Insider Tips: Avoiding Tourist Traps In Netherlands - Answers & Video

Insider Tips: Avoiding Tourist Traps In Netherlands

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Avoiding Tourist Traps in Netherlands

Netherlands is a beautiful country known for its picturesque landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. However, like any popular tourist destination, there are certain places and experiences that can be considered tourist traps. To help you make the most of your visit to the Netherlands, here are some insider tips to avoid falling into these traps.

1. Amsterdam’s Red Light District

The Red Light District in Amsterdam is one of the city’s most famous attractions, but it can also be a tourist trap. While it may be intriguing to explore this area, be aware that it can be overcrowded and targeted towards tourists. Instead, consider exploring other parts of Amsterdam that offer a more authentic experience of the city’s culture and history.

  • Visit the Jordaan neighborhood: This charming area is known for its narrow streets, quaint houses, and local shops. Take a leisurely stroll along the canals and explore the unique boutiques and cafes.
  • Discover the Museum Quarter: Home to some of the world’s most renowned museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, the Museum Quarter offers a deeper insight into Dutch art and history.
  • Explore the Vondelpark: This expansive park is perfect for a relaxing picnic or a leisurely bike ride. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and escape the bustling city center.

2. Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens, located near Lisse, is famous for its stunning displays of tulips and other flowers. While it is undeniably beautiful, it can get incredibly crowded during peak tourist season. Instead of visiting Keukenhof Gardens, consider exploring other flower fields in the Netherlands that offer a similar experience without the crowds.

  • Visit the Bollenstreek region: Located between Haarlem and Leiden, this region is known as the “bulb belt” of the Netherlands. Take a scenic drive or bike ride through the colorful flower fields and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  • Explore the Aalsmeer Flower Auction: As the largest flower auction in the world, Aalsmeer offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry. Witness the hustle and bustle of the auction and learn about the process of flower trading.
  • Attend a flower parade: Various towns in the Netherlands host flower parades throughout the year. These parades feature elaborate floats adorned with flowers, showcasing the country’s horticultural heritage.

3. Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is a popular tourist destination known for its well-preserved windmills and traditional Dutch houses. While it provides a glimpse into the country’s history, it can be overcrowded with tourists. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, consider visiting other windmill villages in the Netherlands.

  • Kinderdijk: Located near Rotterdam, Kinderdijk is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a collection of 19 windmills. Explore the picturesque landscape and learn about the history of water management in the Netherlands.
  • Schermerhorn: This small village in North Holland is home to an open-air museum called Museummolen Schermerhorn. Discover the inner workings of a windmill and gain insight into the daily lives of millers.
  • De Zaanse Molen: Situated in the Zaan region, De Zaanse Molen is a network of windmills that showcases various industrial processes. Take a guided tour and witness traditional crafts such as sawing timber and grinding spices.

4. Dam Square, Amsterdam

Dam Square is a central square in Amsterdam and a popular gathering spot for tourists. While it offers easy access to various attractions, it can be crowded and filled with souvenir shops. To escape the tourist crowds, consider exploring other neighborhoods in Amsterdam.

  • De Pijp: This vibrant neighborhood is known for its lively atmosphere, diverse cuisine, and the famous Albert Cuyp Market. Explore the local shops, cafes, and restaurants for an authentic Amsterdam experience.
  • Oud-West: Located just outside the city center, Oud-West offers a more relaxed and residential vibe. Discover hidden gems such as local breweries, art galleries, and boutique stores.
  • Plantage: This green oasis in Amsterdam is home to the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the gardens and explore the nearby Artis Zoo.

5. Volendam

Volendam is a picturesque fishing village known for its traditional Dutch charm. While it can be a charming place to visit, it is also a popular tourist destination. For a more authentic experience, consider exploring other lesser-known fishing villages in the Netherlands.

  • Marken: This small island village is located in the Markermeer and is known for its wooden houses and traditional costumes. Take a ferry from Volendam and explore the narrow streets and scenic waterfront.
  • Urk: Situated in the province of Flevoland, Urk is a former island known for its fishing heritage. Explore the historic center and visit the Urk lighthouse for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Enkhuizen: Located in North Holland, Enkhuizen is a historic town with a rich maritime history. Visit the Zuiderzee Museum and learn about the region’s past as a major seaport.

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6. The Hague

The Hague is the political capital of the Netherlands and home to various international organizations. While it may not be as popular among tourists as Amsterdam, it offers a wealth of cultural attractions and a more relaxed atmosphere. Explore the city’s museums, parks, and historic sites for a unique Dutch experience.

  • Mauritshuis: This art museum houses a collection of Dutch Golden Age masterpieces, including Vermeer’s famous painting, “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
  • Binnenhof: Visit the political heart of the Netherlands and explore the historic buildings that house the Dutch Parliament.
  • Scheveningen: This seaside resort is located just outside The Hague and offers beautiful beaches, a lively promenade, and the iconic Kurhaus hotel.

7. Delft

Delft is a charming city known for its historic center, canals, and iconic blue pottery. While it attracts tourists, it still maintains a peaceful and authentic atmosphere. Explore the picturesque streets, visit the famous Royal Delft factory, and enjoy the local cuisine.

  • Old Church: Visit the oldest church in Delft and climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.
  • Vermeer Centre: Learn about the life and work of the famous Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer, at this interactive museum.
  • Prinsenhof Museum: Discover the history of the Netherlands and the role Delft played in the Dutch Revolt at this museum located in a former monastery.

8. Rotterdam’s Markthal

The Markthal in Rotterdam is a modern architectural marvel and a popular tourist attraction. While it offers a unique food market experience, it can get crowded with tourists. For a different culinary experience, consider exploring other food markets in the Netherlands.

  • Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam: This lively market in the De Pijp neighborhood offers a wide variety of local produce, street food, and souvenirs.
  • Noordermarkt, Amsterdam: Held on Saturdays, this market features organic produce, vintage clothing, and antiques in the trendy Jordaan neighborhood.
  • NeighbourFood Market, Amsterdam: Held on Sundays, this market showcases the best of Amsterdam’s local food scene, with a focus on sustainable and artisanal products.

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9. Utrecht’s Dom Tower

The Dom Tower in Utrecht is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands and a popular tourist attraction. While it offers panoramic views of the city, it can have long queues and limited space at the top. For a similar experience with fewer crowds, consider visiting other towers in the Netherlands.

  • Martinitoren, Groningen: Climb this tower in Groningen for stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren, Amersfoort: This medieval tower offers breathtaking views of Amersfoort’s historic center and the surrounding landscapes.
  • St. John’s Cathedral, ‘s-Hertogenbosch: Climb the tower of this Gothic cathedral for panoramic views of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and its picturesque canals.

10. Giethoorn

Giethoorn is a picturesque village in the Netherlands known as the “Venice of the North” due to its canals and charming thatched-roof houses. While it is a popular tourist destination, it can get crowded. For a similar experience, consider visiting other lesser-known water villages in the Netherlands.

  • Broek in Waterland: Located near Amsterdam, this village is known for its well-preserved wooden houses and peaceful canals.
  • Waterland: Explore the rural region of Waterland, which is dotted with small villages, farmlands, and waterways.
  • De Rijp: This historic village is characterized by its beautiful canal houses and scenic landscapes. Take a boat tour or rent a bike to explore the surrounding area.

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11. Amsterdam Bike Tours

Amsterdam is famous for its cycling culture, and bike tours are a popular way for tourists to explore the city. However, these tours can sometimes be crowded and follow a generic route. If you want a more personalized and off-the-beaten-path experience, consider renting a bike and exploring Amsterdam on your own.

  • Amsterdamse Bos: This large park on the outskirts of Amsterdam offers numerous cycling paths through forests, meadows, and lakes.
  • Amstel River Route: Follow the scenic Amstel River and discover charming villages, windmills, and historic landmarks along the way.
  • North Holland Route: This long-distance cycling route takes you through the beautiful landscapes of North Holland, including tulip fields, coastal dunes, and traditional villages.

12. Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is a significant historical site that attracts many visitors. However, due to its popularity, the queues can be extremely long. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting the museum during off-peak hours or purchasing tickets in advance online.

  • Huis Marseille, Amsterdam: This photography museum offers a unique cultural experience and showcases contemporary and historical photography.
  • Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam: Explore the diverse cultures of the world through the extensive collections and interactive exhibitions of this ethnographic museum.
  • Verzetsmuseum, Amsterdam: Learn about the Dutch resistance during World War II and the personal stories of those who fought against the Nazis at this museum.

Conclusion

By following these insider tips, you can avoid falling into tourist traps and have a more authentic and rewarding experience in the Netherlands. Remember to explore beyond the well-known attractions and discover the hidden gems that make this country truly special.

References

– Visit Amsterdam: www.iamsterdam.com
– Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions: www.holland.com
– Netherlands Travel Guide: www.lonelyplanet.com/netherlands
– Dutch Tourism: www.visitdutch.nl

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