Citytrip Almere | What to see and do

When you first think of a citytrip Almere you might think of modern and innovative architectonic buildings, a shopping area without much ambiance, and always a breeze at hand. In all honesty, we didn’t know Almere as well as we thought. But the youngest city of the Netherlands has more to offer than meets the eye.

How Almere captures your heart

Recently, I received a secret invite for a ‘Destination Unknown Experience.’ Obviously, it triggered my interest. Little did I know that together with some other nosey parkers we got on a speedboat – a rapid Rib with 100 km/h on the meter – and after an adrenaline rush for 30 minutes, we arrived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature. ‘Welcome to Almere ladies!’ This wasn’t in line with the City I met years ago. I had to give this municipality a second chance.

Almere citytrip
What a way to enter the city!

One of the things I was mostly surprised by, was the immense natural character

A 24h citytrip in Almere

If you are planning a city trip to Almere you have many options, but I will give you a glimpse of my one-day citytrip. The city is surrounded by five natural areas: Oostvaardersplassen, Lepelaarplassen, Pampushout, the Vroege Vogelbos and Almeerderhout. Consequently, nature-lovers will dig this. And did you know that Almere has twice as many bridges as Venice? After floating through the canals, we arrived at Boathouse Almere. A beautiful place where you can dock your boat. I can tell you, you’ll stay here a little longer than initially planned. Expect a menu with something for everybody. From a club sandwich to fish & chips or bao with pulled jackfruit. After an appetizing lunch break we continued our journey by…Segway! Thanks to Segs in the City (see what they did there?), we drove around Almere’s many cycle paths, which is a great way to explore the city.

The boathouse Almere
Boathouse Almere

Segway Tour Almere

Did you know that Almere Centrum won the title Beste Binnenstad 2017 – 2020?

High Tea & Bubbles

Being a segway driver makes you hungry, so our next stop was at a culinary gem: The Black Cockatoo. It’s the first 100% vega(n) hotspot in town where you can indulge yourself with lots of treats. Mostly locally produced and – as far as possible – organic ingredients. The black Cockatoo will always be marked as the place where I had my very first ever vegan hot chocolate milk with whipped cream. And they also had me at ‘vegan brownie.’ Heavenly soft inside, literally and figuratively finger lickin’ good. 

Champagne Almere
Cheers to Almere!

The Black Cockatoo, Almere

High Tea Almere
Happy tummy, happy sweet tooth at The Black Cockatoo 

Lifestyle Salon and Spa knows how to pamper you!

Take a break and Relax

Almere has a lot of shopping opportunities (there are more than 400 stores!) and after all that walking around the city center, your body may need a little pampering. Go to Lifestyle Salon and Spa. Firstly, you can get your hair and make-up done or get a fresh haircut. Secondly, the ladies at the salon offer head and full body massages. Pedicures? You name it, they have it. And all with the idea that beauty is a combination of inner and outer well-being. The crew is very professional, honest and has a ‘what you see is what you get’ mentality. You will love the laidback vibe here, as it is the perfect spot to recharge yourself.

Beauty salon Almere
The ladies at Lifestyle Salon & Spa know how to treat a lady

CULTURAL: visit Vis à Vis open air theater

In the evening we went to Vis à Vis, a theatre company which plays open air shows at a permanent location at Almeerderstrand. Light-hearted comedy, astonishing spectacle and ingenious storylines lead the audience with a wink to the abyss of serious dilemmas. Even though I’m always in for some theatrical violence, I’ve never seen something like this before. Never. In 1,5 hours you’ll be amazed again and again. Step into a world full of extraordinary humor and surprises. Even the air is part of the decor and this is not comparable with a traditional indoor show. In case you’d love to have a complete night out, you can reserve a spot in De Rode Haring with simple (buffet) dishes and long Biergarten tables, a much-vaunted food formula.

Vis a Vis Almere
A must see in Almere!

Where to stay

After a very long, but overwhelming day, we were dropped off at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim. This is exactly what you need after a full day Almere. A luxury lodge with all comforts including a huge bubble bath with a fantastic view over the countryside. When I woke up I didn’t had the idea I stayed in in a city. Nature everywhere, and this was suppose to be a city trip? Well, I’m sold.

Accommodation Almere

Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim Almere
Heart shaped bubble bath at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim

Maybe it won’t be love at first sight if you stroll through city centre, but a citytrip to Almere is absolutely worth a try. Nature, city beaches, wellness, shopping, culinary spots makes me wanna say; see you soon?

Special thanks to Visit Almere for this wonderful trip!

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

Learn more about the Netherlands here!

 

 

 

These are the Top 13 Beach Clubs in The Netherlands

In the Netherlands we needed to wait a while before spring/summer knocked on the door, but she’s here. Finally! When the sun is out, people want to escape the hot city and go to one of the many amazing beaches. The Netherlands offers a few long stretched beaches with pretty amazing sunsets. Beach Clubs are all part of the fun and come in all sorts of sizes Each one has something special or authentic. To clear things up for you, we’ve made a selection of our top 12 beach clubs in The Netherlands.

Tulum, Noordwijk

This newcomer opened last year and is a big favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum beach bar Zandvoort Netherlands
Pretty Tulum

The Fat Mermaid, Scheveningen

Not new, but a breath of fresh air in Den Haag. Located on the busy promenade of Scheveningen beach, The Fat Mermaid is quite busy on sunny days, but we still recommend you to take a look while you’re around. Even though they don’t claim to be fully sustainable, they try to offer as many organic and local products. For example, they serve fish from local fish shop Ben de Lange and the meat is from the wonderful Lindenhoff farm. Therefore, families, couples, friends and dog owners all love it here. www.thefatmermaid.nl

The Fat Mermaid beach Bar Netherlands
The Fat Mermaid. Photo by Floor Boers

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan zee

6km from the hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So they’ve opened a beach club called Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. Will this become one of Hollands best Beach Clubs? www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming Beach Bergen aan Zee

De Branding, Noordwijk

Voted as the best beach club in The Netherlands 2016, this beachclub is very popular indeed. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at this trendy place. The white decor set’s away beautifully at the beach. Enjoy good drinks and music whilst people watching. www.brandingbeach.nl

Beach Club de Branding
Branding-Noordwijk

Pepper Beachclub, Zandvoort

When you get to Pepper Beach Club you immediately feel that Ibiza vibe. The dream-catchers, colorful cushions and summer cocktails will make you stay until sunset. They describe themselves as hippie Chic, laid back, with good music, good vibes! www.pepper-beachclub

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Source: Pepper Beachclub

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee

When we visited this beach bar a couple of years ago, it felt like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order the famous Dutch Croquette on bread to keep you grounded. www.timboektoe.org

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Source: Timboektoe Instagram

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande

If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach.
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers or close your eyes and pretend you in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

Elements-beach Netherlands

Club Zand, Castricum

The Netherlands is lucky with a beach bar like Club Zand. Not only do they have a great relaxed location in Castricum at sea, they also hosts outdoor cinema nights with free popcorn! Their latest edition will be on the 2nd of May, so reserve your spot! Every Friday there is live music from a DJ or band, so there is something for everyone. The other thing we really like about this beach bar, is that they support sustainability. They are hoping to become the greenest beach of the Netherlands and they do this with several projects like reducing gas by 50%. Take a look next time you’re around Castricum! www.clubzand.nl

Hippie Fish, Zandvoort

Like Tulum, this beach bar has a vibe that takes you to another place that looks more like Mexico or Ibiza. It’s not large, but super cute and the food is tasty! Come here when its less busy, like a midweek or morning. This way you can enjoy Hippie Fish to the max. www.hippiefish.nl

strandtenten in Nederland hippie fish zandvoort
© HIPPIE FISH

Woodstock ’69, Bloemendaal

It’s an oldie but for people that are not from Holland, this one should definitely be on the list. This place will take you back to ’69 and brings out your inner hippie. On Sunday’s and when the weather is good, this is the place to be. People from all over the country drive up to Bloemendaal Beach to dance to the beats of some of the most talked about DJ’s of the moment. www.woodstock69.nl

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Dance with your feet in the sand at Woodstock

Beachclub Perry’s, Scharendijke

All the way in the south of Holland, you will find this fine beach club that’s been around for over 25 years. They have a North African atmosphere and serve dishes such as Tajine Casablanca and killer pancakes. Above all, it’s a great place to relax in their beach chairs overlooking the sea. www.beachclubperrys.nl

Top 10 beach clubs Netherlands
Arabic style Perry’s


Not at sea, but still worth a visit:

Down Under, Nieuwegein

This beach bar/restaurant has a few things that make it special. Besides the restaurant and bar there’s so much you can do. Wakeboarding, waterskiing, indoor bodyboarding and floating golf are just some of the water activities you can participate at Down Under. Besides this, there is a large grass and a sand area where you can sunbath. It’s perfect for families with young children, for instance, they have many kids activities. The beach club area can also be hired for business or private parties. Down Under is situated near Utrecht, right in the heart of The Netherlands. www.downunder.nl

beach club Down Under
down under

Key West, Utrecht

Situated next to one of the bussiest highways on The Netherlands, is the Key West Beachhouse. Okok, it’s not a real beach but it’s besides the “Haarrijnse Plas” where you can safely swim. It’s the perfect spot for a business lunch or lovely dinner. They cook with local and fresh products and as a result the menu changes per season. www.keywestbeachhouse.nl

Key West Netherlands

In conclusion, this list will give you enough choice to enjoy the Dutch beaches this summer!

Love,

Wander-Lust

30 x Must Visit Food Festivals in The Netherlands 2019

Food festivals have proven to be a hit in the Netherlands, and because there are so many of them, it was time to create a list so you can pick and choose which ones you want to visit this summer. We have listed the best and upcoming food festivals in the Netherlands per month. Enjoy!

May

23 – 26 May TREK Maastricht | More info
25 – 26 May Pizza Festival Amsterdam | More info

29 May – 2 June Rollende keukens Amsterdam | More info
30 May – 2 June TREK Nijmegen | More info
31 May – 2 June Taste of Amsterdam Amsterdam | More info
31 May – 2 June RYPP Wijnfestival Rotterdam | More info
24 May – 2 June Toost Foodtruck Festival several locations! | More info

trek festival

June

1 -2 June  Spijs Foodfestival Venlo | More info
6 – 10 June TREK Utrecht | More info
7 – 8 June Gin Festival Utrecht | More info
7 – 10 June Lepeltje Lepeltje Amersfoort | More info

7 – 10 June Cuisine Machine Vlissingen | More info
8 – 17 June Bacchus Wijnfestival Amsterdam | More info
11 – 14 June Het Hoofdgerecht Amsterdam | More info
14- 16 June TREK Enschede| More info
27 – 30 June Leiden Culinair Leiden | More info
28- 30 June Fête du Champagne Amsterdam | More info

food festival leiden
Source: Culinair Leiden

July

5 – 7 July Lust Foodtruck Festival Winterswijk | More info
5 – 7 July Vorkje Prik Utrecht | More info
4 – 7 July TREK ‘s-Hertogenbosch| More info

12 – 14 July TREK Amsterdam| More info
26 – 28 July Beach Food Festival Texel | More info

Beach food festival 2019
Beach Food Festival Texel

August

2 – 4 August Amsterdam Kookt Amsterdam | More info
23 – 25 August ProefPark Haarlem | More info
30 August- 1 Sept Proef Eet Enschede | More info

30 August – 1 Sept TREK Den Haag | More info

Food truck

September

6 – 8 Sept Festival Joy Utrecht | More info
6 – 8 Sept Kannen & Kruiken Maastricht | More info
6 – 29 Sept Toost Foodtruck Festival | More info
13 – 15 Sept Smaak Karavaan Tilburg | More info
27 – 29 Sept Hippen Happen Festival | More info

More Tasty Hotspots? Check all our foodie tips below!

Must Visit! Beach Food Festival on Texel

Last year, I visited Texel island (the Dutch Ibiza of the North), to get a preview of the Beach Food Festival. I arrived in style by a Bruuzer Texel, which is a speedboat that flies across the water with speeds up to 80km per hour! And if this was only a teaser, they have something in store for you, when the the actual event is happening this summer!

Beach Food Festival Texel
Beach Food Festival last year

On Friday the 26th until Sunday the 28th of July, the Wadden Haven on Texel will be transformed into a foodie’s festival dream. The 3 day festival focusses on sustainability, local food and local trade. It’s the 3rd edition for the Beach Food Festival that saw 12.000 visitors last year.

Beach Food Festival
The Bruuzer Texel certainly woke me up!

Local Food
Because Texel is an island, local produce is very important to the community, and food has different variation in flavours than on the Dutch mainland. All the restaurants and food stands that are participating at the festival, are local or offer something unique. During my time on Texel, I got the chance to taste some of the food that will be served at the festival. Here some of the highlights;

  • Novalishoeve
    This organic farm is doing everything right when it comes to local produce. Their cows, sheep, pigs and chickens produce dairy, eggs and meat that they sell in their own shop, located at the farm. From the milk, they create the most delicious ice-cream, without any additives. Besides dairy and meat, they also sell herbal tea, cakes, home-made granola and their home baked bread, that is sold in many restaurants on the island. Novalishoeve will serve their special  ice-cream at the event this year. www.novalishoeve.nl

Novalishoeve Texel
Ice-Cream at Novalishoeve

All participants must serve at least one vegetarian dish on their menu

  • Kook Atelier
    This popular restaurant, serves beautiful creative, local food. Sea food caught at the Waddensea is their speciality, and last year they created a Texelse Pizza, that people are still talking about. www.kook-atelier.nl
  • Eilandkeuken
    The name says it all. The kitchen created on the island. This restaurant uses everything Texel has to offer. They will serve speciality meats at the Beach Food Festival, but each food truck needs to also offer at least one vegetarian dish. Eilandkeuken is serving a no-waste-veggie-menu and I had a little sneak preview so I can tell you that it’s worth stopping by! www.vincenteilandkeuken.nl

Beach Food Festival
Testing the pretty seafood from Kook Aterlier

  • StrandPaveljoen Twaalf
    Beach bar twelve is normally located right on the large beach of Texel, but for the festival they will set up a mini beach bar with delicious BBQ flavors like roasted pumpkin and vegan burgers. Last week I tried their vegan BBQ, which was amazing! StrandpaviljoenTwaalf
  • Texelse Branding
    Time for local coffee! Founder Evert used to live in Amsterdam, where good coffee is widely available. When he moved to Texel, he couldn’t find good quality coffee.. So he decided to experiment and roast his own! With great success, because his Texselse Branding is sold at several restaurants on the island. www.koffiebranderijtexel.nl

Market

Sustainable
Sustainability is very important at the festival. Besides that all ingredients must be local or organic, all the plates and cutlery are bio-degradable. Electricity is minimised by the foodtrucks and the festival ends in the evening, so no extra lights need to be in use. Because Texel is an island, many people use their bicycle to get to the festival and visitors from outside the island come by bus or foot. As previously mentioned above, all participants must serve at least one vegetarian dish on their menu and vegetarian food is highly encouraged.

Texel beach

Sleeping on Texel
There are many options! To find your favorite spot, check this website for availability www.texel.net

So take a pen and write down the dates, this July, we might see you at Beach Food Festival!

Beach Food Festival
20th – 22nd of July 2018
Waddenstrand Oudeschild, Texel
Website / Facebook

Love,

Elke

Waterdorp Burdaard, escape the city

Living in Amsterdam can be hectic sometimes. Life moves fast, and this applies to other big cities Time for a few days out of the busy city, and explore the North of Holland without getting bored. I booked a Bungalow Villa in Burdaard, Friesland. 

Burdaard, Friesland

If you are looking for a place to unwind, enjoy the Dutch landscape and clear your head, read on. Coming from Amsterdam you need to drive for about 2 hours to get there (Australians reading this, think “that’s a trip to the grocery store mate!”), but the drive is totally worth it. Burdaard is a tiny village, located in Friesland where quiet and serene where people still greet each other on the streets.

Windmill Waterdorp Burdaard

Bungalowpark Waterdorp Burdaard

The bungalow park is named Waterdorp Burdaard because it’s located next to the water where boats pass the river. The 5 villa’s are brand new and as a result, the houses are very clean and modern. You can choose between a 4 or 6 persons accommodation that all contain a fully equipped kitchen (with a Nespresso machine!), outside patio & garden with tables and chairs, luxury bathroom, TV, and a parking spot. The villa I stayed in had a wonderful view looking at a traditional Dutch Windmill and 2 bedrooms. Additionally you can ask for a baby bed if needed. 

Waterdorp Burdaard
Inside a 4 persons Villa at Holiday Park Waterdorp Burdaard

Waterdorp Burdaard villas
Holiday Park Waterdorp Burdaard

Things to do

Besides hanging around in the house, there are plenty of activities you can do in and around Burdaard. Cycling and walking are popular but during the summer you rent a boat and discover the area from the water. You won’t find any direct facilities on the park, but there is a supermarket just 700 meters away, a bakery, an ATM, cafes and restaurants and beautiful terraces where you can drink a delicious cup of coffee or have lunch. In addition you will find a community building nearby with tennis courts, fitness, swimming pool, a kids playground, cinema and a theater.

Dokkum
Visit Dokkum

Shopping & Eating

For more culture, shopping and other activities you can visit Dokkum (10 km) or the city of Leeuwarden (20 km). Both cities are well worth visiting. Leeuwarden was crowned the capital of culture of Europe last year and therefore gained immense popularity. You can feel the buzz in the city and with so many shops and restaurants, you could spend the whole day here.

Stek Leeuwarden
Lunch in Leeuwarden

Leeuwarden shops

Are you ready to escape the city? You can book your private villa via Bungalow.Net from €435,- for a 4-persons villa which includes cleaning, tourist tax and bedding. 

Love,

Elke

Curious what the Netherlands has to offer?

6 beach clubs in The Netherlands you should visit this summer

The Netherlands is famous for its long stretch beaches and endless amounts of beach clubs. So many that sometimes is a bit hard to make the right choice. Where will the food be the best? Where do they have the best ice-coffee or ambiance? We’ve listed our 6 favorite beach clubs of the season.

Tulum, Noordwijk
This newcomer opened last year and is a big beach club favorite! Why? The beach vibe is amazing and there is so much space to sit or lay down at. There are 2 area’s and buildings; the first building is the restaurant where you need to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner, and the second building is a place to order snacks, wraps, burgers and drinks. We prefer the second part because there is more space to chill, overlooking the shores of Noordwijk. The best time to come is at around 11am. This way you always get a good spot. Sunbeds are also available for hire, but if you order a consumption, you can sit on the many available chairs. www.tulumtulum.nl

Tulum Beachbar Netherlands

Bries, Noordwijk
This beach club is situated in Noordwijk. You can enjoy a Mediterranean menu with Asian influences where you can taste several fresh fish dishes. If you like meat you can go here for the steak market on Sundays. On other selected days you can even enjoy yoga classes or massages! Not sure if the weather is good enough? Check their live webcam to see if the sun is shining! www.briesnoordwijk.nl

Beach bar bries
Source

Timboektoe, Wijk aan Zee
Probably the most chilled out beach bar in the Netherlands. It feels like a surfers paradise. Walking around are plenty cool surfer dudes and you really feel like you’re abroad. It’s still Dutch though, so you can order a famous Dutch Croquette on toast to keep you grounded. A big plus is that parking is free at Wijk aan Zee, so if you get there early, you can get a great spot near the beach! www.timboektoe.org

Timboektie beach bar

Unbuntu Beach, Zandvoort
It’s Sarah’s favorite beach club, and even though this one has been around for ages, it never get’s old. So why do we love it? The food is good, the service is great and they have swings (I mean, hellooo). Time to visit this all time favorite. www.ubuntubeach.nl

Unbuntu Beach bar Netherlands
Source

Blooming Beach, Bergen aan Zee
6km from the lovely Blooming hotel you will find Bergen aan Zee, the towns beach. It’s about a 30 min bicycle ride and you can use the bikes from the hotel. Blooming never sits still and they are always looking to add a little extra something to their impressive portfolio. So last year they opened beach club Blooming Beach! Now, don’t mistake this beach club with the loud beach bars in Bloemendaal. No, this place is perfect for that sunny afternoon with a glass of wine in your hand. Put your toes in the sand or jump in the hot tub (yes, they have one!) while you smell the sea and the delicious food from the restaurant. www.blooming-hotels.com

Blooming beach bar

Elements Beach, `s Gravenzande
If you think Woodstock ’69 isn’t hippie enough for you, then you should definitely pay a visit to Elements Beach. 
This Beach bar is supporting fairtrade, sustainability and create entrepreneurship with their hearts. The food is always organic and they organize yoga classes. It’s near Den Hague but not in the busy part. Come here if you want to escape the crowded beach bars in the summer and watch the kite surfers. Or close your eyes and pretend you’re in Bali.. www.elementsbeach.nl

 

Elements beach bar
Source

Love,

Elke

The Leeuwarden Guide 2019

Leeuwarden was voted the culture capital of Europe last year, and since then the city has been buzzing. New restaurants and shops pop up like mushrooms which resulted in more visitors than ever before. Time to check out the city of Fryslân everyone is talking about!

Bye bye hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, hello hello fresh air, calmness and…sugar bread! 

What to do in Leeuwarden

Street art tour Leeuwarden
A noteworthy tip is the street art tour in Leeuwarden. Great way to start your day, especially after a heavy breakfast. In 1,5 hours, you learn more about the interesting city background. We love the fact the talk was a perfect combi of historical and temporary facts. Guide Henk Leutscher and his team make so much fun of it! Check it out: a Guide to Leeuwarden.

a-guide-to-leeuwarden-street-art-tour-saskia-van-uylenburg-by-klaas-lageweg
Street art Leeuwarden style, love it!

Shopping
This fashion, flower and interior stores will pleasantly surprise you. It wouldn’t be out of place in Amsterdam. Lots of trendy stuff to pamper yourself, be prepared shopaholics! The Kleine Kerkstraat was even voted the best shopping street of the Netherlands in 2010 and 2013! Check out Scandinavian style concept store Nørd pictured below.

Leeuwarden shops

Blokhuispoort
Back in the days this used to be a prison, but now houses different business and eateries. Worth checking out.

Rent a boat
You can rent a boat at Greenjoy to see Leeuwarden from the water. Boats are available from about €25 euro.

 

Leeuwarden: a natural beauty
And if you want to escape the city for a while, please, please, please explore the raw and wonderful natural surroundings of Leeuwarden! Next time, I definitely want to have a pitstop there.

leeuwarden-emmakade-winter

In 2018 Leeuwarden-Fryslân was crowned the cultural capital of Europe

Where to Eat in Leeuwarden

Stek
This cute restaurant used to function as a bridge house and people actually lived here. If it reminds you of the popular brunch spot Pluk, you got it right. Stek is run by the previous co-owner of Pluk, which she started with her sister and brother in law. After a move back to the city she was born, she decided to start Stek and with great success. The food is lovely, and the coffee is good. Stek has an outside terrace overlooking the water. A must visit if you visit Leeuwarden.

Stek Leeuwarden

Lazy Lemons
If you have kids, you are going to love Lazy Lemons! Then again, you are also going to love it if you do not have any. Why? The food is simple but the portions are big, the service is good and there is enough space for families, friends and lovers. Upstairs you can find a large play corner for kids, which means a undisturbed lunch or dinner for the parents. We wished we had more of these in Amsterdam!

Lazy Lemons Leeuwarden

KB Food and Drinks
If you want a menu full of choices and options, you are at the right address at KB. Their formula works like this; you order a main and you can pick 2 side orders plus a saus of choice. The service here will make you happy and its no problem if you want to bring your kids. KB has a garden area, so you can enjoy those summer evenings. Fun fact: the building used to be a video library! www.kbfood.nl

KB Food and Drinks Leeuwarden
Dinner at KB food & drinks

Roast Leeuwarden
Must-try hotspot Roast Leeuwarden. Located in the middle of the city centre, this recently opened cozy lunch, dinner and drink spot is one to remember. Really like the fact they’ve put together a very diverse and continually changing menu for every budget. Their signature dish: chicken. But no worries veggies and vegans, there’s also so much appetizing food for you. If you can fit it, try the chocolate overloaded dessert, which is so yummy. Oh, and they’ve got two really cool tables with table taps, a perfect way to trigger your inner bartender haha! roastleeuwarden.nl

Roast Leeuwarden

 

De Neushoorn
My guide Henk told me about this must-visit…and he was right. It’s kind of a magical and vibrant place where music meets dance meets film. Visit one of the performances or feel free to pop by for a laid-back beer.

Moon
An Instagram dream with pink/purple walls, marble tables and a menu that you just need to take pictures of. It’s no surprise that you can order a matcha, beetroot or turmeric latte here. Get your freak on with a freakshake or go healthy with avo on toast. Yes, this place was made with the intention of being a hotspot. www.moonleeuwarden.nl

Moon Leeuwarden

Also worth mentioning:

  • Dr. Plant: vegan take-away restaurant in the heart of Leeuwarden.
  • Fruitbar SIS: the green and healthy hotspot with vegan cakes.
  • Blikspuit: a concept store with a kiddies corner, so great for parents.
  • Speelcafé: this café is made for kids and you’ll love it if you are a parent. There is a slide inside and countless toys. They serve great tea and homemade cupcakes.

Where to stay in Leeuwarden

Catshuis Boutique Hotel
We love boutique hotels and this hotel is certainly one that you want to check out. Located in the heart of Leeuwarden, it is the perfect place for couples. Beautiful rooms, lovely and always included breakfast and a stylish interior. At the hotel you can also book a high tea, great for friends! www.catshuisleeuwarden.nl

Post Plaza
In case you’re thinking about a citytrip to Leeuwarden, definitely book a room at the charming Post Plaza****. They invited me to stay and for sure I said ‘yes’. To be honest, I’ve nothing but praise. Especially the hospitality and extravaganza wakey wakey breakfast with everything a sweet tooth with a bit of a sleepyhead wants.. sugar bread. Do we need to say more?

Post Plaza, Leeuwarden
Hotel Post Plaza

Van Der Valk Hotel
We like this hotel because they have the BREEAM-NL certificate. This means that they are putting a lot of focus on being sustainable. For example, the heat from their restaurants is collected and re-used for the meeting rooms and kitchen. They have also installed bee hotels and a harbour to maintain biodiversity. It’s also a great hotel for families with kids, due to the family rooms and possibilities. Book your room here!

Van der valk hotel Leeuwarden
Van Der Valk Hotel

Explore the Friesland region and Leeuwarden if you get the chance!

Love,

Wander-Lust

River Cruise though Holland with YOU as the captain!

Remember that we told you about that amazing river cruise with Nicols last year? Well, now it’s possible to do this in The Netherlands and you can win a boat cruise for 2 people this summer!

Last summer I sailed across the Saône river in France with a huge boat owned by Nicols, a boating company that offers a variation of boats that you can rent at different locations across Europe. The cool thing is, that you don’t need a boat or sailing license to do this. Boating holidays like these are popular with the French, English and the Germans, but in the Netherlands it is relatively new. Until now.

boat cruise
Last summer in France

Jachthuren.nl is the company that’s going to roll out the Nicols boats in The Netherlands and for the first time it’s possible to sail across the rivers in Holland without a boat license. Jachthuren offers 4 different boats from 4 to 8 people. All boats are equipped with a bedroom, a bathroom and kitchen. You can relax on the back deck or sit at the top, where the captain (hey, that could be you!), can sit also.

Estivale DUO Nicols
The Estivale DUO, perfect for a couple

Holland
Pass endless Dutch landscapes along the way

There is no need to be an experienced captain, but there are some things that will be explained before you depart. On most routes you will pass a few locks (sluizen) that you will need to open before you can continue. This is a bit nerve-racking at first, but also a lot of fun! After 2 locks you are a pro.

Nicols boot cruising
In one of the locks

The Route
There are 9 Dutch routes to choose from, but some are only available for those that book a midweek or longer. All boats start from Kerkdriel, located in the South of Holland. From there you have many options. If you want to cruise the river Maas for a weekend for example, you’ll make your way up to Heusden – Woudrichem and back to Kerkdriel. On your way you pass characteristic villages with places to relax and eat. If you have more time on your hands, opt for the full week river cruise where you pass some of Hollands prettiest cities like Utrecht, Maarsen, Leiden, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. You can decide yourself where to stop, as long as docking is permitted and you are following the route.

Here’s an example of some of the best routes:

Weekend – Kerkdriel > Heusden > Gorinchem > Kerkdriel
100 kilometer / 2 locks / 12 uur varen

Midweek – Kerkdriel > Biesbosch > Kerkdriel
120 kilometer / 0 locks / 15 uur varen

1 week (retour) – Kerkdriel > Rotterdam > Gouda > Gorinchem > Heusden > Kerkdriel
200 kilometer / 9 locks / 25 uur varen

1 week ( 1 way) – Kerkdriel > Gouda > Amsterdam > Utrecht > IJsselstein > Montfoort
220 kilometer / 8 locks / 28 uur varen

2 weken – Kerkdriel > Bois-le-Duc > Veghel > Maastricht > Venlo > Ravenstein > Kerkdriel
350 kilometer / 22 locks / 60 uur varen

boat cruise

WIN A RIVER CRUISE!
We are super exited that we are able to give one of you the chance to experience this brand new boat cruise in the Netherlands! All you need to do is to comment bellow and tell us why you really want to experience this boating holiday this spring. Please name the person you want to take along with you. To have even more chance, follow us on Instagram share a story about this competition by tagging @wanderlust.nl. Yes, the more we see you, the more chance you have!

There are a few rules:

  • We offer a Estivale DUO boat, which is perfect for 2 people with a maximum of 4 people (1 bedroom, one sleeper)
  • You must depart between April – June (subject to availability)
  • We offer a long weekend trip or midweek or longer (subject to availability)
  • Bedding, towels and fuel is included.
  • Exclusive of €1.000,00 deposit on your credit card, which you will get back after the trip.

We might see you sailing across Dutch waters this spring!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Find out more about the rivercruise that Elke did last summer.

 

Where to find the best Tulip Fields in the Netherlands

The tulip season is here and they are more popular than ever! We’ve selected a few regions in the that are just out of this world.. Here are the best tulip fields in the Netherlands.

Noordoostpolder
This tiny place is located in the Flevoland province and has an amazing backdrop with windmills and the sea. Car and bicycle routes have been voted one of the best in the world because of the tulip fields you are about to see here.

Noordoostpolder Tulips
Photo by Peter Abbes

Tulips are only blooming between April and May

Schagerbrug
If you’re looking for beautiful purple tulip fields and flowers, you need to visit the area of Schagerbrug. The fields here look like a Dutch painting because of the windmill that is situated here. If you come during the morning, you will have the best photo’s at sunrise.

Tulip field North Holland
Photo by GroovyPat

Goeree-Overflakkee
Another lesser known area to spot some of the largest and most beautiful tulip fields in the Netherlands. Goeree-Overflakkee is an island located in Zeeland, which is the south west of Holland. There are around 18 tulip fields on the island, in all different colours. Because these tulip fields are less known, you won’t find many tourists or locals walking around, winning! From Amsterdam, it’s about 2 hours drive.

Goeree-Overflakkee, Netherlands

Tulips were originally imported from Turkey in the 16th century, and later produced in The Netherlands

Bollenstreek: Lisse / Hillegom / Noorwijkerhout
One of the more popular tulip destinations. Lisse is near Amsterdam, so it explains why so many people go here. If you can, visit these tulip fields during the week, and early morning. If you go by car, you can drive through the whole area and make several stops.

Lisse tulip fileds

Polderbaan Schiphol
Next to the longest runway in Amsterdam Schiphol, you will find a few tulip fields. Combine this with a trip to the Polderbaan to see airplanes take off and land. This is also the tulip field you see in the header photo of this article.

Tulip Field next to Polderbaan
Relaxing in the Tulip field next to the Polderbaan

Keukenhof
We have the Van Gogh Museum, and we have the Keukenhof. It’s the one place all travelers know about. Mind you, if you visit the Keukenhof, you will share the tulip watching with thousands of tourists from all over the world. Buy tickets to the Keukenhof

There are over 150 species of tulips with over 3,000 different varieties.

Important note:
Please be aware that you cannot walk into every tulip field. If you see the farmer, please ask for permission. Otherwise respect their crop and do not walk in between the flowers (only the ground/sandy parts). There are wider area’s that you can take photo’s from. This year many tulip farmers have decided to close their fields with gates because there are so many tourists ruining their tulip field. 


Treat yourself to some flowers at the Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam!

Enjoy!

Wander-Lust

Visiting the Dutch capital? Here are 7 Photo Worthy Spots in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has many photogenic places where you can shoot amazing pictures. Whether you like photography or like to be in the picture yourself, the locations selected below do not disappoint you! Are you visiting Amsterdam and you want to know where to find the best spots? Now it’s up to you to find the right angle on the right time of the day (sunset recommended!).

1. NDSM Wharf
Urban photography at your fingertips! The NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam Noord is a rugged, adventurous and iconic area next to the IJ. The free character, the post-industrial buildings and the creative atmosphere form the backdrop where culture, events and urban development come together. Go here for a wonderful afternoon exploring and photographing!

2. Damrak Canal
Do you want a photo of the old typical Amsterdam houses? Then Damrak Canal is your way to go. The famous ‘dancing houses’ line on the side of the canal. The tall and narrow houses can be found throughout whole Amsterdam, but these are the most iconic ones. With sunset it is nice to see the reflection of the lights in the water.

September

3. EYE Film Museum
Besides the beautiful old canal houses, there are enough modern architectural gems in the city. The EYE Museum in particular is a spectacular building for photography from both afar as for very (close) detailed photographs. And you know why it’s called EYE? If you find the right perspective, you can see the shape of an eye in the museum. 

4. A’Dam Tower
The A’DAM Tower is a nearly one-hundred-meter high tower on the shore of the IJ in Amsterdam-Noord. From here you have a beautiful view of Amsterdam. They also have a giant swing on one of the top floors: Over the Edge! If you go with sunset you will often see a beautiful pink / purplish sky.

adam toren

5. The Canals
The one and only way to really experience Amsterdam is to walk along the canals. You will discover many beautiful bridges, streets and squares. It is wonderful to wander around for hours along the canals with a camera. Best spots are; prinsengracht/singel, 

6. Hortus Botanicus
If you really want to see special plant species, the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is highly recommended. The Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. There are no fewer than four thousand species of plants from all corners of the garden and greenhouses. You can make beautiful pictures of the surroundings, the plants and the architecture of the building. Fashion shoots are also regularly hold here.

hortus botanicus

7. Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum shows art in a beautiful environment. One of the more unknown but beautiful rooms in the museum is the Research Library. This place is the largest public art history research library in the Netherlands. Doesn’t it look cool?! Hogwarts vibes all over the place.

Rijksmuseum
Get arty at Rijksmuseum

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest for fashion, poetry and traveling. She was only 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time, and she has been to every continent in the meantime. She’s a dreamer and would prefer to be on the beach every day. You can follow Iris on Instagram.