The Best of the Netherlands

The Best of the Netherlands hero

Travel to the Netherlands, home to rural beauty, exciting cities and the Dutch coast.

Sights

Amsterdam

The Netherland’s capital city is a bustling and fascinating place to enjoy a getaway, from pedalling along the cobbled stone roads, to exploring its riveting history.

What to do

One of the best things to do in Amsterdam is to explore the city’s many museums. If you love creativity, then you’ll love discovering Mediamatic’s beautiful installations across the city, each celebrating technology at its best. Alternatively, if you’re a bit of a foodie, pop over to Volendam’s Cheese Factory, where you can learn all about the cheese making process and even try a slice or two.
Another great way to spend your time is by exploring the amazing architecture. From the houses that line the canals, to the traditional windmills and unique builds, there’s so much to see. We recommend taking a tour of some of the city’s best buildings, with Het Huis met de Hoofden and Houten Huys at the top of your list.

Food and drink

If you’ve arrived early and are looking for somewhere to eat breakfast, be sure to track down De Bakkerswinkel, a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of gem. Choose from a range of breakfast rolls, pastries and yoghurts to go along with your tea or coffee.
For some traditional Dutch fare, make sure you stop by Hap-Hmm for at least one of your meals. It’s loved by the locals and offers delicious food at great prices – what’s not to love?

Getting there

It takes a little longer to reach the capital, around four hours, so make sure you set off early. Once you’ve left the Calais terminals, take the D245 to A16 and continue onto the E40, E17, E19, A27 and A2 to the S110. From there, drive through Amstel and towards the centre of Amsterdam.

Gouda

A city in Western Netherlands, Gouda is renowned for its cheese, beautiful town hall and the pretty architecture that lines the canals.

What to do

If you’re a fan of architecture, you’ll love paying a visit to Gouda’s city hall, Old Stadhuys Gouda. One of the oldest gothic town halls in the Netherlands, this beautiful building was built between 1448 and 1459. With red and white window shutters, a castle-like entrance and lush interiors, it’s a real treat for the eyes.

After a visit to the city hall, be sure to swing by the Gouda Kassmarkt, the city’s famous cheese market. Wander past the rows of gouda wheels, and sample some of the city’s great cheese, from the young and creamy gouda to the mature and sweet.

Food and drink

If you have a sweet tooth, pop by the chocolate shop, Puur. There, you can even get involved in making some delicious treats in their onsite workshop. If you just fancy indulging in a chocolate or two, you can choose from a range of mouth-watering delights, from crunchy Florentines, to creamy truffles and expertly decorated chocolate creations.

For something savoury, enjoy a meal at Scheep, a cosy restaurant that offers a contemporary twist on Dutch cuisine. Dishes include fresh oysters, delicately presented salads, and succulent cuts of beef and pork.

Getting there

For the perfect city trip, Gouda ticks all the boxes. Not only that, it takes just under three and a half hours to drive there from our Calais terminals. To get there, take the D245 to the A16, where you’ll continue until you need to take the E17 and E19 to Goudse Poort, in Gouda. From there, take the exit at 11-Gouda and follow directions to the centre of the city.

Cadzand

Cadzand is a charming town in the coastal province of Zeeland, an area of the Netherlands that is renowned for its beautiful beaches.

What to do

Begin your trip with a visit to the town’s beach, a lengthy 11-kilometre stretch of sand that’s perfect for a walk, or building sand castles with your little ones in the sun. During the warmer months you can look forward to taking part in a number of sports, including volleyball, surfing and horse riding across the sand.

Closer to land than sea and in the heart of the town, you’ll find a number of quaint markets, fascinating museums and stunning examples of architecture. To get a real taste for the town, pay a visit to Molen van Cadzand Dorp, Cadzand’s signature red-brick windmill that was restored in 1977. It’s had a myriad of uses, with it currently being used to grind flour from the wheat of nearby fields.

Food and drink

For somewhere delicious and quick after a morning at the beach, pop by Restaurant Cadzandria, where you can treat yourself to plates of freshly caught seafood.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a little indulgence and somewhere to splurge, head over to Pure C. It’s a wonderful restaurant that serves up plenty of elegant and beautifully presented dishes.

Getting there

Driving to Cadzand from our Calais terminals is simple, and it only takes a swift one-hour and 40-minutes. As you leave Calais, take the D245 and A16, driving on to the E40 to Zeelaan in Belgium. Once you’ve done that, simply follow the N348 and N376 towards Erasmusweg, in Cadzand.

Utrecht

The fourth largest city in the Netherlands and a place full of life, a trip to Utrecht promises beautiful parks, charming canals and quaint cafes to sit in and watch the world go by. 

What to do

One of the best ways to see Utrecht is by sailing along the canal. There are plenty of options in terms of how to get around, from enjoying a relaxing cruise to pedal-boating your way through the city. As you float along the calm waters, you’ll be treated to sightings of wonderful trees and charming houses. The best time of the year to visit is spring, when the blossoming flowers come into full bloom.

Once you’re on dry land, be sure to explore the city’s fascinating museums. A great one to visit with the kids is Dick Bruna’s House; a museum dedicated to the works of the author Dick Bruna, specifically Miffy, the fictional star of his most popular books. For something more general, head over to the Centraal Museum Utrecht, a place that houses fine examples of Dutch art and design, including the work of Gerit Rietveld.

Food and drink

For somewhere trendy and delicious, go to Opium, a contemporary Asian restaurant that your taste buds will love. There’s a selection of well-thought-out dishes, including Thai Red Fish Curry and Japanese Spinach Pie.

Getting there

The drive from the Calais terminals to Utrecht takes around three and a half hours, through Northern France and Belgium. To get there, take the D245 to A16 and continue along there until you take the E40, E17, E19 and A27 to Waterlinieweg in Oost. From there, follow the road signs and directions towards the centre of the city.

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Photo Credits:
© Bert Kaufmann - Amsterdam sunset
© Sander van der Wel - Gouda townhall
© Johan Wieland - Vakantie Breskens 2009
© Tambako The Jaguar - Utrecht sunset

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from £23
Prices start from £23 per car, each way* *£23 Day Trip & Overnight - Ticket must be purchased as part of a 2 day return. Return must be completed by midnight (local time) on the second calendar day. Book your travel now