Spring in the Dutch cities

The flowers are finally starting to bloom, its warm enough for a bike tour around the cities and it might even be possible to enjoy a cold drink with a couple sunrays breaking through the clouds!

City breaks are always fun and easy to plan, they never have to be a long trip, you could do a day in a city like some of our favourite travel influencers did with a few Stena Savvy Sailing tips (follow the story with the hashtag #StenaSavvySailing). Try a relaxing night sailing on a Friday night, save on the cost of a night in a hotel, arrive in the Netherlands on Saturday morning and visit one of the Netherlands top city destinations for two days then cruise back on a Sunday night sailing in time to arrive back in the UK for the start of the week first thing Monday morning, sounds like the perfect springtime getaway, right?

Take this opportunity to load up your car or hop on a train to the Stena Line and sail away for a visit with family and friends, explore a few of our favourite places:

1. Maastricht

Is just over 2 hours away from the Hook of Holland and about an hour and a half away from Antwerp, perfect for a city to city stop off drive. This destination is a great way to connect to the rest of Europe, ideal if you want a bit of a longer break for a visit with friends and family. Drive towards Belgium in no time and it’s location is also ideal if you wish to travel onward to Germany with Cologne under an hour and a half away.

2. Utrecht

Utrecht is perfect for a short weekend stay, the city’s famous landmarks are relatively compact compared to cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam meaning you can cover a lot more things in a shorter amount of time. There are must-see landmarks like The Dom tower, De Haar Castle and Utrecht’s historical canals, said to have ran through the city for hundreds of years! This is an ideal city for a group trip during the bank holiday so you can make the most of the extra day off.

3. Delft

Delft is a tourist hub with a perfect mix of local life. It’s got some of the Netherlands best museums such as the Pinsehof museum – The prince’s court and the The Lambert van Meerten Museum. Spring and summer is the perfect time to visit as you really get to enjoy the TU Delft Botanical Garden and The Rose windmill. It also offers great hotels and hostels that are family, solo-traveller and couple friendly like The Hampshire Hotel or the Hotel grand canal. If you book your sailing and hotel together you could save up to 20% off! Click Here for more info >

4. Rotterdam

Rotterdam is always a good alternative to Amsterdam. It is the second largest city in the Netherlands with a vibrant local community but is still tourist friendly. There’s activities for grownups and children from the Rotterdam zoo to the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen. The Erasmus bridge is a fantastic backdrop to the city as well as other interesting architecture such as the Cube Houses, Rotterdam Market Hall and the Kinderdijk’s Windmills.

5. Haarlem

Not Harlem (like in New York) but the original Haarlem in the North of Holland is a neighbouring municipality to Amsterdam, though the old city Haarlem is only 15 minutes away from Amsterdam it has fewer tourists for a truly local experience. Perfect if visiting someone based in the Netherlands or if you have already been a few times. Enjoy a drink at one of the cafes near the Spaarne river, you’ll be spoilt for choice for places to eat and drink. There are also a few markets to visit during the day, a great way to get around is of course by bike and during the evening, the city is pretty lively.