Expats need a break from Amsterdam - where to go?
November 13, 2010 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Where to go for a cheap weekend away from Amsterdam

We have some guests this week, and we're thinking of going away somewhere for a few days. We basically just want to rent a car, drive to the countryside somewhere, stay in a rented apartment or b&b for a couple of nights, and get out of Amsterdam. We're also all on grad student/early career researcher budgets.

Here's the catch: my partner and I are Australian, and we've only been living in the Netherlands for 3 months. We've been working non-stop since we arrived. We have *no* idea where to go. Somewhere in the Dutch countryside? Germany? France? Belgium?

So where would you go if you were in our situation? Again, our only requirements are that we want to stay in the country, and, as Australians, we're easily impressed. Thanks!
posted by nerdfish to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, The Netherlands (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Keeping it Dutch: If you like hiking and a bit of Dutch hillscape, South Limburg, and don't miss Maastricht on the way down. Otherwise Zeeland; I remember a few nice days off-season in Middelharnis, for example. Third option: the waddeneilanden, but no idea how cheap that is.
posted by Namlit at 6:07 AM on November 13, 2010

De Veluwe is gorgeous; you can ride free bikes in the national park and visit the Kröller-Müller Museum. There are quite a few castles and country estates to visit, too, including Het Loo. I highly recommend 't Witte Hoes hotel in Otterlo; small and cosy but not too expensive, and their restaurant is excellent (and Michelin-recommended).
posted by neushoorn at 6:59 AM on November 13, 2010

I travelled to a few places in the Netherlands earlier this year with my Dutch mother. I really loved Aalten, a small town in the Aechterhoek. It's a ridiculously quaint Dutch village with wonderful biking trails through the countryside (you can even bike into Germany if you want), a thousand-year-old church, great local history/war museum (with a bust of my opa-opa sitting in the lobby), some very nice restaurants in the main square, and you have the chance to spot Angus Young as he walks from his new mansion to the convenience store to buy cigarettes. We stayed at this converted pig barn which was very rustic and charming.

Feel free to memail me if you want more details, I won't go into a travelogue here but I totally could.
posted by Gortuk at 7:48 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Texel! You don't need to rent a car - just get the train to Den Helder, catch the ferry (it just costs a few euros) and then take the bus to one of the towns. It's simple and easy, and there are some great walks and so on that you can do on the island, there's plenty to see and do and lots of fresh sea air.
posted by rubbish bin night at 10:15 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

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