Finding Something Good to Do with the VisitHolland App

Heather Tucker, dinsdag 5 maart 2013

I have a friend visiting from the UK soon. She has been to Holland several times before, which means we have already done the touristy things. She doesn’t want to eat cheese or buy tulips; she’d rather not wear wooden shoes or visit windmills and that’s why I’m on a mission to find something more interesting and unique that we can do while she is here.

I start searching by pulling up the foolproof Google. I have to admit it is rather uninspiring searching this way. And then I remember the VisitHolland app. I downloaded it onto my phone back when it was first launched and now I am going to put it to good use!

I flip the switch at the bottom right of the screen to online mode since I am hoping to find something relatively nearby and then I press the “near me” icon. Bingo! After selecting my search criteria (attractions, museums, shopping, hotels, etc.), a map covered in orange Visit Holland logos appears and there amongst them, is the blue dot representing me. By tapping on each of the logos, I can see more details about the location they represent.

Hmmm...let’s see...The Mills of Kinderdijknaah...De Kiefhoek – what’s that? A few taps and I learn that De Kiefhoek was a new social housing project in the 1930s that was added to the Union Internationale des Architectes’ list of the 1,000 most important structures of the 20th century, in 1999. This is right up my alley but sadly not my friend’s, so I add it to my itinerary list by pressing the add button and return to my search results.

Hoeksche Waardnope...Oudewater Witches Weighhouse – that looks unique but the app mentions that it is only open from April 1st until November 1st so that one will have to wait. Whoops, I’ve made the map too big and am now looking at something 97.4 kilometres away. I zoom out a bit again and that’s when I spot it. There...a little bit north of the blue dot.

According to the app the Railway Museum in Utrecht or the Spoorwegmuseum as it is known in Dutch, is just under 46 kilometres away. And even better – it’s open. I read through all the information, grab the address and fire up the sat-nav. I plan to check this place out first hand rather than wait and the Railway Museum turns out to be even better than I had imagined. There is plenty there to keep even the non-train enthusiast happy and what a great place for kids.

Now if only I had a ticket on that Orient Express train (and that it was actually going somewhere)!