11 Best Outdoor Activities in the Netherlands

by Ask The Dutch Guy

Cycling in the National Parks - Best Outdoor Activities in the Netherlands

The flatness of the terrain in the Netherlands has people resort to outdoor activities like walking and cycling. These are two of the most common outdoor activities you can do in the country, but there are actually more adventurous activities that you can enjoy here. 

This post lists some of the best outdoor activities in the Netherlands that will surely thrill and excite you from ice-skating on the canals, bungy jumping, beach sailing, and wildlife watching – just a few to whet your adventurous appetite!

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Enjoy the Netherland’s Watersport Activities

The Netherlands has some great sandy beaches on the northern and western coasts. So, if you’re looking for some adventure in the water, you can. The beaches that make up the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland are one of the quietest spots here, but there are some water adventures you can do here. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to do some windsurfing and kitesurfing, the sandy beaches across the islands of the Waddenzee from Texel to Schiermonnikoog are the best spots to go to. 

If you want to sail, the lakes of Friesland and the IJsselmeer are great spots. 

>> EXPLORE the best outdoor activities in the Friesland Province <<

Beach Sailing in Texel, Netherlands

Try Zip Lining in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is one of the cities in the Netherlands that is popular for its architecture. But if you’re a thrill-seeker and you’re looking for fun outdoor activities, why don’t you zipline down Euromast? 

The Euromast in Rotterdam has a peak of almost 100 meters. Aside from the panoramic views and the restaurant up here, you get to zipline here as well. Descend from the observation deck via the zipline that will take you 15 seconds to the ground. You can also choose to abseil vertically down the side if you want to. 

>> EXPLORE the top ways to experience Rotterdam <<

Go Ice Skating on the Dutch Canals

Almost every city and village in the Netherlands has canals, but there’s so much more than the boat rides. In the winter, these canals freeze and turn to ice, in which they become an ice skating rink. Don’t worry; it’s safe to skate on them. In fact, cafes will even place chairs on the ice this time while kids play on the ice. 

Ice skating on the canals is one of the outdoor activities you can do in the Netherlands in the winter. However, not every frozen canal is safe to skate on, so you better ask locals where it’s both safe and allowed to skate. 

Go ice skating on the canals - perfect outdoor winter activity in the Netherlands

Cycle Your Way Through National Parks in the Netherlands

The Dutch are big on cycling—in fact, this is one of the main transportations in the city. Besides cycling your way through the cities and villages here, why don’t you take it to the next level by riding a mountain bike and exploring the national parks? 

Even if the country isn’t known for its mountains, the cycle paths in national parks are usually off-road, which calls for more durable bikes that can handle more challenging terrain.

>> BOOK a small group tour around De Hoge Veluwe National Park <<

Climb the World’s Tallest Climbing Wall in Groningen

In Groningen, you can find the world’s largest freestanding climbing wall, which is perfect for keen climbers out there. Give yourself a challenge and try to conquer this 121-foot wall. 

On the other hand, if you don’t have experience in climbing, you don’t have to reach the top, though! Simply climbing to the best of your ability is already an honor. So, on your next get-together with your loved ones and friends, you can tell them all about how you were able to climb the tallest climbing wall in the world. Even if you didn’t reach the top, you still did *try* to climb the tallest wall in the world, right? With that, you have bragging rights!

>> EXPLORE the top ways to experience Groningen <<

Go Bungee Jumping in Scheveningen

If bungee jumping is on your bucket list, then why don’t you do it at one of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands? Scheveningen, the seaside suburb in The Hague, has a bungee jumping activity at the pier. This is the only bungee jumping spot in the country and it stands 60 meters above sea level. 

You can go by yourself or do it with a partner. If you’re up for more adventure, you can return to land from the pier via the 350-meter-zip-line. 

>> BOOK your trip to De Pier Scheveningen <<

Bungee Jumping in Scheveningen


Try Mudflat Hiking in Friesland

If you haven’t tried mudflat hiking, then now is the time you do it. In Friesland, there is a huge system of mudflats that trail through Germany and Denmark. Here, you will course through the Wadden Sea’s mudflats while it’s low tide. 

Indeed, it’s a challenging activity, but a rewarding one as it will let you experience the Wadden Sea from beyond the shoreline and see the areas that you usually won’t see because they’re obscured by the sea. 

>> EXPLORE the top ways to experience Friesland <<

Mudflat Hiking by the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands

See the Diverse Wildlife across the Netherlands

A lot of people who visit the Netherlands want to see the wildlife, and you won’t get disappointed. Here, you will find biodiversity based on the climate and ecosystem in this part of Europe. Wild Konik ponies can be found in the woodland and grassland of Oostvaardersplassen, while red deer and wild boar can be spotted, too!

With the unspoiled coast and stunning nature reserves, Holland is a haven for birds such as Spoonbills, Herons, and, of course, the Black-tailed Godwit, the Dutch national bird. You can join local wildlife and bird-watching tours to have better chances of seeing these creatures in their natural habitat. 

>> EXPLORE the top ways to experience Oostvaardersplassen <<

Take wildlife tours to watch the Red Deer in Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands

Ride a Beer Bike in Amsterdam

Yes, you read that right… a BEER bike. And you can enjoy this in Amsterdam! What is a beer bike? Well, it’s a bar… on wheels! Punted pedals around town while they get buzzed (and in some cases, really drunk!)

Riding a beer bike is a unique way to enjoy city life while you’re outdoors. In the summer, this is a great way to enjoy the party scene outdoors and connect with more people. 

>> BOOK a Beer Bike Tour in Amsterdam <<

Go Parachute Jumping on Texel Island

On the island of Texel, you can enjoy parachuting expeditions. There are several types of jumps that you can try and by doing this activity, you will be able to see the beauty of Texel even more as you descend to the ground. 

Aside from parachute jumping, Texel is known for its beautiful beaches that you can explore while you’re here as well. Exploring these beaches is perfect if you only want some quiet time outdoors. 

>> BOOK parachuting in Texel <<

Parachute Jumping in Texel, Netherlands

Enjoy the Dutch Sand Dunes

There are a lot of sand dunes in Holland that have formed along the coast. They create a unique ecosystem that is now home to many plant and bird species in places such as Zwanenwater and West Frisians. Moreover, the sand dunes are also home to freshwater reservoirs for drinking water. The dunes in the country can reach over 100 meters in height, the biggest are known to be found in Schoorl Dunes. 

>> EXPLORE the top ways to experience Schoorl <<

Coastal reservoir and sand dunes of Ameland in Holland

In the Netherlands, there are plenty of things you can do outdoors – regardless of the weather. Speaking of the weather can get really unpredictable here, but don’t worry, there’s no shortage with the number of outdoor activities you can do here. 

Handy links for your Netherlands trip

Ready to get planning your trip to explore the best adventures and outdoor activities in the Netherlands? Here are some useful links to get you started!



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