The Netherlands had been on my travel bucket list for a long time. With so many historic, cultural and natural gems, the place has so much to do and discover!
Here’s a slice of my Holland sojourn:
The Summer of 2016 took us to some of Europe’s exotic locales. To begin, we landed in the super warm and sunny Amsterdam. The city is well known for its elaborate canal systems, windmills and cheese.
A city that loves to cycle, you would see so many cyclists all over and would definitely be tempted to pick one and cycle too. A great way to commute in Amsterdam besides the Tram and tubes.
The central in Amsterdam is the hub, vibrant and lively round the clock. Everything here begins from and culminates at the Amsterdam Central.
The city is well connected with Trains and Trams, but we found the latter a more accessible mode of commutation with a Tram station being a hundred metre away from our hotel.
The land of Windmills, serene dutch landscapes and the quaint life here ignites the artist in you. Canals and windmills nestled all around the city give it an old world charm.
Explore the countryside and century old windmills-take a break in the breath-taking landscapes! The Windmills form an iconic part of the Dutch landscape.
Having landed just in time, we got to see these Tulip beauties. We were lucky by a day as the gardens were closing that very weekend. A good 2 hour ride from the city, this was a day well spent. Be sure to check the Garden schedules for the year as it opens somewhere in March and closes in May.
We are getting closer to Spring again and the Keukenof gardens would be open soon. Take a break to experience some unique floriculture here at the Keukenof gardens. A day out with the Tulips sounds just so inviting! The spectacular gardens and unique flower shows are worth a day spend. The beautiful Dutch landscape en route just adds to fun.
Save Bucks: Tips and Tricks
Adhoc and unplanned trips can burn a hole in your pocket. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you save bucks when travelling to Western Europe:
- Book tours in advance. Most sites like viator.com run offers on various popular tours if you book a few months ahead. It would be good to book somewhere in March or even earlier.
- If you plan to visit multiple countries in Europe (East or West) book the Euro rail passes in advance. You would definitely save a good deal.
- Travel in early Summer. Most hotels/resorts have peak rates in June end, July and August. Travel mid-May, most tours, flight tickets and hotels offer good rates in early summer.
Day Tours from Amsterdam are probably the best way to explore Lisse. These tours are informative and exciting and guide you well in and around the gardens.
The best time to visit Keukenof would be probably the first or second week of April when flowers are in full bloom and the bulbs are cut somewhere in the third week.
A petting farm and some maze fun makes it more fun for kids.
The Amsterdam Zoo
This was not on our itinerary, but the Zoo happened to be a hundred metres from our hotel. One of the best Zoos I have probably visited, will definitely recommend in case you are traveling with kids. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed here.
The city of Amsterdam is home to the Van Gogh museum, a complete not-to-miss for art enthusiasts.
The Amsterdam Bos park is a favourite spot for cherry blossoms and is worth a visit in case you are travelling with family.