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I know I am always nagging you guys to visit more places in The Netherlands than just Amsterdam, but when it comes to the city of Den Bosch in the Dutch province of Brabant, I think I have every right to do so. Not only can you walk into the footsteps of Hieronymus Bosch and Vincent van Gogh and eat your way through the best dishes The Netherlands have to offer, you also get to sleep boutique style without paying boutique prices at Little Duke Hotel. I was born and raised in the province of Brabant, in the south of The Netherlands. We are a fun species, let me tell you. We are (unlike the rest of The Netherlands) mostly Catholic in upbringing, we enjoy our food and drink, we celebrate Carnaval and generally enjoy a more relaxed pace in life. Den Bosch is the capital of the province and you know, when I still lived in Brabant I don’t think I ever visited, maybe once to study with a classmate. But since moving away to Utrecht, over 12 years ago, I seemed to have grown a bit of a soft spot for Den Bosch. It’s the city of Brabant […]

The post Sleeping with the Dutch: Little Duke Hotel, Den Bosch appeared first on Your Dutch Guide.

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And 8 reasons why you should visit Leeuwarden Leeuwarden is more than just the provincial capital of Friesland, at least, for 2018 it is. As Leeuwarden has been crowned Capital of Culture 2018. You have probably never heard of Leeuwarden, and I really don’t blame you. However, Leeuwarden truly deserves the title and there are plenty of reasons to visit this interesting city in the north of The Netherlands. Not only is it a good opportunity to get to know this lesser-known part of the country a little better, Leeuwarden is interesting enough to spend at least a day or two. Would you like to plan a trip to Leeuwarden and check it out? Use my complete city guide Leeuwarden and you’ll be just fine. Leeuwarden is really easy to get to Haven’t I told you, over and over again, that everything in The Netherlands is easy and quick to get to? Yes, I have. And Leeuwarden is no exception. So, here’s how you get to Leeuwarden. If you are based in the UK, simply fly from London to Groningen (also in the north of The Netherlands) with Flybe. From Groningen, it will take only half an hour by train to […]

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I can’t tell you how much it has made my heart jump with joy that I’ve been hearing more and more foreign languages in Utrecht, especially on weekends and school holidays. It seems that visitors to The Netherlands are discovering Utrecht more and more. They wander along the canals, enjoy relaxing in the parks, climb the Dom Tower and feast in one of the many restaurants. How wonderful. If you’re curious too, I will explain how to discover Utrecht by foot, bike and boat. A network of canals, pretty old gabled houses around the city’s cathedral Domkerk, some excellent museums and cutting-edge architecture. Utrecht, my hometown and love of my life, seems to have it all. When I moved here, over 12 years ago, there were hardly any hotels in town, only some big chains near the train station. But over the last 3 years I’ve been hearing Americans, Australians, Canadians, Spanish, Koreans and Japanese on weekends, enjoying a day (or maybe even more) in Utrecht. The city has been getting some very nice press attention over the last few years. Some splendid (boutique) hotels have been popping up lately, the central station is more accessible now and things are generally […]

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Hurray folks! Tulip time has arrived in The Netherlands. Actually, we can buy tulips here from the moment we chuck out the Christmas tree. But the gorgeous tulip fields that have made our country so famous, are in full bloom right now. Since seeing them is probably on top of your ‘what to do in The Netherlands’ list I thought I’d provide you with some useful (and not so useful) facts about the Tulip Fields of Holland. Plan your trip to The Netherlands and see the Tulip Fields! Fly into Amsterdam. You can fly cheaply to Amsterdam from many destinations around the world and Amsterdam is a good base to go and explore the Dutch tulip fields. Check out cheap flights to Amsterdam. Get yourself an OV Chip Card, this chargeable card, grants you access to all public transport in The Netherlands. This will help you get to the Tulip Fields. It’s easy enough to go and see Holland’s Tulip Fields if you’re staying in Amsterdam. This comprehensive map shows you where to see the flower fields and which busses to take from Amsterdam to go and see them. To plan your stay in Amsterdam, take a look at my complete […]

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When I was telling you guys a few months ago why you should really visit The Hague if you come to The Netherlands, most of you showed a lot of surprise. Not only were you all delighted to know that The Hague holds so many cultural gems, like Vermeer’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring, but many of you were pretty surprised that The Hague is right by the sea. Well, it is. And The Hague beach, Scheveningen, is an absolute must-visit. Especially this year.  Okay, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out The Hague is by the sea. Just open Google Maps or an old-fashioned atlas (ah!) and the proximity to the coast is more than obvious. Through history, this wasn’t the case, however. The Hague was once the capital of The Netherlands, until (under French occupation) the capital and government were moved to Amsterdam. The government moved back when The Netherlands became an independent republic, and later a kingdom. Back then The Hague was a centre of the Dutch royals, government and diplomacy. And the villages along the coast were simple fisherman’s villages, detached from the city, albeit not too far away. This year, it’s 200 years […]

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Since The Netherlands are such a compact country, I always recommend people to travel by train to discover the best our little country has to offer. It’s fast and not that expensive. And coming from London, you can now take a direct train from London to Rotterdam or Amsterdam. Eurostar is running between London Pancras and Amsterdam, also calling at Rotterdam. It’s a quick and fun way to come to The Netherlands and explore. I have travelled from Utrecht to London, catching the Eurostar in Brussels. And all I can say is: how relaxing. I simply hopped on a train in Utrecht and 5 hours later I was in the heart of London. Without having to worry about checking in luggage, taking too much carry-on or which airport transfer to take. The new connection between London and Amsterdam gets you from Pancras station to the heart of Amsterdam in 4 hours and 45 minutes. And you’ll reach hip and trendy Rotterdam within 4 hours. A great excuse to come to The Netherlands, right? Ticket prices start at €59 and from my experience: if you book 3 months in advance, the cheapest fairs will be available to you. Eurostar from London […]

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And a Give Away! Getting away from the crowds in Amsterdam was never as rewarding as it is now. Whenever I go to Amsterdam with friends visiting from abroad, I take them to Amsterdam Noord: the north of Amsterdam. This area of the city is not yet overrun by tourists and is authentic and edgy at the same time. Have lunch in a sea-container restaurant, sit on a swing set on top of a skyscraper whilst taking in the gorgeous view over Amsterdam or cycle along beautiful traditional houses. Convinced? I bet you are, so please read on and find out how to go off the beaten track in Amsterdam. Planning your trip to Amsterdam? Check out my complete Amsterdam guide! Amsterdam Noord (or Amsterdam North, if you like) was once quite separated from the rest of the city, by the IJ river. The Buiksloot neighbourhood was considered a village instead of part of Amsterdam and the rest of north was used for heavy industry and not really interesting for visitors. But that’s really no longer the case. Ever since the free (!) ferries over the IJ river were introduced, connecting Noord to the rest of the city, the area rapidly became […]

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According to travellers Are you looking for some great accommodation in The Netherlands? Planning a city break to Amsterdam and searching for that special place to stay? Maybe in a cosy B&B or on a houseboat even? Booking.com has just released the Top 10 best reviewed Dutch hotels and B&B’s, according to travellers. And wow, yes. Some of these are absolute beauties and I am putting them on my list to try myself. Booking.com has picked the Top 10 best-reviewed accommodation in The Netherlands based on reviews that over 140 million people left after their stay in hotels, B&B’s, holiday homes and apartments worldwide. Only accommodation with a mark higher than 8.0 was eligible to make it into the top positions. Travellers can rate accommodation on Booking.com based on location, comfort, facilities, hygiene, staff and value for money. Most of Holland’s top accommodation can be found in Amsterdam, but the Top 10 does hold some surprises which give you an excellent excuse to discover more of The Netherlands. The best accommodation in Amsterdam De Gulde Graaf Waking up in the morning and being able to just stroll to the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum. Sounds fabulous, right? Even for me, since […]

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If you have been following my blog for a while (and I hope you are, hi there!) you know that I am a big fan of painter Vincent van Gogh. A few months ago I discovered a lot of places in The Netherlands where Van Gogh used to live and work. The place that impressed me most was Nuenen, where Van Gogh painted over a quarter of all his famous works. These days Nuenen has been baptized Van Gogh Village, and with reason. Nuenen is a rather small village, not too far from either Eindhoven or Den Bosch, and it’s the place where Van Gogh lived, with his parents, between 1883 and 1885. Whilst living in Nuenen Van Gogh had all the time in the world to wander around and take in the rural scenery. He was struck by the hardworking farmers of Nuenen, their battered faces and their poor, but religious, lives. He often paid locals to pose for him, which they willingly did (even though they thought he was an extremely strange bloke and called him names behind his back). After only 2 years Van Gogh produced 195 paintings, 313 drawings, 25 watercolours and 19 sketches in Nuenen, […]

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If you’re looking for a fun and off the beaten track day trip from Amsterdam during your visit to The Netherlands, why not visit Zwolle? It’s only an hour from Amsterdam and Zwolle is simply beautiful. The medieval city is easily discovered by foot and has countless beautiful squares, quaint streets, fun shopping opportunities. Bonus: Zwolle is home the most excellent restaurant in The Netherlands: Librije. And this high standard rubs off on other eateries in town. Zwolle is a great place for foodies. Here’s how you spend a perfect day in Zwolle. In the Middle Ages Zwolle, in the east of The Netherlands, was a city of great importance. Its affiliation with the Hanseatic League meant the city was an important trading port along the IJssel river from the 11th to the 15th century. You can tell Zwolle was part of the Hanseatic League since the city is walled with a historical star-shaped fortification, which is iconic for Hansa Towns, with a wide moat surrounding it. Inside is a cosy and sprawling city centre. Zwolle: culture in the morning Even though Zwolle is not very large and easily explored in a day (or two), it’s sure isn’t short of beautiful historical monuments, […]

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