The bees are buzzing, the sun is shining and the smell of flowers drifts in the air. That’s how I would describe the perfect first day of spring in the Netherlands. Finally, the temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer. It’s the perfect time to head outside and go on a few excursions. Do you happen to live somewhere in the Low Countries, or are you planning on visiting Holland? Keep on reading, because I’m sharing 5 tips for spending spring in the Netherlands!
How to Spend Spring in the Netherlands
1. Visit the Japanese Garden in The Hague
One of my favourite places in the Netherlands is the Japanese Garden in the Hague. It is simply enchanting. Click here to read the backstory and see photos of my visit in May 2016. Since so many of the plants and trees in the garden are exceptionally delicate, the garden is only open for 8 weeks every year. The garden opens for about 6 weeks in spring and 2 weeks in autumn. Usually, the garden is open to the public between late April and early June. Visiting hours are from 9:00 until 20:00.
2. Admire the Cherry Blossoms in Amstelveen
There are a few places in the Netherlands where you can admire the cherry blossoms, but the Kersenbloesempark (Cherry Blossom Park) in the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) is definitely the most amazing one. The Kersenbloesempark was initially planted in celebration of 400 years of cultural ties between Japan and the Netherlands. Amstelveen is home to a community of about 1700 Japanese expats, the largest Japanese diaspora in Europe. Late March to mid-April is usually the best period to admire the cherry blossoms in the Netherlands.
3. Have a Picnic at these Beautiful City Parks
On a warm and sunny day in spring, there is nothing I love more than having a picnic at the park. Invite your friends for lunch, bring a blanket, and enjoy the fresh air. My favourite places to have a picnic in the Netherlands are Park Valkenberg in Breda, the Amsterdamse Bos in Amstelveen, and Museumplein in Amsterdam. And if you happen to live close to the beach, why not have a nice picnic over there? Just be careful with the sand, nobody likes a crunchy sandwich. What about you, do you have a favourite place to have a picnic?
Picnic-Proof Parks in Dutch Cities
Here is a quick list of a few awesome green spaces to have a picnic in Dutch cities:
- Amsterdam: Westerpark, Museumplein (Vondelpark can be a bit touristy)
- Utrecht: Park Lepelenburg, Máximapark
- Den Haag: Landgoed Clingendael
- Amstelveen: Amsterdamse Bos (especially Kersenbloesempark)
- Rotterdam: Het Park (near the Euromast)
- Groningen: Noorderplantsoen
- Leiden: Van Der Werffpark
- Breda: Park Valkenberg
- Den Bosch: Zuiderpark
- Maastricht: Stadspark Maastricht
- Nijmegen: Kronenburgerpark
- Haarlem: Haarlemmerhout
- Arnhem: Sonsbeekpark
4. Go on a Countryside Cycling Trip to see Newborn Animals and Tulip Fields
One of the best things about spring are the baby animals! That’s right, spring is the season when most lambs, calves, chicks and bunnies are born. What better excuse do you need to go to the petting zoo? OK, I suppose some of you might have gotten too ‘mature’ to be going to petting zoos anymore (not me). But don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways to see some adorable young animals. Actually, one of my favourite things to do when I feel like I need to get some fresh air is to head to the countryside for a cycling trip. You never have to cycle very far in the Netherlands to find yourself in a rural area with sheep and cows galore. Plus, don’t forget about all of the tulips fields in March and April!
Spring-themed Cycling Routes
A nice route near Amsterdam is the cycling path along the Diemerzeedijk, from Amsterdam to Muiden. That’s where I spotted some very cute lambs last time! Here is a list of a few of the most beautiful areas for a spring-themed cycling trip:
- Diemerzeedijk (Amsterdam-Muiden)
- Tulip Fields (Hillegom-Lisse-Noordwijk)
- Hoge Veluwe National Park (Apeldoorn-Arnhem)
- Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam-Amstelveen)
5. Enjoy the Tulip Festival in Holland
Of course, it would be a bit of a waste to ignore all those colourful tulips when you’re spending spring in the Netherlands. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to spend all of your time in the Dutch countryside to make the most of the spring season. All around the country, cities, towns, and villages decorate their streets with this iconic flower, especially near important landmarks like the Binnenhof in Den Haag and Museumplein in Amsterdam.
Tulip Festival in Amsterdam
Are you planning on visiting the Dutch Capital specifically? April is the best month to enjoy the Tulip Festival in Amsterdam. About half a million tulips are planted around the city for the annual edition. Here is an official map, which shows you all of the locations where you will be able to find the tulips.
Bring on those Spring Suggestions
Those are my 5 best tips for the spring season, so I hope you found them helpful. What do you love most about spring? For me, it’s probably listening to the birds singing in the early morning. I’m curious, are you planning on visiting the Japanese Garden or having a picnic at your local park? Do you have more tips for spending spring in the Netherlands, or did I miss a beautiful picnic-proof park in your hometown? Let me know in the comment section below!