmegen has it all.
Depending on the time that you are arriving, I would recommend you to do at least the following things on day 3 in Nijmegen:
- Visit the Afrika Museum
- Discover the oldest shopping street of The Netherlands
- Do a self-guided walking tour through Nijmegen
- Walk along the Waal river and discover the beaches
- Drink a beer at brewery De Hemel
Travel from Grave to Eindhoven: Around 1 hour and 30 minutes
Travel from Nijmegen to Eindhoven: Around 55 minutes
Travel from Nijmegen to Grave: Around 35 minutes
Depending on your preference you could either leave Grave or Nijmegen in the morning of the 4th day, or at the end of the 3rd day. I would recommend you to leave early in the morning of the 4th day.
Day 4: Explore the city of Eindhoven and what to do & see in one day
Eindhoven is one of the most underrated cities of The Netherlands within the Dutch population. Especially as a city in the province of Noord- Brabant. Whenever someone would mention that they would go to Eindhoven (which wouldn’t be often), many Dutch people wondered why they would go there as it’s not particularly more beautiful than any of the old Dutch cities with traditional houses. But Eindhoven has its charm and I fell in love with the city. It’s rough, interesting, modern and artsy. But it’s never over the top.
The city of Eindhoven is a big city, for Dutch standards, and pretty well stretched out. And I wouldn’t recommend you trying to walk the entire city. Because that is what I tried and I could barely walk the next day. There are plenty of things to do in Eindhoven and you could even spend a weekend in this city in Noord- Brabant if you have extra time. But this The Netherlands itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Dutch city of lights: Eindhoven.
Depending on the time that you are arriving, I would recommend you to do at least the following things on day 4 in Eindhoven:
- Take a self-guided cycling tour
- Discover the industrial and artsy area of Strijp- S
- Explore streetart at ‘De Berenkuil’
- Visit the Philips museum
- Eat your heart out at Downtown Gourmet Market
Travel from Eindhoven to Bergen op Zoom: Around 1 hour and 24 minutes
Depending on your preference you could either leave Eindhoven in the morning of the 5th day, or at the end of the 4th day. I would recommend you to leave in the morning of the 5th day.
Day 5: Discover one of North Brabant’s most interesting cities: the Burgundian city of Bergen op Zoom and its things to do
Bergen op Zoom has become one of my favourite cities in Noord-Brabant, together with Eindhoven. But both cities are worlds apart from each other. Bergen op Zoom is one of the traditional Dutch cities: Beautiful buildings, relaxing atmosphere and even a city palace. There’s great food on every corner and the friendly people, combined with the history of Bergen op Zoom makes it a perfect city to visit on your vacation to The Netherlands.
The North Brabant province has many points of interests and Bergen op Zoom is one of them. It houses one of North Brabants best museums and isn’t overflown by tourists just yet. That’s one of the reasons why I have added this city in the Brabant region to this 7 days The Netherlands itinerary.
Depending on the time that you are arriving, I would recommend you to do at least the following things on day 5 in Bergen op Zoom:
- Explore the city of Bergen op Zoom with a walking tour
- Discover one of Europes most beautiful city palaces: De Markiezenhof
- Visit De Grebbe and get to know Bergen op Zoom from below
- Buy a traditional cookie from Bergen op Zoom called platte tieten at Bakker Groffen
Travel from Bergen op Zoom to Middelburg: Around 44 minutes
Depending on your preference you could either leave Bergen op Zoom in the morning of the 6th day, or at the end of the 5th day. I would recommend you to leave at the morning of the 6th day.
Day 6: Visit Middelburg in Zeeland, The Netherlands and find one of the best things to do in this Dutch province
Middelburg, The Netherlands, is one of these destinations I’d had to include in this travel guide and itinerary. I can describe Middelburg in three words: Authentic, mesmerizing and calm. As you make your way through this beautiful city in the province of Zeeland, you cannot imagine the horror it has been through during the Second World War. Most of the city was destroyed. But it was rebuilt. Stone by stone and piece by piece. In almost the exact way as it was before. And with the buildings returning, the atmosphere also returned.
Somehow Middelburg gives me this relaxing vibe. As soon as I walk into the city centre, when I can spend one day or a weekend in Middelburg, and I wander through the small streets, I feel alive. Friendly people in combination with beautiful rebuilt buildings and cobblestoned streets make a city to die for. There are many things to do in Middelburg in one day, but you will learn more about that below.
Depending on the time that you are arriving, I would recommend you to do at least the following things on day 6 in Middelburg:
- Visit the most beautiful streets of Middelburg
- Find the castle of Kasteel Ter Hooge in the outskirts of Middelburg
- Climb the tower of Lange Jan, which is part of the Abbey of Middelburg
- Explore the Oostkerk (church)
- Learn about the history of Zeeland and discover interesting exhibitions at the Zeeuws Museum
- Buy a Zeeuwse bolus at Bakker Bliek, which is a sweet and sugary piece of bread and traditional for this region
Day 7: Finish your one week in The Netherlands
As you arise in the most beautiful city in the province of Zeeland, you suddenly realize that it’s your last day. Time flies when you’re having fun! This day it’s time to either get breakfast at your hotel or B&B in Middelburg, The Netherlands, or you’re visiting one of my favourite cafes in Middelburg.
Things to do on your last day in Middelburg:
- Go for breakfast at one of the best cafes of Middelburg HoneyPie
- Wander some final hours through Middelburg, or visit one of the museums for a quick cultural boost
- Finally, one of the things you have to do in Middelburg is buy yourself some Zeeuwse bolussen for your train ride to one of the airports or train stations in The Netherlands and you’re ready to go.
- Leave Middelburg after a fun one week trip through The Netherlands
Extra travel advice for The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a small, but beautiful country with plenty of places to see in The Netherlands other than Amsterdam. This one-week itinerary for The Netherlands only gives you a brief introduction to four provinces and a few of its cities: Gelderland, Zeeland, Limburg and Noord- (North) Brabant.
You can spend a week, or more, in Limburg, Zeeland, Gelderland and Noord- Brabant alone. Every province has its charm and everything to make this The Netherlands trip spectacular. There’s a lot to see and explore in The Netherlands, so definitely take your time.
Train travel in The Netherlands is very convenient. Trains usually run on time (although us Dutch people love to complain about the National Railway service, or Nationale Spoorwegen (NS), we complain about everything) and the trains are clean, comfortable and bring you to your next destination in The Netherlands within no time. You can buy a ticket at the train station (there’s no need to reserve train tickets for domestic travel within The Netherlands, except for the fast train of Thalys and ICE International). You always need to validate your ticket at the little poles or gates that give you access to the train station.
You could also change this 7-day itinerary for The Netherlands into an 8 day or even 10-day itinerary. Change day 4 of Eindhoven into day 4 and 5, or add the city of Den Bosch or Breda at day 5. Then you will go to Bergen op Zoom on day 6 and Middelburg on day 7. Which leaves you with a full travel day at the 8th day of this itinerary for the Southern part of The Netherlands.
I always plan my journeys by public transport through The Netherlands with the help of the app and website 9292.nl/en. This will show you the quickest route to your destinations as well as the price.
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Other cities and places in The Netherlands you have to visit
I hope this Netherlands itinerary and this blog are helpful for you. Whether you’re looking for a 1 week, 3 days itinerary for The Netherlands itinerary or 4 days or even 5 days, you can always edit this itinerary so it fits your schedule. Just remove a few places that you are less interested in and you’re settled. Now you know what you have to visit in this part of The Netherlands and I hope that this makes it easier to settle on where to go and visit in The Netherlands with this travel blog.
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