With the onset of the beautiful long days of summer here in The Netherlands, I thought I would share my Top Ten Things to do that would require only a short bike, car or train ride. If you are having visitors or need something fun to do with your family, these places are always on my list. I have only lived here two short years but am so appreciative of the beauty that surrounds this lovely area we call home.
10. Biking to the Market: Riding my bike to the market that is held in my local shopping area once a week is pure joy. Not only do I get to choose the freshest fruits, vegetables and flowers, it’s a wonderful way to get to know the people in my neighborhood. People wave, we chat, everyone smiles – all while catching up on how we are all doing. There are markets all over the area held each day of the week. Mine is on Wednesdays.
9. Postel, Belgium: Driving just 20 minutes from my home, I’m able to take visitors to, or lunch with my friends in, Belgium. It’s a great way for people to be able to visit another country on their European vacation. The Postel Abbey is my go to place for peace and happiness and just across the street is my favorite little place to have lunch or dinner. De Drie Linden is a great place to either sit out on the patio to enjoy the view or inside for a little cozier atmosphere. By the way… order the asparagus soup…. It’s lekker!
8. Drinks in the Centrum: I love that each little city here in The Netherlands has a centrum or centre of the city. People gather from all over the area to shop, dine and just sit and enjoy a drink or two while chatting with friends. It’s a great way to meet others and the perfect way to relax. My favorite centrum… Eindhoven, of course!
7. Wings of Liberation Museum: Spending a day walking through the Wings of Liberation Museum in Son is a great way to appreciate with gratitude and remembrance a group of soldiers that liberated Holland during a horrific time in history. Operation Market Garden was not a military success but in the eyes and hearts of the people of The Netherlands, it’s a time that will never be taken lightly or forgotten.
6. Eersel:[nbsp] Whether I’m having lunch or drinks with friends at Promessa, picking up some chocolate at Struben, shopping in the centrum square at or picking out a new wine or appetizer at Ad Kuyten Specialiteiten, Eersel is one of my favorite little cities – just a hop, skip and[nbsp] jump away from Eindhoven.
5. Blueberry and Raspberry picking: One of my favorite things about summer is the fresh fruit. As a child, I would love to pick fresh blueberries at our cottage in Michigan first thing in the morning. My Grandma would then make them into blueberry pancakes. So getting the opportunity to pick fresh blueberries and raspberries is not only delicious…. It’s an instant call to my memories. The blueberry farm is in Nuenen at Vorsterdijk 16A and the raspberry farm is in Meijel at Steenoven 28 http://raspberry-maxx.opdepc.nl/index.php?actie=home.
4. Amsterdam: I feel so blessed to be near a city as cool as Amsterdam. To me, it is just so much fun to ride the train into Amsterdam Central, walk across the street from the station and hop on a canal ride. Cruising past the stunning Amsterdam houses, all pressed together standing tall and proud, is just amazing. I especially enjoy listening to the history of the city. My favorite canal ride is the hop-on and hop-off tour. This tour not only takes you through all of the city but also to the museums in town. The Anne Frank and the Rijksmuseum are my favorites. Next on my list will be a trip to the Van Gogh Museum.
3. De Oude Rechtbank: De Oude Rechtbank is my new favorite place to go in Eindhoven.[nbsp] The old court house on Stratumseind has kept the historical feel of the building and transformed it into an eclectic trendy place to be. Events, parties, bands, theatrical and comedy groups and much more are featured here all[nbsp] the time.[nbsp] Lunch, dinner or just hanging out with friends having a drink, it’s the perfect place to go.
2. Kinderdijk: To me, there is no better place to see the beauty of The Netherlands’ windmills than the Kinderdijk. Situated in the tiny village of Kinderdijk about 15 miles from Rotterdam, this area is one of The Netherlands’ most famous tour sights. For EUR 4.50[nbsp] you are able to go on a leisurely ferry boat ride and sail past 19 windmills that date back hundreds of years. They still work but water is now pumped from one of the largest pumping stations in the world. Walking and biking are also very popular ways to view the windmills. A summer day at the Kinderdijk… perfect!
AND MY NUMBER 1 FAVORITE PLACE TO GO IN THE SUMMER
1. Scheveningen: There’s nothing like a summer day spent at the beach and luckily for the great people of The Netherlands, we live close enough to drive or take the train over to Scheveningen. Swim gear, sunblock, towels, shorts and a little money if you decide to dine at one of the great restaurants along the boardwalk is all that is needed. Oh … and a little sun! But if the sun does peek out a bit, get there fast and get your spot. It fills up quickly.
Have fun and be safe!