Here’s our list of 5 activities to do here in the Netherlands during this COVID era.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life drastically for all of us. With the holidays coming up and the Netherlands dealing with a resurgence of cases and the subsequent new restrictions, traveling around is complicated and risky, and socializing at bars and restaurants is out of the question. While there are worse things in the world than delaying travel plans or being unable to go out for a pint, it does put a dampen on life. Fret not, though! We’re here to provide you with five activities you can do right here in the Netherlands during this COVID era.
1Take a trip to Texel
Make your way out of the hustle and bustle of city life to the island of Texel for some much needed relaxation and seclusion. With Texel being roughly 3 hours away from Amsterdam by public transport, it’s a bit of a trek, but an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. Combine its distance from major cities with a small population and less tourists, you’ve got the recipe for a perfect little getaway during these times!
Even the journey to Texel is a fun adventure, with a ferry ride that brings you from Den Hoorn to the island in about fifteen minutes. While the island is a drastic change of pace compared to the Dutch cities most of us are accustomed to, there is still lots to do, even in these colder months. You can explore the diverse geography of Texel on bike, traversing dunes, wooded areas, and beaches on over 170 kilometers of bike trails. A large portion of the island is a National Park which really ensures the beauty of the area is preserved, the wildlife is left unbothered, and allows for an incredibly relaxing experience. Consider cycling your way up to the northern tip of the island where you’ll find a vast beach and the iconic lighthouse.
If you’re feeling like taking it a bit slower, you can visit Ecomare which houses a museum about nature, a sanctuary for birds, and a whole host of different fish and marine animals.
2Head down south to Maastricht
Another great place to visit right here in The Netherlands is the city of Maastricht which is located on the southern tip of NL, bordering Belgium. Maastricht is a university city characterized by historical buildings, winding streets, and grand bridges overlooking the Meuse River. Maastricht is a great place to visit because it is so much different than most other Dutch cities.
Because of its location, Maastricht is influenced heavily by its neighbors of Germany and Belgium, really giving it a cosmopolitan vibe. The large student population, many of whom are internationals, also helps in creating this young and cosmopolitan feeling. The architecture is also simply stunning, with buildings and structures dating back all the way to the 11th century.
Despite Maastricht’s ancient historical roots, it has a lot of electric, young, energy thanks to the intermingling of so many cultures, age groups, and walks of life. While there, make sure you stop by the Basilica of Saint Servatius which dates all the way back to the 11th century.
3Embrace the parks – have a picnic!
No matter what city you live in within NL, there are assuredly some nice parks for you to enjoy while maintaining distance from others and still being able to feel that social vibe that we’re all craving. While we can’t go down to the bar and have a pint, we can have a picnic with a few people we care about.
Throw around a frisbee, or simply enjoy some food sprawled out on the lawn. Just make sure to enjoy the outdoors before it gets too cold as the winter fast approaches! Here’s some of our favorite and spacious parks in Amsterdam, Utrecht, and The Hague.
- Amsterdam – Vondelpark
- Utrecht – Julianapark
- The Hague – Palace Gardens
4Stay home & bake some treats
Sometimes going outside just does not sound appealing and the best thing to do is stay at home and enjoy some time with loved ones. A great activity when hanging around the home is to bake some delicious Dutch treats. One of our favorites is Oliebollen.
If you don’t know it, an Oliebollen is a deep fried pastry covered in powdered sugar, and sometimes stuffed with a filling of some sort. AllRecipes has a simple to follow guide on how to make Oliebollen at home. These things are addictive, though, so watch out and don’t say we didn’t warn you. Once you’ve got your Oliebollen hot and ready, there’s nothing better than relaxing with some hot cocoa.
5Explore the unfilled streets
This is an opportunity for us all to reconnect with our cities. With the number of tourists down and COVID restrictions in place, the oft-bustling streets of the Dutch cities we all inhabit are uncharacteristically quiet. Consider exploring these streets one evening, and connect with your city in a new way that is only possible in a time like this.
Allow yourself to re-embrace the place you call your home, and notice the intricate details that only a resident can notice. No matter the city, we’re sure that you’ll find a certain tranquility in the air, embrace it!
These are uncertain times for all of us. Our lives have been altered for the foreseeable future, and all we can do is make the best of it. We hope that these ideas will help you to make the best of this situation! What activities have you been doing during these times? Let us know!