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Sustainable travel in the Netherlands

Many travellers think at first sight that visiting the Netherlands is experiencing the continuous stream of visitors in its mass tourism capital, Amsterdam, walking through tulip fields invaded by instagrammers in spring, or seeing windmills while tasting Dutch cheese.

Visiting the Netherlands is of course much more than that, and this northern land, sometimes below sea level, is an ideal place to consider an eco-friendly holiday.

Not sure where to start? Holiable helps you plan your own sustainable trip to the Netherlands.

Our eco-friendly travel tips for the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a multitude of national parks, cycling opportunities for beginners and experts alike, a desert of dunes and quicksand where the temperature can be as high as 50°C and beautiful beaches where it is good to walk with your feet in the water.

The Dutch countryside is full of dazzling spaces that will transport you for a walk in a Van Gogh painting, charming towns criss-crossed by canals and picturesque lanes.

It is definitely a country to recommend for those who want to take the time to discover, whether on the water, by pedal or on a hike.

Urban lovers, history and culture enthusiasts and nature lovers will undoubtedly find something to satisfy their passion in a country where the preservation of the environment and nature have an important place.

Green lodging in the Netherlands

Whether you’re in the city or on the beach, you’ll find plenty of eco-friendly accommodation in the Netherlands, whether you prefer hotels, campsites, youth hostels or unusual accommodation.

Many accommodation providers are implementing sustainable tourism initiatives.

Saving energy, using renewable energy or using the latest technological innovations to conserve resources… These are just a few examples of what could make your holiday accommodation an eco-friendly place to stay during a trip to the Netherlands.

Don’t think that these places are reserved for the most isolated places in nature, quite the contrary!
Amsterdam, for example, is known throughout the world and has a large number of hotels and youth hostels that are committed to sustainable and fair tourism.

To make you stay green in the Netherlands, here’s a few basic tips to remember:

  • Book direct with the hosting provider
  • Check out the reviews and comments of eco-friendly travellers who stayed before you on Holiable.
  • Respect the eco-friendly principles of the house that welcomes you
  • Take advantage of your stay to get ideas of eco-friendly gestures to implement at home once you get back.

Eco-friendly eateries in the Netherlands

Our advice for responsible travellers:

In the Netherlands, as elsewhere, more and more restaurants are highlighting the local gastronomic heritage.

Many restaurants are keen to favour local and environmentally friendly producers. Furthermore, the vegetarian and vegan catering offer in the Netherlands is flourishing.

  • There’s more to Dutch gastronomy than just cheese. At lunchtime you can usually eat on the go in eetcafés, but in the evening you can enjoy it to your heart’s content, especially to discover the North Sea products that the inhabitants love.
  • More and more restaurants are going locavore
  • The Netherlands is a multicultural country, and its major cities have many restaurants that showcase world cuisine. This may be a good opportunity for you to discover the cuisine of another country prepared with local products.
  • In busy cities, avoid tourist areas for eating and restaurants that take you down the street, it’s never a good sign.
  • Restaurant schedules are adapted to local customs and habits. Don’t be surprised to see the restaurants crowded at 6:00 pm when you are just thinking about getting ready for an aperitif. In the Netherlands we dine early. While in the big cities the timetables are adapted to travellers, be careful if you are going to less crowded areas.
  • Enjoy your food and come back and tell us what you thought.

Eco-friendly activities for conscious travellers in the Netherlands

You will not be surprised to learn that the Dutch lands are a paradise for cyclists. The Netherlands offers an extensive network of cycle paths, well signposted routes and you can even cycle around the country on your own.

You can also take advantage of your holiday in the Netherlands to visit its historical sites, sail on the canals of its towns and villages (with a preference for electric boats), discover its many nature parks or simply stroll through its picturesque streets.

Good practices for sustainable travel:

  • Wherever you go in town, beware of bicycles, they have priority and you risk being seen badly if you ignore them.
  • Like everywhere else, we avoid silly catches, animal parks unless they are part of a sustainable approach, and theme parks that are falsely authentic.
  • Get off the beaten track, wander around with your nose to the wind, there are plenty of free and authentic activities to discover the Netherlands.
  • The Netherlands is a multicultural country, so like everywhere else in the world, respect the dos and don’ts of the people you meet.
  • Just like in the rest of the world, take back only memories and leave only footprints…