One of the most underrated things to do in The Netherlands is stargazing. While I have to admit that there will be some light pollution in most places, you are still able to see the milky way and starry skies at quite some places in The Netherlands. There are even stargazing spots near Amsterdam. With this article, you’ll discover the best stargazing spots in The Netherlands, including the Dark Sky parks and important events for stargazing and astronomy lovers that visit The Netherlands.
Discover the best places to visit in The Netherlands for stargazing
Every year, at the end of October, the ‘Nacht van de Nacht’ (check the activities here, website is in Dutch) is held in The Netherlands. This is a yearly event organised by Dutch environmental groups in order to get more attention for light pollution and saving electricity in The Netherlands. During this evening many companies and municipalities shut down their lights. And, there are tons of activities that are related to exploring darkness and starry skies in The Netherlands: from dining in the dark to guides through nature reserves that are otherwise off limit in the dark to nightly boat tours. In 2022 it’s held at the 29th of October.
See starry skies at the island of Schiermonnikoog
Another Wadden Island has one of the darkest areas of The Netherlands. Schiermonnikoog is the smallest Wadden Island of The Netherlands and has the darkest skies of The Netherlands. When there are no clouds or moon to be seen in the sky, you can spot around 3000 stars here. In a nature reserve in the middle of The Netherlands, this is only 600. So walk around the small island and enjoy the peaceful and starry nights. This is definitely one of the offbeat places in The Netherlands that is at the same time one of the most photogenic places in The Netherlands.
Discover the stars in Wieringermeer
Another area where you can easily see stars is in the area of Wieringermeer, or more precise near the Amstelmeer (lake) and the Dijkgatsbos (forest). Here you will see some of the darkest skies of Noord- Holland, which makes stargazing in this area of The Netherlands a lot easier. This area and the places in the neighbourhood are not too far from Amsterdam (+-54 minute drive) and should be on your places to visit list when you’re travelling to The Netherlands.
The Wadden Island of Texel
One of the darkest areas of the province of Noord (North)- Holland is located at the Wadden Islands of Texel. One of the things you have to do when you’re spending one day or weekend at this Island is to go stargazing at Texel. The North- Western part of the Wadden Island of Texel is perfect for stargazing in The Netherlands as there is barely any light pollution. For the best starry skies of Texel and Noord- Holland then you’d have to visit and travel to the surroundings of national park the Dunes of Texel, The Netherlands. You cannot visit this National Park after sunset, but if you’re just outside of it, then it’s still amazing.
During the day, the Southern part of this national park on this Wadden Island is open for visitors, most of the nature reserve is closed. Don’t even think about going in the closed area as it’s closed for a reason. And always stay on the designated paths. Once you discover this area you know for sure that The Netherlands is and was worth visiting.
Explore the starry skies of Ameland
The Wadden Island of Ameland is great for some stargazing adventures in this part of The Netherlands and one of the most beautiful places in The Netherlands you have to visit. For a full itinerary to spending one day in Ameland click here. The light pollution is at one of the ultimate lows it can be in The Netherlands, so it’s very easy to spot the Milky Way with the naked eye. The further you’re away from the lights the better, but even near the main ‘town’ of Hollum you can find beautiful starry skies.
Look at the skies on the Wadden Island of Vlieland
Another location for stargazing and starry skies in The Netherlands, another Wadden Island. As you might know by now, this area is one of the darkest areas of The Netherlands. Vlieland is the island that is also very reknowned for its open landscape with the beautiful dunes and some of the best beaches of The Netherlands. Vlieland only has one village called Oost- Vlieland, which is located in the North Eastern part of Vlieland. As soon as you’re going more to the Western part of the island you will notice that most parts have no lights at all. The darker it gets, the better you’re on your way to the darkest part of the island of Vlieland to watch the stars in the sky.
Dark Sky Parks to visit in The Netherlands
In The Netherlands, we are lucky to have two official Dark Sky Parks. These parks are the darkest spots of The Netherlands, so it’s easy to see the stars on a clear day. In the province of Friesland, you are able to find both Dark Sky Parks of The Netherlands. A Dark Sky Park is an area that has no, or as little as possible, light pollution and where visitors are welcome at night to enjoy the starry skies in The Netherlands. Most nature reserves in The Netherlands are only opened from sunrise until sunset, but these two are always opened.
So if you’re in for one of the romantic things you can do in The Netherlands, or am, just like me, a fan of starry skies then these following parks are perfect. Villages and companies in the area even adjust their lights in order to create as little light pollution as possible.
National Park Lauwersmeer
This national park in Friesland and Groningen, The Netherlands, is with a great reason a Dark Sky Park. In the middle of the night, you will enjoy spotting stars in this beautiful part of The Netherlands. The Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer will surprise you in all kinds, so if you’re looking for things to do in Friesland/ Groningen or the best places and nature reserves to visit in Friesland/ Groningen then Lauwersmeer must be on your list. You can access the park as good as you can during the day. As long as you follow the rules of course. Meaning: don’t destroy vegetation, take your trash with you etc.
De Boschplaat on the Wadden Island of Terschelling
The second of the two Dark Sky Parks in The Netherlands can be found on the Wadden Island of Terschelling. The Dark Sky Park is located at the Boschplaat which is at the Eastern side of Terschelling. No matter what time of year it is, you’ll love the darkness, beautiful starry skies and the silence.
There will be more locations added to this list as soon as I discover more beautiful and offbeat places to visit in The Netherlands where you can go stargazing. Did you expect that there would still be quite some starry skies in The Netherlands? And have you visited one of the places or islands already? Have a look here at all my articles I’ve written. Share this post!!