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 spring day in the Netherlands! It’s finally April, 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 to visit the Netherlands? Keep on reading, because I’m sharing 5 tips for spending 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. Because 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. This year, the garden will be open to the public between April 29 and June 11. Visiting hours are from 9:00 until 20:00.
2. Admire the Cherry Blossoms
There are a few places in the Netherlands where you can admire the cherry blossoms, but the Kersenbloesempark (Cherry Blossom Park) in the Amsterdamse Bost (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 the Park
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 (pictured), the Amsterdamse Bos, 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?
4 Go on a Cycling Trip
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 ‘adult’ and mature to be going to petting zoos anymore (not me). Don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways to see some adorable young animals. 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. A nice route near Amsterdam is the cycling path along the Diemerzeedijk, from Amsterdam to Muiden. That’s where I spotted this cute lamb!
5 Enjoy the Tulip Festival in Holland
Is this your first time in the Netherlands? Rent a car or bicycle and go and have a look at the famous tulip fields in Lisse (for free) or visit the Keukenhof flower garden (a little pricier). Early april is usually the best period to see the flower fields. Have you lived in the Netherlands for a while or are you only visiting Amsterdam? April is the best month to enjoy the Tulip Festival in Amsterdam, it starts today! About half a million tulips have been planted around the city for this year’s edition. Here is an official map, which shows you all of the locations where you will be able to find the tulips.
Those are my 5 best tips for the spring season. What do you love most about spring? For me, it’s probably listening to the birds singing in the early morning. Are you planning to visit the Japanese Garden or have a picnic at your local park? Do you have more tips for spending spring in the Netherlands? Let me know in the comment section below!