Looking for a family friendly countryside day trip in the Netherlands? Why not consider a daytrip to Kinderdijk and Biesbosch National Park. These two sites can easily be combined in one day.
Some highlights include:
Almost any place can easily be reached by public transport in The Netherlands. Trains and buses run frequently. Yet for visiting the Biesbosch NP and Kinderdijk combined in a daytrip, a rental car would be most handy.
Both destinations are less than 30 minutes of driving from Rotterdam, and under one hour from both The Hague and Amsterdam.
For Kinderdijk, take the highway exit to Kinderdijk off the A15, and follow the signs. There’s an extensive parking space close to the highway (EUR7,50 per day, including transfer per minibus to Kinderdijk).
But if you drive on, there’s a smaller parking space just meters from the visitor center (EUR9,50 per day). If you’re lucky, there’s still a spot available.
To get from Kinderdijk to the Biesbosch, drive back to the A15 highway (direction Gorinchem/Nijmegen). After a few kilometers, take exit 23 to Dordrecht.
Follow the N3 ring road until exit 3, and follow the signs to Werkendam ferry. Take the ferry, and you’re in the Biesbosch. Start at the nearby ‘MuseumEiland’, and take it from there.
The famous Kinderdijk windmills at the confluence of the Rhine and Noord rivers were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The nineteen windmills, mostly dating from the early 18th century, pumped the excess water out of the surrounding lands ‘polders’, making the land suitable for agriculture and livestock.
While some of the windmills are still being used, the main water management works are now provided by two large diesel pumping stations.
Start at the visitor center, where you can buy a ticket for all the sites (EUR 18,50). This is not compulsory – you can walk around the windmills for free, but having a ticket does provide for a better experience. With the ticket, you can enter the two museum-mills, the video, the pumping station, and join the boat cruises.
After the visitor center, head for the video room (just across the bridge on the left), where a very engaging video explains the function and history of the windmills.
Afterwards explore the windmills and the pumping station. I recommend to walk around, at least to the Blokweer windmill, and then take the ferry back to the visitor center (more info here).
The Biesbosch is one of the last freshwater tidal wetlands in Europe. It consists out of a network of rivers and smaller creeks with islands and is a true birdwatcher’s paradise. It was created during the major St. Elisabeth flood in the early 15th century.
Over 300 square kilometers were submerged, and thousands were killed, as old and poorly maintained dykes breached. A horrible disaster, yet resulting in a unique landscape that we can still enjoy today!
The Biesbosch comprises an extensive area, with lots of interesting areas to walk in. A logical starting point would be the MuseumEiland. The highly informative exhibitions give an excellent introduction to the history and current situation of the National Park.
From here, you can go anywhere. If you have little time, there are some short walking trails close to the MuseumEiland. If you have more time, take a boat tour around the Biesbosch, or choose one of the longer walking trails. All the information you could possibly need can be found at the MuseumEiland (or the visitor center in Dordrecht).
Hope you found Kinderdijk and Biesbosch day trip guide useful. Wishing you many happy travel moments in the Netherlands!
Arjen aims to visit every country in the world (currently at around 85). His wife thinks he is a walking GPS! As an avid traveler, Arjen has successfully arranged tours for family and friends around Europe, Morocco, China and Pakistan. When he’s not wrestling with world affairs he loves diving, traveling and reading in no particular order.
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