one week in the netherlands


It was the beginning of summer in Europe and I got the chance to experience it for the first time! I’ve experienced winter and fall, so I had no idea of what summer was like in Europe. For someone who lives in the tropics, my idea of summer is balmy, sticky, and scorching hot weather. It’s perfect for hitting the different islands and beaches. But European summer?

It’s cooler. At 21-28 celsius in Amsterdam and 23-29 celsius in Paris, the lows are pretty cool for my tropical body temperature. But then, I had the urge to buy some shorts to cope with the highs. The weather was perfect; everyone was telling me it was the perfect weather to hit the beach. And everyone was telling me it was the first time in a very long time in the Netherlands that they experienced blue skies and warm sunny weather in summer. They said it wasn’t normal. And I of course believed in that.

Aside from the perfect weather, the summer vibe and colors were so, excruciatingly lively and beautiful. I told you, I’ve been mesmerized by Europe in winter and fall, I didn’t expect to be wowed beyond expectation in summer – IT’S JUST SO NICE!

As always, my trip was mainly for work and I got the chance to extend before the meetings. Yes, before. Little did I know I was going to ask my boss for permission to extend after the meetings. And he was kind enough to say yes (thank you!). (And now I’m down to my last few annual leaves for the year. 😜)

So in short, here is my itinerary. Minus the work days, it's a one week itinerary!

Day 1 / Thu - Flight from Manila
Day 2 / Fri - Arrival in Schiphol, straight to Delft with day trip
Day 3 / Sat - Overnight in Delft with day trip in The Hague and Scheveningen Beach
Day 4 / Sun - Overnight in Delft with day trip in Amsterdam
Day 5 / Mon - Flight to Paris for work with a free afternoon
Day 6 / Tue - Work and flight back to Amsterdam
Day 7 / Wed - Work!
Day 8 / Thu - Overnight in Amsterdam with shopping, HA!
Day 9 / Fri - Overnight in Amsterdam with day trip in Old Holland (Volendam, Zaanse Schans, and Zaandam)
Day 10 / Sat - Day trip in Haarlem and flight back to Manila

It was jam-packed but I couldn’t be happier. If I didn’t change my mind and flew back to Manila on Day 7, I think I’d regret it forever. I mean, I live 6,000+ miles (9,600+ km) away on the other side of the world, and I basically paid only so little, why would I let the opportunity pass by?

Here are the places I went to in the Netherlands.

South Holland

Delft


The charming little city. Home to Delft ceramics or Delftware, the famous blue and white pottery. It’s also home to Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer who is buried in the Old Church or Oude Kerk.

The Hague


A short tram or a train away from Delft is the metropolitan city of The Hague or Den Haag. It’s the third largest city after Amsterdam and Rotterdam (although it didn’t feel like it because I didn’t see much crowds). It is the seat of the Netherlands government and it is important globally as the international organizations such as International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court are located here. It’s also the capital of the province of South Holland.

Scheveningen Beach


The skies were blue and it was sunny and it was the perfect weather to hit the beach! And everyone in the Netherlands knows that! I took the bus going to the port and the amount of people was amazing! I mean look at that beach!

North Holland

Amsterdam


Ugh, the love of my life. The original quirky city that stole my heart. And lots of my money, I suppose. Great hostels, great bars and restaurants, great food, great museums, and great shopping! Need I say more?

Volendam


It’s the harbor town near Edam. It’s known for the fishing boats and the traditional costumes! I passed by a shop which have costume rentals for tourists. The high, pointy bonnets are a hit!

Zaanse Schans


One word: windmills. You just don’t go to the Netherlands and skip the windmills.

Zaandam


Zaandam is the main town where Zaanse Schans is located. It became famous because of this very instagrammable hotel.

Haarlem


I did my day trip here before my flight and I think I need to go back. It’s the capital of the province of North Holland and you can feel its rich history just by looking at the buildings at the main square. It’s the town where the Harlem in New York was named after. Better go to the museums next time!

The Netherlands is more than Amsterdam. It's very well-rounded, it's culture-rich, and subtly diverse. I'm so glad and grateful I got to know at least a bit of it this summer. I'll be writing day itineraries for these destinations next, so stay tuned. Til next time! 💛

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