There’s more to biking the canals and eating brownies in Amsterdam. Check out our day trip to Hoofddorp – you’ll want to explore it too!
We were excited about exploring the ‘wider’ part of Amsterdam, as we knew there was more to learn, see, wonder at and enjoy than the beautiful cultural hub of the city. We were pretty stoked to quickly ride into the country side where we saw horses, cows, quaint farm houses and rows upon rows of flowers starting to bloom. The country side, wherever you are in the world, gives you a sense of peace; it relaxes you instantly as you take in your surroundings, smell the flowers, feel the fresh air on your face and join the locals as they bike along the path with you…
Water pipe dunes, it sounds funny but it’s an extremely beautiful and tranquil place to explore! It is transliterated from ‘Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen’ and in basic terms, is a sand dune system made up of small rivers and lakes that filters the drinking water for Amsterdam. It’s actually extremely interesting!
You can get there by:
- renting a car or
Just check out the routes and prices on google. You could probably hitch hike out there too.
If you’re as stubborn as us, grab your bike (rent one from anywhere in Amsterdam central) and punch in Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen to your google maps. The bike will take a good hour and a half – two hours if you’re fit, it takes you along canals and suburbs, through to farm land before you arrive, biking along rows of trees to reach the pancake house where you can grab a coffee pick-me-up before heading into the park.
The park has a small entrance fee but it’s well worth it. Check out the fee before you go on the iamsterdam website as it changes seasonally. The fee is more for the up keep of the nature area (rather than scamming tourists).
The park is there for you to explore, you can go off the walking tracks and ‘go bush’, search for deer or fox and even climb trees and make huts. It’s a lot of fun and so good to inhale that fresh air and put your feet on the ground (yes we were barefoot at times, rude not to!)
Once you’ve finished exploring the water pipe dunes jump on your bike and head to Buitenplaats – it’s an organic cafe built inside an old glasshouse. It has trees growing inside and through tables; it looks out to feilds of tulips and daffodils with an epic outside area for kids (and adults who brace their inner child). The food is fresh and organic and the coffee is good! It’s 16mins away from the park.
After food you’ll probably be tired and not want to bike all the way back to the Dam (like we were) so find the closest train station and head there on your bike, grab a train & wave good bye to the countryside!
If you’re up for another adventure (and it’s springtime) head to the Keukenhof tulip gardens (18mins from the park, 30mins from the cafe) and take a bus/train back from there 😊
*We were introduced to all of this by my cousin and her partner who live in Hoofddorp – so this info comes straight from the locals!*