Nothing’s changed since last week, I still have a major case of wanderlust and am constantly looking for places I want to visit. But today I thought I’d look for those places a little closer to home, and list 5 cities here in the Netherlands I want to explore (more).
Some of these, actually most of these, are places I’ve already been. But that doesn’t matter, I still feel like in each city I’m listing below there is so much more to see and to discover, from places to eat and museums to parks, pretty buildings and the great places right outside of the city. Since these are all only a train ride (or two) away, I feel like I really don’t have an excuse not to visit and explore them, so I think I’m going to force G (or a friend, sister, mom or dad) to take these little one day city trips with me over the next few months.
With the help of Google and the website NSfavourites, I’ve compiled a little list of things I would love to see and places I would love to visit in each city. Oh my, I am getting so excited to go to all these places!
Adr. Heinen bookstore in Den Bosch
Starting in the very south of the country, a city I have told G I wanted to go to multiple times over the past year or so, is Maastricht. I visited it once or twice in the past, but that was years ago and I really want to go back soon and explore some more. Not only does the city itself sound like a great place, I feel like the countryside around the city has some great hikes and beautiful views. Some specific places I would love to see are Mount Saint Peters and some of the caves around the area (at least, I believe there are quite a few cave thingies over there). I would also love to visit the Natural History museum and the Helpoort. The store that is SO high on my list is – naturally – a bookstore, the Dominicanen to be exact. This bookstore is located in an old cathedral and looks absolutely breathtaking, but I would love to explore the other (book)shops around the city as well.
Because Maastricht is a little bit further away from where we live, I would love to spend a night there as well, just to get more out of our visit.
The next city I would love to visit is still in the south of the country, but a little bit closer to home. A 30 minute train ride away, to be exact, so I really don’t know why I’ve only been the once in the past few years. My mom and I visited Den Bosch in Noord-Brabant last year, and I have been wanting to go back ever since. Again, both the city itself as well as the surrounding area seem absolutely great, I’ve already found some amazing hikes in national parks close(ish) to the city. But I also just want to eat a real Bossche Bol, as we didn’t do that last time I was there. What we did do was walk along the outside of the city in (on? over?) the Bossche Broek, wander around all the pretty little street, have a high tea at Mon Qui (which was so good) and visit another amazing bookstore: Adr. Heinen. But there is so much more to explore, and I want to see it all.
Moving aaall the way to the north of the country, Groningen is a city that I actually don’t know much – if anything – about. All the more reason to visit is soon! It is again a little bit further away, so I would love to stay for a weekend or so to really get a feel for the city. From what I can tell on the internet, Groningen has some great vintage shops, some interesting (and maybe some less interesting) museums, some beautiful parks and a Botanical Garden nearby, which I always love. The one thing in the city I had heard of was the Martini tower and Martini church, which makes me want a drink but I am pretty sure the two are unrelated. Oh so funny. All jokes aside though, the tower and church look beautiful, and I would love to know more about the history of the place. I have yet to locate a great bookstore in the city, but I am sure there is at least one!
Mayflower Bookstore in Leiden
A little bit down and to the west, Leiden is a city that I have actually lived near for most of my life, and I have been there a fair amount of times. Most recently I went there two weeks ago with my dad, and that trip made me realize that I don’t actually know a whole lot about the city. Time to change that! I have already discovered a few great bookstores – De Slegte, Mayflower Bookshop and Kooyker, among others – and I’ve been to a bunch of museums over there as well. However, there is still so much more to discover. I haven’t been to the Burcht in a long time, and although it’s only been maybe two years since I visited the National Museum of Antiques, I would love to go again. My dad and I sped through the National Museum of Ethnology and the Sieboldhuis – a Japanese museum – so I would love to explore those two a little more slowly. There are also a bunch of beautiful churches in the city, and so many cute places to shop! My sister lives in the city, so I will have to ask her to show me around once, although exploring it with my dad is always a lot of fun as well!
For the last city we are moving back to the south, but staying on the west coast. It is another city I spend an afternoon in last year, when G and I were visiting his brother and sister-in-law in Zeeland. We went to Middelburg for a very hot afternoon and walked around for a little bit, but I didn’t see nearly enough. Again, Middelburg is a city I don’t know much about, but when we spend the afternoon there we did come across some lovely little shops. I’m also pretty sure it has a gorgeous church and city hall (thanks, Google) and I have also spotted a great bookstore on the interwebs ;). Middelburg is another city I would love to spend a night or two in just to get to know it a little better, as it is a bit further away, and I would preferably combine it with a lovely trip to the beach!
Fries on the market in Leiden
I know I have all these lists compiled for all the cities, but really my favourite thing to do is just wander around and see what we come across. I mean, that really is the best way to explore a new place! I really cannot wait to plan trips to all these places sometime very soon, whether it is for a night away or just a day. I did not mean for that to rhyme.
Thanks for stopping by ❤