Alternative Things To Do near Amsterdam, Netherlands

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After living in the Netherlands for a while, I became bored of all the museums and tourist attractions because I quickly visited them all more than once. If you’re an expat looking for something a bit different to do in Holland, perhaps this list of adventure activities in the Netherlands can offer you a few fun activities.


1. Go to a festival

Holland hosts a lot of festivals every year including the famous Gay Pride and Grachten festivals. This past summer there were a few music festivals, open-air and drive-in cinemas, and much more. During Easter and other special occasions, various cities also set up miniature theme parks, like on the 3rd of October in Leiden. Don’t forget about the weather in Holland; never wear sandals unless you want to get stuck in the mud, and always carry a raincoat with you.10575247


2. Visit an animal farm

I love animals so I could visit sheep, rabbits, and all other types of farm creatures every day. Holland is full of miniature farms where you can interact with some of these cuties. The easiest way to find them is to follow the Green Heart (Groene Hart) biking route.IMG_6958


3. Rent a boat

I don’t need to introduce boats to anyone, but a nice alternative to the more common big party boats are small simple rowboats. Rent a boat, row to the bar, and get served on your own rowboat 😉 My ex-boyfriend had never rowed a boat before, so I had to row him around, imagine that! Naturally, all of the Dutch guys were laughing and yelling at him.DSC00038


4. Go abseiling

Before my friend surprised me for my name-day, I was unaware that you could abseil down the Euromast in Rotterdam. For 50 euros you can throw yourself down the tower with a rope. I have to say it was pretty scary to go down from the edge, even though the Euromast isn’t that big. However, it wasn’t nearly as scary as bungee jumping in South Africa.adventure activities Netherlands


5. Rent a scooter

If you haven’t done it already, renting a scooter for a day is great alternative to biking. My personal recommendation would be going to the beach in one of the coastal towns.


6. Dine with locals

One might wonder why is this on the list of adventure activities in the Netherlands? Simply because I think that dining with Dutch people can get quite adventurous… have you ever considered eating a raw herring or trying a toast with chocolate sprinkles? Don’t worry too much, as it’s all actually quite tasty!


7. Fly a plane

Last weekend I had a chance to learn the basics of flying a Cessna plane. Obviously I had an instructor next to me to show me how everything works, but most of the time I was flying by myself. You can do it at a few locations across the country, but I recommend starting at Lelystad airport because it gives you the opportunity to fly over a dolphinarium where you can see dolphins from the sky!cessna flight


8. Skydive in Texel

Skydiving in Texel is still on the top of my to-do list in the Netherlands. This beautiful island in Zeeland is a great place for a weekend getaway. Add some adrenaline to your island adventure by jumping off a plane!


9. Go paintballing

I’ve always wanted to try paintball, so when I found out about it I didn’t hesitate for a second to buy it. Paintball in Spaarnwoude (near Haarlem) is a good option for a group of friends who want to hang out and have fun in the mud by shooting each other.paintball Amsterdam

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44 Comments

  1. Oct 8, 2014 / 12:38 pm

    Top traveler tips for the men: DO NOT rent a boat in Amsterdam if you do not know how to row it 😉

    • Oct 8, 2014 / 2:22 pm

      Haha, sounds like it 😀 I’d actually say unless you’re a specialist!

  2. Oct 31, 2014 / 12:29 am

    Renting a boat would be awesome! The Netherlands is such a cool part of the world

  3. Robin
    Nov 9, 2014 / 8:02 pm

    Some great activities that even I as a Dutchie haven’t even done yet, but some are high up my bucket list.

    Just one thing, Texel is in the north-east, part of the province of Noord-Holland. Zeeland is the most south-western province.

    • Nov 10, 2014 / 2:15 am

      Oh, Dutch provinces can be confusing sometimes – thanks for the heads up Robin!

      • Robin
        Nov 11, 2014 / 12:26 pm

        That was a bit of a screw up, I meant that texel is in the north-west and zeeland is in the south-west. Confusing provinces!

  4. Mar 21, 2015 / 8:32 am

    Wow, you did some really awesome things! I don’t know if I could do abseiling. That looks scary.

  5. Mar 21, 2015 / 9:30 am

    You’re very adventurous. I don’t know if would have gotten in that small plane. Thanks for sharing since these are some things I wouldn’t have thought of myself.

    • Mar 21, 2015 / 6:50 pm

      It’s not that bad when you’re actually inside it – feels like you’re in a helicopter 🙂

  6. Mar 21, 2015 / 10:08 am

    These are great tips! I just went to amsterdam for the first time and I cant wait to go back to the netherlands – I’ll definitely put some of these on my list. Lol at you rowing your bf around!

    • Mar 21, 2015 / 6:50 pm

      Haha, I think everyone around the boat was loling at him 😀

  7. Mar 21, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    Flying a plane? Wow, that’s definite a less common activity! 🙂 I’m originally from Belgium and love the Netherlands, they Dutch know how to throw a good party or festival indeed!

    • Mar 21, 2015 / 6:50 pm

      You should go to Holland and fly this plane Els 😀

  8. Mar 22, 2015 / 11:15 am

    I agree with you about the festivals in Holland. There is one you shouldn’t miss out on and that is in Den Hague and is the Indies fest (don’t think that’s the real name but is easy to find).

    • Mar 22, 2015 / 11:18 am

      I think I know what you’re talking about but I missed it last year (traveling has been prioritized hehe).

  9. Mar 22, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    Great list..Anna.. Next time I am in Holland I will definitely try these activities…

  10. Aug 31, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    Not gonna lie, that absailing looks terrifying! I was in Amsterdam for Gay Pride a few years ago and it was SO much fun! Great to see you’ve done so much!

    • Aug 31, 2015 / 8:17 pm

      It was super scary!

  11. Aug 31, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    Wow! You are a daredevil! The boat idea sounds like tons of fun! I shall put it down in my bucket list!

    • Sep 1, 2015 / 8:05 am

      Just remember that if you row as a woman and have a man on boat the whole town is gonna laugh at this guy 😛

  12. Ynah CA
    Sep 1, 2015 / 9:24 am

    What an adventure! Looks like you really had a great time. I don’t know if i can do the abseiling hehe…

  13. Sep 1, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    I like that you are doing the climbing in cute little sandals. What a riot! lol You look so cute! 😉

  14. Sep 1, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    You know, I just might rent a scooter there. I’m way too afraid to drive one in Rome (my current home), but everything seems so nice and peaceful and not death-trappy there!

    • Sep 3, 2015 / 12:13 am

      Hehe, will be definitely safe in Holland 🙂

  15. Sep 1, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    Wow–sounds like you’re having quite the adventures in the Netherlands! Fun! I would like to experience several of those things–mainly flying a plane, paintball, and the Grachtenfestival (which I just heard about a few days ago).

    • Sep 3, 2015 / 12:13 am

      Grachtenfestival is so much fun! 😀

  16. Lieurene Tran
    Sep 2, 2015 / 3:51 am

    That’s great that you found other activities to do in Netherlands, it’s always good to experience different things other than the typical. Abseiling looks crazy but daring! I would love to go to the festivals in Netherland, I think that would be an experience! 🙂

    • Sep 3, 2015 / 12:13 am

      If you’re ever in the country I’m sure there will be a festival going on – there are so many in Holland! 🙂

  17. Sep 3, 2015 / 4:08 am

    Fly a plane, that is so cool! I would love to try that someday! Exciting

  18. lucy
    Sep 3, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    OMG! That’s great! ! You have a whole bucket list there! That’s awesome !!

  19. Sep 3, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    I would just bike all the time there 🙂

    • Sep 3, 2015 / 10:43 pm

      Yep… aca trying not to get killed 😀

  20. Sep 4, 2015 / 1:05 am

    Woah woah woah, you abseiled? In FLIP FLOPS?! Proper footwear young lady! ;D Awesome suggestions though, I would LOVE to fly a plane!

    • Sep 4, 2015 / 1:55 am

      Haha yes! You know that I also rode a horse barefoot 😀

  21. Sep 6, 2015 / 5:56 am

    How I wish I could try abseiling, flying a plane by myself, and rowing that boat around the canals as well! So many things to do! 🙂

  22. Sep 6, 2015 / 2:40 pm

    Oh, the abseiling looks like great fun but terrifying! Well done for not looking so scared in the pictures!

    • Sep 6, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      I was terrified, but smiled for the photo for 5 seconds haha!

  23. Sep 8, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    Hadn’t ever heard of absailing before! Sounds pretty awesome!

    • Sep 8, 2015 / 11:10 pm

      Just do it 😀

  24. christine
    Sep 8, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    Great tips!! Although the abseiling looks terrifying!! Haha not good for those of us scared of heights!! 😛

  25. Sep 10, 2015 / 1:52 am

    All this activities look like so much fun. I must try the abseiling, and for quite a good price too. Flying a plane sounds like an amazing experience. Great post.
    I must visit holland
    Keep up the great work!

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