I travelled to the Netherlands to visit my brother on his university year abroad in Leiden, a lovely town about half an hour from Amsterdam on the train which is definitely worth a visit. We wanted to see some more of the country rather than just the standard touristy sights in Amsterdam – so we also took a day trip to The Hague and the nearby beach at Scheveningen, and the smaller town of Delft.
Hotel: we stayed at the Hotel Ibis Leiden Centre which was good value for money and a great location opposite the main station
Restaurants: enjoy pancakes for starter, main course and dessert at the Pannekoekhuis in Leiden town centre
4 great places to visit in and around Amsterdam:
- Take the train to the picturesque student town of Leiden, about half an hour from Amsterdam. There’s a great selection of bars and restaurants to visit, as well as a traditional Dutch windmill and the old ruins of a castle which provide great views over the town.
2. Visit the pretty town of Delft if you have time, which is famous for its pottery.
3. Take the train to The Hague, home of the Dutch Parliament, Peace Palace, and the Gothic Ridderzaal. The nearby seafront and beach at Scheveningen are also great to visit in summer time. We loved the quirky Fairy Tale Sculptures by the Sea which line the seafront.
4. We did the usual touristy attractions in Amsterdam – the Anne Frank museum is worth queueing for but book in advance if you can, or visit later in the day. The Heineken museum is also a highlight!