May is a great month to visit the Netherlands, with the weather warming up and the school holidays approaching it is the perfect time to beat the crowds and see the sights this wonderful country has to offer. This list will run through the ultimate must -see and must-do in The Netherlands this May!
Liberation Day on the 5 May is celebrated every year in the Netherlands and marks the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. Many free open air festivals take place, bevrijdingsfestival, and the Dutch enjoy themselves whilst remembering to appreciate the freedom they now experience within their democratic society.
April and May are the best times to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips in full bloom making the world famous Keukenhof Tulip and Flower Park a must see! Between 20th March and 17th May, the theme for the park is Van Gogh, marking the 125th anniversary of his death. The park is just under 45 minutes’ drive from central Amsterdam making it the perfect day trip or even afternoon excursion! To get a real feel for the garden, cycling through the local area, taking in the wonderful flowering fields, is a great way to see the tulips in full bloom.
The Alkmaar cheesemarket is an absolute must for all cheese lovers visiting the Netherlands. Tourists visit from all over the world to experience the spectacle of people buying, weighing and trading at Alkmaar due to its historic significance with the market taking place thee since 1622.
Furthemore, any self-confessed foodies who are in Amsterdam between 13 and 17 of May, be sure to check out the Rollende Keukens, or rolling kitchens, food festival where countless mobile kitchens offer their cuisine to the masses at the Westergasfabriek in Westerpark.
Java Eiland, Amsterdam
If live music is your thing then don’t miss out on The Pacha Festival, a huge dance music festival event at Java Eiland in Amsterdam on Saturday 16 May. With huge headliners and great entertainment already announced, the festival is sure to not disappoint.
The Opera Days Rotterdam
Holidaymakers can enjoy 10 days of opera performances at The Opera Days Rotterdam. The 10 day long festival consists of opera performances, interviews and presentations throughout the city in theatres and at locations throughout the city. Previous locations have included market squares, churches and shops, as well as living room concerts. The Opera Days attracts over 20,000 visitors a year making it one of the largest opera festivals in the world.
Pure Market was founded in Amsterdam in 2008 and has been a great success since! This regular market runs consistently with high quality produce, music, food stalls and other activities proving fun for all the family. This month it is running in Amstel Park on 10 May 2015 and in Park Frankendael on 31 May 2015.
Stena Line offers twice-daily, seven hour return crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland. Return fares for a family of four start from £176. www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland.
Additional adults cost start from £29 return and children (between four and 15 years old) from £14.50 return. Foot passenger prices start from £36.50 per adult and £18.25 for children. Infants (under four years old) travel free of charge. Cabins start from £30 per person return. Alternatively Stena Line’s Dutchflyer rail-and-sail service allows customers to take any Greater Anglia service to Harwich, and then on to any Dutch city of their choice (www.dutchflyer.co.uk). To make a booking visit www.stenaline.co.uk or call Stena Line on 08447 70 70 70