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Help with Northern Netherlands/E Frisia region in Germany

Help with Northern Netherlands/E Frisia region in Germany

Apr 12th, 2019, 05:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 142
Help with Northern Netherlands/E Frisia region in Germany

My family (with 2 teenage boys) is planning a trip in June starting in Amsterdam and then making our way to Hamburg to meet some relatives. I am interested in exploring Northern Netherlands and NW Germany around the coasts. We are spending 2 days/3 nights in Amsterdam and then will have 3 days/2 nights to make our way to Hamburg. I am looking for ideas on some cool places to spend a couple days after we leave Amsterdam. I saw Groningen, the Waddel Islands, West Frisia, and East Frisia on the map. Does anyone have suggestions on some cool places to visit or stay on our way to Hamburg?

Okie is offline  
Apr 12th, 2019, 06:55 PM
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Hi Okie, yes, I can talk about this a bit. We have done a lot of exploring in the area as we have friends in Bremen and family in Amsterdam and have often driven between the two. We have also stayed in Bremen for a couple of weeks (doing research in Uni Bremen library), so I know that area a bit too. From Amsterdam you can drive over the Afsluitdijk (the dike between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer), which is an absolute feat of engineering. There is a small café / museum in the middle of the dike and you can stop and take photos. On the way you can visit Frisian Leeuwaarden and Groningen (the latter has a 1000 year old church, or close to that). From Groningen you could explore the border area a little. The Dutch side is neat as a pin, the German side more rambling farms and not as groomed. There is a tiny village which attracts a lot of German tourists called Bourtange, which is a rebuilt star-shaped fortress. It actually has people who live there but caters to tourists. Near Bremen but in the East Frisia area you might visit Emden. It is a sweet little waterside town that is the home of the comedian Otto Waalkes and has an attraction dedicated to him (but the town is picturesque and worth a visit even if you don't speak enough German to appreciate his attraction). It was bombed heavily in WWII but rebuilt. In Cloppenburg is an open-air museum with farmhouses from all over Lower Saxony, which is really good and they have guide books in English (and maybe even audio guides by now). I haven't been to the islands but I have been to Cuxhaven, and it's typical German seaside with the Strandkörbe (beach baskets). That peninsula generally is rural with some interesting towns and a private zoo. And Bremen is a must-see in that part of the world, just lovely. If you have an interest in how ships are built you could visit Meyer Werft (shipyards) at Papenburg. And near Hamburg, Buxtehude is pretty - a day-trip from Hamburg.

lavandula is offline  
Apr 12th, 2019, 11:09 PM
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Questions: what are your interests? Cities, landscapes, history....? Will you drive? Will you use public transport? If the latter: there are no trainlines along the northern coast...

Groningen is of course the most Scandinavian city south of Copenhagen and well worth a visit, not only for its church and tower. But because it's a vibrant student city, with a revolutionary bike infrastructure and wonderful city centre.
menachem is offline  
Apr 12th, 2019, 11:27 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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Just don't miss lavendula's remark on Bremen.
If I had to stop on my way from NE Netherlands to Hamburg, Bremen would be my first choice if I needed a base for 1-2 nights.

If your teenage boys have an interest in "big tech", the aforementioned Meyer shipyards are worth considering - but you need to register in advance for (free) access to the vistor center.

Another "big tech" is already in Hamburg - and unlike the location of their Seattle-based competitors, it's hardly ever on any foreign visitor's to do list:
"Last chance" to see the A380 being assembled, I guess, since the model has been discontinued.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Apr 13th, 2019, 03:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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OK, Do you have a car?
If not it will be tricky to see much and train travel to our neck of the woods takes a looong time.

If you have a car there are more options up here.
I live in Harlingen, on the Wadden coast, at the end of the Afsluitdijk. It is a small town (officially a city) with a lively harbour of old sailing barges, fising vessels ferries etc. It is also chock full of old buildings, and great cafés. Nearby is Franeker which is also officially a city (both are part of the "eleven cities" route). Franeker is home to the Eise Eisinga wooden planterium, the oldest still working planterium in the world and certainly worth a visit.
You don't have time to visit an island I'm afraid.

Groningen is a nightmare with a car. It is a lovely city but getting into it and parking in it are awful.

You might enjoy Bourtange over on the border with Germany.
hetismij2 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2019, 05:45 PM
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All great suggestions! Thank you all so much! Yes, we will have a car. Cowboy1968, interestingly my husband has been working on a project with Airbus there for the last couple of years and traveled there a lot of times. I hadn't thought about trying to do a tour there this time. Great idea! lavandula, we got to stay a weekend in Buxtehude as part of his project. Lovely little town!

Thanks again!
Okie is offline  
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