The wonderful thing about the Netherlands as a country is that everything is close by. You can go end to end of the Netherlands within a day; hours even! Which is why I jumped to the chance to explore a couple of places with Alex, my closest friend here in Amsterdam. We met Friday night to discuss what our game plan should be then woke up extra early the next day and set off on our adventure.
We were able to travel to a number of places because I had purchased discounted tickets from the Albert Heijn (a local grocery chain) which gave us unlimited train travel for only 15 euros! So the main goal of the whole day was to make the most of these tickets, not necessarily experience everything each town had to offer. I’ll save that for another trip. 🙂
Our first stop was at Delft, a cute city populated by cobblestone streets and amazing doors. I took the most photos here because everywhere we went was picturesque. Delft is known for blue porcelain, Johanne Vermeer and being one of William of Orange’s residences.
The Hague wasn’t part of the original plan but was a station in between Delft and Leiden. When we got to one of the Hague’s stations, Alex looked at me and said “Should we get down and check out the Hague?” to which I grabbed my bag and replied with a yes. We quickly gathered our things and jumped off the train with no destination in mind. The Hague is the capital of South Holland and is where parliament is located so there was definitely more to see here than the other two destinations. However, we did not see the Parliament nor any other big attraction the Hague had to offer given the limited time we had. Instead, Alex and I walked through Chinatown and discovered (and thrifted) some vintage coats. We checked out the shopping street afterwards then headed back to the station.
Known for having one of the best universities you can go to in the Netherlands, it comes to no surprise that Leiden is known as a student town. There wasn’t much of a crowd when we were there since we arrived quite late into the afternoon, just an hour before it got dark. Alex and I walked to a cafe/bike shop and had coffee and gluten-free pastries before we were off again to explore what we could.
It was here in Leiden that I actually took a photo of my first Dutch windmill and where Alex got to try sushi for the first time. We didn’t see much because of the time we were there so we just continued window shopping and walking aimlessly through the streets. Leiden is definitely a town I want to continue exploring.
The ironic thing about Woerden is how I spent the most time here yet I saw nothing but the walk to Corné’s house from the train station and back. I was worn out from the full day of adventure that all I did was sleep and rewatch episodes of Sherlock. It was really good spending time with him, catching up after not seeing each other during the holidays and generally, just taking things slow. I walked back to the train station at 4pm the next day and the light was so beautiful, I just had to snap a photo.
All in all, Alex and I were really glad that we got to explore as much as we did. It was also the first time we got to really spend time together since we had both left Amsterdam for the holidays. There is definitely so much more to the Netherlands than just Amsterdam
and its coffee shops. It’s been more than two months since my arrival here and I can’t wait to explore even further.