Just 40 minutes from Amsterdam, you could be taking your family for a splash.
Here at Lilly Likes, we love to bring you all the best attractions that Amsterdam has to offer. Unfortunately, one thing that Amsterdam doesn’t have is a campsite that doubles as a beach location, that doubles as a waterpark, that has an attached amusement park, that happens to be adjacent to The Hague. In terms of location and family fun, Duinrell has it all.
The downside, of course, is that it is about 40 minutes by car from Amsterdam itself. It is situated in Holland’s Green Belt area, meaning the nature and wildlife attractions surrounding it are endless. It has everything you could ask for from a holiday for the kids. Plus, if you can find a babysitter, you could drive into town one night for an adults-only short trip.
Don’t forget that we have accumulated a huge array of places to go and things to see and do around Amsterdam on our blog. Go have a look if you need help planning a travel itinerary. We can’t recommend Coco’s Outback Bar enough. If you are worried about flights being cancelled, you can read about what EasyJet have been doing, here, too.
Let’s fire on with the Duinrell campsite and get to know it a little better. It could be the ideal place to go in Holland if you have kids.
Duinrell – the Campsite
Let’s start by taking a tour of the campsite. First, this is a full blown holiday park, not just a campsite. It’s not a case of showing up and pitching a tent, although they have space for that, too. The holiday park contains over 40 attractions, including the Tiki Pool and the parks. It comes with takeaway food and restaurants on site, with a supermarket for all your other needs.
The holiday park features an indoor bicycle rental place, its own plaza, and is situated inside its very own national park, named the Hollandse Duinen. This gives you 60 squared kilometres of land to hike, explore, and enjoy. You are right on the beautiful sandy beach and, perhaps the best part of all, is that those that stay in a lodge or bungalow receive unlimited access to both the water park and the amusement park.
The campsite accommodations include bungalows – lovingly referred to as ‘Duingalows’, lodge style accommodations, and plenty of room for you tent or your caravan. There are plenty of amenities, so you are never too far from a toilet, and the campsite is on the edge of the woods. In terms of picturesque beauty, it sounds like an absolute dream.
You can book a stay at the campsite, here.
Duinrell – the Waterpark
The Waterpark is known as the Tiki pool and contains multiple slides and flumes. There is a kid’s water park area called the Playa, with plenty of outdoor pools for them to play in. There is a restaurant near the Tiki pool, so you can eat lunch or dinner there and not move all day. Remember you’re not supposed to swim for an hour after you eat…
The Tiki pool contains 21 different slides of varying age levels. Some are small and cute; others are flume style and let you get up to speeds. There is an outdoor and an indoor area to the Tiki Pool, which makes it the largest water park in the Benelux area when you combine it with the slides. They give discounted entry to camping guests and free entry to those staying in one of their accommodations. If you have a kid that’s never out of the water, it might be worth the saving to accommodation-up.
The outdoor area of the Tiki Pool contains slides, a tropical pool, and a Waterhouse for playtime fun. The outdoor pool area is reasonably new and allows kids to enjoy the good weather. In bad weather, this area is sometimes closed. Don’t forget that you have plenty of indoor pools and slides to use, as well. Since covid restrictions, it has been open only for holiday park guests, meaning you have even more exclusive access to the site.
You can buy tickets to the waterpark, here.
Duinrell – the Amusement Park
Duinrell amusement park has every type of ride you might expect. There’s the part that’s mostly water and log flumes, there’s the section that has all the rides in it, and there’s even a kiddie’s section so you don’t have to spend all day saying no.
The Park contains over 40 different attractions, with multiple rollercoasters including the family friendly Dragonfly coaster and the not so family-friendly Falcon. There is a Ferris wheel, an aqua swing, a water spin, and a pirate’s ship. They have a monorail, a carousel, a helter skelter, trains you can ride around on, slides and soft play areas… we could go on, but we think you are getting the idea.
We all know there is more to an amusement park than just the rides, though. Duinrell has plenty of places where you can win fabulous fairground prizes. You can find clothing shops, gadget stores and souvenir shops. There are indoor amusement arcades, so there’s fun to be had even in bad weather. They have a joke store, hook-a-duck, and a shooting gallery… and plenty of those hook and claw machines that never win you anything.
Let’s not forget about places in the park that you can eat and drink. You will find candy floss, real meals, fast food, and ice cream galore. There will be sticky lollipops, chocolate coins that look like medals and every colour of sweet under the sun. There are plenty of places selling British food but do try the Bitterballen if you get a chance.
They have everything, but they also have a waterpark and a holiday park attached, so they have everything plus some. You can find amusement park tickets, here.
Other Attractions Nearby
Duinrell is closer to Rotterdam than it is to Amsterdam. Rotterdam is the under appreciated younger cousin of Amsterdam, which has an authentic Dutch feel, and the streets are much quieter. Admittedly, there are less historically significant works of art in Rotterdam than in Amsterdam, but it is still worth adding to the itinerary.
The campsite is just outside of a small town called Leiden, where you will be able to buy anything that you can’t pick up in the holiday park… though we aren’t sure what that may be. Of course, the town is in this beautiful National Park, so you have hikes and biking paths all around the area to help you explore. Let’s not neglect the beautiful sandy beach, either, since it is right on the doorstep.
The town of Gouda is not far inland from you. This is the same town responsible for the holey cheese. Gouda is in an area of Holland known as Cheese Valley. We 100% recommend you go there and eat all the cheese you can. Unless of course you are a lactose intolerant.
The Hague is almost in the adjacent town to the Duinrell holiday park. This is where the heart of Dutch politics rests. They contain a building complex which has different parts assigned to different places. One of the buildings is called the Peace Palace, another is called the Celestial Vault… it’s all architecturally stunning.
How to Get to Duinrell from Amsterdam
Duinrell – all parts of it – isn’t that far from the Hook of Holland. If you wanted to, you could cross to there from Harwich in England on Stenaline. After that, it would be a few hours drive until you arrived at the site. Alternatively, you can hire someone to pick you up from the ferry terminal and bring you to Duinrell. You can find out more about ferries on their page.
You might simply fly into Amsterdam or Rotterdam and make your way out to the countryside via taxi, or you could take the ferry and drive yourself. There are trains running from Amsterdam to Leiden, where you can get off and get a taxi out to the site. You can find out more about both trains and taxis on their page.
However you do it, Duinrell is only about 40 minutes from Amsterdam and even closer to the Hook of Holland. You can even get the train all the way from London straight through to Amsterdam, only making a single change when you arrive.
The Lilly Likes Verdict
As ever, we like to round up a good location by adding a few of Lilly’s thoughts. We would recommend Duinrell to anyone with kids and a desire to visit Holland. It’s an awesome location with more attractions than you can wave a stick at. It’s cool, it’s fun, and you could stay there for a fortnight and never run out of things to do there.
Kids love it, adults love it, we love it. It blends the ability to see Amsterdam with the ability to camp out under the stars. We give them an A plus… but we are still going to leave the kids at home.