20 In Amsterdam/ Europe/ National Park/ Netherlands/ Rotterdam

Weekend Getaway Ideas In The Netherlands

Weekend Getaway Ideas In The Netherlands - National Parks in the Netherlands

Get inspired with this list of weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands. Whether you are looking for something cultural, historic, adventurous or romantic – the Dutch have it all! Check out a seaside resort, a national park or a very old town for an alternative weekend break. Since living in the Netherlands we are always in the look out for some unique weekend getaway ideas from our home location.

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Weekend Getaway Ideas List

Here is a cool list of fun, cultural and unique Dutch locations you should consider for a weekend away!

1. Leeuwarden

A weekend away in Leeuwarden isn’t complete without climbing 183 steps of the Oldehove church tower or a boat tour through this province capital of Friesland. Did you know this city has over 800 national heritage sites to explore? One of those is the Blokhuispoort, which is public library, restaurant and hostel converted from a prison. For lunch you can also head to the Waag, a weigh house where dairy produce used to be traded at that dates back to 1596. If its chilly and icy enough, you may be able to experience the famous ice skating event that starts and ends in the city, called Elfstedentocht.

Here you can even try and learn some Frisian, an official 2nd language of the Netherlands spoken by up to 500,000 locals!

Weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands - Leeuwarden

Provided by Manouk from Groetjes Uit Verweggistan

2. Rotterdam

Rotterdam is one of the top cities I recommend (not just because I live there) but because it has so much to offer. A location once bombed during WW2, the city has rebuilt itself as a modern architectural hotspot. There are loads of hotspots for couples and families to enjoy a weekend away here. Find yourself exploring the Museum Kunsthal, dining on the SS Rotterdam cruise ship and sightseeing with 360°c views at the Euromast. Looking for romance in Rotterdam? Book a night at the gorgeous Hotel New York!

Weekend Getaway Ideas In The Netherlands - The modern city of Rotterdam, Netherlands during the sunset.

More posts about Rotterdam:

Where to stay in Rotterdam

Rotterdam In Winter

Rotterdam In Summer

Helicopter Tour Above Rotterdam

Explore the Markthal

3. Amsterdam

Well we cant have a weekend getaway list without the capital of the country. Amsterdam is enchanting to visit all year round. With popular districts for relaxing to a lively shopping areas, the city has everything you need for a fun weekend away. You should consider visiting the famous Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, but make sure to book in advance to save money and secure a time slot for your weekend.

If you are visiting during Spring time, make time to visit one of these best locations for tulips!

TIP: If you visiting the Netherlands for the first time, check out this Lonely Planet Netherlands guide that is great for all up to date information and recommendations for the country! Else they have a brand new Lonely Planet Amsterdam guide book for the capital, as well as a pocket-sized Lonely Planet Pocket Rotterdam for Rotterdam, which I also own and can highly recommend.

4. The Wadden Islands

Did you know you can visit one of the five Dutch islands in the North? The Wadden islands have captivating dunes, beaches and nature areas for bird watching and walking. Else rent a bike and explore one of the countless cycling routes you can choose from. Each of the five locations have fun activities for all ages, such as diving into the history, hiking the natural landscape and trying the local produce. Perfect for our weekend getaway ideas list!

We plan to visit one of them this year – can’t wait!

Weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands - A walk on the beach on the island of Texel.

Photo provided by Sarah from CosmopoliClan

5. Maastricht

If you don’t enjoy the flatness of the Netherlands, you need a weekend in Maastricht. Close to the Belgium and German boarder, this city is from medieval-era and the capital of the province of Limburg. For the day time take a walking route around the city fortifications and historic city center. For the night join the locals with the vibrant cultural scene full of restaurants and places for nights out.

Weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands- Maastricht The Netherlands Manon van Schagen Visiting The Dutch Countryside

Photo provided by Manon from Visiting The Dutch Countryside

6. Katwijk aan Zee

Our weekend getaway ideas list would not be complete without a weekend at the beach, with this idyllic seaside resort on the North Sea. Located in South Holland, this blissful beachy place is perfect for soaking in some of the sun. The history of Katwijk goes back to the 9th century and has a small population of under 14,000. Here you will find mostly locals as most tourists head to Scheveningen and Hoek van Holland as their first beach choices.

You can see our longer post about Katwijk aan Zee here!

7. Utrecht

Walking around the city you can experience the cosy cafes, cute canals and home to many cultural events. Utrecht is also a great place for shopping with a large market, international stores, local boutiques and a super modern shopping mall. It’s the perfect place for couples, families and solo travellers on our weekend getaway ideas list! Since the 8th century, Utrecht is also the Dutch religious centre of the Netherlands.

Plan some time to climb the Dom Tower, stroll the old Oudegracht canal and explore one of the many museums. Top on the list recommended is the Centraal Museum, where you can see the permanent exhibition of Dick Bruna who is famous for creating Miffy!

Weekend Getaway Ideas In The Netherlands - One of the beautiful canals in Utrecht, perfect to walk along during a visit.

8. Dordrecht

This historical city is the 4th largest in South Holland. Find yourself strolling through the medieval city centre and grabbing a delicious bite to eat at a local bakery. The historical city center has three beautiful churches and multiple canals, where you can enjoy a boat tour. The city of Dordrecht has many seasonal events too such as Dort In Stoom, the biggest steam event in Europe. Dordrecht is also perfect for a day trip from Rotterdam in combination with seeing the famous UNESCO World Heritage site Kinderdijk.

And lets not forget that the city hosts the largest Christmas market in the Netherlands – check out our Christmas market post here!

Weekend Getaway Ideas In The Netherlands - the historical city of Dordrecht, not far from Rotterdam.

9. Groningen

Head to the North of the Netherlands with a city trip to Groningen. Amsterdam is not the only place for a fun dancing weekend, with Groningen offering some great night out locations too. This top student city has interesting parks, culture and history, such as the market area being destroyed during WW2. Make sure you check out Groningen Museum, the most modern and innovative museum in the Netherlands.

Weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands - Groningen City Center

Provided by Manouk from Groetjes Uit Verweggistan

10. A National Park

Take a weekend away and leave your work and technology behind you. Locations such as the Hoge Veluwe, Utrechtse Heuvelrug or Dwingeloo are perfect to visit no matter what the season is. All national parks have a visitor centre and a place to rent bicycles for when you don’t want to hike. Most also have a typical pancake house in the area for after all the hiking and exploring – else go romantic and take a picnic!

You can take a look at our full guide of all the 21 National Parks in the Netherlands here!

Weekend Getaway Ideas In The Netherlands - National Parks in the Netherlands

11. The Hague

Here you can find all historical parliament buildings as the seat of Government is located here, making it a very international city. The Hague, which is actually the capital of the province of South Holland, is also close to where the King of the Netherlands lives. The Hague is close to Scheveningen, a popular touristic beach resort with a pretty long pier. Don’t forget to check out Madurodam, showcasing beautiful miniature scenarios and landscapes of the Netherlands.

Weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands - The Hague International city of the Netherlands

12. Volendam

This pretty wooden house town is on the water with a harbour full of old fishing boats. You can step back in time here and truly experience the Netherlands in this old fishing village. There are even some locals that wear the traditional Dutch clothing – and you can get pictures wearing the typical Dutch clothing too! As for the rest, there are a few museums and some delicious places for a bite to eat.

Weekend getaway ideas in the Netherlands - Volendam at sunset is gorgeous in the old harbour.


These weekend getaway ideas are perfect for a break in the Netherlands. My favourite weekend getaway locations are to the national parks, as I am living in the busy city of Rotterdam.

With the Netherlands having a good public transport system (trains/trams etc) you can also easily make these weekend getaway ideas as day trips too!


  • Don’t always visit the capital of Amsterdam without seeing a different side of the Netherlands.
  • Consider a weekend away to a National park and enjoy the nature without technology!
  • Don’t be afraid to explore a location less known based on the language, as most locals in my experience can speak some English!
  • If you’ve never been to the Netherlands before, check this book to prepare and learn some tips!

Pin for later:

Are you now inspired for one of these weekend getaway ideas? Or have you been to a location we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments! 

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  • Reply
    Sophie Pearce
    9th February 2019 at 11:47 am

    Wow! These all look amazing. The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht have been on my list for a long time. The Netherlands always looks so beautiful and full of nature! Great post and photos. Sophie x

    • Reply
      10th February 2019 at 11:39 am

      Thanks Sophie! Keep a look out for a good deal to Amsterdam or even Rotterdam Airport, as all three cities are very easy to visit with the train in one trip too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Priyanka Gupta
    9th February 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Amazing places. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    the Curious Pixie
    9th February 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Some place I really want to visit on this list like The Hague and Rotterdam. Fab pics x

  • Reply
    Josy A
    9th February 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Deary me, I have not even heard of most of these, but they all look gorgeous! I really need to explore more of the Netherlands, especially the rural areas!!

  • Reply
    Bhawna Saini
    9th February 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Planning a vacation to Netherlands later this year, your list will come in handy! Much thanks!

    • Reply
      10th February 2019 at 11:38 am

      Great news! Hope you have a lovely time and good weather 🙂

  • Reply
    10th February 2019 at 3:26 am

    I’ve only heard the best reviews of Rotterdam and I’m glad you liked it too! Utrecht looks so charming, and I’ve never even heard of it! Can you take a train there from Amsterdam?

    • Reply
      10th February 2019 at 11:36 am

      Thanks for commenting! Yes everything is very reachable by Train on this list 🙂 – With Utrecht only 30 minutes away from Amsterdam!

  • Reply
    10th February 2019 at 5:02 am

    Netherlands looks so dreamy! I have only cycled to the border and such a shame I haven’t visited all these places. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      10th February 2019 at 11:37 am

      A good reason to visit again 🙂

  • Reply
    Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays
    10th February 2019 at 9:43 pm

    What an excellent list! I am especially fond of Leeuwarden and the Wadden Islands.

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 8:42 am

    Great post. Provides lots of inspiration for weekends away. I’m looking forward to doing just that!

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 9:31 am

    This is a great list! I think I’d like to go to Maastricht first! It sounds interesting and pretty.

    • Reply
      23rd May 2020 at 11:13 am

      Thanks for commenting Bliss, Maastrict is also on my list to visit (again) as soon as we can!

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 11:15 am

    So many interesting places to see that I wasn’t aware of. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Oh I was just reminded by Volendaam – My friends took me there during 2018 when the sea froze over and we could walk on the sea ice!

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 5:00 pm

    What great ideas. I have been to a couple of these (Rotterdam, Utrecht) and love them. So cute places to spend a day wandering. Definitely need to check out some of the others on this list

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 5:18 pm

    This is a great list! The Netherlands has so many beautiful areas and I would love to visit more of them!

  • Reply
    23rd May 2020 at 5:26 pm

    I can’t believe we haven’t been to the Netherlands, despite my husband’s roots there. Saving this for when it happens…maybe 2021??

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