Practical tips for when you’re visiting the Netherlands -
Cycling at the Kop van Zuid
Cycling at the Kop van Zuid
Photo: © Iris van den Broek
Travel inspiration

Practical tips for you

Slowly but surely, the Netherlands has opened back up, from museums to shops and from restaurants to camping grounds. What does it mean for you if you are holidaying in the Netherlands? We are still a little anxious in the run-up to the ‘new normal’. Read about the most important things to keep in mind and how we can all safely enjoy the beautiful places in the Netherlands.

  • The Netherlands has opened back up; about reservations, what is open, and social distancing (1.5 m).
  • Keep the safety rules in mind because things are not quite back to normal.
  • Read tips and recommendations for you about the current situation in the Netherlands.

Can I go on a holiday to the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is not yet open to visitors from every country. If you are from the UK, for instance, you can come to the Netherlands for a holiday, although a 14 day voluntary quarantine is recommended. Unfortunately travelers from the United States are not yet allowed into the Netherlands, among other countries. It goes without saying that we hope to welcome you once again at a later stage. In the mean time, check out our inspiration articles about the Netherlands. We have collected a number of practical travel tips for visitors from the UK and other high-risk EU member states.

Safe explorations in the Netherlands

Did you know that our country is full of fantastic undiscovered places? Enjoy, explore and travel around, but be safe. Check the important rules and comply with local instructions. We can all be safe together. The main measure is social distancing, with everybody staying 1.5 meters away from other people. It is better to stay away from busy places and crowds; instead seek out the water or rent a bicycle and go for a fabulous day tour. You can also go out in the late afternoon or rather get up early. If you are somewhere and crowds are gathering, be wise and seek out a quieter spot or go back to your holiday accommodations. Visit and discover less well-known places and activities in the Netherlands.

  • Avoid crowds
  • Always keep a 1.5 meter distance from others (except members of your own family, of course).
  • Children up to 12 years old do not have to stay 1.5 meters away from each other and adults. Young people up to 18 years old do not have to stay 1.5 meters away from each other but they do have to keep their distance from adults.
  • Public transport is once again accessible to all travelers since 1 July. Wearing a (non-medical) face mask is mandatory. Here, too, avoid crowds and travel outside peak hours whenever possible.
  • Restaurants, terraces and cafés are open. Social distancing (1.5 m) is mandatory. You have to book a table beforehand for locations with a capacity of more than 100 persons indoors or more than 250 persons outdoors. Visit the website of the restaurant, café or terrace to see whether you need to make a reservation. Personnel may do a health check at the door.

Attractions and museums

Museums and amusement parks are open. Here, too, the main measure is social distancing (1.5 m) but there is no longer a maximum number of visitors as per 1 July. For museums and amusement parks, you do have to buy a ticket online beforehand to book a specific day and time. If this does not work out for you, experience museums and virtual tours online with our tips.

Shops and restaurants

Shops are open and make every effort to implement the 1.5 meter distance. The number of people inside shops is limited, so you may be required to take a shopping basket or cart inside. Face masks are not mandatory in shops and at markets. Shopping areas have instituted a kind of one-way traffic to help people maintain the 1.5 meter distance. In Zutphen, for instance, you must follow the heart itinerary in the street, while Gouda has implemented a cheese route. Restaurants and terraces are open if they ensure a 1.5 meter distance between guests. You no longer always have to book a table in advance, except for locations with a capacity of more than 100 seats indoors or 250 seats outdoors.

Beaches and nature reserves

Can we go to the beach? In principle, there are so many beaches in the Netherlands and they are so wide that there is a spot for everyone even with social distancing. Some beaches are more crowded than others, so car parks and access roads may be closed temporarily if there are too many people. Beach pavilions and toilet facilities are open with adaptive measures. Inquire about your destination at the local VVV tourist office beforehand and comply with instructions given on site. Together we will keep the Netherlands safe. Have lots of fun at the beach!

There is plenty of space for everyone in nature, too, although the same rules apply here: some places may become too crowded and in that case closed to the public. Give each other space, for instance by using a different  entrance than the one at big car parks, and clean up after yourself. Too crowded today? Follow webcams and livestreams and other ways to virtually experience the Netherlands.

Accommodations, camping grounds, hotels

Many accommodations and holiday parks are open and happy to welcome you! Here, too, the rules for social distancing (1.5 m) are in place. Check the website of your intended destination for additional measures and whether you can book an accommodation. Unfortunately, it is not allowed for multiple families to share a holiday cottage. Ask your accommodation in the Netherlands for more information. Toilets and showers on camping grounds are open, so you can go camping with a tent, campervan or caravan. You must book hotels and other accommodations before your trip. You may be sent back at the border if you cannot show a valid reservation.

More information about face mask requirements

Please note that wearing a face mask is mandatory in shopping streets or other crowded spaces in some cities. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, you must wear a face mask in specific areas starting August 5th. Towns and cities are authorized to decide autonomously whether a face mask requirement will be imposed and in what locations, so the rules may vary per region and destination.

Amsterdam: Everyone from the age of 13 is required to wear a face mask in the five crowded areas in the inner city. You must wear a face mask in stores and in the streets. The measure applies every day (and at night) in the Wallen area, Nieuwendijk and Kalverstraat, and during market hours only on Albert Cuypmarkt and Plein '40-'45.

Rotterdam: Rotterdam has also introduced a face mask requirement in several areas, including Coolsingel, Lijnbaan, and the indoor shopping malls Alexandrium and Zuidplein.

Please make sure you are aware of the measures in each safety region, follow any applicable instructions, and avoid crowded places.

7 questions about holidaying in the Netherlands


Enjoy your holiday! Stay safe and pay attention to instructions

If you still have questions, check out our information page about COVID-19 measures or go to the Q&A for tourists on the Dutch government website.

Last updated on [7-8-2020]

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