When the weather in the Netherlands is looking constantly dreary, and you’ve lost track of how many consecutive days it’s been raining, you may want to do just one thing – leave. We hear you. For the weather to improve considerably, you’d probably have to hop on a plane. But sometimes just getting out of the country for a couple of days – rain or not – can pull you out of the winter funk. Here are 5 weekend destinations to visit from the Netherlands.
Belgium is an obvious destination for a weekend trip from the Netherlands, as it’s only a quick trip away. While Ghent, Bruges and Brussels are great options, don’t underestimate Antwerpen. It’s known as the fashion and diamond capital of the country and offers plenty of fun things to do - from museums and shopping opportunities to historic architecture and a thriving techno nightlife scene. There are also plenty of restaurant and accommodation options that match the student budget.
Don’t forget to look around the train station upon your arrival. It’s a tourist attraction in its own right.
Especially accessible if you’re studying in Groningen or Leeuwarden, Bremen is a great city to spend a weekend in if you’d like to hop across the border to Germany. It’s the type of place you don’t necessarily need an in-depth itinerary for - just wander around the old town and take in the sights, from the town hall to the cathedral.
However, there’s one thing you may miss if you’re not careful: the statue of the town musicians of Bremen. You may have heard the Brother Grimm fairytale of the four animals. If so, don’t forget to rub the donkey’s nose while you’re there.
Otherwise, do the things that are mandatory to do while in Germany - eat a pretzel, grab a döner, and bring back all of the loaves of bread that you can carry. If you want to add an extra day to your trip, seeing Bremen can also easily be combined with Hamburg as well.
Ok, admittedly London isn’t a budget destination. Getting there - be it by train or plane - is also not the cheapest option. So, we definitely recommend booking this trip a bit in advance.
Still, it’s pretty cool how little time it takes to get to London from the Netherlands thanks to the Eurotunnel. And once you’re there, the are endless things to see - in fact, a weekend is not even close to enough time to experience everything that the city has to offer. However, having in mind which sights you want to see will make for a worthwhile weekend trip.
You can visit most of the famous sights in two days - great if it’s your first time in the city. Think Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. Just pack your comfy shoes and be prepared for a lot of walking.
If you’re a museum fiend, London may just be your slice of heaven. Be it the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, or Tate Britain - there’s something out there for every cultural buff.
Ok, you may be thinking: What about Paris?! After London, we thought we’d make a less obvious French suggestion than Paris. Still, if you’d like to visit the city of love, the Eurostar train connection is ridiculously fast, so don’t give up on your “Emily in Paris” dream if that’s your thing.
Lille may not be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. Still, the city is without a question the ultimate gem of northern France. It’s also the perfect destination for a weekend - it’ll give you enough things to keep you busy without being so small that you’ll get bored.
As a student city, the nightlife scene - particularly for bars - is great, and you also won’t have a hard time finding places to eat at either. While you’re there make sure to grab a Welsh. It’s a cheesy dish that’s impossible to explain, which you also only need to eat once or twice in your life. But, it’s a must-try!
You also won’t regret just strolling around the city center and seeing where you end up.
Luxembourg is one of those European countries that people sometimes forget about. However, if you want to romanticize your life and feel like you’re stepping into a fairytale, then there’s hardly a better destination than Luxembourg City.
Cobblestone streets, castles, and green spaces will be waiting to greet you, while the Old Town neighborhood is just waiting to be explored. The latter is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Still not convinced? Then maybe combine all that cultural sightseeing with a wine tour along the Moselle River and you’re definitely in for a good time.
Do you have a little more time on your hands? Then seeing all of these cities in one single trip is also an option. The best way to do this is by getting an Interrail ticket. We’re the top supplier of Interrail tickets to international students in the Netherlands. So, what are you waiting for? Grab yours here.
Those were our top 5 weekend destinations to visit from the Netherlands. Any one of them is a great way to escape the Dutch winter dreariness for a couple of days. Happy travels!
If you need more inspiration, check out our previous suggestions for weekend destinations to visit from the Netherlands here.