Virtual ways to experience the Netherlands
A day at the beach
Bring on the sea, sand and SPF-30 – in a manner of speaking. Lay your towel on the beach and tune in digitally to the sound of the waves and the calming view. Webcams have been set up at beaches throughout the country to recreate the sun-soaked and windswept atmosphere. From Scheveningen (watch here) to the Wadden Islands, and everywhere in between, find a sunny spot to curl up and enjoy the ambiance of these surprisingly meditative livestreams.
Nature and gardens
Walk through the Dutch dunes or a bucolic forest setting without leaving home. Natuurmonumenten has compiled a selection of tranquil landscapes to enjoy via Google Street View. Click your way around Schiermonnikoog National Park, the polders of the Hoeksche Waard or Graveland's riverside views in Gooi & Vecht. During spring, you can virtually wander through the Keukenhof gardens, admiring its tulips in every color of the rainbow. And to get better acquainted with some local tree dwellers, tune in to Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp’s vulture webcam to check in on foster parents raising a vulture chick.
Art and exhibitions
We’ve already covered many in our article ‘Museums online and Dutch Masters at home’ – but those are but the tip of the cultural iceberg! For example, you can also take virtual tours of the street art-focussed Moco Museum or the modern art Groninger Museum. The Zeeuws Museum in Zeeland offers its collection online as well as fun and interactive activities like coloring pages and building your own 17th-century ship. Nearby, the muZEEum, dedicated to all things maritime, offers video tours around its most interesting exhibits. Then there’s impressive technological capabilities such as Google’s Arts & Culture app which offers a peek into major museums around the world. Don’t miss the Kroller-Mueller Museum and virtually ‘hang’ one its Van Gogh pieces in your own home using the Art Projector function. Alternatively, tour the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center using Google Street View.
Attractions and monuments
The Netherlands’ most popular museums and attractions are also welcoming visitors digitally. The Anne Frank House offers tours of the secret annex and has also launched a vlog-style web series to enjoy at home. Adventure seekers can also roam around Efteling theme park, thanks to a virtual tour filmed by drone, combined with the rare opportunity to see the park completely on your own. Of course, there are also many ways to gather inspiration for your next visit using Google Street View. Admire the medieval architecture of Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot or discover the artificial fortress island of Pampus. In fact, many of the Netherlands’ more famous castles and country houses offer 360-degree images.
Hotels from home
Enjoy the architecture and stunning interiors of monumental hotels. Click through the beautiful lobbies of your favorites on Google Street View and get inspired for your next visit. Dutch initiatives to bring a hotel experience to your own home are also gaining ground. Discover the luxury of having a gourmet breakfast and goodies delivered to your door, an on-call concierge and live-streamed entertainment with HomeSuiteHome, the first online hotel.