7 surprising city trip destinations in the Netherlands


What could be more fun than visiting a city full of culture, history and nature? Well, you don't have to hop on a plane for it: this country has quite a few hidden gems! What is the most beautiful city trip destination in the Netherlands? Which city is best for a day trip? Here are 7 cities that you probably haven't heard of. Bonus: all destinations can be reached by train!


1 – Amersfoort


Amersfoort is not a big city, but it still has over 400 national monuments. The historic centre is one of its biggest attractions. The Onze Lieve Vrouwentoren is Amersfoort's central point. The old city wall is also worth a visit; in the nineteenth century this was used to build houses right up against, the so-called wall houses. Try not to miss: the Muurhuizenkerk (wall house church), old inn In den Grooten Slock, the Flehite museum, the Mondriaanhuis (Piet Mondrian's birthplace) and the Plompetoren.


2 - Assen


It will probably not be the first city that comes up when you're discussing city trip destinations in the Netherlands. But the capital of Drenthe province is the go-to destination for your country-inspired mini break. Assen and the surrounding area offer enough for a weekend away: the Drents Museum being one of them. This extensive museum, in a beautiful old building, shows the history of this province. Here you will find the girl of Yde (a bog body) and the canoe of Pesse (one of the oldest preserved boats from prehistoric times). The same museum also has a modern art section, including works by Van Gogh and Helmantel. Try to visit the Assen Sustainability Centre ('Duurzaamheidscentrum Assen'), built from recycled coconuts, where you'll find a restaurant that serves produce straight from the garden.

Amersfoort leuke stedentrip straat in centrum met fietser

3 - Deventer

(Photo above)


Hanseatic city Deventer is one of the oldest places in the Netherlands, inhabited since Roman times. The cozy town square is full of great coffee spots and restaurants. It's a really lovely city to stroll through: the best way to do so is after a visit to museum De Waag, which focuses on the city's history. Other places of interest are the Penninckshuis, Grote Kerkhof, the Landshuis and the Bolwerksmolen. Don't miss the Bergkwartier area: this medieval part of the city contains beautifully restored residential houses. Here you will also find some unique B&Bs.


4 - Dordrecht


There's a sentence in Dutch that - loosely translated - goes something like this: "the closer to Dordt, the worse it gets", but we surely disagree. Dordrecht is a beautiful city at the intersection of three rivers. The rich history is visible and tangible in the many monuments (Groothoofdspoort, Grote Kerk, Molen Kyck over den Dyck, inland harbours, various courtyards called 'hofjes' in Dutch) and places of interest (Dordrechts Museum, Huis van Gijn, Dordts Patrician House, Resistance Museum). The city has more than 900 national and over 650 municipal monuments. 'Dordt', as its known by its inhabitants, also has great coffee shops (we mean real coffee here!) and vintage shops.

Groene ruimte in Eindhoven busbaan Strijp S leuke citytrip

5 – Eindhoven

(photo above)


If you visited Eindhoven somewhere in the middle of the previous century, you'd have quite a challenge finding your way back to this city nowadays. Eindhoven used to be a heavy industrial city, but has been on a huge transformative path for quite some time. Here you won't find typical Dutch historic buildings or streets full of those stepped gables: this city has a unique and raw 'edge', which makes it a one-of-a-kind destination! International design is vital to Eindhoven: don't miss the former industrial estates of Strijp-S and Strijp-T, where world renowned Dutch designers like Piet Hein Eek have their workshops. Find the eclectic Down Town Gourmet Market in a cpllection of revamped warehouses when you work up an appetite. With over 20 different food stalls, you'll be hungry no more. A street art tour is also highly recommended.


6 - Roermond


Not an easy one to pronounce, this city in the south of the Netherlands. Try combining Roer ("Ruhr") as in "Brewery" and "Monde" as in the French word for globe. But regardless of your pronunciation, this lovely little city is one of rich history. Many sights can actually be visited for free, including the Historiehuis Roermond: a great start for your city trip as it shows the city throughout the centuries. Walk through the historic centre with its old trading houses, have a coffee on the Munsterplein and visit St. Christopher's Cathedral. The Roerkade is the place to be for the evening: find a great bar here and dine in one of the many restaurants. Evening walk? Take the Stenen Brug (stone bridge) to Voorstad St. Jacob, an old part of the city full of national monuments and part of the famous Pilgrim's Route. On day two, visit De Kartuis city park with its ancient walls and archaeological excavations. End up in one of its many vintage stores for an eco friendly souvenir.


7 – Schiedam


Speaking of dirty: Schiedam, sister city to Rotterdam, doesn't have the best reputation either. The jenever (gin) industry, that made Schiedam rich and famous in the nineteenth century, polluted the city so much that whole streets where covered in black dust, smoke and grime. But just like Eindhoven, Schiedam is rapidly changing its track record. Where Eindhoven opts for the design approach, Schiedam is refurbishing its old historic buildings and canals (called ‘vests’). The Stedelijk Museum is highly recommended, but the history of the town really comes to life in the Distillers District, where jenever and gin are central. Visit the Jenever Museum or go on a 'Peaky Blinders Mystery Gin' boat tour. Schiedam has the highest windmills in the Netherlands, right in the middle of the city. Make it a full-on Dutch experience with a windmill tour (every Wednesday), a visit to mill shop De Walvisch (also coffee) and dinner in restaurant de Noordmolen.

Citytrip in NL? Yes, please!

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