Visiting The Dutch Countryside

Travelblog about The Netherlands | Exploring The Netherlands beyond the crowds

37x Things To Do In The Netherlands & Amsterdam In Summer

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Discover the best things to do in The Netherlands, Amsterdam and Rotterdam during summer. Find out what to do in June, July, August and September in The Netherlands and Amsterdam.
You are looking for things to do during summer in The Netherlands? You’re in luck. I, a Dutch born and raised local, created this ultimate to do list for the summer months in The Netherlands and Amsterdam. Find out what there is to do during June, July, August and September in The Netherlands and Amsterdam.

You’re travelling to a new country and am looking for the best things to do during the summer in The Netherlands? Then you’re in for a treat. Summer is when tourism in The Netherlands reaches an utmost high. However, summer also means that there are plenty of things to do in The Netherlands.

Summer means that you will have the biggest chance of beautiful weather in The Netherlands and Amsterdam, festivals are happening all throughout the country and people are enjoying the sun rays. Boats are sailing through all the canals and lakes, the beaches are bustling and the lines for ice cream places reach their ultimate high.

Some of these options have more change at seeing other tourists, whereas other suggestions on the best things to do during summer in The Netherlands are more off the beaten path. There’s something for everyone. From great things to do in July in Rotterdam to fun things to do in August in Amsterdam. And from interesting things to do in The Netherlands in September to discovering the province of Drenthe during summer.

The 37 best things you have to do during summer in The Netherlands and Amsterdam

As I’ve said before, The Netherlands is a very popular country to visit during summer. But that doesn’t mean that the entire country is overcrowded. I hope that this list inspires you to visit hidden cities and other places in The Netherlands during the summer. Because these things are some of the best things you can do during summer in The Netherlands, but also includes great things to do during summer in cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

If you’re thinking of visiting The Netherlands during autumn (September, October and November), then I can recommend you to have a look at this article where you will find the best things to do in The Netherlands and Amsterdam during autumn.

1. Bike around the countryside

If there’s one thing that The Netherlands is known for it is cycling. And when you visit The Netherlands in summer, I can highly recommend you to explore the Dutch countryside with a bike. Now, if you don’t know how to bike – don’t worry, as the countryside can be explored by foot, public transportation – and even special tricycles.

The Dutch countryside is filled with endless polders, castles, water barriers, the most breathtaking nature reserves, friendly people, traditional farmhouses (that differ in every region) and tons of picturesque villages and even hidden lakes and beaches. It’s truly a sight to behold.

It gets better, because beyond my guided bike tours along the hidden tulip fields – I am also going to do bike tours in the Dutch countryside every weekend this summer (Saturday & Sunday only!). The tour starts from the train station of Schagen (1 hour train ride from Amsterdam Central station) Only 7 people can join each day – several dates are already sold out – and bike rental is included. See you soon!

view of a traditional farm of the noord holland province in The Netherlands located next to a river.

2. Explore the Wadden Islands, or Dutch West Frisian Islands, in The Netherlands

The Wadden Islands are some of my most favourite places in The Netherlands. The reason? They are peaceful islands. Even though they are often visited by Dutch people and German tourists, you can still find the calm surroundings that you are looking for in the North of The Netherlands. Visiting the Wadden Islands is a perfect thing to do in summer in The Netherlands, but also during spring, autumn or winter. Because recharging in nature is always a good idea.

Find the best things to do on the Wadden Island of Ameland here

Explore the best of Schiermonnikoog island here

Europe: Discover one of the best islands in The Netherlands. Find one of the best destinations of Europe and The Netherlands for your bucket lists. Explore the beautiful Schiermonnikoog and its things to do, one of the Wadden Islands or Dutch Frisian Islands of Friesland, The Netherlands. The Netherlands its islands are a beautiful place for an adventure in Holland.

3. Sit outside on a terrace and enjoy the beautiful, sunny days in The Netherlands

The Netherlands has a huge terrace culture. As soon as the first rays of sunshine come out, you will see entire squares, sidewalks and gardens filled with chairs and tables. Plus plenty of people. We, Dutch people, enjoy the sun. During mid-autumn and the entire winter season, we don’t see the sun often. Thus, as soon as the sun makes its appearance you better bet that we will make the most of it. And you should join us.

Sit on a terrace, watch people walk or cycle by (my favourite thing to do), get a drink and eat some snacks. Have fun conversations with new or old friends, read a book or enjoy the beautiful day on your own. You often see people sitting at a table on their own, so don’t be afraid of being on your own. We won’t judge you. Well, that is a lie; we do judge, but screw that. Just do your thing.

4. Eat seasonal summer food in The Netherlands

What’s a better way to discover the local Dutch food of The Netherlands, then to try the freshest seasonal food. During summer some of the best vegetables to eat and buy are asparagus. You can find the ‘white gold’ (as we call white asparagus in many restaurants and local shops during the asparagus season. If you’re visiting a restaurant in The Netherlands during summer and they have asparagus on the menu, be sure to order them. A great restaurant to visit is restaurant Neder in the city of Alkmaar – they only use locally grown and seasonal products.

Great fruits to eat during summer in The Netherlands are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries and plums. By the end of summer pears and apples will slowly become ripe as well, and you might be able to pick some of earlier species in orchards.

Find the best typical Dutch food you should try in Amsterdam and The Netherlands here

26 Best things to do during autumn in The Netherlands | Surviving autumn in The Netherlands | What to do in autumn Netherlands | Things to do Amsterdam autumn | Explore The Netherlands Beyond The Crowds

5. Visit the villages of Amsterdam

While everyone who visits my website has heard of Amsterdam, only a few people know that a few villages are also a part of Amsterdam. Of the municipality of Amsterdam. When you cycle just outside of Amsterdam Noord, you will be surprised by the countryside of Amsterdam Landelijk Noord.

At just 15 minutes cycling you will find endless meadows with sheep or cows. You will see crops that are being grown. And, very idyllic villages. The perfect way to spend one spring or summer day in Amsterdam is by cycling through the countryside of Amsterdam.

Start your way from Amsterdam Noord and cycle to Zunderdorp – Ransdorp – Durgerdam. You will be pleasantly surprised by the areas that you’re visiting. You will also find one of the best swimming spots in Amsterdam at Durgerdam. But, be aware of the fact that there are no lifeguards here. So if you cannot swim, don’t try it out there.

Find what to do in the villages of Amsterdam

Discover the things to do in Durgerdam, Ransdorp and Zunderdorp near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Including things to do in summer in The Netherlands.

6. Rent a boat and enjoy seeing The Netherlands from the water

The Netherlands is a country that is famous for being the delta of Europe. Some of the largest rivers in Europe end up in The Netherlands and the North Sea, think of the Rhine and the Meuse river. The Netherlands is a true maritime nation.

There are many rivers, canals and lakes found in The Netherlands. And what’s a better way to cool down than by sitting on a boat and cruise Dutch rivers? I can recommend you to go to the Loosdrechtse plassen and rent a boat there. Or, even better go to the province of Friesland and sail all over the canals and lakes that beautiful province has to offer. Start from the city of Sloten or Ijlst and make your way through Friesland. Or head to The Netherlands lake district instead.

Top things to do in and around the lakes of Loosdrecht, Loosdrechtse plassen. Including great lakes to sail on in Friesland

7. Get active and rent a kayak

There are plenty of cities and areas of The Netherlands that you can kayak through. And what’s a better way to spend your summer holiday than exploring beautiful cities in The Netherlands from the canals? Well, there’s something else. One of the most beautiful national parks of The Netherlands is De Biesbosch.

De Biesbosch national park in The Netherlands is famous for its flood forests, tides and creeks. It consists of a number of river islands and sand and mud flats in the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Zuid-Holland. In 1994 it received the status of National Park. You can rent a canoe at Biesboschcentrum Dordrecht.

Discover the best locations to kayaking in The Netherlands. Go canoeing in National park De Biesbosch, The Netherlands, and more places.

8. Explore the national parks and nature reserves of The Netherlands

While The Netherlands is a tiny country, there’s a lot of nature to explore. Think of beautiful national parks such as the national park of Schiermonnikoog. But beyond national parks, there are endless of nature reserves to visit.

What about the Dunes of Schoorl? This area in Noord- Holland houses the broadest dune region and highest dunes of The Netherlands and is very easily reached by public transport. There are plenty of walking or mountain biking routes that you can take through the nature reserve and you can find those routes including more information at the information centre of the dunes of Schoorl.

Have a look at this full guide to the nature reserve the Dunes of Schoorl here

9. Party your way through the best festivals of The Netherlands

During summer you can find almost any festival in The Netherlands. Think of many music festivals, but also theatre festivals, wine festivals and food truck festivals.

Some of the biggest music festivals in The Netherlands are Amsterdam Open Air, Mysteryland, Pinkpop, Best Kept Secret and Lowlands.

Another great festival to visit in The Netherlands is the food truck festival of Rollende Keukens in Amsterdam, but there are plenty of more festivals you should visit in The Netherlands.

The best Dutch festivals in The Netherlands can be found here. We have theater festivals, food festivals, music festivals and more in The Netherlands during summer.

10. Visit the only pyramid of The Netherlands

A pyramid? In The Netherlands? Well yes. Near the beautiful city of Amersfoort, you can find Pyramide Austerlitz or Pyramid Austerlitz. This is one of the most central locations of The Netherlands and it was the location of a French military camp from Auguste de Marmont in 1804 (Camp d’Utrecht).

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Within a few months, the army was turned into a well-oiled machine and in order to not bore the soldiers, Marmont ordered the soldiers to build a monument that was inspired by the Pyramid of Giza in the autumn on 1804. It took 27 days to build, the pyramid is 36 meters high and has a 13-meter tall wooden obelisk.

As the Pyramid of Austerlitz is located near the Dutch city of Amersfoort I can recommend you to spend a day in Amersfoort as well.

Have a look here at the best things you should do when you’re in Amersfoort for 24 hours.

Pyramid from Austerlitz built in 1804 in the Netherlands. Things to do veluwe national park and near Amersfoort
Credit: Nilaya / Deposit Photos

11. Spot the big five of The Netherlands

Now, before you’re thinking that lions or elephants are roaming wild in The Netherlands, I have to disappoint you. The big five in The Netherlands isn’t the big five that you can find in South Africa. The big five of The Netherlands are the wild boar, the seal, the beaver, the roe deer and the red deer. Other animals you might see are otters, badgers and foxes.

You can even go on special big five safaris in The Netherlands. You will drive through the most special nature reserves of The Netherlands in order to find these animals. Discover a completely different part of The Netherlands and learn about what makes these animals so special and important to this country. The safaris are spread out through the country so you won’t see a seal and a wild boar at the same time. but it’s still worth a trip. The price depends but is often around 40 euros per person.

Reservations for excursions cannot be changed or cancelled. Click here for more information about big 5 safaris in The Netherlands (website is completely in Dutch so be prepared to use a translation tool). The excursion lasts 4 hours and lunch and transport is included.

Go on a big 5 safari through The Netherlands, and find things to do in The Netherlands and Amsterdam in summer

12. Visit the biggest and longest waterfall of The Netherlands

Now, a waterfall isn’t something you expect to see in The Netherlands mainly because most of the country is as flat as a pancake. But, there is one big waterfall in The Netherlands on the Vrijenberg estate, called the Loenense Waterval. The reason this waterfall exists is because of the economic development of the city of Apeldoorn. The Apeldoorn canal was dug in 1825 and to ensure the supply of water in the canal, artificial streams were created in the forests. The Vrijenbergspreng and the Veldhuizerspreng are the largest of the area and about 6 kilometres long.

But because the height difference in the Vrijenbergspreng was very large, a waterfall with stairs was constructed. The total decline of this waterfall in The Netherlands is around 15 meters. And although it’s not a spectacle to witness the water falling down, as it goes slowly because of the stairs that were created, it’s one of those quirky things to visit in The Netherlands. And when you’re there anyway, a long walk around the estate is a great thing to do.

13. Watch movies in the Amsterdam Vondelpark

One of the best things you should do in Amsterdam during the summer is to watch movies in its most famous park. In the last day of the month of August in Amsterdam, you can watch several free movies in the Amsterdam Vondelpark. But if you’re looking for great and fun things to do in Amsterdam in August, then this is one of those things. It usually takes place from around the 26th of August until the 30th of August between 20:00 and 23:00. The dates of 2023 aren’t known yet, but I suspect it takes place in the last week of August again. You’d have to rent a headphone for one evening, which costs 6,20, but blankets and chairs are available. I would recommend you to check for current events here. 

14. Go all out during the summer carnival in Rotterdam

Carnival is celebrated in The Netherlands in February, right? Yes. But, there’s always a reason to party. The Summer Carnival, or Zomercarnaval, in Rotterdam, is one of the best things you can do in Rotterdam during summer and the month of July.

Dance your heart out, wave to the queen, make new friends, enjoy the melodies and watch the parade. The carnival in Rotterdam will blow your mind. Did you know that the first Summer Carnival in Rotterdam was celebrated on the 4th of August in 1984? It’s a tradition that’s worth celebrating. And you should join in with the fun.

Summer Carnival in Rotterdam is generally celebrated on the last Friday and Saturday of July. Click here for more information about the Zomercarnaval in Rotterdam. The street parade is this year (2023) held on the 29th of July.

15. Celebrate LGTBQ+ rights at the Gay Pride of Amsterdam

One of the best things you can do in Amsterdam during summer is visiting the Gay Pride. Amsterdam Pride or Amsterdam Gay Pride is one of the largest annual events in The Netherlands. Amsterdam Pride was first organised in 1996 and meant as a festival to celebrate freedom and diversity. Which is still the point of Amsterdam Pride today.

The most famous part of the Amsterdam Gay Pride is the Canal Parade. On the first Saturday of August in Amsterdam you will see a parade of boats through the canals from Oosterdok – Nieuwe Heerengracht – Amstel – Prinsengracht – Westerdok.

During the Amsterdam Gay Pride, there are all sorts of activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Including exhibitions, cultural and sports events. But don’t forget about the hundreds of street parties around gay bars, such as in the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Zeedijk and Warmoesstraat.

The Amsterdam Pride 2023 is held from the 1st of August until the 6th of August 2023. And this is definitely one of the best things you can do in Amsterdam in July and August.

In 2023 the Canal Parade is on Saturday the 5th of August 2023 from 12:00 – 18:00.

16. Discover the historic West Frisian market in Schagen

Schagen is home to a historic West Frisian market that is held on Thursdays during the summer months of July and August. So if you’re looking for great historical events to visit in The Netherlands, then you’ll be in for a treat.

One of the best things to do in Schagen is visiting the Westfriese markt. You will discover the typical Dutch West Frisian costumes, enjoy old-fashioned games, see traditional dances and plenty of more. This is one of the events you have to visit in The Netherlands during July and August and takes place between 08:30 and 16:00..

Every Thursday has its own theme. In 2023 the date and theme are the following:

29th of June: Day of the old crafts

6th of July: Day of the traditional clothing (many traditional clothes from all over The Netherlands)

13th of July: Day of the animal

20th of July: Day of the dance and music

27th of July: Day of the theater

3rd of August: Special day in the open air

10th of August: Day of the child

17th of August: Traditional Dutch games around the church

24th of August: Almost the last market day

31st of August: Final market celebration

At around 10:45 the convoy leaves and it will take the following route: Stationsweg, Nieuwe Laagzijde, Gedempte Gracht, Markt, Noord, Rapenpad, Nieuwstraat, Markt, Rensgars, Gedempte Gracht and Laan. The best location to stand is the Markt. Here you will find cafes and restaurants.

17. Visit Spakenburg during the Spakenburgse dagen

One of the things you have to do in Spakenburg is visiting the Spakenburgse dagen. During the Spakenburgse dagen, that are held in the months of July and August, you can visit museums in Spakenburg for free and sail on sailboats. But there is also a convoy with traditional costumes from the entire country of The Netherlands. Spakenburg is a very traditional town and also the perfect location to discover more about the culture and history of The Netherlands.
Visiting Spakenburg during the Spakenburgse dagen is one of the best things to do in The Netherlands during July and August. Discover the picturesque old port of Spakenburg that is filled with traditional sailing boats.

You will learn everything about the history of farming in the town of Bunschoten and that of the fishermen of Spakenburg. Let your eyes wander across the traditional costumes of Spakenburg that are still worn daily by the women of Spakenburg. You will see traditional dances, weddings, fish auctions, hear music and plenty of more things including traditional crafts.

In 2023, the Spakenburgse dagen are held at 19th of July, 26th of July, 2nd of August and 9th of August.

18. Watch movies at the Museumpark in Rotterdam

When you’re travelling during summer to Rotterdam for one day or a weekend, one of the things you have to do in Rotterdam in August is to watch movies in the open air. More precisely: at the Museumpark. From around the 10th until the 29th of August 2023 you can watch movies every, single night at ‘Pleinbioscoop Presenteert.’

During these summer evenings, you will see the greatest movies at one of the most special locations. You can rent a little chair for 1 euro or can take a chair yourself and watch a great movie with thousands of people at the same time.

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Click here for more information and tickets

19. Enjoy the Firework festival in Scheveningen

The dates for this year aren’t known yet

One of the best things you can do in Scheveningen during August is to visit the International Firework Festival. If you’re looking for things to do near Den Haag in August, then visiting Scheveningen is also a great idea. The dates for 2022 are the following: 12th, 13th of August and 19th, 20th of August.

The first round starts usually around 21:45 and the second round of the festival around 22:30. Every year the Firework Festival in Scheveningen, The Netherlands, attracts thousands of visitors from all across the globe. During this contest, countries are competing for the best firework show of all the competitors.

At least 80% of the firework has to come out of the country that participates and every country can spend the same amount of money on fireworks. The shows need to last between 11 and 13 minutes.

The firework festival is held on the beach of Scheveningen and besides firework, you can also find plenty of other things to see and do. Think of dance groups and other artists. I would recommend you to stand around the Pier of Scheveningen, Keizerstraat and Zwarte Pad.

If you’re looking to explore a nearby city, then visiting the relaxing city of Delft for one day is a great option

20. Discover music on the canals of Amsterdam during the Grachtenfestival

One of the best things to do in Amsterdam in August is to visit the Grachtenfestival. The Grachtenfestival, or Canals festival, is a ten-day annual festival that takes place in August. It’s a festival for classical music, jazz, and music from other cultures. Young musicians from all over the world will wow you with their own musical story. This year the Grachtenfestival takes place from the 11th until the 20th of August 2023 in Amsterdam and this is definitely one of the things you have to do when you’re visiting Amsterdam in August.

The most popular part of the festival is the Prinsengrachtconcert which is broadcasted live on television and that closes every year with the song ‘Aan de Amsterdamse grachten’ that everyone sings along to. So be prepared to learn some lyrics. The Prinsengrachtconcert of 2023 takes place on Saturday the 19th of August. There are more than 250 concerts at 90 different locations in the city of Amsterdam during the festival.

More information about the Grachtenfestival can be found here

Discover the best things to do on your travels in Amsterdam with insider tips from a local Dutch resident in this 1 / 2 / 3 days Amsterdam itinerary. Included in this 48 hours Amsterdam itinerary travel guide are the best travel tips for Amsterdam, best food, best hotel, best places to visit, best adventure in Amsterdam, things to do in winter and more. It also includes hidden gems, local tips and off the beaten path places to visit and travel to in Amsterdam. Explore Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with this perfect itinerary for the best travels and vacations in Amsterdam ever. #netherlandstravel ##amsterdamtravel #visitholland

21. Eat the best ice cream of The Netherlands

The Netherlands has many great ice cream shops all throughout the country. But some are simply better or more special than others. I included four of my favourite ice cream shops in The Netherlands in this part of the article on best things to do in The Netherlands in summer, but of course, there are plenty of more amazing ice cream shops that you should visit and that are great.

The first one if La Venezia in the Frisian city of Leeuwarden. It’s the most famous ice cream shop in Leeuwarden with a very good reason.

The next one can be found in the beautiful city of Utrecht and is called Roberto Gelato. This is one of the best ice cream shops of Utrecht and offers all the ice cream and flavours that you can ask for.

The third ice cream shop that you have to visit in The Netherlands is Ijssalon W. Laan in the city of Alkmaar. I’ve written about this shop in my article about how to spend one day in Alkmaar. At this ice cream shop, you can only find one flavour, vanilla. And it’s truly the best vanilla you will ever get.

The last ice cream shop you have to visit is Ijssalon Garrone in the magical city of Haarlem, Noord- Holland. This ice cream shop has incredible flavour combinations and just tasty ice cream in general. When you’re in Haarlem, this is one of the hotspots you cannot miss. And, don’t miss out on Ijssie Prima in the small seaside town of Callantsoog.

22. Get access to special monuments during open monument day in The Netherlands

Open Monumentendag is an annual event in The Netherlands that takes place on the second weekend of September. You can visit more than four thousand monuments that can normally not be visited or don’t open up a lot for visitors. It is the perfect opportunity to discover hidden places to visit in The Netherlands and that makes this one of the things you have to do in The Netherlands in September.

There are plenty of activities organized and the monuments are free to visit for everyone. In 2023 Open Monumentsdag takes place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of September. The theme for this event changes every year.

Click here for more information about Open Monumentendag 

off the beaten path things to do in Amsterdam local | Cities to visit Noord-Holland, Netherlands | Visiting The Dutch Countryside

23. Visit the largest sail trough auction in the world

The Netherlands is home to many quirky and interesting places that you can visit. One of those places is the sail through auction of Museum De Broekerveiling which is located in the province of Noord- Holland.

De Broekerveiling is the oldest auction in The Netherlands and in the world where horticulturists could sell their goods by sailing through an auction. This way of auctioning first began on the 29th of July in 1887 in the village of Broek op Langedijk in the open air.

The current auction building of De Broekerveiling in Noord-Holland is built in 1912. The building is placed on poles; therefore the horticulturists could sail into the auction building with their boats that were filled with vegetables. In the auction building, there is a historic auction clock located. In 1922 the building expanded with a so-called ‘lighal’. This is an extra department where the horticulturists could wait under a roof so that the weather had no influence on their vegetables.

You can also go on a boat tour around the thousands island realm, which is included in the ticket price and definitely worth it.

For more information about the Museum Broekerveiling click here

24. Explore hidden castles in The Netherlands that you can usually not visit

On Whit Monday, 29th of May 2023, the 14th edition of the Dag van het Kasteel (Day of the Castle) is held in The Netherlands. Castles and manor houses open up their gates to their estates and sometimes even to the houses and castles themselves. Many of the castles and houses that are open for a visit on White Monday are usually not opened up for the public.

Think of, for instance, Estate Trompenburgh, the ruins of Castle Asten and Slot Baarland. It’s definitely worth it to go on a little road trip through The Netherlands and discover the hidden castles that can be found throughout the country.

Go to this website to learn more about the castles, manor houses and estates that participate in one of the most special annual events of The Netherlands. Keep in mind that this website is completely in Dutch, but if you click on ‘Deelnemende locaties’, you can find all the castles and manor houses that are currently on the list.

Top Dutch must see castles to visit during Kastelendag. Visit unknown castles that usually stay closed for public.

25. Walk around the biggest funfair of The Netherlands

What’s a better way to get an introduction to a new culture, then by partying on the biggest funfair of The Netherlands? The Tilburgse Kermis is a fun fair that lasts 10 days, has more than 200 attractions, is 3 kilometres long and gets more than one million visitors in those 10 days.

You can find famous Dutch singers in the Amstel Bierhal, markets, a parade, summer carnival and plenty of more special events such as Pink Monday (with a pride walk!) and Blue Sunday. It’s easy to get to this fun fair in Noord- Brabant. Go to the train station of Tilburg and from there it’s very easy to reach.

The dates of the Tilburgse Kermis of 2023 are the following:

Friday 21st of July 15.00 – 01.00
Saturday 22nd of July 12:00 – 01.00
Sunday 23rd of July 12.00 – 01.00
Monday 24th of July 12.00 – 01.00
Tuesday 25th of July 12.00 – 01.00
Wednesday 26th of July 12.00 – 01.00
Thursday 27th of July 12.00 – 01.00
Friday 28th of July 12.00 – 01.00
Saturday 29th of July 12.00 – 01.00
Sunday 30st of July 13.00 – 24.00

26. Buy second-hand clothing and perfect souvenirs at the biggest flea market of The Netherlands and Europe

One of the best markets to visit in The Netherlands is the biggest flea market in Europe in the IJ Hallen. Not only can you get some great quality clothing here for a very cheap price, but you can also find art, antiques and other perfect buys or souvenirs in the Ij-Hallen.

For more information about the biggest flea market of Europe, including dates, click here

27. Discover the best and most special (outdoor) museums of The Netherlands

There are many museums in The Netherlands that are worth a visit, but during summer I can recommend you to visit these most special and even outdoor museums of The Netherlands. As the weather is often great, it’s a perfect option to get outside and learn a few things.

The first outdoor museum you have to visit in The Netherlands is the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen. Here you will discover the way people used to live in the area of the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) in The Netherlands years ago as well as the maritime history of the region. Another  great museum is the Nederlands Openlucht Museum. This culture historical open-air museum is the most visited museum of The Netherlands outside museums in Amsterdam.

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Another incredible museum to visit in The Netherlands is the Kröller Müller museum which is one of the most special museums of The Netherlands. Not only is this museum located in National Park De Hoge Veluwe, but it is also home to the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world.

The last museum is the museum village of Allingawier. In this open-air museum in the province of Friesland, you will learn about the history of this small region of Friesland and its people.

Have a look at all the information you have to know about the Allingawier museum here

28. Visit the best theme parks of The Netherlands

The Netherlands has quite a few amazing theme parks that you should visit. And what is the best time to visit a theme park in The Netherlands? Well, when the weather is great. Even though that also means a lot of people will visit the theme park, it also means that the chances of ruining a fun day with rain are the least possible.

In my opinion, the best theme park of The Netherlands is De Efteling. This theme park is famous for its attractions that all tell a story as well as for its fairytale forest. Another great theme park in The Netherlands, that is famous for its rollercoasters, is Walibi Holland (though not located in Holland, but in Flevoland).

29. Explore the dolmen in Drenthe, The Netherlands

Dolmens are the oldest monuments of The Netherlands and are built from boulders that were brought to the province of Drenthe during the glacial period. Dolmens don’t have their own names, but they do have numbers. 47 of the Dolmens can be found along Hunebed Highway, which is the perfect road trip to experience the province of Drenthe in a short time.

The biggest dolmen of The Netherlands numbered D27, is located in the town of Borger. This dolmen is almost 23 meters long and one of the boulders weighs 20.000 kg! Borger is also the location of the Hunebedcentrum, where you can find more information about dolmens and the people who created them. I would definitely recommend you to visit this dolmen centre and so you can discover more about the history of The Netherlands.

Click here for more information about the dolmens, the province of Drenthe and the perfect road trip along Hunebed highway

30. Go for a beautiful picnic

Although it sounds very straight forward, a picnic cannot be forgotten on this list of things to do in The Netherlands and Amsterdam in summer. If you’re in Amsterdam I would recommend you to go to the Amsterdamse Bos or Amsterdam forest. It’s the biggest park in Amsterdam.

Take some music, grab a bottle of wine and make some nice bites. This including with friends, family or by yourself is the perfect recipe for spending a summer day in The Netherlands.

31. Get sporty and go surfing in The Netherlands

We often have a lot of wind in The Netherlands and while that can be annoying at some times, it’s perfect for several sports. Think of kite surfing or windsurfing for instance. There are many locations where you can take kite surfing lessons. Such as in the beautiful Frisian town of Workum.

Take a beginners lesson of a few hours, or if you’re already familiar with these sports, go for a more professional lesson. But you can also rent gear for your perfect active afternoon.

32. Visit the biggest hedge maze or labyrinth in the world in The Netherlands

If you’re looking to visit labyrinth or mazes in The Netherlands then you’ll be in for a treat with this one. The maze dates back to 1891 and was completely neglected until it got restored again in the period 1975 – 1984. The design of the Maze of Ruurlo was based on the hedge maze of Hampton Court that was designed by Daniël Marot. The client of this maze was the Van Heeckeren van Kell family.

With a surface area of ​​8740 m2, the maze is the largest in the Netherlands. The length of the paths is 1188 meters. In 1996, the maze of Ruurlo entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest maze in the world. Do remember that you cannot pay by card. The entrance fee is 3 euros for everyone who is 12 +. The biggest maze of The Netherlands can be found at Hengeloseweg, 7261 LV Ruurlo.

When you’re in Ruurlo anyway, visit Castle Ruurlo, which currently houses one of the most impressive museums of The Netherlands which focuses on the work and life of artist Carel Willink.

33. Get adventurous and go skydiving in The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a perfect country to get adventurous in. For instance, go skydiving above the beautiful Wadden Island of Texel. At Paracentrum Texel, they have almost 50 years of experience in skydiving in The Netherlands. If you want to do a tandem jump, want to learn how to skydive or do solo jumps in The Netherlands, then this is your place to be.

You will be skydiving above one of the most scenic locations of The Netherlands and experience the adrenaline as well as have an incredible view.

Click here for more information about skydiving above the island of Texel

34. Look up and go stargazing in The Netherlands

The Netherlands isn’t well-known for having the best starry skies of Europe, nor for having the best stargazing locations. However, you’ll be surprised to hear that The Netherlands actually has two official Dark Sky reserves. These parks are both located in the province of Friesland.

The first location is the National Park Lauwersmeer. You can access the park as good during the night 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. The second location is De Boschplaat on the Wadden Island of Terschelling. The Dark Sky Park is located at the Boschplaat which is at the Eastern side of Terschelling.

Click here for all the best locations to see starry skies in The Netherlands

Discover where to go for stargazing in The Netherlands. Including Dark Sky Park reserves in The Netherlands such as Lauwersmeer and De Boschplaat on the Wadden Islands of Terschelling. The best stargazing places for on your bucket lists with things to do when you travel to The Netherlands. Explore the stars, milky way, universe, galaxies and beautiful sky at night in many national parks in The Netherlands.

35. Explore the most beautiful villages and places of The Netherlands

The Netherlands has many beautiful places that you should visit. Many of those cute places in The Netherlands are very small and have great things to do and see. But, those activities or museums often open either only during high season or open longer during high season.

As I’ve said before, The Netherlands gets most of its tourists during the summer months of June, July and August. Thus, it’s the perfect time to explore less visited areas in The Netherlands, because those will also be bustling.

Have a look here at the amazing places you have to visit in the province of Friesland and the things you can do there

Discover the best things to do in one day in the Dutch Hansa town of Elburg, Gelderland, The Netherlands. Including best restaurants and hotels and B&B's in Elburg. As well as what to do and see in Elburg and tips for day trips in Gelderland. Explore one of the most beautiful places of The Netherlands and discover offbeat places in The Netherlands to travel to.

36. Explore Rotterdam from above at the Rotterdamse Dakendagen

I know. For the people who know this event already, I know that it’s not happening in summer. But this great event happens from the 1st of June until the 4th of June 2023 and it is a little bonus activity to start your summer in The Netherlands in a very good way.

During the Rotterdamse Dakendagen, you are able to discover new places in Rotterdam that you’ve never visited or have seen before. Doors will be opened during this event that are closed for the rest of the year. You do have to buy tickets to go on a tour or visit other places, but it’s well worth the price.

Have a look at the programme of the Rotterdamse Dakendagen and tickets here

37. Visit the best beaches of The Netherlands

The Netherlands isn’t well-known for having amazing beaches, which is a shame because you can find some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe in The Netherlands. From the widest beach of Europe that can be found on the Wadden Island of Schiermonnikoog to amazing beaches to visit near Amsterdam. There are many beaches in The Netherlands that you can explore and there are endless things to do. Think of watching the sunset in the North Sea or go do some water sports to have an active beach day in The Netherlands.

Discover the best beaches near Amsterdam and of the province Noord- Holland, The Netherlands, here

Discover the best things to do in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Netherlands during summer. In June, July, August and September there are plenty of things to do and see in Amsterdam and The Netherlands. Including the best festivals in The Netherlands and Amsterdam and plenty of more.

If you’re looking for more things to do in The Netherlands, then I can recommend you to visit the beautiful city of Groningen, but also the fortified city of Bourtange. These two places are located in the Northern province of Groningen in The Netherlands and definitely worth a visit.

When you’re looking for the nearest toilet or the best public transportation app, then I’d suggest you to read this article on the best travel apps to download when you travel to The Netherlands.

If you’re looking for more interesting things to do in Amsterdam, then I can recommend you to read this 2 day itinerary for Amsterdam. With this Amsterdam itinerary you will discover the hidden secrets of the city. And if you want to know some other secrets and facts about Amsterdam, then these interesting and fun facts about Amsterdam will be great to read.

The last thing you should do is explore these beautiful and offbeat places in The Netherlands. Especially if you want to go off the beaten path and discover The Netherlands beyond the crowds.

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2 thoughts on “37x Things To Do In The Netherlands & Amsterdam In Summer

  1. Netherlands has amazing landscapes, no doubt. Thanks for including the time tables for the operating hours for each place/activity and the price range for each. I love staying on a budget and making sure that my itinerary is well planned.

    1. It’s definitely a change for many people to see a country that is as flat as The Netherlands haha. You’re very welcome! I hope that it’ll be useful for you one day 🙂

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