Every country has its customs regarding how and where we spend our holidays. Of course, this depends on the number of vacation days and the public holidays you are entitled to. As new residents of the Netherlands, I can imagine that you would like to know how the Dutch celebrate their holiday in the Netherlands and where they will go. Because moving to a new country does not mean that we no longer need a wonderful holiday. During this process of getting used to a new country, those moments of doing nothing are even more precious. I totally get you, and I have some great tips for finding your perfect holiday in the Netherlands.
Holidays in the Netherlands
Compared to other European countries, the Netherlands does not have that many vacation days on average, and it is not legally determined that you are free on our public holidays. Always check your holidays with your employer before booking. If you want to take days off, you must request this in writing to your employer. Your employer has two weeks to approve your application.
Your employer may also allow you to take some compulsory days off each year. A mandatory day off often falls between a national holiday and the weekend. Think of the Friday after Ascension Day. On such a day you have to take compulsory leave. They will deduct the number of hours you usually work from your vacation days.
The employer must indicate these days well in advance. Your collective labor agreement or contract states how many days your employer may designate as mandatory days.
Popular weekends to go on holiday in the Netherlands
We usually plan our vacations roughly in January to see how we will turn out with the holidays we have at our disposal. This way, we can spread the days over the whole year so that the periods you have to work in succession are not too long.
Most Dutch families plan 2 to 3 weeks off for their summer leave. Furthermore, Easter weekend, Ascension weekend, and Whitsun weekend are popular weekends. These are the times that many people use to get out in the Netherlands.
Types of accommodations
Now you know how to ask for days off and the most popular holidays in the Netherlands. Time to start with the different types of accommodations that the Netherlands offers. I immediately think of Hotels, Bungalow Parks, and Campsites. What you choose depends entirely on your needs and expectations. For romantic and more luxury trips, you can choose an overnight stay in a hotel, and if you plan to go out with the whole family, you can choose a bungalow park or a campsite. Although there are also plenty of family-friendly hotels in the Netherlands, you will find many great ones if you prefer a hotel.
In recent years, slightly more special accommodations have also become very popular. Think of sleeping in a Treehouse, Pipowagen, Houseboats, or houses hidden in nature. I will tell you more about this later.
A hotel is an excellent option if you like luxury or want to go out together on a romantic trip. Whether you choose a city, the sea, a bicycle, or a wellness weekend, there is so much choice in hotels in various price ranges and locations that it is almost impossible not to find something you like. Even as a family, you will find great hotels with family rooms where you are more than welcome with your kids. You only need to bring some clothes, and your breakfast will be ready when you wake up.
Hotels.nl is a good website for finding a hotel in the Netherlands. Here you can search for great deals or by destination.
But you will also easily find what you are looking for via Booking.com.
Bungalow Parks are popular in the Netherlands. They are perfect to go all year round. Many holiday parks have an indoor center where you can find restaurants and shops and many play options for the children. You can often do all kinds of indoor activities such as swimming, bowling, and tennis. You are guaranteed a successful weekend, even with rainy weather.
Determine what you would like to do during your vacation and choose your location based on that. There are holiday parks with a large indoor center, where you don’t even have to leave the park. Often these parks also have a large indoor swimming pool where you can enjoy yourself for many hours. But there are also parks close to a beach or popular attractions or a large city or zoo that you would like to visit.
The fewer facilities at the park, the better the price, so take a good look at what you plan to use before you book your accommodation. There is enough choice to suit everyone’s needs and budget.
CenterParcs is one of our favorite organizations for a weekend getaway. Most parks have a fantastic tropical swimming pool and an indoor area where you will find restaurants, shops, entertainment, and many fun activities. There is always plenty to do and experience, both in good weather and on rainy days. Something essential in this country where we can never be sure of the weather.
Despite our rainy weather, there are still many people who choose to camp in the Netherlands. The great thing about camping is the contact with other people. It’s so easy for kids to make friends and play outside the whole day.
The Netherlands has large campsites with fantastic water parks, playgrounds, and children’s entertainment. Here you are assured of a dream holiday for your children. And if your children are having a good time, so are we as parents, aren’t we?
If you don’t like the larger campsites, there is also plenty of choice in smaller ones. You can check the camps’ websites to see how many pitches they have. This will give you an idea about the size of the campsite. In the Netherlands, we also have the concept of Kamperen bij de boer (camping at the farmer). Here, farmers who have mostly stopped their farms offer their fields to stay. There are simple but clean toilet buildings, and there is often an enjoyable atmosphere. You learn a lot about nature, and there are animals on some campsites.
If you have a caravan, it is possible to reserve a seasonal pitch at a campsite. Your caravan will then remain there during the spring or autumn period, giving you the opportunity to go there every weekend. They offer reduced prices for these periods. Check the camps’ website if you are interested in a seasonal pitch.
Camping with a tent is also an excellent option. If you can withstand some colder nights, this is a great way to get away from your busy daily life and spend some time outside.
If you don’t have a tent, caravan, or motorhome, but you still like camping, the Netherlands has an alternative of tents or mobile homes that are fully equipped for you. Often you only need to bring your bedding and clothing and some food.
Special overnight stays
If you like something completely different, the Netherlands has many unique places to spend the night. How about an overnight stay at the very top of a harbor crane or sleeping in a train carriage? Treehouses, tiny houses, a houseboat, or a Mongolian Yurt, are also possibilities. Whether you want to go away as a couple, with kids, or with a group, there is always something great to find.
Another great overnight stay that I like is the houses on the beach. How wonderful is it to have the beach to yourself in the evening when all day guests have left to enjoy a beautiful sunset? Be quick because these places sell out very quickly.
All great ideas for a lovely weekend away if you ask me.
Popular locations for your holiday in the Netherlands
I think the busiest and most popular location in the Netherlands is the coast in the province of Zeeland. You will find many German guests here who like to spend their holidays at the Dutch beach. So if you would like to stay on the coast during the summer, I advise you to book something early.
But the Netherlands has much more to offer than just Zeeland. Also, consider a visit to the province of Drenthe or find a nice place to stay close to National Park de Hoge Veluwe. The whole area around the Ijsselmeer is also a great idea if you like water activities, and don’t forget the Wadden Islands of the Netherlands.
Share your most popular holiday in the Netherlands
I hope that all these tips and information will help you choose a holiday in the Netherlands that you like. Take a look around the various websites that I suggest and plan your weekend away. If you have already visited great locations, share them with us below by leaving a comment.
Would love to here from you.