We’re back with the third part of Hidden Places in The Netherlands! In the previous posts we have looked at various historical and cultural places that are worth a visit, and in this third part we will come across other nice places, because there is more to see in NL than you might think!
1. Den Bosch
Also known as Den Bosch, the capital of the province of Noord Brabant is very underrated as a city trip destination. Only an hour away by train from Rotterdam, Den Bosch has a distinctively different character than cities like Utrecht or Amsterdam. The medieval city center is packed with monuments, churches and picturesque streets. If you are into art, Den Bosch might sound familiar as it is the hometown of 15th-century painter Hieronymus Bosch. Visit the Hieronymus Bosch Art Center, located in an old church, displaying his master pieces and climb the tower for an excellent view of the city. Another point on your list should be sailing the Binnendieze, a century old system of waterways within the walls of the city. Cruising over the canals and under fortifications, you will discover all the hidden spots of the city. Last but not least, Den Bosch is known for its hospitality and Burgundian culture. When you visit this vibrant city, sit down at one of the terraces of the many cafes and restaurants in the Uilenburg area, and enjoy a drink or Bossche Bol, the city’s delicacy.
If you are looking for a more relaxed weekend away, why not opt for visiting an island? Texel is the largest and most populated island of the Dutch Waddeneilanden, an archipelago of islands (inhabitated and unhabitated) stretching from The Netherlands to Denmark. The fun already begins when you set foot on the ferry from Den Helder that takes people (and cars) to Texel. Once at Texel, you will find yourself in a little paradise of sandy beaches, dunes, fishing villages and nature reserves. Texel has a huge wealth of flora and fauna, and not forgetting just as many sheep as people! You can enjoy Texel in any season of the year. Get on your bike and travel the coastline or take a walk through the dunes. In summer you have endless kilometers of sandy beaches to enjoy and if you are a bit more adventurous, get in the water for windsurfing or sailing. When in Texel, you should also definitely visit Ecomare, a seals sanctuary. Ecomare hosts seals that are ill or have lost their mother. Once healed, they are released back into the North Sea. Paying an entry ticket to Ecomare, is also contributing to the care for the seals. And if you happen to be at a bar in one of the villages, try Skuumkoppe, a locally brewed beer.
3. Jachthuis Sint Hubertus
The last spot on our list is quite literally hidden in the forests of the national park De Hoge Veluwe: hunting lodge Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. The lodge was designed and built between 1915 and 1920 by architect Hendrik Berlage, who also built de Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam and the Kunstmuseum in The Hague. It was meant for the wealthy Kröller-Müller couple, who had just purchased the estate that is now the national park. Not only did Berlage design the building, he also designed the interior, furniture and gardens. Even the tablewear and cutlery were designed by the architect. This has led to the creation of a unique, perfectly united piece of art. It also hosted some technical highlights for its time. For example, the lodge had its own generator for electricity, hot and cold water tap water, and an elevator that still functions today. After the deaths of the owners, the estate and lodge were opened to the public. The big art collection of Helene Kröller-Müller, which includes numerous Van Gogh’s paintings, found a home in the newly-opened Kröller-Müller museum, also located in De Hoge Veluwe. You can combine visiting the park with a visit to de Jachthuis or the museum, rental bikes make moving around the park easy.