Before you go
Government travel regulations advise remaining in the Netherlands as we work towards reducing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you’ve had to cancel international adventures this summer, it could be the perfect opportunity to discover local destinations that boast equally breathtaking vistas, sun-drenched coastlines and forests filled with wildlife. As always, stay at home if you feel unwell, check the latest travel advice and follow precautions from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Travel by car or bicycle when possible, leaving public transport for essential travel. And, it being a Dutch summer, it sometimes pays to bring a raincoat!
Whether you’re a happy camper or more of a glamper, sleeping under the stars can be a relaxing way to immerse yourself in the Dutch countryside. There are a wide variety of camping spots on the outskirts of the city, such as seaside spots Camping Bakkum in Castricum aan Zee and Camping de Lakens in Bloemendaal. For accommodation with architectural appeal, try the luxury tree houses at Geversduin Camping or try the elegantly appointed Cabiner cabins in the province of Drenthe for something further afield.
By the water
While busy areas that make social distancing difficult should be avoided, quieter corners of the coastline, lakes and harbours are excellent alternatives. Zandaam offers much to be discovered as do the surrounding historic harbours of Volendam, Monnickendam and Marken. Some hotels and beachside pavilions are still open (operating under special guidelines), including Strandhotel Zoomers with its tasteful, modern rooms and suites. IJmuiden is another industrial coastal escape, popular for watersports, seafood restaurants and watching huge ships pass by.
The former homes of 17th-century merchants are scattered throughout the Dutch countryside, many of which have been converted into hotels and B&Bs. Spend the long summery days wandering the spacious gardens or cycling to the nearby beach. Plantage Rococo, which sits on a 26-hectare estate in Waterland, is a beautiful option with opulent décor and a restaurant specialising in local produce.
Home away from home
There’s a unique joy in experiencing your own city through the eyes of a visitor. Staycations became something of a way of life during self-isolation (especially if you perfected home-baked bread!) but there are also opportunities to make the stay a little more luxe. Many of Amsterdam’s hotels are offering dining, spa or entertainment packages to inspire residents to book. You can even enjoy a hotel experience at home, thanks to HomeSuiteHome, Amsterdam’s “online hotel”, which delivers a box of goodies and breakfast to your door, along with concierge service on call.
Inspired to explore outside of Amsterdam? Read our suggestions for day trips.