Author: Pim Tijburg | update: 2023-11-2
Have you ever faced a rainy day in The Netherlands? Wondered how to enjoy it despite the gloom? If so, you’re not alone.
The unpredictable Dutch weather can often dampen plans, leaving both tourists and locals searching for indoor alternatives.
As a native Dutchman, I’ve faced many rainy days in The Netherlands. Over the years, I’ve found many indoor activities and hidden spots that make these drizzly days memorable.
Whether you are a tourist or a local, I have tailored these tips to help anyone enjoy a rainy day indoors.
Believe me, with these indoor activities, you’ll see rainy days in The Netherlands as a chance for fun.
Explore these 30+ tips and find out how to make indoor fun, charm, and adventure part of your rainy days in The Netherlands.
Table of Contents
- 10+ Things To Do In Amsterdam When It Rains
- 10+ Things To Do In Rotterdam When It Rains
- 5+ Things To Do In The Hague and Leiden When It Rains
- 6+ Things To Do In The South Of The Netherlands When It Rains
- 4+ Things To Do In The East & North Of The Netherlands When It Rains
- Frequently Asked Questions
10+ Things To Do In Amsterdam When It Rains
What are the 10+ best indoor activities in Amsterdam?
- Visit one of the famous museums in Amsterdam.
- Visit the Rijksmuseum to see our ultimate national treasure trove
- Explore the Van Gogh Museum which has the largest collection of van Gogh’s paintings in the world
- Discover the breathtaking wealth of the Dutch Golden Agen at the Royal Palace
- Visit the Nemo Science Museum; one of the most child-friendly museums in The Netherlands
- At The Upside Down Museum; create the ultimate social media shots in a fully inverted house to simulate an upside-down experience
- Visit Madame Tussauds; fun for kids, and yourself
- Visit the Heineken Experience: learn about beer brewing and taste it afterward!
- Visit the Food Halls and enjoy tasty food and drinks.
- Glow Mini Golf Amsterdam is fun for kids and you when it rains
- Take the children to Tuschinski, the most impressive cinema in the center of Amsterdam.
Visit The Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is the National Museum because of its unparalleled art collection. It houses the finest collection of Dutch art spanning eight centuries. For instance, you can see works by renowned Dutch artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum.
You could explore the museum for days, or you might choose to see the masterpieces, such as the ‘Night Watch’ by Rembrandt, the most famous Dutch painting. Visiting the Rijksmuseum is an excellent activity for a rainy day.
Visit The Van Gogh Museum
Vincent van Gogh is among the most renowned Dutch painters. He created 900 paintings and 1100 drawings within a decade. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam displays 200 paintings and 500 drawings.
The Van Gogh Museum arranges paintings in chronological order, showcasing the artist’s growth. Van Gogh started his career in the Netherlands, painting in subdued colors and depicting poor farmers, like in ‘The Potato Eaters’.
Visit The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is among the most distinguished museums in The Netherlands. The Palace is open to visitors on most days. The King can use the Palace, and the Dutch Royal Family does so for state visits and official events. The Palace is closed to the public during royal events. Check the Palace’s website for public visiting hours.
Originally Amsterdam’s town hall, the Royal Palace was designed by Jan van Campen to showcase the city’s 17th-century power and wealth. The Royal Palace stands as one of the largest and most prestigious 17th-century buildings, a famous Dutch monument.
Visit The NEMO Science Museum
The NEMO Science Museum is a museum where children can discover the fun of science and technology.
NEMO is one of the best museums in The Netherlands to visit with children. My children loved the museum and we have visited NEMO with them several times.
At NEMO, exhibits, demonstrations, experiments, and workshops reveal the science behind everyday phenomena like electricity, light, sound, and gravity.
NEMO is packed with interactive activities that allow children to engage, listen, touch, and learn firsthand. Children often run excitedly from one exhibit to another, as NEMO provides a wide array of experiences.
NEMO tickets sell out quickly, so you it’s best to book tickets for NEMO well in advance.
Visit The Upside Down Museum
The Upside Down Museum in Amsterdam calls itself a museum, but it is not. Nevertheless, I have included the Upside Down Museum in this selection because it is one of the most popular attractions among children.
The Upside Down Museum has over 25 rooms and decors that create a colorful and amazing world inspired by the theme “The New Dutch. This theme shows how the Netherlands is a country of culture, entertainment, and creativity, with a touch of humor and quirkiness.
You can take the funniest photos and videos for your social media here or enjoy the experience.
The Upside Down Museum is highly recommended for rainy days, especially for kids.
Just be aware that the Upside Down Museum is quite a distance from the center of Amsterdam. The nearest railway station is the Amsterdam RAI station, a few minutes’ walk away.
10+ Things To Do In Rotterdam When It Rains
What are fun indoor activities in Rotterdam? What to do in Rotterdam when it rains.
- Visit the Markthal, an indoor market known for its fine food selections.
- Visit the SS Rotterdam, a vintage cruise ship styled after 950s.
- Visit the Euromast to enjoy a spectacular sheltered view of Rotterdam.
- Go shopping and stay dry with a roofed area next to the shops
- Explore the shopping area known as ‘Koopgoot.’
- Check out the shops in the “Lijnbaan” area.
- Visit the Maritime Museum; to learn about the Dutch connection to water.
- Take a Splashtour; a city trip where the bus transforms into a boat
- Bring the kids for a movie day at the cinema. For example, Pathe is the largest cinema in Rotterdam, ideal for family outings.
Visit The Markthal
The Markthal (Market Hall) is a massive building near the Grote Markt. The Markthal is unique because it houses food shops, restaurants, and apartments under one roof.
The Markthal accommodates 220 apartments, 4600 m2 of retail space, and 1600 m2 for dining. Additionally, there is a parking garage below the Markthal with space for over 1000 cars. Dutch Queen Maxima inaugurated the Markthal in 2014.
Visit The Euromast
Designed by Hugh Maaskant and built from 1958 to 1960, the Euromast stands at 195 meters, making it Rotterdam’s tallest building.
Its slogan, ‘Be on top,’ aptly describes the city’s tallest structure. The Euromast also features restaurants offering stunning views of Rotterdam and the river Maas.
Visit The Steamship Rotterdam
The SS Rotterdam, formerly of the Holland America line, is now docked at the Maashaven on the south bank of the river Maas.
The ship’s unique charm comes from its complete renovation to its original 1950s style, from the era it sailed the oceans. On the SS Rotterdam, visitors can enjoy dinner and drinks, and even stay overnight in its hotel rooms.
The ship provides a unique experience with the best views of Rotterdam’s skyline.
Visit The Maritime Museum
Given that Rotterdam houses one of the world’s largest harbors, it’s the perfect location for a maritime museum in The Netherlands. Located in an old city port, the museum is conveniently situated near the city center.
This maritime museum in Rotterdam offers the most authentic experience available. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Maritime Museum’s online portal.
5 Things To Do In The Hague and Leiden When It Rains
- Visit the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, home to an exceptional collection of paintings.
- In Leiden, take the children to Corpus for an educational journey through the human body.
- Take the children to Tiki Pool, the Netherlands’ largest indoor waterpark, known for its thrilling slides.
- Visit The Mall of The Netherlands in Leidschendam to shop, dine, bowl, laser game, or enjoy a movie.
- Tour the Royal Delft Blue factory in Delft, the sole maker of original Delft Blue pottery.
Visit The Mauritshuis Museum In The Hague
The Mauritshuis, at the heart of The Hague, is renowned for its extensive collection of Dutch and Flemish masterpieces from the 17th century. No other museum in The Netherlands features so many famous paintings.
The collection’s well-known highlights include Rembrandt’s ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp,’ Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring,’ and Potter’s ‘The Bull.’
The collection also features Jan Steen’s finest works, Jacob van Ruisdael’s magnificent landscapes, and Rubens’ impressive portraits, which highlight the Mauritshuis’ allure.
You can find more information on the website of the Mauritshuis Museum.
Take The Kids to Tiki Pool In Wassenaar
Duinrell stands out among Dutch amusement parks with its expansive Tiki Pool water park, boasting over 20 slides that extend for more than 1.5 kilometers.
The spectacular slides at Duinrell ensure that teenagers will enjoy their time and have plenty to share with friends on social media.
6 Things To Do In The South Of The Netherlands When It Rains
- Go shopping in the designer outlet Roermond
- Go shopping in the designer outlet Roosendaal
- Visit the caves under Maastricht
- Visit a book shop “Dominicanen” in a former church in Maastricht
- Go Biking or laser gaming in the caves under Valkenburg
- Go skiing in SnowWorld Landgraaf, the largest indoor ski village in NL
Go Shopping In the Designer Outlet Roermond
Designer Outlet Roermond’s location near Germany and Belgium makes it a prime destination for numerous visitors.
The outlet is extensive, featuring over 180 stores from most major brands.
Therefore, I understand why this outlet welcomes more than 8 million visitors annually because it is a paradise for shoppers.
Visit the Designer Outlet Roermond website to find out their opening hours.
Go Shopping In The Designer Outlet Roosendaal
Roosendaal’s designer outlet center is the smallest of the three outlets but still has 85 shops and 5 restaurants. On their website, you can check if your favorite brand is present in this outlet.
4+ Things To Do In The East & North Of The Netherlands When It Rains
- Go shopping in Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet in Lelystad
- Go shopping in Hoog Catharijne in the center of Utrecht.
- Visit the Railway Museum in Utrecht: fun for kids.
- Visit the Orchid Farm in Luttelgeest; fun for kids.
Go Shopping In Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet
Batavia Stad is a large shopping outlet located in Lelystad and a 30-45 minutes drive from Amsterdam. Batavia Stad calls itself the “Amsterdam fashion outlet center”. When you visit Amsterdam, visiting Batavia Stad can be pretty attractive on a rainy morning or afternoon.
Visit the Railway Museum In Utrecht
The Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum) has an extensive collection of locomotives, train carriages, steam engines, scale models, paintings of trains, railway materials, and objects.
The Railway Museum has a fantastic location, the former Maliebaan railway station, built in 1874. This railway station is completely restored. You’ll find a richly painted vestibule with chandeliers, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class waiting rooms, a luxurious dining room, and even toilets in the 19th-century atmosphere.
You can get to the museum in style by train! From Utrecht CS, the museum train will take you to the museum, and you will get off the train in the middle of the museum. A very original (and handy) way to start a trip through the museum; the children will love it.
You can find more information on the website of the Railway Museum.
Go Shopping In Hoog Catharijne Shopping Mall
That shopping mall is called ‘Hoog Catharijne’ and is located in the center of Utrecht. Hoog Catharijne lies next to the train station of Utrecht, making it very easy to reach. The main shopping area of Utrecht is on the other side of Hoog Catharijne, and this combination makes Utrecht a unique shopping city with plenty of choices.
Hoog Catharijne has recently been renovated. It is now an up-to-date and modern shopping mall. I like Hoog Catharijne because it is all indoors, but it does not feel like that. On a rainy day, you can come in by train and shop in Hoog Catharijne without getting out in the rain.
You can check out the website of Hoog Catharijne if you want to find out in advance if your favorite brands are present there.
Visit The Orchid Farm In Luttelgeest
The Orchid Farm in Luttelgeest is entirely indoors and consists of several greenhouses. You will find colorful gardens, orchids, butterflies, and fishes in these greenhouses.
The Orchid Farm is a lovely and surprising concept and deserves your consideration as a family activity.