Visit Holland from Home – Virtual visit Holland

This page was last updated on March 9th, 2022

Holland is back open again for most travellers again after the pandemic, however you might not be ready again to hop on a plane. Or just want to be inspired. For you I wrote this post.

I tried  to curate an interesting list that will take you around the country from the comfort of your home. Thanks to technology, combined with the enthusiastic effort of soo many, you can enjoy a lot of great experiences, simply through your screen.

Flower Fields in Swifterband, Holland, away from the crowds.

The flower fields will soon bloom. If you're not able to vist, I found two virtual experiences below - Photo: Martijn Baudoin

I hope this post will entertain and inspire you. You might even discover new ideas to do.

I highlight museums, but also a famous concert hall, tourist attractions (some you might have never heard about), and natural areas of outstanding beauty.

All the links and videos are curated by me but are owned by the creators themselves, like museums or footage published on YouTube.


Table of Content: (jump straight to the section that interests you most)


This article contains affiliate links to products and services I love, which I may make a commission from at no cost to you.


Spring flowers, including Tulips:

I am updating this post in the middle of March of 2022. The first year the Keukenhof opens its doors again to tourist, and the first year most people can travel again without travel bans.

Are visiting this year? The best time to see the flowers is the 2nd half of April. I recommend searching for tickets in that time window. Also when you're visiting keep reading for ideas and tips.

And you're not traveling just now, I did find two great online experiences! First up is a gorgeous drone video of one of the largest commercial tulip field areas in Holland, located in Flevoland (close to where we live) For those of you visiting Holland it's well worth it to rent a car and drive here. Information about routes can be found here. But wether you come in person or not, you can always enjoy this amazing video right now:

Length: 1m30s


De Keukenhof - The worlds most famous flower garden

The 2nd experience I want to share is a fly over of the flower garden the Keukenhof. It gives a wonderful impression of the garden. And if you like to see more video, I can only high recommend checking out the official Keukenhof YouTube channel for more video's.

Ps if you're thinking about visiting in person this year (or you already have your flights books) I recommend booking your transportation and entrance via this Get Your Guide tour. What's special about them is that you have complete freedom of travel times to and from the park and they offer a great cancellation policy if needed. If you already have your transportation sorted you can also just buy a skip-the-line ticket for the Keukenhof here with the same great cancellation policy.

Length: 7 minutes


Visit famous Dutch museums from home

If you enjoy visiting museums, as I do, you’re in luck. Most of the well-known museums have a “visit from home experience.” Especially the four major museums - the Rijksmuseum, The Stedelijk (modern art), The Mauritshuis, and the Van Gogh Museum - all have a lot on offer, and completely free.


The Anne Frank Museum:

The Anne Frank Museum has a unique experience. In essence, they created a professional series staged as a vlog, its Anne living her secret life in the Annex, but now with a camera instead of a diary. 

It's a 17-part series of the life of Anne Frank, which you can watch on YouTube.  The series has subtitles in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese and is received very well.

Length: about 5 minutes per episode

When you're ready to visit again I recommend ready my blog post on Anne Frank for detailed information on how to book your tickets in advance (since this is a little complicated).


The Rijksmuseum:

The Rijksmuseum is the largest and most important of all museums in the country. It's basically the national treasure vault. The museum has a collection of close to a million items in so many different categories.

The Rijksmuseum always has something on offer that will interest you. From the world-famous paintings from artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh to an extensive collection of Delft’s Blue, Doll Houses, and furniture. 

When you are ready to visit in person you can buy your entrance ticket here with a great cancelation policy. Or use the I Amsterdam City Card (check out my blog post here if it's worth it for you).

The Rijksmuseum From Home Experience:

The museum went out of its way to create experiences to enjoy from home. I highlight a few below and link to the rest.

One of the initiatives they created is a video series on YouTube, where museum curators share stories from their home, about some of their favorite pieces of art.

These videos are highly informative and entertaining. You can watch them here:

Length: on average about 3 minutes per video


Rijks Studio - Discover 700,000 pieces of art in high resolution

Another fantastic tool available at your fingertips, absolutely free of charge, is the Rijksmuseum Studio. It’s an online database that contains most of the museum's collection.

As of right now, 700,000 pieces of art are available for you to enjoy in high definition images. You can zoom in, download pictures, get the color pallets, discover more background information about the artworks, and more. It’s pretty awesome. 

You can visit the Rijksmuseum studio here: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio.

Rijksmuseum online library - Rijks Studio.

Rijksmuseum online library - Rijks Studio - Photo: Rijksmuseum


Digital Tour of the Gallery of Honour

Another really cool experience that the Rijksmuseum offers is the Digital Tour. Here you can walk virtually around the Gallery of Honour, the area of the museum with the most famous pieces of art, including The Night Watch from Rembrandt, the Milkmaid and the Merry Family.

We’re surprised how real the experience feels. You can experience it here for yourself: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/masterpieces-up-close

Rijksmuseum Gallery of Honor - Explore the gallery virtually like you're there in person.

Rijksmuseum Gallery of Honor - Explore the gallery virtually like you're there in person - Photo: Rijksmuseum


And there is much more, like a pub quiz, the operation night watch (I definitely recommend watching this), the RijksCreative (classes on techniques of the masters), and more. Check all all of these out here: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/from-home.


Culture Tourist at the Rijksmuseum:

I know Tea personally. She is an enthusiastic art historian who has a great way of explaining art to you. She is also the creator behind culturetourist.com.

Recently Tea started to create museum videos. Including one about the Rijksmuseum. The sound quality is not always as good in this video, but don't let this stop you from watching. The information Tea shares with us is fascinating. You know, those things you would typically miss. I loved it.

Length: 16 minutes

Tea also put together a blogpost about Johannes Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum in her virtual museum visit series. I loved it. In particular, learning about the small details in the paintings, we've never noticed before. Read her post here: https://culturetourist.com/museums/virtual-museum-visits-johannes-vermeer-at-the-rijksmuseum/.


The Van Gogh Museum:

The Van Gogh museum also created a whole ray of wonderful experiences online since the outbreak of the pandemic.

When you are ready to visit in person (again) you can buy your entrance ticket here with a great cancelation policy. Or use the I Amsterdam City Card (check out my blog post here to find out if this card is worth it for you).

Virtual tours in the Van Gogh Museum

Like virtual tours on YouTube. New tours are added every Tuesday at 4pm local time. So far, seven episodes are available to watch. You can find all of them here:

Length: 2-3 minutes per episode


Van Gogh questions - Answered by a Van Gogh expert

Or the Van Gogh questions series. Where an expert answers a Van Gogh question every Friday at 4pm local time. Watch them here on YouTube:

Length: 3-5 minutes per episode


And there is more like downloading coloring pages to create your own Van Gogh paintings. Lessons tailored to kids, publications of the letters he wrote, a quiz, and much more. Find all these resources by clicking here


Culture Tourist on the Sunflowers of Van Gogh

Tea created a post in her virtual museum visit series about Van Gogh and his sunflowers. Did you know there are multiple versions of one of his most famous paintings: The Sunflowers? There are. Read all about it here.


The Mauritshuis - Home of the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer

The Mauritshuis is one of the famous smaller museums in Holland, located in The Hague. It’s a museum where you can emerge yourself in the work of Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century in a stunning building.

The most famous painting here has to be the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer. The mysterious picture almost all of us know.

The museum has made available different experiences for us to enjoy from home. From online classes, virtual tours, a 3D visit, and more. You can find all of these resources by clicking here.

When you are ready to visit in person you can buy your entrance ticket here with a great cancelation policy.

Interior of the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague.

Interior of the Mauritshuis Museum - Photo: Ronald Tilleman, Mauritshuis, The Hague


One video I like in particular is not from the museum itself but created by TED-ed. The video explores why the Girl with the Pearl Earring is considered such a masterpiece. It’s entertaining while informative at the same time. Seeing his skills explained is mind-boggling. You can join the 3 million people before you who have watched this video:

Length: 4m 33s


Stedelijk Museum (Museum of Modern Art)

Also, the Stedelijk Museum published all kinds of stay at home virtual experiences to visit the museum from home.

And when you are ready to visit in person you can buy your entrance ticket here with a great cancelation policy. Or use the I Amsterdam City Card (check out my blog post here if it's worth it for you).

Live virtual tours of the Stedelijk Museum

Every Friday at 2pm local time, the museum streams a live tour with a different topic via Instagram TV (follow the museum via @stedelijkmuseum). Afterward, these tours are available for free on YouTube. You can find the YouTube playlist here:

Length: these videos vary greatly from 8 to 45 minutes. Most are 20-30 minutes in length.


Mini documentaries from the Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk also create daily mini-docs about artists, past exhibitions, and contemporary art topics. You can watch them all here:

Length: most videos are 3-10 minutes long


Creative workshops from the "Stedelijk"

Something completely different, but also enjoyable, are workshops you can download for free. We can now all become more creative with personal tips from artists and designers like Viktor&Rolf, Joep van Lieshout, Marlene Dumas, and Rineke Dijkstra.

Download the free material here (below the buy button for the book)

PS: If you create something special make sure to share it on Instagram and let us know by tagging us @hiddenholland

Workshops from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam - Create Art from Home

Workshops from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam - Create Art from Home - Photo: Stedelijk Museum


Audio Tours - get the stories behind the art works

And finally audio tours at home: you don’t need to be in the museum to enjoy an audio tour after all. The Stedelijk has a series of audio tours where artists share their stories behind the artworks. You can listen to them here (search for the tracks starting with English)


Open-Air Museums in Holland

Holland has three famous open-air museums. Let us give you a short introduction to all three, where I share one "experience from home" for each of them. I've also written an extensive post on all three open-air museums in Holland and their differences. If you click the link it will open in a separate window.

The Zaanse Schans

The Zaanse Schans is the best known of the three and is near Amsterdam. The area is freely accessible, but many tourist businesses are active in the museum village. The Zaanse Schans is mostly visited by foreign visitors. But it's definitely fun to go as you can see in this gorgeous drone footage:

Length: 1 minute


Open-Air Museum Enkhuizen

Then there is also the much-beloved Open Air Museum Enkhuizen. This park is a real museum with an entrance fee, because of that the park is far less commercial, and loved by mostly locals.

The museum is a showcase of a fishers village, back in the day located on the open sea. You’ll arrive by ferry, after which you can walk around an authentic town, experience its customs and foods from an era long gone. Our favorite place is the: "fish smokers' house." The smoked herring is exquisite. A must-try once you're able to visit in person again.

The Open Air Museum Enkhuizen is mapped on Google Street View. Thus you can literally walk around the park from your computer screen. It works best on an iPad of computer. Click here to open the map.

Open Air Museum Enkhuizen via Google Street View.

Open Air Museum Enkhuizen via Google Street View - Photo: Google


Open-Air Museum Arnhem

And finally the Open-Air Museum in Arnhem. This is in the east of the country and the national open-air museum. Visited mostly by the Dutch to learn about their history. But it's a great museum to visit for everyone.

Here you can ride on historic trams, visit the old streets of Amsterdam, and see how the Dutch lived in general over the decades.

You can watch this introduction video of the Openlucht Museum Arnhem:

Length: 2 minutes


Music

Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam

The famous concert building in Amsterdam: “Het Concertgebouw” is home to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Below is a video of one of their empty concertgebouw sessions. You can watch many more on the Concert Building YouTube channel.

Length: 10 minute spoken introduction, followed by a 60 minute concert


Attractions

The Efteling, Amusement Park - Kaatsheuvel

Not well known outside Holland, Germany, and Belgium, but we have a Disney worthy theme park in Holland of our own. Called the Efteling.

The park pre-dates Disney when it opened as a fairy tale park, beautifully landscaped in a forest. That part of the park is still open today and it oozes nostalgia and a complete immersive experience for small children. But since, the Efteling has expanded rapidly. It's not just for kids at all. The Efteling is beloved by every generation.

It’s now a park you can easily spend 1-2 days exploring. It’s a beautiful place, with both thrill rides and more mellow experiences for the entire family.

One of its charms is its eye for details in the architecture, just like Disney. But it’s different. It's very Dutch, and inspired by the great Dutch drawer Anton Pieck. He was a master at drawing, and he designed the look and feel of many rides and buildings in the park.

The park is open again to visit, and you can get your entrance ticket for the Efteling here with a great cancellation policy. However, I also found two amazing experiences for you to experience from home.

First a drone flight that was filmed during the pandemic without visitors. It’s stunning:

Length: 3 minutes

Also, an old documentary about the life of Anton Pieck and his influence on the park has been re-released. You can watch it here (English subtitles are available):

Length: 30 minutes

PS Tip: if you enjoy themepark music then search for "Efteling" in your favorite music service like Apple Music of Spotify to find the official park albums.


This is Holland, 5D flight over the country  - Amsterdam

The "This is Holland" promo video is a short video giving you a beautiful impression about what "This Is Holland" is. A 5D flight experience very similar to Soarin’ in Disney World, but longer. You get a great overview of the whole country, and one of the reasons I love it so much!

"This is Holland" is located across Amsterdam Central station, a short ferry ride across the water (take the North exit). You buy your entrance ticket for This is Holland here (with a great cancellation policy). Or use the I Amsterdam City Card (check out my blog post here if it's worth it for you).

And you can watch this video below to get a glimpse of what you can experience:

Length: 30 seconds


Madurodam - The Hague

Madurodam has been a favorite for locals and visitors alike for decades. I've visited the park since I was little and still love to go once in a while. If you plan to visit you can buy your entrance ticket for Madurodam here.

Madurodam is a miniature city in The Hague that is home to the most famous buildings and structures of Holland, all at scale. It’s beautifully done and interactive.

My fondest memories as a kid was to insert small coins in some of the objects, and things started to move and come to life, like the funfair. You can explore the park from home with this well-done drone video of WonderLiv:

Length: 2 minutes


Palace Het Loo - Apeldoorn

Paleis Het Loo is one of the most iconic castles in Holland. It’s famous for its 17th-century style gardens. The building itself is a museum.

By the way, did you know the palace is featured in both the "This is Holland experience" from above and is shown in Madurodam?

Since 2018 the museum section was closed for a long term 4-year renovation project. Which actually become 5 years. But  the museum in finally open again. So, when you're planning to visit Holland adding Palace het Loo to your itinerary is a great choice!

But for now enjoy the gardens from home with this beautiful drone footage:

Length: 2 minutes


Giethoorn - The Venice of the North

The village of Giethoorn might not need much of an introduction. This beautiful town has canals instead of roads. That is why it's called the Venice of the North. It’s one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Holland outside of Amsterdam.

The village is about 2 hours north-east of Amsterdam. Most people visit as part of an organized group tour. I would actually recommend against that. Sure it’s easier, but it also prevents you from exploring on your own at your own pace.

You can also visit on your own by renting a car or travel on public transport. If you rent a car, you can also visit the National Park “The Weerribben” next door (tip rent a canoe). And the UNESCO World Heritage site "Schokland" - which is a dried up island in a former sea.

But first you can enjoy a beautiful video from the “Videoproducers” exploring the village of Giethoorn like you’re there already:

Length: 5 minutes


More drone videos of Holland

I also love the drone video’s created by DSD Creations. I've already shared one video earlier from them (flying over the tulip fields). But they have many more videos flying over Holland.

Some of our favorites are:

The island of Vlieland (one of the “Waddeneiland”):

Length: 3 minutes


The defense town of Naarden-Vesting, not far from Amsterdam

Length: 3 minutes


The Maasvlakte Harbor in Rotterdam

Length: 2 minutes


Ready for more video's from DSD Creations, you can check our their YouTube channel.

There are fantastic videos in their feed of many natural areas in Holland to explore too. It might surprise you how diverse our country is.


Before I close this post, I want to share three more short virtual experiences with you: 1. A flight over Holland, 2. over Amsterdam, and 3. one over Rotterdam.




Did you enjoy this post about visiting Holland virtually?

If you enjoyed my virtual travel tips in this post about Holland then please join the conversation and let me know which parts you enjoyed most, did you find anything new?  Also, if you have suggestions for me to add to this post I'd love to hear about that.

Looking for more inspiration for the moment travel is possible again?

I have written different one day itineraries for Holland. They're well worth a read (at least I think so ;-).

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