Unique Places in Netherlands

  • Windmill Oranjemolen
    Windmill Oranjemolen
    by vtveen
  • The small port of Marken
    The small port of Marken
    by Pijlmans
  • Barge leaving the Locks
    Barge leaving the Locks
    by hanleo46

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Netherlands

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    Erve Kots

    by margaretvn Written May 8, 2005

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    This is a lovely little open air museum in Lievelde. There are several farmhouses on the site including a "los boes" farmhouse dating from 1500. There are also craftmen's shops for example a charcoalburners hut. We visited on a bitterly cold December day and that is not really a good time to visit as everything is out of doors and the wind howls around the place. There is a good restaurant for a warming cup of coffee or a meal.
    ope4n tuesday - sunday 10 am - 5pm 1 November to Easter.

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    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    Nuenen

    by margaretvn Written May 8, 2005

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    This little town is a bit off the beaten path but is worth a visit - especially if you like the works of its famous son - Vincent van Gogh. The town is northeast of the city of Eindhoven and the painter lived here from 1883 to 1885. It was in December of 1883 that he moved to Nuenen where his father was rector of the church (which still stands near the documentation centre) He was given the "stable" behind his parents house as room and studio. He stayed there until he moved to Antwerp. It was in fact a very fruitful period of his life and the rural life of the province suited him. One of the most famous paintings from this period is his "Potato -eaters" and the house (much changed) is still on the outskirts of the town. There is a walk around the town showing important things out of his life. This windmill features in severeal of his works. The documentation centre on Papenvorst 15 is not to be missed - although you need time for it as the volunteers love to chat! They show a DVD about his life and the DVD is also for sale. In the centre is a small park with a good lifelike statue of Vincent.

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    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    Oostvaarderplassen

    by margaretvn Written Aug 6, 2006

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    This National Park is wonderful, it developed quite by chance really. until a few decades ago the 5600 hectare park was under water. In 1968 the polder was drained and earmarked for development. The area is the lowest and so the wettest area of the province Flevoland. While decisions were being made about its future nature took its chance and started to develop the largest wetland area in The Netherlands with a flora and fauna diversity of national and international importantance.
    The park lies between the cities of Lelystad and Almere and has little as possible human interference. It is managed by Stadsbosbeheer. It has a wet area where visiting Greylag Geese keep the area from being overgrown, and a dry area where hundreds of hoofed animals such as wild cow, deer and ponies graze. The open areas are broken up with shrubland and trees with its own wildlife.
    The park was given the European Diploma for Nature Conservation in 1999, it is said to be on a par with parks such as Camargue in france and Cota Donana in Spain. In the park there are walk signposted and cycle routes. There are hides where you can watch the birds and a good visitors centre.
    opening times from the visitors centre are:
    April - November: tuesday-sunday 10.00 - 17.00
    November - April: saturday - sunday 12.00 - 16.00

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    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Zundert

    by margaretvn Updated May 8, 2005

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    This is famous because it is the birthplace of Vincent van Gogh, he was born in 1853 and a stone plaque on the site of the house commerorates this. The house itself has been demolished. In front of the church where his father was rector is a statue of Vincent and his brother Theo. It was made by the Frnch artist Ossip Zadkine. In the Cultureel Centrum Van Gogh you get a very good idea of the painter early life. Sorry on the day we visited i did not take my camera - will have to go back. So I have put a photo of the statue of him which is in Nuenen.
    Cultureel Centrum Van Gogh:
    Molenstraat 5
    open may - sept
    mon - fri 10 am - 4 pm
    sat - sun 10 am - 2 pm

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

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    Elburg - city walk

    by vtveen Updated Jun 10, 2013

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    Elburg is a very old fortified city, already built in the 14th century. The city has not changed a bit since then. It is situated between its walls in a square outline with straight narrow streets; the old houses, churches and other buildings are crammed together.

    We have been several times in Elburg and it is always a pleasure to stroll through the cobble stoned streets, along all the monuments. Besides the city offers some nice shops and side walk café’s for a cup of coffee or a lunch.

    If you are first time visitor I highly recommend going to the Visitor Information Centre (VVV) in the city. They do have a brochure (€ 1,75) with a very interesting walk. So you won’t miss any of the most important monuments.
    If possible try to ascend the tower of the “St. Nicolaaskerk”. From the top there is a lovely view over the city and the neighbourhood.
    Attention: the stairs are very steep, winding and narrow !!!

    On your walk you will see the “Vischpoort”; behind this city gate is the harbour. In the former days Elburg was also a fishing village. Nowadays there are just pleasure yachts and some old restored fishing boats.

    (If you have some spare time I recommend visiting the Zwaluwenburg, nearby Elburg.)

    Directions: www.viamichelin.com
    Information: VVV - Visitor Information Centre, located in the 'Museum Elburg', Jufferenstraat 6-8

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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    Eijsden – most southern town of the country

    by vtveen Updated Nov 26, 2010

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    The town of Eijsden is situated south of the well known city of Maastricht. And staying or visiting this very vibrant town, perhaps Eijsden may be a destination for a short trip.

    Eijsden lies on the borders of the river Maas and has an old centre with lots of monumental buildings and some old cobble stoned streets. Walk around (ask for an information brochure in the town hall) and if you are tired take a cup of coffee or have a lunch on one of the side walk café's.

    One of the highlights is Castle Eijsden, situated just south of the centre. This is an 17th century building, surrounded by large gardens, which do reach to the river Maas. The castle is closed for visitors, but the park and gardens are open to the public. You can walk around the castle and enjoy the views from different sides.

    The second Sunday after Whitsunday the so called ‘bronk’ takes place in Eijsden; a Roman Catholic procession in which a lot of inhabitants are involved.

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    'Nederland' - ultimate destination for foreigners

    by vtveen Updated Jul 10, 2010

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    This little settlement should be the ultimate destination for foreigners visiting my country.
    Nothing 'cooler' than saying, you have visited 'Nederland'.

    'Nederland' is situated about 5 km's from Blokzijl, the nearest town. Nowadays there are just a couple of farms and houses, surrounded by typical flat Dutch scenery of meadows, water, waving reed and it is very close to the National Park 'de Weerribben'. In the older days 'Nederland' was much bigger and even had an own school.

    On the moment you will not find the original place-name sign, because it has been stolen very often. Due to this the council decided not to replace it any longer. But there is a 'surrogate' sign, so you still can proof you have been to 'Nederland'.

    The easiest way to visit Nederland is by car, but far more interesting is to make a bike tour.
    Directions: www.viamichelin.com

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Cycling

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    beautiful gardens

    by margaretvn Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    A visit to the Ada Hofman Botanical Pool Gardens in Gramsbergen is certainly worthwhile. It is "off the beaten track" but if you like gardens this is a beautiful spot and an oasis of peace. She has created 30 differet garend with 50 garden pools in them but they all form one big garden. She has made one of the biggest collections of plants, bushes and trees in The Netherlands. In the gardens she has also put animals such as frogs, little lizards, and salamanders. Her green frog population is the largest in the country. There are of course lots of butterflies and a Kingfisher is regularly seen in the garden.
    I have to admit to having a "thing" about frogs and love catching them on photos. I had said to Koos a few days before we went on holiday that I dreamed about taking a photo of a frog on a waterlily. Koos said that it would be difficult to get. BUT in these lovely gardens I got photo after photo of frogs lazing about on waterlilies!
    Bronze statues are also used in the gardens. In a prive pool not open to the public there is a statue which symbolizes Ada Hofman being helped out of a pool by her husband after she had planted waterlilies. The statue can be seen from the car park.

    Westeinderdijk 3
    Gramsbergen

    open: 1 April to 1 November

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Family Travel

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    Blokzijl - old harbour city

    by vtveen Updated Sep 14, 2006

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    In the older days Blokzijl was a harbour situated along the so called 'Zuiderzee'. There was a lot of trade with the town of Amsterdam and you can recognise the 'Amsterdam school' in the style of the houses. Around the harbour and in a couple of narrow streets you will find some very beautiful examples of houses from the 17th century.

    Nowadays Blokzijl is very busy in the summer season with lots of motorboats, yachts and sailing boats. Specially in and around the lock it is always a hustle and bustle.

    But in other seasons it is a very quiet and nice little town with a small museum, some galleries and a couple of shops and nice restaurants. Just relaxing to stroll around.

    Directions: www.viamichelin.com

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Houthem - St. Gerlachus Church

    by vtveen Updated Apr 20, 2011

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    The St. Gerlachus Church is one of the most famous Dutch places of pilgrimage. Even in these days there are about 30.000 pilgrims a year visiting the church and especially the tomb of St. Gerlach who lived in Houthem in the 12th century. He died in 1164 or 1165.

    The new church (from 1727) is part of a huge compound, also including the famous hotel "Chateau of St. Gerlach". This is perhaps the most luxurious hotel in the Netherlands, surrounded by lovely gardens with lots of sculptures. Real 'cool' to walk around.

    What a difference with the quietness in the rather little chapel. This is really an unique spot with several beautiful paintings on the walls, the ceiling and the organ loft. Fifteen of them are showing the life of St. Gerlach. In the middle of the church is a simple tomb of the Saint.

    There is also a small museum 'De Schatkamer' next to the church in one of the old cloisters. It shows treasures of the local Parish and the life of St. Gerlach. If possible not open every day - I would recommend visiting this museum.

    The church is open for visitors every day between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm.
    Directions Houthem: www.viamichelin.com

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    Castle ‘Huis Bergh’ – inside and outside

    by vtveen Updated Aug 21, 2010

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    Just outside the town of ‘s Heerenberg, close to the border with Germany, we found on one of our bike trips through the Netherlands Castle ‘Huis Bergh’. This castle is supposed to be one of the biggest and most important castles in my country. Its history goes back to the 13th century; the most important parts of the castle, still existing today, date from the 14th, 15th and 17th century.
    The castle has been destroyed a couple of times, but each time it has been restored; for the last time in the year of 1941. In that time the castle belonged to mister J.H. van Heek, a very rich industrialist.

    Inside
    The castle is famous for its art collection (mainly early Italian paintings, a lot of historical portraits ), weapon room, an exhibition of the Bergh mint and much more, among them. We could visit the castle on our own and there were room stewards to explain the many treasures we saw. For temporary expositions and special events (for instance around Christmas time) see website.
    The (main) opening hours are: May – October: 12.30 – 4.30 pm. Also during some school holidays.
    Entrance admission (2010): adults € 8,- and children € 5,-

    The old Mint House can only be visited by groups, so we just saw the outside of this building.

    (It is forbidden to take pictures inside the building, so ….)

    Outside
    We biked, on a very quiet pace, around the castle over the embankment with really great and unexpected views on the castle. It is just if you are travelling in the middle ages, specially in and around the old Mint House and the church with its old graveyard.
    Of course you can also walk and don’t forget the Plantage, a forest with very old oaks, next to the embankment.

    We had a cup of tea in the former Coach House with a great view on the entrance archway to the castle.

    Directions by car: www.viamichelin.com
    Public transport: Bus 24 to 's-Heerenberg from NS-station Doetinchem (the Netherlands) or DB-station Emmerich (Germany).

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Holland Casino, Schiphol International Airport

    by hopang Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    We placed Holland Casino at Schiphol International Airport under "off the beaten path" tip as this casino is not really a "nightlife" tip nor "things to do" tip! The Casino opens to all international passengers with minimum age of 18 years old between 6.30 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. daily. You may try your luck at the casino in the airport while waiting for your flight out of the Netherlands. Schiphol International Airport is probably the only airport in the world with its own casino!

    The Holland Casino in the airport has more than 100 slot machines together with several table games such as American Roulette and Black Jack. Admission to the casino is free but minimum age of 18 years old is strictly applied as required by the law of the country. The casino is located between Gate E and Gate F.

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    • Casino and Gambling

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    Lutjegast - Abel Tasman village

    by vtveen Updated Jun 17, 2007

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    After our first visit to New Zealand and Abel Tasman National Park we became interested in the history of this Dutch explorer. One day we decided to visit the village of Lutjegast where Abel Tasman was born in the year of 1603.

    In this small village in the province of Groningen (in the north of the Netherlands) are several memorials, which remind of this important inhabitant. First of all there is a small museum called "Abel Tasman Kabinet". Here we saw maps, books, among them a copy of Abel's ship's journal from 1642-1643. There are also pictures and paintings about the journeys Abel Tasman made and an interesting stamp collection.

    Before we could visit the museum the local grocery owner had to phone a volunteer to open the museum. We were the only visitors that day and so we had a more or less private tour. One can notice the people of Lutjegast are still proud of their 'son'.

    In the museum we got a leaflet with a short walk through Lutjegast to see the several Abel Tasman memorials: plaques given by the New Zealand and Australian governments and a modern memorial in which a part of the coast of New Zealand has been represented.
    All together we had a very interesting day and we do know a lot more about Abel Tasman.

    Check the openinghours before your visit: www.abeltasman.org
    Directions: www.viamichelin.com (more or less you need a car to visit Lutjegast)

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Bronkhorst, one of the smallest CITIES

    by vtveen Updated Sep 17, 2012

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    When visiting Bronkhorst almost nobody will say this village is a real city with 'city rights'. In a matter of fact this settlement became these rights already in the year of 1482. The little church at the square even dates from 1344 !!

    But the 'city' did never increase and has almost the same size as it had in the middle ages. A lot of buildings are from this period and walking around on the cobble stoned streets we always feel if we are walking back in time.

    Bronkhorst is situated on the eastern bank the river IJssel, between the towns of Zutphen and Doesburg. The most original way to come to Bronkhorst is by using the small ferry (pedestrians, bikes and cars) over the river from Brummen.

    Just stroll along the narrow streets, take a look in one of the galleries, visit the Dickens Museum, do some shopping, walk to the old Jewish Cemetery or have a coffee or tea on one of the side walk cafe's.

    Directions: www.viamichelin.com

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    Roermond - an impressive Roman Cathedral

    by vtveen Updated Oct 6, 2005

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    Roermond, situated on the banks of the river Maas is an old city. Walking through the centre you will feel its age. It seems if the town centre of Roermond exists of three squares: “Markt”, “Munsterplein” and “Stationsplein”. They are linked to each other by a mediaeval street pattern with lots of shops in (mostly) historical buildings and monuments.

    Perhaps the most important monuments are two churches: the Christopher Cathedral at the Market Square (during our visit closed due to a restoration) and the “Munsterkerk” (Church of Our Lady) at the Munsterplein. We were very impressed by this Roman Cathedral in the middle of a square lined with trees.

    The Munsterkerk dates from the 13th century and was built in order of Count Gerard IV from the duchy of Gelre. You have to know this little piece of history, because the biggest showpieces in the church are the two tombs of the count and his wife. They are depicted sleeping on their sarcophagus, still on the same spot after more than 775 years.
    It is said this should be the oldest memorial stone in Europe !!!

    Roermond is easy accessible by train and car.
    (tip: if you are travelling by car there is a rather cheap car park next to the Designer Outlet Centre, only five minutes walking distance from downtown Roermond)
    Information: VVV (Tourist Information Centre), Kraanpoort 1 (next to the Market Square), where you get a free copy of a city walk along the monuments of the town.

    Directions: www.viamichelin.com

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Hiking and Walking

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