Holland In All Seasons

January 15, 2020

Christmas is over and summer seems miles away – what better time to plan a holiday? Whether you enjoy a springtime short break, a summer holiday or an autumn getaway, our ferry crossings from Newcastle to Amsterdam give you access to the Netherlands and wider Europe. For vibrant cities, captivating countryside and charming coasts, the Netherlands delivers. Beat those winter blues and set sail in 2020.


During spring, Amsterdam and the surrounding countryside wake from their wintery spell and their famous flowers begin to bloom. Visit the world’s only floating flower market in the heart of Amsterdam, enjoy the annual Tulip Festival in April or head to Keukenhof Gardens between March and May to see a colourful array of beautiful blooms. Springtime is the perfect time to head out into the city’s parks too and Vondelpark Open Air Theatre host performances of music, dance, comedy and children’s events each weekend until September, all for free.


If you’re up for a party, spring also brings with it the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year will be hosted in Rotterdam. Get your glad rags on, warm up those voices and head to the vibrant city to enjoy a night like no other. If you can’t get tickets, Eurovision villages will pop up around the city, with open air bars and screens to enjoy the festivities.

Head to Limburg in the south of The Netherlands for amazing cycling routes and bike races such as the Amstel Gold Race. The mountainous backdrop is ideal for a challenging bike ride if you fancy giving it a go yourself.

On 27th April, wear your fanciest orange outfit and join people across The Netherlands to celebrate King’s Day. Inhabitants spill out into the city’s streets enjoying parties to celebrate the King’s birthday.


The Netherlands have some fantastic cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, but did you know they have some brilliant beaches too? Scheveningen beach in south Holland is one of the most popular beaches in the country with its golden sands, beach bars and pier. Texel beach in the north is more peaceful, with a handful of beachside restaurants, a red lighthouse and undulating sand dunes. The high winds make it ideal for flying a kite too! If you want to tie in a beach holiday with a city break, head to Zandvoort aan Zee beach which is only 30km away from Amsterdam and easy to get to from the capital.


Back in the city, it’s festival time, with over 300 festivals taking place over the summer months in Amsterdam alone. Hundreds more happen across the Netherlands each summer.  From food festivals to cultural carnivals to music events, a plethora of creativity and cool take over the city. Summer sees one of the world’s biggest Pride celebrations too, where Amsterdam’s streets, canals, restaurants and bars are taken over by parades, events and celebrations to mark Gay Pride.

Summer is the perfect time for al fresco dining, rooftop drinking and enjoying the balmy nights. Bars and restaurants spill out onto the pavements so customers can sip something refreshing while watching the world go by.


Autumnal Amsterdam is a delight, with fiery foliage taking over the city, edging the canals in golden splendour. The city’s parks are charming in every season but feeling the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet as you stroll through the tree lined paths is an absolute joy.


If Eurovision back in spring got your toes a-tapping, get on your dancing shoes again for Amsterdam Dance Event, a 5-day dance music festival in which thousands of DJs and music fans descend on the city to celebrate dance and electronic music. Expect thrilling performances, talks and pop-up events.

If the weather isn’t kind over the autumn months, Amsterdam has some of the best museums in the world, from the Rijksmuseum, with famous art and a stunning hidden library with books from floor to ceiling to Anne Frank House, the place where the now famous child of the Holocaust, lived in hiding with her family. You can even explore the city’s museums by moonlight every November on Museum Night, when over 50 museums in Amsterdam open their doors after dark for viewings of exhibitions, special events, workshops and concerts.

Autumn also brings the arrival of Sinterklaas, the St Nicholas’ figure who arrives by boat from Madrid then parades through the streets on his white horse Amerigo. He hands out small gingerbread biscuits called peppernoten to children hoping for presents on 6th December, St Nicholas’s Day.


Cosying up with some glühwein and gingerbread is the perfect way to spend a winter’s day and the Christmas markets around the country offer traditional Dutch produce – perfect for gifts to take home to your loved ones. There are a number of well-known Christmas markets in Holland including those in Valkenburg, Dordrecht, Deventer, Maastricht and Nijmegen, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands.


Photo credit: NBTC Holland Marketing

Back in Amsterdam, wrap up warm and head to the ice-rink on Rembrandplein before heading to Dam Square to marvel at the 20 metre-high Christmas tree.

Bring a wintery tale to life in Bergkwartier in Deventer at the annual Dickens festival every December. In homage to the author of A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, each year actors and bibliophiles bring over 900 of Dickens’ characters to life, including carol singers, vagabonds and gentlemen. You can smell the roasted chestnuts as you stroll the streets and as you step behind the doors of the historic houses in the city, it will feel like stepping back in time to Victorian England.

DFDS run daily, overnight crossings from Newcastle to Amsterdam and for a limited time only, if you book early you can save 15% plus play only 15% deposit. Find out more here.

Comments are closed