I just had to give The Netherlands it’s own page. More and more people asked me what to do when they go to The Netherlands, Holland or Amsterdam. So I decided to make a ‘to do’ list. It’s just a start… probably I will add more later :).
- Walk around in Amsterdam, enjoy the beautifull views and bridges at the canals of Amsterdam. It’s beautifull in every season.
- Go to a morning market to eat haring (at Nieuwmarkt) or kibbeling and buy cheese.
- Visit the Albert Cuyp market.
- Take a boat tour in Amsterdam at one of the beautifull boats of Rederij Friendship. (I would still do it and I’ve worked on them…. it just never gets boring.)
- Visit the ‘IJhallen’ for one of their markets. This huge market is once a month and makes it possible to find beautifull second hand treasures.
- My favorite places to go: Café Noorderlicht (especially on sunday), Pllek, De Waterkant, Hanneke’s Boom, Saturnino,
- If you like to party: Wintercircus or Thuishaven (every sunday).
- For a walk you can go to Amsterdamse bos and then you have to eat a pancake at Boerderij Meerzicht.
- Do a tasting at Brouwerij ‘t IJ. This brewery has my favorite beer IJwit.
- Go to the beach at Bloemendaal, have a long walk on the beach and trough the duinen.
- See some of our most beautifull nature parks like: national park Maasduinen, national park De Biesbosch, Oostvaardersplassen, national park De Groote Peel, National park Het Groene Hart, national park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen or Oostvaardersplassen.
- Go sailing – We have wind, a lot of wind, and we know how to use it!
- See the Afsluitdijk. This 32500 meter long dike sepperates our Ijsselmeer lake from the Waddenzee sea and connects North Holland with Friesland.
- See the flower fields in De Keukenhof or just bike (on a bicycle) through our ‘Bollenstreek’.
- Visit Fontana in Nieuweschans for a relaxing sauna and/or spa day. Their special thermal bath full of minerals doesn’t only relaxe your mind, it has a beneficial effect on your health. The water source with a salt pillar in the ground is rich on minerals like salt, iodine, magnesium and bromide.
Try this food:
- Haring – Go to Han van de Pol at de Nieuwmarkt and try at least 2 haring with union and pickles. Don’t put in on a bread, just when you’re really hungry. If you really really don’t like fresh fish, try the deep-fried ‘kibbeling’. If you’re not in Amsterdam, please try haring somewhere else but it has to be fresh! A fresh haring smells like the see and tastes creamy and a little bit like an oyster. If it smells to fishy then it’s getting old.
- Oliebollen – During our winter season you can buy fried bread balls with the name oliebol (oil ball). We eat them especially at new years eve with some powder sugar.
- Bitterballen – This is a snack that was made to eat in the bar next to a bitter alcoholic drink. The bitterbal itself is not bitter. It’s a fried ball with meat (ragout) in it and we eat them with some mustard (some people prefer mayo). You will find bitterballen in a lot of café’s, in the snackbar or at birthdays.
- Stamppot boerenkool – This is another winterdish, litteraly it means stamped farmers cabbage in a pot ;). It’s patatoes mashed with kale and mostly bacon, smoked sausage or a meatball and some gravy and apple sauce. I can’t wait to eat it again!
- Other fried things from the snackbar: (broodje) kroket, frikandel speciaal, kaas souflé, berehap and in Groningen you will find the very special eierbal (fried eggball)!
- Vla – After this delicious food you shoul take a typical Dutch ‘pudding’ dessert. We love to eat vla and yoghurt and you can buy it at any supermarket. There are a lot of different tastes but (I think) the original ones are: vanille vla, hopjes vla, blanke vla, chocolade vla, caramel vla and vlaflip.
- Pepernoten – Just try. When your are in Holland between september and december the chance is very big that you will see them in every store. Small round cookies made from rye flour and anise. We also have them with chocolate around it!
- Snert – Our Dutch split pea soup is also a winterdish. Mostly it has smoked sausage and potatoes in it.
- Broodje hagelslag – Just because we have the best bread in the world and we like to eat chocolate sprinkles on it. Who doesn’t like chocolate?!
- Broodje kaas – Just because our cheese is also the best! My favorite cheese is the ‘Jong Belegen’ cheese that my dad always buys from the market in Winschoten (everything is better at the market). But you can buy it at any market and mostly they let you taste if you ask nicely. You can put some mustard on your cheese so make it more spicy.
- Metworst – A hard spiced sausage that we like to eat as a snack in the evening. There are different tastes like the Goninger metworst (with clove) or the softer Friese metworst. It’s made from ‘cutting waste’, the small remaining pieces of meat that we don’t like to waste.
- Bossche bol – A sweet pastry, specialty from our city Den Bosch (‘s Hertogenbosch) made with whipped cream and a chocolate frosting.