The Netherlands is a great destination for solo travel. It’s easy to get around, there are plenty of sights to see, and it has a very low crime rate. The Dutch people are also famous for being friendly and open-minded – perfect if you’re travelling alone! Here’s everything you need to know about going on your own journey through the Netherlands:
Getting there and around
How you get to the Netherlands depends on where you are travelling from. You can take a plane or train, or a bus if you’re coming from another European country. If you’re travelling by car, be sure to check out our tips for renting one!
While in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, getting around will be easy with your feet. But if it’s cold outside—or if there are too many tourists blocking your path—consider renting a bike or scooter. A boat ride along Amsterdam’s canals is always fun too!
Where to stay
There are a lot of great hostels, hotels, and B&Bs in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is very safe, so you don’t need to worry about staying in a hostel. They will probably pack your hostel with other travellers from all over the world who are eager to make friends. The Dutch people are also very welcoming and will invite you for coffee or drinks instantly upon meeting them.
What to eat
Dutch cuisine is simple and unpretentious. Typical Dutch dishes include stamppot (mashed potatoes with sauerkraut or onions), hachee (a beef stew), boerenkoolstamppot (cabbages with mashed potatoes) and frikandel (deep-fried pork sausage).
The Netherlands is known for its cheese, which includes Edam, Gouda and Leyden. It’s also famous for chocolate, particularly the pralines by Neuhaus that are made from cocoa beans grown on plantations in Ghana where 70% of the world’s supply comes from.
While you may have heard that the Dutch are famous for their love of meat—and it is true—it should be noted that in recent years there has been growing awareness about vegetarianism and veganism in Holland due to a number of health concerns surrounding meat consumption.
Another thing worth mentioning: pancakes! Known as “pannenkoeken” in Dutch, these tasty treats can be found just about everywhere but especially at street festivals such as Parkfeesten Amsterdam Festival or those held during Queen’s Day celebrations (Koninginnedag).
What to see
If you’re traveling to the Netherlands, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting these cities:
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is known as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. The city offers plenty of things to see and do as well as opportunities to experience its unique culture. From a visit to Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum Museum to a quick walk around Rembrandtplein Square, there are plenty of attractions for visitors who want something different from just seeing tulips in the springtime.
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in The Netherlands after Amsterdam, with approximately 600 000 inhabitants living in it year round (with an additional 300 000 people coming into town on any given day). It has earned itself an international reputation as one of Europe’s most vibrant cities thanks to its cultural diversity and excellent infrastructure; not only does it have beautiful buildings but also great restaurants! If you’re looking for some fun activities when visiting Rotterdam I recommend going parasailing or renting bikes so that you can explore the city yourself rather than taking tours which may be expensive depending on how long your stay will be there.
How to relax
- Take a day off from sightseeing.
- Get a massage.
- Do a spa day.
- Go to the museum of your choice and see what’s on offer there.
- Read a book in your hotel room or on one of the city’s many park benches (or both).
- Take a nap! You’ll feel so much better afterward, promise!
- Eat a picnic (or go out for lunch if you want) with some friends at one of Amsterdam’s beautiful parks: Vondelpark, Oosterpark, Plantage Kerklaan, Westerpark—there are so many options!
- Go for an afternoon walk with your dog through Vondelpark if you’re feeling like being active or biking around Amsterdam is more up your alley than walking through its streets.
The Netherlands has a lot of great things to offer solo travellers.
Foremost, the Netherlands is an excellent country for solo travellers, especially when you’re new to the region. It’s compact, with many of its best sights within easy reach of each other, and it has a reputation for being welcoming to outsiders. There are also plenty of activities that can be enjoyed on your own—the Dutch take the concept of ‘self-service’ very seriously!
If you’re planning to visit Amsterdam alone, we recommend taking advantage of its public transport system. With buses and trams running 24 hours a day (and late-night trains on Fridays and Saturdays), getting around town will be easy and inexpensive—a great way to get used to navigating with just yourself as a company! If you’d rather do things at your own pace then renting a bicycle is another option; tourists can also rent these with no formality involved (although there may be some restrictions if renting from one particular shop).
It’s also worth noting that much like how most people won’t think twice about eating out alone here in North America or Europe then neither will people back home assume anything unusual about someone eating out by themselves in Amsterdam unless they happen upon them doing so during lunchtime rush hour!
We hope this guide has helped you decide whether to visit the Netherlands. If so, we wish you safe travels and hope that your trip is full of good memories!