So, you’re thinking of traveling to the Netherlands with your teenagers? Here are 17 Instagram-able things to do and the hashtags to entice them with.
Teens: those not quite children, yet not exactly young adults too. They’re glued to their mobile phone and other screens and, of course, less than interested in anything you suggest. Unless when you unobtrusively can connect them to their contemporaries through social media like Instagram and the use of hashtags.
What to go and see or do
What can you show them that will have them taking #selfie (no 14 on the list of most used hashtags) pictures, or add #love (no. 1) or #beautiful (no. 5) to their judgments or posts? Being the adult in the mix, you’d like to show them a good mixture of Dutch culture with fun highlights.
The activities chosen below, for that reason, had to fall within the following perimeters:
- Something for everyone and catering to different interests
- Particular to the Netherlands
- Activities you won’t have or do in your home town (that easily)
Let’s start in Amsterdam, on the notion that lots of tourists arrive in the country here.
The city provides a nice combination of history, particular Dutch customs and views, and fun cultural experiences.
2) Explore on foot – #canals, #bridges, and #clock gables
The easiest way: walk around downtown Amsterdam. Stroll alongside the #canals, passing over them on the #historical arched #bridges and checking out the many different #Dutchgables of buildings.
Hints to use to post: how are clocks, necks, steps, and cornices related? All types of Dutch gables.
There are plenty of guided walking tours as well but they tend to drone on about history and throw out names of people you don’t care about. Something you wouldn’t want to do that to your teen, now,would you?
Rent a bike and cycle through the city but… if you or your teen aren’t comfortable on a bike, just don’t do it. Amsterdam is crowded with tourists trying this for the first time with ensuing dangerous situations because of it. So, unless you’re looking for a hashtag: #canaldiving or for the Dutch #fietsmerin, decide if biking around the city is for you.
Still want to try cycling in the Netherlands? Consider doing so along the coast, through one of the nature parks or in any other place where you won’t have to contend with busy traffic.
Lookout Amsterdam: a swing on top of the building, that allows for a great view over the city and some very Instagram-able pictures
Have a #selfie taken in front of the ‘Nachtwacht’ one of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings to be seen in the Rijksmuseum. Free for those up to 18 years of age, so even if you don’t spend hours here, you won’t break the bank.
6) #VanGogh #app
Or go see the VanGogh Museum and take part in the multimedia tour. An app: Unravel Van Gogh (Ontrafel van Gogh) will help view what is going on underneath the top layers of paint on a painting.
7) Wonder about #art and #play
For another ‘shareable’ experience go visit WONDR where you can dive into marshmallows and be doused by confetti. A visual art experience that will allow for a myriad of Insta pictures or stories.
8) #Canaltour #art #lights
At the end of the day, book one of the many canal tours starting right outside of the Amsterdam train station, and #travel the #city and canals by water. Depending on the time of the year, at night, these tours will be lit up by special #light #art #night (no 73)
Outside of Amsterdam
You may not be close to Amsterdam, or have shown the teens around here already, or are craving something else to do.
How about these #water (no 97) related highlights?
- 9) With about a quarter of the country (26% to be exact) below sea level, you can either go see the lowest point in Nieuwerkerk aan de Ijssel (-6.76m/-22.2 ft ) or the highest in the southern province of Limburg at (+323 m/ 1059 ft)
#best about this last option, you also get to see the tri-country point where the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany’s borders meet. #amazing (no. 37)
- 10) Visit a mill, there are 19 of them clustered around the Kinderdijk, and besides their use to drain and re-distribute water in polders, they were also used to grind grains, saw wood or press oils from seeds. A lot of them will have an option to wear old fashioned clothing (#ootd (no.49)) or massive clogs to take a #selfie in.
By the way, tell them about the ‘walking islands’ in the north of the Netherlands. Due to wind and currents sand and soil of these islands are blown and dragged from the North Seaside. This is then deposited at the opposite end, thus making the islands ‘walk’.
11) Water Management in the Netherlands
- Two other water-related activities are driving or cycling over the 32 km long dam that was built between 1927 and 1932 to protect the country from the high tides that threatened the middle of the country. #cool (no. 66) #travel (no 29) #handmade (no. 82), #design (no.69)
- And the extensive combination of locks, dikes and floodgates in Zeeland. They were designed and constructed after a devastating flood in 1953 that inundated much of the south-western part of the country. Here, the Deltaworks connect the islands to each other and to the mainland, and due to the roads on top of them have also become and quicker way to travel to these parts.
At the Neeltje Jans Deltawerken, see what let to the design of these dams, how they work and walk between the massive doors that hold back the North Sea at high tides.
|Tickets low season Nov – March||High season April – October|
|Adult €18 12 y/o and up (online €16)||Kids €23.50 (online 21.50)|
|2-3 y/o €7 (same online)||€9 (same online)|
|4-11 y/o €16 (online 14)||€18 (€16 online)|
12 – 14) #Fun activities
- Go to the #beach (no. 45), as there is about 1000 km coastline to enjoy. The sea may usually looks grey but in #summer (no 15) the wide and flat beaches make for colourful backdrops. Tons up umbrella’s, towels and beachwear in every colour under the rainbow.
- The Netherlands has a long coastline plus it is flat, meaning it also gets a lot of wind and that is perfect for sports like kitesurfing or kitebuggying. Why not give this thrilling activity a go? Several kite clubs have packets of 3-5 surfing lessons or a beach buggy clinic.#instagood (no. 2)
- More inland climb through trees in a climbing forest. This can be done in Ruurlo, Apeldoorn, Lage Vuursche and Bergen op Zoom. Entrance fees and activities based on height: 160m and up is senior, 1.60m and below is junior. To ensure smooth climbing start times and not having to wait, book in advance.
15) #food (no.25) #instafood (no. 79)
Ever heard about, seen or tasted syrup waffles? One of the Netherlands’ most recognizable sweet treats. Ideal for Insta stories as food influencers, go see how these waffles are made in Gouda. #yummy (no. 75) #lifestyle (no. 77) and #hot (no. 78) syrup.
Traveling in spring – go see the #flower (no. 76) explosion at de Keukenhof. Hyacinths, tulips, gerbera daisies or roses, for two months all of these flowers are in bloom and make it the most colourful backdrop to any social media post.
Since the Dutch history dates back several centuries and it’s a kingdom too, you’re sure to find real castles to visit too. #cute #beautiful #follow #friends #style.
How about the Muiderslot, just outside of Amsterdam? The first settlement and construction of some sort of defense function was in 1285. It was strategically placed at the estuary of the river Vecht that led to Utrecht, an important trade city.
The round towers, the massive walls, the moat, the drawbridge…they all make for #beautiful #photographs.
So, where would you go, or what do you think your teen might like? Have you been to, or done, any of these activities? If you did, what would you advise parents and teens alike to try? Anything they have to see?