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Panoramic aerial view of Munich, Germany in a beautiful summer day

Road Trip from London to Germany

Want to head on an exciting road trip across world-renowned European cities experiencing first-class sights, then look no further! This incredible trip from London to Germany takes you across the English Channel and then onto a historic, scenic and eclectic journey before landing in Germany's champion cities, Berlin or Munich.

The 770-mile trip from London to Germany is around 18 hours via ferry or the Eurotunnel crossing. Stops at The Hauge, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Osnabrück are enroute to Berlin. For Munich, you'll peek at Calais, Dunkirk, Bruges, Brussels and Frankfurt.

You'll also find so many more inspiring places to stop off and enjoy on this European jaunt. Read on to find out more about the charming, unique sights and stunning landscapes you can see along the way, the best time to visit, and where to stay for a night or two. You'll be spoilt for choice!

How far is Germany from London, and how long will the road trip take?

The Berlin Route from London to Germany is 770 miles long. This route includes a ferry crossing from Harwich to Hook of Holland which takes around 7-8 hours and brings the total travel time to just over 18 hours. There are multiple ferry crossings each day on Stena Line.

If you head along the Munich Route then you cover around 840 miles, which will take just under 17 hours to complete. The trip from Folkestone to Calais via Eurotunnel takes just 35 minutes.

While you could cover both these journeys in a couple of days, we recommend allowing 4-5 days to really appreciate all the fantastic sights and cities you will travel through.

Town Hall Mairie de Calais, Calais, France

Best road trip route from London to Germany

The longer Berlin Route is packed with prominent sights and stunning landscapes. Take a visit to the political area of The Hauge ‘The Royal City by the Sea', before chilling out in the iconic, flourishing city of Amsterdam.

You will have plenty of things to enjoy outdoors on this route as well. Stop off at Osnabrück Nature Park, a sight for sore eyes, with more scenic landscapes to be explored at Planten un Blomen and Mecklenburg Elbe Valley Nature Park along the way.

The Munich Route kicks off in the pretty Creative Quarter in Folkestone where you can enjoy cockles on the coast. After quickly arriving in Calais, a stop-off at Dunkirk to understand more about the WWII battles is enlightening.

A tour then across multiple metropolises including Bruges, Brussels, Cologne, Bonn and Frankfurt follows and is perfect for any city slicker. Before landing in the scenic landscapes of Romantische Straße (Romantic Street) and Neuschwanstein Castle, with fairytale-like scenery.

The Berlin Route

From London, head North taking the A13 then A12 along Chelmsford and Colchester to arrive at Harwich. A relaxing English Channel ferry crossing then takes you to Hook of Holland where you continue your drive on the N211 past politically interesting The Hauge.

From here follow the A4 towards eclectic Amsterdam, then head South on the A1 passing Amersfoort and Apeldoorn, which will lead you into Germany.

Along the 30 you will arrive at Germany's largest park Osnabrück, then North on the 1 to Bremen and then the vibrant new areas of Elbphilharmonie and HafenCity in Hamburg.

Travelling South from Hamburg then takes you on roadway 5 and then 195 to Havelberg, before heading down the 24 to reach the exciting sights of Berlin.

Landscape with tulips, traditional dutch windmills and houses near the canal in Zaanse Schans, Netherlands, Europe

The Munich Route

Begin your trip in London by heading South along the M20, enjoying a short visit to Folkestone before travelling the Channel to Calais via the Eurotunnel.

The A16, then E40, leads you past the WWII stories of Dunkirk, arriving for chocolate, waffles and lace in Bruges. Once you've had your fill then head on the road again following the E40 past Ghent and Brussels.

Soon afterwards, you will enter Germany, where a stop-off at Cologne Cathedral provides incredible city views. Then head South passing Frankfurt and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

The authentically German Romantische Straße is certainly an interesting stop-off, as is the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle and you pass both on the 17, before arriving at your destination Munich.

Setting sun behind an exposed shipwreck at low tide from World War II at the beach

Best places to stop between London and Germany

There are so many fantastic places to visit during this road trip, from stunning landscapes and impressive museums to scenic boat cruises and fairy-tale castles.

We have chosen a couple of suggested places to stop at and enjoy an overnight stay, with ideas of what to do during your extended time and where to relax for the evening.

Discover the history behind Osnabrück

Based around halfway along the Berlin Route, Osnabrück is a great, unique central point to take a scenic break and unwind. The only city in Germany set within a nature park, TERRA.vita UNESCO Global Geopark, you will enjoy stunning landscapes as well as medieval and historical buildings.

The Osnabrück Town Hall is a great place to start, and the impressive Gothic architecture is arresting as you approach the site. Head inside for a tour to understand more about its importance in bringing peace to the area.

Old town cityscape of Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany

Afterwards, head off to Museum Industriekultur Osnabrück which provides a real snapshot into the history of this industrial area. This is an interactive and fun stop-off, particularly heading down the coal mine tunnel.

For a great stay look no further than the Romantik Hotel Walhalla , with its excellent location right in the heart of Old Town Osnabrück. It's only a short walk to many popular sites such as Weißenburger Platz, Cathedral Treasury and Diocesan Museum and Felix-Nussbaum-Haus.

The beautiful timber-framed building is authentic and pretty and houses stylish rooms and lounge areas, ideal for relaxing after a busy day. There is also an impressive on-site steam room and solarium for some serious downtime should you need it.

The beautiful terrace is perfect for a cocktail with a view, before heading to on-site Restaurant Walhalla serving delicious regional meals. Tasty local cuisine at its best and couldn't be closer.

Fall in love with Frankfurt

The Munich Route is teeming with great cities along the way, but there is no better place than Frankfurt as a convenient mid-point stop-off between London and Germany. A buzzing city packed with plenty of sights, both modern and historic, will whet your appetite before travelling onwards.

The Eiserner Steg Bridge, or Iron Bridge, links Sachsenhausen with the old town and is certainly worth a meander through, to see pretty views of the city. Add a padlock for a loved one before launching the key into the water.

Frankfurt love locks on Eiserner Steg bridge symbol in Germany

Afterwards, wander to Goethe House, once home to the poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This beautiful childhood abode is definitely worth a visit, as you step back in time to his birthplace.

Impressed with what Frankfurt has to offer, then wait until you arrive at our recommended hotel Sofitel Frankfurt Opera right in the centre of Frankfurt. The superb location, off Opera Square, is very close to so many great attractions including the Historical Museum Frankfurt, Museum for Modern Art and Cathedral Museum.

Fancy a cocktail before dinner? Then Lili's Bar is the place to go. How about heading out on the terrace for stunning views as you sip on a pre-dinner drink, or two? Afterwards, head to the Bistronomique-concept Schönemann restaurant which will serve the most delicious evening meal.

Where to stay when you reach Germany

If you head along the Berlin Route, then we highly recommend a stay at the NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie . Set in the heart of Berlin, it is the perfect spot to explore this incredible city.

Super close to many of the top attractions including Potsdamer Platz, the German Historical Museum and Memorial of the Berlin Wall, it's easy to stroll to the main sites or how about jumping on a complimentary bike to explore Berlin on two wheels.

The hotel is filled with stunning, modern décor, wonderfully spacious bedrooms and an inviting sauna and solarium to help wind down after a busy day. The wonderful NH Collection Berlin Mitte's restaurant serves tantalizing Berlin and Mediterranean meals, as renowned as a cocktail hour which you must also make sure to enjoy!

Things to see on a road trip from London to Germany

There is such a diversity of world-renowned cities and sights throughout this road trip and we have pulled together some of the best experiences you can have here:

  • Harwich - Arrived a bit early for the ferry? Enjoy the pretty Harwich seafront, with a harbour museum should you have more time to explore.
  • The Hauge - The ‘home' of the Government, reflecting its importance in Holland, a walking tour is best to see this historically and politically important area.
  • Rotterdam Centraal - A signature building in the area, the old station site is now home to shops and entertainment and pretty grounds.
  • Amsterdam - A unique and lovely city, chill out in this relaxed haven. After a wander around the Jordaan and its quaint streets and canals, head to Westergas for whatever refreshments take your fancy.
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren - This charming church in Amersfoort has impressive panoramic views once you climb the steep clock tower.
  • De Hoge Veluwe - Set in Apeldoorn, jump on a free bike to navigate through this beautiful parkland in Veluwe. The beautiful landscape is ideal for cycling, with plenty of attractions and wildlife along the way.
  • NaturZoo Rheine - Huge array of animals and birds to enjoy, with a petting zoo area to get even closer to the wildlife.
  • Osnabrück - Based in the centre of TERRA.vita UNESCO Global Geopark, the stunning landscapes and medieval buildings draw plenty of interest.
  • Bremen Marktplatz - Stroll the quaint Bremen Marktplatz in the centre of the city. Come evening, head here for a beer and people-watching. The holiday markets are dotted throughout this large historic square.
  • Hamburg - There are many new districts of Hamburg popping up that are great for a visit such as Elbphilharmonie and HafenCity. These new areas are architecturally interesting and vibrant.
  • Planten un Blomen - One of the largest city parks in Europe, you can easily spend the afternoon here. Spread over 100 acres there are plenty of walks, activities, and even nightly events to keep entertained.
  • Mecklenburgisches Elbetal (Mecklenburg Elbe Valley Nature Park) - An expansive and popular site teeming with lush woodlands, waterways, hills and valleys. A bike is a great way to tour round some of the thousands of acres here.

Cascade waterfall in Planten un Blomen park in Hamburg, Germany

  • Folkestone - Before heading across the Channel stop at Folkestone. The seafront Harbour Arm bars and restaurants are buzzing, and Creative Quarter is certainly worth a visit if you've time before your crossing.
  • Calais - Once you cross the English Channel, around a 35-minute journey, a quick stop in Calais means you can admire the sights of Place d'Armes, before heading onwards.
  • Dunkirk - Learn more about the Battle of Dunkirk by visiting the Dunkirk Museum 1940 Operation Dynamo, an interactive museum along the coast. Afterwards, walk the beach and be transported back to WWII.
  • Bruges - Best known for chocolate, waffles and lace, this charismatic and charming medieval town is well worth a visit. The Belfry of Bruges is a prominent landmark to best view the impressive scenery.
  • Ghent - Ghent's gentle waters are perfect for a boat ride with a great view! Jump on a day trip to see the sights of Ghent on a comfortable river cruise.
  • Brussels Grand-Place - This pretty and lively area is must-see. Once you have explored the Town Hall, head below to enjoy Belgian-style fries, smothered in mayo, in one of the cafes dotted around the square.
  • Cologne Cathedral - Listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this perfect example of great Gothic architecture provides incredible views of the city on top of the viewing platform.
  • Botanical Garden, Bonn - Visit Botanischer Garten Bonn to see thousands of plant varieties. Arrive in the warmer months to see the huge greenhouse packed with unusual species.
  • Frankfurt - A buzzing city packed with plenty of sights, both modern and historic. Head to Iron Bridge for impressive sights of the city.
  • Rothenberg ob der Tauber - The Medieval Crime and Justice Museum is a popular sight where racks and other devices show how punishment was dished out. An interesting museum – if a little gruesome!
  • Romantische Straße (The Romantic Road) - Founded in the 1950s this quirky area between Würzburg and Füssen appeals due to its traditional German scenery and picturesque buildings. Taste the Tauber Schwarz red wine that is only available in this area.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle - A fairytale-like castle protruding from the beautiful landscape. Head to Hohenschwangau to purchase a ticket to enjoy a tour round this world-renowned site.

Cologne Cathedral. World Heritage - a Roman Catholic Gothic cathedral in Cologne.

Best time to go on a road trip from London to Germany

Germany is certainly a year-round destination, with main attractions open throughout the year.

The weather is typically nicer from May to September, where temperatures can reach around 28 degrees Celsius and are very pleasant for sightseeing. There can be a spike in wet weather during the summer months, so be mindful that for outdoor attractions' precipitation may greet you.

Spring and autumn are great times to visit, with all attractions open and temperatures still mild. The weather can be unpredictable, but with a little outfit planning any time is good to go.

Museum island on Spree river and Alexanderplatz TV tower in center of Berlin, Germany

Winter is also a popular time to visit. The Christmas markets throughout Germany are a huge draw, with Munich and Berlin both holding some of the largest. A peak in visitor numbers should be expected, and for good reason.

In Berlin, there are heaps of art and cultural events. The annual Berlinale, running for over 60 years, is a huge film festival held in February. The Transmediale, celebrated in November, shares stunning art and digital work.

Oktoberfest Munich though is a huge celebration and one of the world's oldest parties. Beer from Munich Brewers is celebrated and enjoyed, with this being the 188th annual event – with revellers arriving from around the world.

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Family travel adventures

European family road trip itinerary: England to Italy

  • smudgedpostcard
  • 16th January 2020
  • Holiday ideas , Italy , My holidays , Road Trips

European family road trip itinerary: England to Italy

Table of Contents

Why take a European family road trip?

There’s a lot to be said for short flights and quick transfers for getting you swiftly away from the humdrum of everyday life to your family holiday destination. However, there are so many interesting places to explore between A and B if families are willing to embrace the journey in between. We spent four weeks on our European family road trip with our two boys aged seven and five. It was a luxurious length of time which gave us the chance to really enjoy travelling and spending time together learning about different destinations in Europe.

If you’re looking for route ideas – whether to drive predominantly through France or cut through Switzerland, I’ve written all about the various ways of driving to Italy from the UK .

Rural Italian road with vineyards in background, European family road trip from UK to Italy

A European road trip with kids is quite an education. We travelled through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Austria and Germany. That’s a lot of languages, flags, cuisines, cultures and history to be introduced to. We crossed bridges, explored historic cities, shopped in local markets, slept in a variety of farms, hostels, campsites and hotels. We drove over mountain passes, swam in lakes, rivers, the sea and countless swimming pools. We spent days hiking, climbing and cycling and met some very interesting and hospitable people along the way.

Family enjoying lake in Switzerland

We also argued. We got tired, we got lost and we got very hot. Sometimes we needed a bit of space from one another. We also found plenty of grim service stations and some pretty unremarkable towns and we ate in one or two dubious restaurants. Our road trip wasn’t perfect but it was a refreshing change from airports, car hire firms and luggage restrictions. Interestingly, despite it being the height of the holiday season, we didn’t get stuck in any major traffic jams.

Orange Fiat 500 following green Lamborghini in Modena Italy, European family road trip from UK to Italy

Tips on European road trips with kids

We had a few hiccups along the way but overall our European family road trip was a success. From our first hand experience, here are some tips to make a family road trip in summer time as enjoyable as possible:

  • Avoid driving on a weekend. We planned our route so that our big driving days (particularly the drives over the Alps which friends in Switzerland had warned us about) were not on Saturdays or Sundays as we’d heard the roads would be busy. As a result, we didn’t come across any traffic jams. The drive from Calais south through France can be busy with British holidaymakers so combined with the possible threat of Brexit-related hold ups in southern England (which of course didn’t come to pass) we avoided northern France altogether by sailing to the Hook of Holland.
  • If your ultimate destination is the Med, try to be creative with your route to avoid very long driving days. We found the Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry crossing worked brilliantly as the departure at 11pm meant my other half was able to go to work on the day we set off on holiday. The ferry docks at about 7am so you can knock off plenty of miles before lunchtime.
  • If you’re planning to travel to Calais, consider taking an evening crossing or tunnel and find a cheap place to stay near Calais. By doing this (and depending on where in the UK you’re based), you should hopefully avoid rush hour traffic in the UK. You then have a whole day ahead of you to cover quite a bit of distance on the continent.
  • Not everyone has the luxury of taking more than two weeks off work in the summer but if you are able to stretch your time away from work, you can spend more time on the journey and have fewer long days in the car. We only had one really long day of five hours driving, all of the other days were shorter.
  • Research interesting stops to ensure the journey really is part of the holiday. The fairy tale villages in the Alsace region of eastern France are perfect for an overnight stop while the lakes of Switzerland are a rewarding break after hours in the car. On our trip, we drove through the Netherlands and Luxembourg: windmills, romantic castles and stunning forest scenery were some of the highlights for us on the first leg of the journey.
  • Ensure you have an endless supply of snacks in case you get stuck in traffic at the wrong moment. We enjoyed sampling local biscuits, different country’s seasonal fruits and of course taste-testing crisps in each destination.

Wine tasting in Corsica

What to take on a European family road trip

  • Audio books: we didn’t hear a peep out of our seven year old for long stretches of the drive as he was immersed in Roald Dahl and Michael Rosen.
  • Top Trumps: these card games are brilliant for road trips and for occupying hungry children before dinnertime. If there’s nowhere to burn off pent up energy, these cards are a great distraction.
  • Packing cubes: until I had these I thought they were a bit of a waste of money. However, they are really practical for family holidays: each member of the family has one or two cubes which they can sling into a drawer when you reach your destination. We packed the cubes directly into our car which saved on space and made everything much easier to locate.
  • Insulated water bottles: some of my family don’t like drinking warm water which has been sat in a hot car all day so these are essential for fussy drinkers.
  • A decent cool box: we did quite a bit of self catering and picnicking so it was useful to have a cool place to store left over food and lunch.
  • Plenty of sun hats and sun cream: sometimes it was hard to locate a hat or bottle of cream when we’d been out for a day. They had a habit of ending up in a bag buried deep in the boot of the car so it was helpful to have spare sets of both these items.

Green hills and mountains of the Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco Emiliano, Italy

Our family road trip itinerary through Europe

We travelled approximately 2,300 miles or 3,700 kilometres (by car and train), slept on four ferries and one train, stayed in two campsites, one youth hostel, four hotels and two farms. And we visited four car museums…

Ice cream sign in Alba Italy

This is the road trip route we took:

European family road trip

The best bits of our European family road trip

Of all the destinations on our driving holiday across Europe, we loved the Swiss Alps and the Italian Dolomites the best along with swimming in the rivers of Corsica. Our most memorable meal was at a tiny restaurant in the village of Caprino Veronese near Lake Garda and our favourite swim was a daily dip in the Solenzara River during our week in Corsica.

Children playing in the river in Corsica

Although our car was pretty full of stuff, we managed to buy lots of bottles of wine from local vineyards which we came across. Our favourite discovery was a little place off a dusty road on our final day in Corsica, the Clos d’Orlea near Aleria.

Lake Pranda, Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park

The best drives on our family road trip through Europe

  • The roads through the forests of the Luxembourg Ardennes are beautiful: quiet, traditional and very green despite the heatwave of 2019.
  • We loved Corsica’s stunning mountainous interior: empty narrow roads pass gorges and rocky passes, there are tiny settlements in very remote places.
  • The roads through the vineyards of Piedmont’s Langhe wine region offer sweeping views of hillsides covered in vines and hilltop medieval villages.
  • Driving up and over the mountains in the Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco Emiliano took us through lovely scenery.
  • The drive from the Dolomites down into Austria took us through some lovely villages of timber-framed houses and streets clearly built for horse and cart rather than car…

Vineyards of the Langhe wine region of northern Italy, European family road trip from UK to Italy

Here’s an overview of what we got up to on our European family road trip:

Day 1: Stenalink from Harwich to the Hook of Holland

Days 2 – 4: luxembourg stopover.

Driving time:

  • Hook of Holland to Wiltz 3.5 hours, 350 kilometres

outdoor swimming pool Camping Kaul Luxembourg

Days 5 – 8: Switzerland hiking adventure

  • Wiltz to Zurich 5.5 hours, 500 kilometres
  • Zurich to Bristen 1.5 hours, 100 kilometres
  • Bristen to Bellinzona via the Gotthard Pass 2 hours, 120 kilometres

Hikers next to lake in Switzerland with mountains in background

Days 9 – 12: Driving from Switzerland to northern Italy

  • Bellinzona to Cellarengo (near Alba) via Lake Lugano and the Alfa Romeo Museum 3.5 hours, 280 kilometres

One of the main places I wanted to incorporate into our European family road trip was the north Italian region of Piedmont. The cuisine is fantastic in this part of Italy and it’s the home of the Slow Food movement. Piedmont is packed with vineyards and there are some lovely little towns to explore as well as a fantastic regional capital: Turin.

Morcote, on Lake Lugano, Switzerland

The drive from Bellinzona into Piedmont is a great route with plenty of interesting places to stop. We had a morning wander around the village of Morcote on Lake Lugano. We had planned to spend longer at the lake but a combination of factors (running out of Swiss Francs and a fierce thunderstorm) meant we ended up on the motorway to Italy sooner than expected. If the weather had cleared up we would have stopped at Lake Como but as the grey skies continued we found a convenient detour: the Alfa Romeo Museum just north of Milan.

family posing in artificial car at Alfa Romeo Museum, northern Italy

We were spoilt with home cooked food, local wine, a lovely swimming pool and a host of attractions on our doorstep.

Italian farmhouse Cascina Papa Mora near Alba, northern Italy

During our stay, we visited several wineries, explored the elegant streets of Alba and enjoyed driving through one of Italy’s most picturesque landscapes. We also had a brilliant day out in Turin , exploring the sights of the city which were made famous (for us at least) through the 1969 film the Italian Job.

MIni cars on a race track

Visiting Italy with kids? Read my complete guide to Italy for families

Days 13 – 19 Corsica with kids

  • Cellarengo to Savona / Noli 2 hours, 180 kilometres
  • Bastia to Solenzara via Le Pont de l’Enfer 2.5 hours, 125 kilometres

We drove from our agriturismo south to the little seaside town of Noli for an afternoon swim and dinner. This is a great place to wile away a few hours before the overnight Corsica ferry as it’s only 15 minutes from the Savona ferry port.

Beach with green hills in background

We used Corsica Ferries for our overnight trip to Bastia. We travelled with them about 10 years ago on the same route and we concluded not a great deal had changed in the intervening years. The boat felt rather old, the cabins were rather tired looking and the queuing and boarding system was typically Italian in its frantic last minute bun fight style. However, there was an outdoor soft play area next to the terminal so the kids were able to burn some energy with a spot of moonlight playing while we waited to board.

Swimming in river with rocks in background

When you’ve had a bad night’s sleep on a ferry and your nerves are a little frayed, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing dip in a Corsican mountain river. After breakfast in Bastia, we drove to le Pont de l’Enfer. Despite the ominous name (it translates as Hell’s Bridge), this was a little piece of heaven: a cool shady river with huge rocks for clambering on, deep isolated pools for leaping into and a lovely restaurant hidden away in the woods where we had a delicious meal.

Citadel above harbour, Bonifacio in Corsica

Along with Piedmont, Corsica was my other key destination of the trip. This French island has incredible beaches, a mountainous interior and some beautiful medieval towns to explore. The cuisine is a mix of French and Italian with lots of stewed or grilled meats in the mountains and plenty of seafood on the coast. Due to the incredible heat we experienced during our stay on Corsica, we were quite lazy about finding good places to eat: we often ended up at the first pizzeria we came across so we didn’t experience the best of what Corsica has to offer from a culinary perspective. It’s worth doing a bit of research before you travel if food is a key part of your holiday priorities.

sandy beach in Corsica

We based ourselves for a week at Sole di Sari camping village in Solenzara on the south east coast of Corsica: chalets and safari tents dotted along the banks of the Solenzara river.

Holiday park in Corsica

Days 20 – 22 Fast cars in Maranello and Modena, Italy

  • Solenzara via Corte to Bastia 2.5 hours, 156 kilometres
  • Savona via the Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco Emiliano to Maranello 5 hours, 305 kilometres

Our final day in Corsica involved one last swim and some impromptu wine tasting. We took the scenic route from Solenzara back up to Bastia by winding our way through the mountainous interior to the old capital of Corsica: Corte. I’d love to return to the centre of island in cooler weather and explore some of the hiking trails as the scenery is stunning.

Farmland in Corsica

We drove to Bastia in time for dinner at the Old Port and were luck enough to get a table overlooking the harbour at the pizzeria Lavezzi, if you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant in Bastia, this little place is a good bet. Unfortunately, after that we endured a rather grim ferry crossing with Corsican Ferries: we travelled on a creaking, rattling old ferry which swayed as if in a storm despite the weather looking pretty promising as we set sail. I’ll definitely reconsider using Corsican Ferries in the future if they do not upgrade their ships.

Boats moored in old port of Bastia

The Enzo Ferrari museum was, predictably, a homage to the great man while the actual Ferrari museum was rather dark and serious, a destination for the die hard Ferrari fan.

Enzo Ferrari Museum

Days 23 – 26 Family fun at Lake Garda, Italy

  • Maranello via Mantua to Rivoli Veronese, Lake Garda two hours, 150 kilometres

After overdosing on red cars we headed north towards Lake Garda. There are so many towns of note to visit in this part of northern Italy that I found it hard to narrow down a place to break our journey. We opted for Mantua as it’s setting is so impressive, surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes created in the 12th century as a means of defence, the entrance to the city takes some beating.

The road to Mantua in northern Italy

Days 27 – 29 luxury and hiking in the Dolomites, Italy

  • Rivoli Veronese to Obereggen two hours, 160 kilometres

After a morning coffee in San Zeno di Montagna which offers particularly lovely views over Lake Garda, we headed to the final destination of our European family road trip: the Dolomites.

View of Lake Garda from San Zeno di Montagna

We treated ourselves to a rather luxurious stay at the family-friendly Hotel Maria in the village of Obereggen. Our stay  in the Val d’Ega region of the Dolomites was one of the favourite parts of the trip for all of us. We did a brilliant 12 kilometre bike ride from the hotel over to Lake Carezza and enjoyed hiking and rock climbing. The boys had their first taste of doing a via ferrata and they are now keen to spend more time in the mountains after this little taste of adventure.

Cyclists near forest with Dolomite mountains in background

Although the Val d’Ega region is not as well known as some of the others parts of the Dolomites, I would highly recommend it for families hoping to introduce children to mountain holidays. From Obereggen a chair lift takes you up to some excellent walking trails which even the most reluctant little hiker would enjoy. If you’re considering a summer mountain holiday have a read of my post about visiting the Dolomites with kids .

children looking at view of mountains in Dolomites Italy

Day 30 Motorail from Innsbruck to Dusseldorf

  • Obereggen to Innsbruck: two hours, 140 kilometres

After our four night stay in Obereggen, we drove to Innsbruck for what we had hoped would be another highlight: an overnight train trip through to Düsseldorf in Germany, cutting out around one thousand kilometres of driving.

red motorail sleeper train in Austria

With so many details to sort out on a 4 week European road trip with kids, I had been a little bit disorganised with this part of the itinerary. Due to some sort of oversight on my part, we ended up booking the overnight train for the four of us but only booking beds for three of us as our five year old didn’t have to pay.

Train carriage with breakfast on seat

I have travelled all across China by rail (successfully and comfortably) and I’ve also taken a car to Nice by rail from Calais overnight which was supremely relaxing (sadly this route no longer exists). Our journey from Innsbruck to Dusseldorf however was rather bumpy and the train felt like it was lurching off the tracks. As a result, I had a rather sleepless night as I worried about the boys being tossed from their narrow bunks and also worried about myself being hurled from the vertiginous top bunk.

Days 31 – 32, Industrial Germany, the Netherlands and home

  • Düsseldorf via Duisburg and Rotterdam to Hook of Holland 3.5 hours, 270 kilometres

What to do after a bad nights sleep on a train? Visit an industrial leisure park. There are so many interesting places to visit in this part of Europe that we’ll definitely take the Stenalink ferry crossing to the Hook of Holland again. On this occasion, we spent a morning exploring the Duisburg Nord Landscape Park located about half an hour north of Dusseldorf.

Children playing on metal structure

Our final stop of the trip was a late afternoon visit to Rotterdam. We loved wandering through the city and taking in the architecture: the Erasmus Bridge and the Cube Houses. The Market Hall with its foodie stalls was fun to explore and we enjoyed evening drinks by the canal before finding a quick bite to eat in one of the many pavement restaurants. Rotterdam was an enjoyable city to dip into and we’d like to return there for a longer visit.

Canalside pavement in Rotterdam, Netherlands

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Driving through France: places to stop at in France

  • 12th July 2023

16 thoughts on “ European family road trip itinerary: England to Italy ”

This sounds amazing. I much prefer travelling by road or rail to flying. You miss so much when you board a plane! It seemed to work for you, with all these hidden gems you managed to unearth on your travels. I do like the sound of the Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco Emiliano. That’s one I’ve bookmarked for the future. And although I’ve seen the Dolomites in winter, I’ve never been in summer. I’d really like to go….

Thanks. Your skiing posts have me tempted with winter in the mountains… just can’t decide whether I’m ready to take the kids skiing!

This sounds awesome! I hated road trips as a kid because they were so boring. But I’ve come to enjoy them as an adult. #farawayfiles

Me too! I just hope my kids continue to enjoy them…

How incredible to have four weeks to travel across Europe! Our kids are starting to ask us for more sustainable travel options so I can see us doing more train travel in the future. I’d love to see Corsica and Lake Garda in particular. Your tips are so useful too. This is such a helpful blog post. Must have taken you ages to put it together! Fabulous share for #farawayfiles

Thanks Clare. It was quite fun putting it together and useful to have it as a record of our trip. We’re planning to buy some sort of electric car in the not too distant future so that the road trips can continue. I’d love to travel by train more but my other half is somewhat reluctant!

Goodness, what a road trip adventure. Piedmont is definitely somewhere I fancy visiting, and Innsbruck is on my radar for this year. I see your idea of souvenirs is the same as mine! #farawayfiles

Road tripping is the best way to see soooo much more than you would flying! We love to drive everywhere and this year we drove from Germany to England/Scotland, but we even drove 2 weeks around the Balkans also from Germany and back! I’d loev to see Corsica and those mountains are spectacular! #FarawayFiles

Wow, that’s a lot of miles! Definitely drive around Corsica, it’s stunning in the interior.

Sounds exhausting but fun. Shame about the mishap with the overnight train but I guess these things happen #farawayfiles

This sounds like my perfect trip. It’s certainly one I’d have great fun planning! I loved walking in Corsica a few years back but I’m not sure I’d trust my car to get us there! #farawayfiles

I’d love to go walking in Corsica, but definitely not in August!

That sounds like an epic road trip. I did shorter road trips with my family in Spain and central Europe over the course of several months and it was a great education for the kids (and parents). You gave a number of useful tips that should be useful for anybody planning such an adventure.

I’d love to explore Spain by car, there’s so much history in the interior of the country.

We love a road trip, not driven to Italy yet might have to show this to Mr CW

Well, I can highly recommend doing this, or a version of it!

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Hook of Holland

road trip from hook of holland

  • 1 Understand
  • 2.1.1 Ferries from England (UK)
  • 2.2 By public transport
  • 2.3 By foot
  • 2.4 By bicycle
  • 3 Get around

Hook of Holland (Dutch: Hoek van Holland or De Hoek , literally "The Corner") is a small town on the Nieuwe Waterweg ship canal near the North Sea coast in Rijnmond . It is well connected to the nearby regional hub, Rotterdam . Most notable for travellers is Hook's ferry port, which has had services to the East of England since 1893.

Understand [ edit ]

Hook of Holland is a part of the municipality of Rotterdam , and it has an advisory council for local affairs. The settlement came into existence when the Nieuwe Waterweg was dug to create a better waterway from the harbor of Rotterdam to the sea.

Get in [ edit ]

By boat [ edit ].

road trip from hook of holland

Ferries from England ( UK ) [ edit ]

  • Stena Lines runs both daily and daily overnight between Hook of Holland and Harwich in Essex (England) . (8 hr; €48 one-way foot passenger not including bunk or cabin.)
  • P&O Ferries runs daily overnight from Hull (England) to the Maasvlakte part of the Port of Rotterdam. (10 hr; €88+ one-way foot passenger not including bunk or cabin.) Then, a local ferry operated by RET links Hook of Holland with Maasvlakte, where the ferry from Hull arrives.

By public transport [ edit ]

The municipality can be reached by Rotterdam Metro line   B   operated by RET or by bus 31 from Den Haag Leyenburg operated by EBS. The bus terminates at 51.9757 4.1282 1 Hoek van Holland Haven    B   , next to Stena Lines and the Rotterdam Metro station. Since April 2023, Line B of the Rotterdam Metro now terminates at 51.98674 4.10621 2 Hoek van Holland Strand    B   .

You can use an OV-chipkaart to use public transport in the Netherlands, or directly check in and out with a debit or credit card (this is called OVPay ) or buy a special travel product from the operator.

For RET, check in and out with a debit or credit card, or buy a ticket at the machine on the Rotterdam Metro. They offer English-language menus and accept debit and credit cards. Cash is being phased out and many ticket machines do not accept cash. Alternatively, use the RET Barcode app to purchase tickets.

By foot [ edit ]

The Hook of Holland is a hub in the network of European long distance footpaths . It is served by E2 (GR 5), E8 and E9.

By bicycle [ edit ]

It can be reached by bicycle in about 1 hour from The Hague or Delft , and 1½ hours from Rotterdam. The route is flat, but strong wind near the coast can make the ride more difficult. You might pass some of the largest greenhouses in the world; the greenhouses in this area of the Netherlands produce enormous amounts of fruit, vegetables and flowers for domestic use and export.

There are different networks especially for touristic/recreational cyclists, see for more information the page of the whole region .

Get around [ edit ]


The town is small and easily walkable. However most of the draws for visitors are 2–4 km (30–50 min walking) from town—not all in the same direction—so a bike or car is helpful if you're hoping to fit a lot into your day.

See [ edit ]

road trip from hook of holland

  • You can get to the port on foot or bicycle via the RET Fast Ferry [dead link] from Hoek van Holland Haven, departing hourly from 06:06 to 19:06. (You'll probably want a bike to get around upon arriving at the sprawling Europoort.) Round-trip ferry tickets €5.60.
  • FutureLand visitor center & tours , Europaweg 902 , [email protected] . Tu–F 10:00–17:00, Su 11:00–17:00, sometimes Sat . The Port Authority offers 60- and 90-minute catamaran tours and 60-minute bus tours (€9–11 for the boat or bus tour, €15 combo for both), departing from the visitor center (i.e. you must get to the port on your own). ( updated May 2016 )
  • Rondvaart Europoort ( Europoort Roundtrip ) ( departs just east of Maeslantkering, a bit outside Hook of Holland ), ☏ +31 174-820374 . See website for sailing schedule . Harbor cruise tour of the port. Reservations recommended. €17.50 adults for 1½ hour tour, €21–€25 for 2½–3½ hour tours . ( updated May 2016 )
  • Driving to the port is possible, but you'll have to go almost all the way to Rotterdam to get to the tunnel.

road trip from hook of holland

  • 51.97453 4.13294 3 Kustverlichtingsmuseum ( Coastal lighting museum ), Willem van Houtenstraat 102 , ☏ +31 703 912 448 , [email protected] . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.97981 4.12073 4 Fort 1881 , Stationsweg 80 – 82 , ☏ +31 881 881 500 , [email protected] . Over 12 years old: €6, between 4 and 12: €4.50, under 4 years of age: Free . ( updated Mar 2018 )

Do [ edit ]

road trip from hook of holland

  • Get naked — The beach has a designated section for naturists, between poles 116,12 and 116,62.
  • Surf, Windsurf, or Kiteboard — Check out De Surfschool , Windsurfing Hoek van Holland [formerly dead link] , or the Kiteboard Shop [dead link] for lessons or gear.
  • Bike or hike in the dunes . Separating Hook of Holland from the beach are some lightly forested sand dunes with great bike/hiking/dogwalking paths. Good birdwatching too. Free . ( updated Jul 2016 )

Buy [ edit ]

Eat [ edit ].

  • 51.98338 4.11314 1 De Boulevard , Badweg 8 , ☏ +31 174 382 595 , [email protected] . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.98303 4.11389 2 La Porte Salute , Paviljoensweg 2 , ☏ +31 174 382 656 , [email protected] . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.98019 4.11432 3 Unicum Waterweg , Koningin Emmaboulevard 5 , ☏ +31 174 387 635 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.9785 4.1189 4 Vispaleis , Koningin Emmaboulevard 1 , ☏ +31 174 385 555 . 11:00 - 20:00 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.9797 4.1193 5 Jutter , Koningin Emmaboulevard 4 , ☏ +31 6 3005 9624 , [email protected] . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.97749 4.12958 6 Ocean City , Rietdijkstraat 104 , ☏ +31 174 382 515 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.9784 4.12942 7 SAAM , Prins Hendrikstraat 287 , ☏ +31 174 848 010 . Tu-Su 11:00-20:30 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.9778 4.13004 8 [dead link] L'americain , Rietdijkstraat 96 , ☏ +31 174 310 660 . ( updated Mar 2018 )

Drink [ edit ]

Sleep [ edit ].

  • 51.97783 4.12553 1 MIJN Torpedoloods , Stationsweg 43 , ☏ +31 174 383 883 , [email protected] . Three-star hotel in a former torpedo storage facility. €87 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.9779 4.1298 2 [formerly dead link] Hotel Amerika , Rietdijkstraat 96 , ☏ +31 174 388 145 , [email protected] . €88 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.9765 4.13231 3 [dead link] Hotel Kuiperduin , Prins Hendrikstraat 193 , ☏ +31 6 5182 8570 , [email protected] . Hotel in the former vicarage of Hoek. €70 . ( updated Mar 2018 )
  • 51.98631 4.13018 4 Hotel Noordzee , Dirk van den Burgweg 69 , ☏ +31 174 382 273 , [email protected] . €80 . ( updated Mar 2018 )

Connect [ edit ]

Go next [ edit ].

  • Rotterdam — Major multicultural city known for its modern architecture.
  • Delft — One of the country's most picturesque canal-lined towns. Home of the famous Delft Blue pottery (or Delftware), and the home of Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.
  • The Hague — The seat of the Dutch parliament and government, and home to Scheveningen , the most popular seaside resort of the Netherlands.
  • East of England by ferry

road trip from hook of holland

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The Hook of Holland, or Hoek van Holland in Dutch, is located in the Southwestern corner of Holland, the word hoek, means corner. It is located at the mouth of the New Waterway shipping canal, which flows into the North Sea. The closest city is Rotterdam and the population of Hoek van Holland is just under 10,000. There are daily connections to Essex and Lincolnshire in the UK from this port town.

A brief history of Hoek van Holland

The town is quite close to Rotterdam and is included within its urban area, but Hoek van Holland itself was mainly established in the 19th century. In the late 1800s, the infrastructure was greatly improved, the railway line opened for service in 1893 and was electrified in 1935 and the international ferry terminal has been providing services to England since 1893 except for during the two World Wars.  

Things to do in Hoek van Holland

For those interested in engineering, the storm surge barrier across the New Waterway in the town is pretty impressive! It's a world-class piece of engineering and weighs more than the Eiffel tower! The barrier was cleverly constructed to prevent the North Sea from flooding into Rotterdam. There are group tours available so you can really understand the construction process and appreciate the importance of this man-made marvel!

Hook van Holland is another important sight; it is a pre-WW2 underground concrete fort that was built to protect Rotterdam from invasion from the sea. However, it was surrendered to the Germans without firing a shot in 1941 because it was so strategically important to the Nazi’s Atlantic Wall coastal barrier, which was composed of a number of forts along the coast, separating continental Europe and the Atlantic Sea. There is an attached Atlantic Wall Museum that is open during the weekends in the summer.

If you fancy something more musical, then why not go and visit the Museum RockArt, it is full of records, musical instruments, mixing panels and studios where DJs from Radio Veronica, an independent, offshore radio station that began broadcasting from a boat in 1960 and continued for over fourteen years. 

Beaches around Hoek van Holland

There is Hoek van Holland Beach, which is a wide expanse of sand and is popular with kite surfers. There are some establishments for refreshments and some beach huts on the beach itself.  Elements Beach is just a few kilometres from Hoek van Holland and is equipped with tables and sunbeds on sunny days. There is also an attached restaurant that specialises in vegetarian food.

Related destination guides

Travel guides and tips: hook of holland.

Discover how to reach and what to do to Hook Of Holland: tips, events, local festivals, culture, food and all the other details to explore Hook Of Holland can be found on our blog!

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There are myriad possible routes and stop-points within that combination. You must open a Google Map and look up in a big picture way and choose some waypoints.

In winters if there a massive snow-storm sometimes traffic can be an issue. Otherwise, apart from occasional traffic build-up due to an incident or construction - there will be nothing that much special about August if you stick to major highways when driving. Even in winters the highways are very clean and drivable on most days.

Aim to drive 6-7 hours a day or whatever fancies you based on wherever you stop.

You could also start with a Google Map full of hotels and choose some hotels on the path first - you can get castles as hotels, vineyards in Champagne district or riverside hotel overlooking the Rijn or something buried in a massive forest.

Read this nice article with details. Also go to Road Trip forum and ask some questions of yours if you would like. Some of those guys are great at giving tips.

road trip from hook of holland

Just remember the tolls if you go via france and also you will need a vinget for Switzerland

Of course if you are nearby Venice is pretty much a must do even if you stay outside and take the train in.

Thanks so much for that, sounds gr8! I'll check out the Google map.

road trip from hook of holland

I think the in post #3 (or vice versa) is a good one. Not sure I would do Venice that time of year especially with a 5 & 7 year old. On the route through Austria I would suggest stop offs near Heidelberg and the Salzkammergut near Salzburg. On the route through Switzerland, consider a stop in the Black Forest in the south of Germany and another in Strasbourg in France. Anywhere around Lake Geneva would be spectacular. I also liked Ron's idea of the Lakes District in Italy . If you split your trip with 5 days in one place and 5 in another, consider 5 on the lakes.

Like I said above, crowds from northern Europe can be oppressive that time of year. It will be ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to have reservations for camping spots unless you see yourself in a parking lot overnight.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Thank you very much for the replies, they help a lot... Oh wow, the Black Forest looks lovely and I think my boys would love it there so will definitely have to fit that in! Very useful to have tips on crowds and traffic, will bare those in mind.

road trip from hook of holland

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road trip from hook of holland

Routemap Harwich - Hook of Holland

Ferry to Hook of Holland and Harwich

Travel by ferry between England and Holland in luxury and in style on the Stena Britannica and Stena Hollandica Superferries. Harwich to the Hook of Holland is the most direct route to the Netherlands and Germany from the south of England. Choose from 4 daily sailings with a crossing time from only 6 hours 30 minutes.  Whether you’re travelling on our day or overnight sailings, our private ensuite cabins offer a great private space for you to relax and unwind. Choose from a variety of places to eat and drink onboard our Superferries with menus to suit everyone, upgrade to the exclusive Stena Plus Lounge or take in a movie in our Movie Lounge. Don’t forget to pick up a bargain in our Duty Free Shop!  Sit back, relax and enjoy sailing direct between Holland and the UK.

Harwich to Hook of Holland - explore more

Travelling to the Hook of Holland by ferry allows you to reach the major cities of Holland, with Rotterdam nearby and Amsterdam and The Hague within an easy drive. There are great transport links to the rest of Europe too allowing you to take a car-cation even further afield if you so desire. 

Explore Holland and beyond

Just under a 40 minute drive from the Hook of Holland and travellers hit the historiccity of The Hague on Holland’s West Coast. Travelling just little further afield than The Hague and you will reach the medieval Dutch city of Utrecht. The city takes visitors to new heights with its beautiful Dom Tower which boasts the oldest and tallest bell tower in The Netherlands. In just over a four hour drive north-east from the Hook of Holland, drivers will find themselves at the heart of Hanover, Germany, an elegant city steeped in history.

Take your car from Hook of Holland to Harwich 

Taking the ferry to Harwich allows you to explore the beautiful South Coast of England with its picturesque villages and stunning views. Of course, London is just waiting to be explored with all it has to offer in terms of culture, history, food and entertainment and is within a couple of hours drive or a short train journey. If you plan on going a little further afield you could explore the sights of Wales and magic of Ireland – the Emerald Isle. 

Visit the South Coast of England

Enjoy exploring the sunny South Coast by car with the cities of Cambridge, Norwich, Oxford and London all easy to reach.  Stop off in the many quaint villages along the way, take a swim in one of the Blue Flag beaches and feel the sand between your toes, take in the many UNESCO World Heritage sites, cathedrals, churches, palaces, castles and more. Take it all in on a short break or main holiday – you’ll be sure to enjoy.

With no baggage charges, pack up all you need for your trip and take a car-cation with Stena Line.

New! Duty Free shopping at the port

If you’re travelling by car, not only can you look forward to great savings onboard but you can also buy in bulk in our Duty Free port shop  in Harwich! Find special bulk deals only available in the shop – simply park your car, buy your Duty Free allowance and let your car do the heavy work. Happy shopping! 

Travel by ferry between England and Holland in luxury and in style on the Stena Britannica and Stena Hollandica Superferries. Harwich to the Hook of Holland is the most direct route to the Netherlands and Germany from the south of...

Sail on Stena Britannica & Stena Hollandica

to Hook of Holland & Harwich

From 76€ single, car & driver

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Ferries on the route

Stena Britannica ferry at sea

Port Locations

Map showing the routes to and from Holland

Our International Port in Harwich is located 85 miles north-east of London on the Essex coast.  It is easily accessed by car, via the the A12 & A120, and by rail.

Visit our Duty Free Shop at the port

If you’re travelling by car, not only can you look forward to great savings onboard but you can also buy in bulk in our Duty Free port shops ! Located in Holyhead, Fishguard and Harwich, you can find special bulk deals that are exclusively available at the ports.

Simply park your car, buy your Duty Free allowance and let your car do the heavy work so you don’t have to! Our Duty Free port shops are always open for passengers.

View Duty Free allowances here  or ask a member of staff who will be happy to help. 

Happy shopping!

Our port in the Hook of Holland is located on the Dutch west coast, an easy drive from Rotterdam (30 km), The Hague (20 km) and Amsterdam (85 km).

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  • Hook of Holland

South Holland, Netherlands

  • Ferry Tickets
  • Destinations

If you’re searching for a hidden gem to visit in the Netherlands, look no further than the Hook of Holland! This beautiful holiday destination and seaport belongs to the municipality of Rotterdam , located in the southwestern corner of the Netherlands. 

To plan exciting and unique Dutch holidays , read some of our best travel tips for the Hook of Holland, including what to do and see in this beautiful city. Browse all the ways to get there and book your ferry tickets online !

Agricultural field and the lighthouse of the Hook of Holland

Reconnecting with nature in the Hook of Holland

Vacation in the Hook of Holland

In the Hook of Holland, you’ll have the chance to delve into the city’s historical importance and cultural significance, all tied together by the city's green spaces and sandy coastline . And to get your adrenaline pumping, you can try wind sports at the city’s major beach, or just go for a refreshing swim and try out delicious Dutch food by the sea.

Certain outdoor activities and cultural happenings are available only during the summer months . As such, visiting Hook of Holland in the summer is highly recommended. If you wish to get there in the colder months, consider also exploring neighboring cosmopolitan cities, such as The Hague and Rotterdam , full of year-round sightseeing and things to do.

How to get to the Hook of Holland

As an important maritime hub in The Netherlands, the Hook of Holland is easily accessible by ferry , among other means of transport. From the port of Harwich in Essex, England, you can travel by ferry to the Hook of Holland in around 7-8 hours. To learn more about ferries to the Hook of Holland , check our relevant section.

Alternatively, there is a metro line from Rotterdam and a bus service from the Hague, both of which terminate at Hoek van Holland Haven. The two cities have an airport reference point as well, for those traveling by plane.

If you happen to be in other neighboring locations, like Delft, getting to Hook of Holland by bike or on foot is also an exciting option. Most Dutch roads are flat and bikeable, but keep in mind that the weather might be windy as you approach the port.

What to do in the Hook of Holland

Hook of Holland (or Hoek van Holland) is home to lush greenery, unique historical and cultural museums , sandy stretches and lots of secrets to uncover! Not only is the city easily explorable , but other locations are also within walking or biking distance.

Combine water sports with cultural sightseeing, try out both international and Dutch culinary delights that cater to all tastes, and hop on a ferry, bus or bike and resume your adventure elsewhere! 

Discover the best of Hook of Holland below, including our recommended attractions, eateries and entertainment options.

Dog walking around the beach of Hook of Holland

Carefree dog strolling around the beautiful Hook of Holland beach

Sightseeing and activities in the Hook of Holland

Don’t let the city’s strong industrial character fool you! The Hook of Holland offers a harmonious mix of history, culture, natural wonders and modern facilities! When it comes to historical and cultural attractions in the Hook of Holland, we suggest that you visit the following:

  • The Atlantikwall-Museum , a historical museum about Netherland’s Atlantic coast and its role in World War II
  • The Coastal Lighting Museum , the red lighthouse of the port that was built in 1974 and was turned into a museum in 1983
  • The RockArt Museum , dedicated to Dutch and international music, including rare collections, memorabilia and unique exhibitions
  • Fort 1881 (Fort aan den Hoek van Holland), a defensive armored fort with great historical importance that is now a museum

What about outdoor activities? The Hook of Holland has a diverse range of things to do , introducing you to beautiful landscapes with scenic views. Most outdoor activities are for everyone and can be tried out on the Hoek van Holland beach .

Over there, you can go for a swim , walk along its sandy coastline and try out water sports (surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing). There are also some clothing-optional spots, as well as ideal locations for bird watching and walks with your dog ! You can also find some accessibility services on the beach, as well as modern visitor amenities and accommodation options!

Local tip : not only is the city bikeable, but the beach is as well! Most areas can be explored by bike, including some of its small sand dunes.

Nightlife in the Hook of Holland

While the nightlife in the Hook of Holland might seem more lowkey at first, there are certainly a few hotspots to dance the night away or enjoy some lovely food and a glass (or two) of Dutch wine .

Numerous nightlife options bloom in the summer months and are usually located across the city’s coastline , specifically close to the Hoek van Holland beach.

From beach clubs to wine stores and chic restaurants , there’s something for everyone in the Hook of Holland. Just make sure to research what entertainment options are available, as some might be closed during the off-season.

Food in the Hook of Holland

In the Hook of Holland, Dutch and international culinary delights come together to offer mouthwatering moments to foodies! Fresh seafood and plant-based comfort food are easy to find in most places.

The team of Ferryhopper suggests that you visit Uluwatu , a seaside restaurant with tasty food and an elegant atmosphere, and Fish & Chips , where you can try kibbeling , a Dutch seafood delicacy.

Tip : if you have a sweet tooth, the Netherlands offers great desserts ! Look out for stroopwafels (waffle cookies, usually with some kind of syrup) and poffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes).

Kibbeling, a Dutch seafood snack

Delicious kibbering awaits you!

Useful information about the Hook of Holland

The Hook of Holland has everything you might need during your holidays there. When it comes to accommodation , you can find a wide range of options scattered throughout the port town. The most popular one, however, is staying at a beach house on the beach of Hook of Holland. Here, you can admire beautiful sunset views and be within walking distance of great swimming spots.

As for medical services , you can find numerous hospitals in the region of Rotterdam , close to the Hook of Holland. Another nearby hospital is in the municipality of Sliedrecht . There is also the Paramedisch Centrum Hoek van Holland for other medical practices, such as physiotherapy.

Important phone numbers for your stay in the Hook of Holland

Here are some phone numbers that might prove useful during your holidays in Hook of Holland:

  • Hook of Holland Port Authority: +31174389333, +31174315800
  • Security office: +31174389444
  • Rotterdam The Hague Airport (information desk): +31104463444
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in the Hook of Holland

Regarding the transportation system of the Hook of Holland, you can find convenient bus and train services . Alternatively, most locations in the city are within walking and biking distance , while there are some accessibility services in the port area and at the Hook of Holland beach.

Whatever you may choose, moving around Hook of Holland is relatively easy. The same applies to traveling to other locations , like Delft, which you can visit even by bike (around 1 hour away)!

Ports in the Hook of Holland

Hook of Holland's busy and important port is located in South Holland , at the mouth of Nieuwe Waterweg , a shipping canal. Its strategic position benefits from the North Sea and the port’s proximity to the Europort (or Europoort) and the Maasvlakte, areas of the Port of Rotterdam.

Nearby, there are visitor amenities , as well as historical monuments , like Fort 1881 and the Coastal Lighting Museum.

Hook of Holland ferry: schedules and tickets

If you wish to visit the Netherlands by ferry , the Hook of Holland is a great option! You can easily get there from England , as there are ferry connections operated by Stena Lines . Specifically:

  • Harwich - Hook of Holland ferry : you can catch a ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland (or Hoek Van Holland) throughout the year . There are usually up to 2 daily ferries departing from Harwich that arrive in 7-8 hours.

Important : as ferry schedules and connections may change in the future, you can always check our interactive Map of ferries and find available ferries to/from the Hook of Holland in real time !

Sunset at the port of the Hook of Holland

Beautiful sunset at the Hook of Holland's port

Where to book ferry tickets to the Hook of Holland online

Are you ready to explore the hidden beauties of The Netherlands? Plan your ferry trip to the Hook of Holland on Ferryhopper! Compare all connections online and book your ferry tickets to the Netherlands hassle-free !

Hook of Holland ferry timetable

View the complete ferry schedule from and to Hook of Holland for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations, hook of holland has direct ferry connections to 1 ports :.

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Home » Motorhome Advice » Travel to Europe » Motorhoming & Campervanning in the Netherlands- The Ultimate Guide

Motorhoming & Campervanning in the Netherlands- The Ultimate Guide

motorhoming in the Netherlands

Planning to tour the Netherlands with a motorhome or campervan? There are some essential things you need to know before your trip, including important paperwork and kit to bring with you. Here’s everything you need to know about campervanning or motorhoming in Holland.

Don’t forget to  grab your FREE motorhoming in Europe checklist  below to help you stay organised and remember everything you need.

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Motorhoming in Holland- or is it the Netherlands??

Ok, let’s start with the obvious- what’s the difference between calling it ‘Holland’ or calling it ‘the Netherlands’?

It’s a little bit like the difference between the UK and GB- ‘Holland’ only refers to part of the country (and a small part at that), whereas ‘the Netherlands’ refers to the entire Kingdom (yep, it still is Kingdom of the Netherlands)

So, if you’re planning a trip around the country, you’ll need to say ‘the Netherlands’. Having said that, many people (including us at times!) still incorrectly refer to it as Holland, so I’ll use the terms interchangeably throughout this post.

Campervanning in the Netherlands- why you should go!

The Netherlands are known for several things- canals, clogs, tulips, windmills and being flat. Oh, and you’ve probably heard of Amsterdam, especially the red light district. If you follow the news, you’ll definitely have heard of the Hague.

But there’s a lot more to the country than that- it’s full of beautiful countryside, ridiculously pretty towns, delicious food and a lot of history. This is also the place to bring your bicycles- most of the country is perfect for enjoying on 2 wheels.

I have Dutch god-parents, so I grew up visiting the country and exploring it on road trips with my family. I’ll be honest, many of my memories of the country involve Poffertjes (small Dutch pancakes served warm with butter and icing sugar)- we’ll get to those shortly!

It’s also not a big country and it’s easy to see a lot in a week, especially if you’re travelling by motorhome.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

GUIDE: Stop the overwhelm with our step-by-step guide. Contains eBook, checklists and more. Complete Europe Motorhome Travel Toolkit

CHECKLIST: Don’t forget to grab your FREE Europe motorhome travel checklist HERE

GEAR – If you need any motorhome gear for touring Europe, here’s what we recommend.

When to go motorhome touring in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a climate very similar to the UK- it’s on roughly the same latitude as Norwich or Wales. The best time to plan a motorhome trip is from Spring (mid-April) to Autumn (probably around mid-October), but rain can happen at any time.

If you want to see the tulips, go between mid-March and mid-May (obviously, exact times vary), but this time is also very popular with tourists.

On the 27 April, there is a National holiday called King’s Day. Expect a LOT of orange clothing, orange hair and events happening all over the country. The Dutch Royal Family are known for making surprise visits to unexpected places, so keep your eyes peeled! (Although, be honest, would you recognise them??)

July and August are the busiest months for tourists and there can be big queues for the peak attractions, so avoid those if you can. Having said that, it’s the best time to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches along the north coast. There’s a party on ‘Flag Day’ (when the first herring are brought in). There’s also the North Sea Regatta, Holland’s biggest sailboat race, and the Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival, held during August, which is well worth a visit.

During Autumn, the weather is perfect for road trips, without having to fight through the worst of the tourists. Make time to visit the Nijmegen Kunstnacht art festival- a huge gathering of artists of all varieties.

In the winter, there’s a lot more rainfall and it can be cold, damp and dreary. Again, much like southern England, there are no mountains (although there are hills), so don’t expect much snow (although it does happen occasionally.) But there are several light festivals which happen around the country, including the Amsterdam Light Festival (one of the largest in the world) and also Glow Eindhoven and Candle Night, Gouda. Also, many of the canals freeze in winter and it’s possible to ice-skate on them (but please only do this with permission in case the ice isn’t as thick as you thought!)

road trip from hook of holland

Motorhome Holidays in the Netherlands – Where to go

Before we dive into planning your motorhome or campervan tour, let’s look at some of the best places to visit.

Highlights of a Netherlands road trip include:

  • Giethoorn – the village with no roads. Yes, I know that’s weird for a road trip destination, but it’s magical
  • Keukenhof Gardens to see the tulips and hyacinths
  • Volendam – one of our favourite villages in Holland (and it’s got a GREAT motorhome aire nearby)
  • Nijmegen- the oldest city in the Netherlands
  • Amsterdam- but do NOT drive into the city!
  • Madurodam – a model village of the Netherlands and well worth a stop
  • Windmills in Kinderdjik

Of course, there are plenty of other places to explore too.

If you enjoy reading books before you visit a place, here are some great suggestions:

See more fun and practical motorhoming books we recommend reading

Planning a driving route from UK to Netherlands

So, how do you get to the Netherlands from the UK with a motorhome, campervan or even a caravan?

Using the Eurotunnel

By far the easiest way is the Eurotunnel. Normally, I’m all about the pros and cons of ferry vs tunnel , but in this instance, no matter where you’re driving from in the UK, the tunnel is the best choice. There is also a ferry from Dover to Calais if you’re unable to use the tunnel, but it takes longer to cross.

Once you’re across to France, you can drive from Calais, through Belgium and to the Netherlands is just 3 hours (it’s about 280km).

New to motorhome or camper travel in Europe? You might find these posts helpful:

Tour Europe in a Motorhome; Motorhome Europe Travel

See all our Europe motorhoming posts here

NEED GEAR? If you need any kit or essentials for motorhoming in Europe, here’s what we recommend and where to find it

Harwich to Holland Ferry

There is also a ferry which goes directly to the Hook of Holland (which I think is where a lot of the name confusion comes from!) from Harwich, with Stena Line. You can take your motorhome or camper on board and it takes about 7 hours. If you’re travelling with a dog or cat, there are kennels on board you can book them into, but they can’t come into your cabin.

Hull to Rotterdam Ferry

For anyone in Scotland of the North of England, there is also a ferry from Hull to Rotterdam with P & O Ferries. This takes about 12 hours and again has cabins and pet kennels onboard.

Other motorhome and campervan routes into Holland

Of course, if you’re not starting in the UK, there are plenty of ways to get to the Netherlands. We’ve entered from Germany several times, and also after exploring Belgium.

There are no border controls if arriving by road- you just drive straight in!

Hiring a motorhome to tour the Netherlands

If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can easily fly into the Netherlands and hire one. Just make sure to ask how to get from the airport to the rental agency- not all of them are at the airport itself and you might need to book a taxi.

Don’t forget, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the vehicle has the required safety equipment. The on-the-spot fines apply to you as the driver, not the company. Check in advance with the company what kit they will provide with the vehicle and what you will need to bring.

Take a list of what is legally required with you and check it off one by one as you are given the handover. Do not drive until you are happy you comply with the local laws.

Make sure you have proof that you can take the vehicle across a border into another country if that’s what you’re planning to do. Read the article below for other things to check as well before you agree to hire.

Want to rent a vehicle for your road trip?

These might help:

  • Discover incredible deals for motorhome/ camper rentals
  • Find the best deals for car rental

READ: 10 essential questions to ask before you rent a motorhome

Parking in the Netherlands for motorhomes and campervans

The Dutch are pretty welcoming and accommodating for motorhomers and campervanners. They have aires around the country for cheap or even free overnight motorhome stopovers.

You’ll find a lot of free daytime parking options outside of the cities, but near attractions you’ll need to pay and display. Make sure you do this- the wardens are vigilant! Be sure to only park in appropriate spots- avoid any kerbs painted black and white or yellow.

Also, you may need to mark the time you parked or use a parking timer. You can often get one free from a Tourist Information Office (VVW).

As with most countries in Europe, you have four options when it comes to where to park your motorhome or camper overnight:

  • Motorhome campsites
  • Approved motorhome overnight parking places/ aires
  • Free approved overnight parking spots
  • Motorhome wild camping spots (not really tolerated)

Motorhome Parking in Amsterdam

There are so many wonderful things to do in Amsterdam and we highly recommend taking the time to visit, but for your sanity, and the sake of those around you, please don’t try to drive your motorhome in Amsterdam. Parking is VERY limited and there are lots of rules and restricted zones. There are plenty of places to park up around the city and use the train system or public transport to get in and out. There are several good motorhome campsites around the city too.

Visit Giethoorn - the village with no roads! #giethoorn #holland #travel #europe #adventure #roadtrip

Motorhome Campsites in the Netherlands

Wild camping is not very welcome in the Netherlands, so we prefer to use campsites or aires whenever we visit with our motorhome.

Every campsite we’ve been to so far has been extremely clean and well-equipped. As we always travel outside of peak season, we find them using our ACSI CampingCard so we can get discounted rates.

Nearly every pitch has had electric hook-up, a fresh drinkable water tap and often even a TV aerial socket! Read our review about the best 12v motorhome TVs and how to choose.

Our favourite campsite in Giethoorn was technically called an aire, but it had proper toilets and a washing machine (even though I fell out with the machine after it stole all my money!) But the parking by the marina was just beautiful.

Aires in Netherlands

Like much of Europe, the Netherlands provides approved overnight stopover parking for motorhomes and campervans called Aires. If you’re used to motorhoming in France , you might be less impressed with the aires in Holland- many of them were away from the attractions and relied on you having bicycles or an alternative vehicle with you to get anywhere, or using public transport.

READ MORE: Learn how we find and use  aires and approved free overnight motorhome stopovers across Europe

One of the things we loved about motorhoming in Holland is how many marinas and waterways there are. As boat owners, we love looking at other boats, and many of the marinas allow you to stay overnight on their car park (you can find them using the link above). Of course, these are just car parks- there are rarely any access to facilities, but it’s a lovely location to spend the evening.

You cannot book motorhome aires in the Netherlands- it’s first-come, first-served, so if you’re visiting at peak time you might feel happier booking a campsite so you’re assured of somewhere to stay.

It’s always worth investing in a book of aires, as well as an online app- just in case you find yourself without internet in your motorhome (or without a wifi signal). Of course, the downside with any book is that it goes out of date, but don’t worry if it’s only a year or two out- most information about aires won’t change too much

Here are some we recommend:

RELATED: 39 Practical or fun motorhome books we recommend

Wild camping in the Netherlands for motorhomes and campers

There are some places in Europe which state that wild camping is not tolerated, and then blindly ignore it if you’re discrete, and others which are more vocal about it not being welcome- like the Netherlands

For that reason, we’ve only ever wild camped for one night in Holland- and that was only after asking the warden if it was ok. If you have a stealth campervan, you might be more inclined to chance it, but with a motorhome, I’d say find an aire or campsite unless you’re in the middle of nowhere.

If you are interested in learning how to wild camp/ stay off-grid with your motorhome or campervan, grab your free checklist and our complete guide below:

Motorhome wild camping guides for the UK & Europe

Motorhome wild parking guide

For information on how to find good wild camping places, WHAT to do when you’re there and how to stay safe, check out our step-by-step guide for motorhome wild camping in the UK and Europe, complete with database of 250+ overnight spots we’ve stayed with our motorhome.

Don’t forget to grab your free wild camping checklist here

Motorhome and campervan service points in Netherlands

There are motorhome service points around the country, but not as many as you might be used to when motorhoming in Spain , France or even Italy. We tended to stay at aires or campsites where we could use their facilities, instead of stopping at designated service points en-route.

Campervanning in the Netherlands- security

We highly recommend paying extra attention to your  motorhome security  when travelling in the Netherlands. You might even wish to fit an  extra camper habitation door lock  and never leave your vehicle unattended in an unsecured area.

READ MORE: Top tips for protecting your van at home or on the road


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road trip from hook of holland

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Motorhoming in Holland- what gear do you need to carry?

Just like  motorhoming in France , there are certain things you MUST carry with you in your motorhome or campervan whilst touring the Netherlands.

Don’t forget, if you are driving through France and Belgium to get to Holland, you need all the kit required by those countries as well.

Things you need to drive in the Netherlands- safety gear

The Netherlands are surprisingly relaxed about safety gear you legally have to carry in your vehicle. However, as you need to drive through France, Belgium and/or Germany to get there, you need to carry these items as a minimum:

  • Hi-vis reflective jackets  – not as strict as in France, but you must wear them on the side of the road or hard shoulder or risk being fined.
  • Warning triangle
  • Headlight beam converters – must be fitted before you drive in Europe. Some vehicle allow you to adjust the beam automatically so you won’t need these.
  • UK sticker attached to the back of vehicle or reg plates (and trailer if you have one)
  • Crash helmets are compulsory for motorbikers and passengers

TOP TIP:  Buy these essentials for driving in the Netherlands in advance. One of the cheapest places is on  Amazon . If you wait until you’re at the ferry/ tunnel, you could spend THREE times as much!

Looking for the driving rules of each country on your European road trip? Every Europe travel destination has different laws- and boy is it confusing! Here's how you find them all out! #europe #travel #roadtrip #european #driving #motorhome #rv #rules #regulations #wanderingbird

Road trip accessories you MIGHT need when campervanning in the Netherlands

The following kit are things you might choose to carry in your car, motorhome, caravan or campervan when you are  planning your road trip  in the Netherlands

NOTE: There is no rule regarding winter tyres for the Netherlands- the winters don’t get bad enough for that. Of course, if you do happen to be driving in heavy rain or snow, please drive appropriately

  • First aid kit  – not compulsory in Holland (unlike many countries in Europe). Find out what we carry in our  European first aid kit here
  • Spare bulbs for all lights in the vehicle
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Blanket- useful if your passengers get cold! (Did you know you can buy a  12v heated blanket?  It’s amazing!)
  • Water and snacks- just in case you run into traffic or breakdown somewhere remote.
  • Epic road trip and motorhoming logbook to record and remember your epic adventures!

When driving in the Netherlands what documents do you need to carry?

If you’re driving in Holland, you need to carry the following documents:

  • Passport (or identity card)
  • Valid Driving licence (check it is in date!)
  • Motorhome Insurance  documents- check you are covered for driving in Europe
  • Breakdown cover
  • Vehicle V5 logbook (which must show your correct address)
  • Vehicle must be legally taxed and MOT’d
  • Trailer certification
  • Green card (if needed- get from your vehicle insurer)
  • International Driving Permit if required
  • Personal travel insurance
  • European Claim Form (from your insurer)

Do I need an international driving permit to drive in the Netherlands?

Most UK citizens do not need an IDP to drive in the Netherlands, as long as you have a card driving licence issued in the UK (in date, of course!)

You might need one if you have:

  • a paper driving licence only
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

(If you do need an IDP, here’s an  in-depth guide on how to get an International Driving Permit  and which one(s) you need from a UK post office.

Motorhome touring in the Netherlands- Other useful things you might need

We’ve been  touring Europe in our motorhome  for several years. We’ve tried all sorts of kit- some useful, some not so much.

Here is a list of things we highly recommend when motorhoming in Holland, but which are NOT essential:

  • Motorhome WiFi – learn our favourite way to get internet on the road
  • Toll pass (see below)
  • TV- If you’d like  TV in your motorhome or camper , here’s how to get it.
  • Motorhome sat-nav – get one you can enter your motorhome dimensions into, like these
  • Motorhome security camera – this thing is GOLD for allowing us to go exploring and leave the van for a short time.
  • Solar panel- perfect if you want to wild camp in Spain with your motorhome
  • Inverter- a  motorhome wild camping essential
  • An  awesome road trip playlist!

Make planning your next road trip EASY (& fun!)

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Driving tips for the Netherlands

If you’re planning a Dutch road trip, here are some essential things to know:

  • The Netherlands drives on the right, overtakes on the left
  • 18 is the minimum age to drive a car, camper or motorhome (and only with a legal licence) You may need to be 25+ before you can hire
  • Seatbelts are compulsory for all occupants of a vehicle and pets must be restrained
  • Speeds are in km/h, not mph (you might want to change the setting on your sat-nav)
  • Road surfaces are generally pretty good
  • Avoid cities if you’re driving in a motorhome- many of them are too crowded and the streets are just not cut out for large vehicles. Park outside and use public transport to get in.
  • All road signs are in blue (not just the motorways)
  • The Netherlands has strict drink driving limits. The legal limit is 0.05% (0.02% for drivers with less than 5 years experience and moped drivers up to 24 years old.)
  • Dash-cams are allowed without restriction

One of the biggest differences you will face when driving in the Netherlands compared to the UK and much of Europe are the cyclists.

In the Netherlands, the vast majority of road used are on a bicycle. Cycle paths are everywhere, including part of nearly every road. Do NOT use the cycle lane as an extension of your lane- you will be shouted at and/ or fined. Also, cyclists are allowed to ride two side-by-side.

Cyclists and mopeds have priority at many junctions. If there is a yellow diamond sign, you have priority over other vehicles. If there isn’t one of these signs, or there is one with a black line through it, you no longer have priority, traffic from the right does – this is usually on roundabouts and residential areas.

Trams, cyclists and mopeds have right of way in almost every situation. If you’re not sure, assume that they are and let them go. Expect them to appear from any direction and try to cross the road in front of you, even without a proper pedestrian crossing.

Traffic lights

Like much of Europe, traffic lights in the Netherlands have no ‘amber’- they go straight from red to green. Be careful when turning right at traffic lights- pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road have priority over you.

Having said that, at some places a yellow flashing arrow may appear as a warning that it’s about to go red (usually if you’re waiting to turn at a junction.) Flashing yellow means that you should proceed with caution. A red arrow indicates that the driver proceeding in that direction must stop.  

Speed Limits in the Netherlands

Road safety is very important in the Netherlands and they take a dim view of speed- especially anyway near residential or school areas. The pace of life is slower and it’s common for many people to drive well below the speed limit.

Cars, motorhomes and campers under 3.5 tonnes:

  • 130 km/h (80 mph) on motorways (Autosnelweg) (minimum speed 60km/h)
  • 100km/h (62mph) on major roads and Expressways (Autoweg)
  • 60-80km/h on regional roads (out of town)
  • 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up areas

As you enter a town (passing the yellow sign) the speed limit of 50kph applies (unless otherwise stated) until you are leaving the town and pass a yellow sign with a red line through it.

Motorhomes and Campervans weighing over 3.5 tonnes:

  • motorways 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • major out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • built-up areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)

Motorhomes or cars with trailers or caravans (over 750kg)

Speed Cameras in the Netherlands

There are many speed cameras in the Netherlands- not all of them signed. Be sure to turn off any radar detector or device which tells you about a camera- they are illegal in Holland.

There are plenty of fuel stations along most routes and unleaded and diesel are widely available. There are fewer options are you go further North and East, so be sure to fill up regularly. Diesel is often cheaper in The Netherlands than in Germany, so fill up before crossing the border.

Petrol is called Ongelood (95 / 98) (also Euro 95 and Super 98)

Diesel is called… diesel

LPG is available at many petrol stations. They use the British connector and are often self-service, although you may need to ask the attendant to turn it on for you.

Just be aware that many places do not accept visa or mastercard, even debit cards. If you don’t have a Maestro, you’re going to want to carry cash (Euros).

READ MORE: How we find LPG in Europe

Tolls/ Vignettes

There aren’t either in the Netherlands- all roads are free.

Restricted Zones

Many cities in the Netherlands have restricted zones, where you can’t drive in without a permit. Our advice is to avoid driving into any cities- park up on the outskirts and use public transport.

Learn more about how to find restricted zones across Europe

Driving in the Netherlands- what to do in the event of a road traffic accident

You should have a European Claim Form provided by your insurer before you leave. In the event of an accident, all parties complete and sign the form at the scene and then send a copy to your insurer for assessment.

What to do at the scene:

  • Stop your vehicle immediately but safely- out of the flow of traffic if possible.
  • If a vehicle is blocking the road, use hazard lights and put the red warning triangle 30 metres from the scene to warn approaching traffic
  • Name and address of all the people involved in the accident
  • Vehicle registration numbers of all parties
  • Insurance company details of all parties
  • Take photos of damage using a camera, GoPro or phone

For more details, read our step-by-step guide on dealing with a road traffic accident in Europe

Motorhome Touring in Holland itinerary idea

Here’s a 7 day road trip itinerary we did on one of our first trips to the Netherlands with our motorhome.

  • Day One- drove into Holland and stayed at Jachthaven Westergoot in Dordrecht.
  • Day Two- Visit the Kinderdjik windmills (although, be warned if you’re towing or a long motorhome- we had serious trouble parking) and then on to Madurodam and the Hague
  • Day Three- Explore the Hague and surrounding area. Rotterdam is also worth a visit if you have time but might need its own day
  • Day Four- Amsterdam. If you don’t want to go into the city, go to Volendam – we loved it there and the motorhome parking was great and near the beach. Again, if you have time, do both.
  • Day Five- drive to Giethoorn Village . We took the bridge over the E22, but honestly, the southern route might have had more to see.
  • Day 6- visit Giethoorn- well worth spending a day relaxing here. Don’t miss the ice cream!
  • Day 7- drive out and start motorhoming in Germany (or back to the UK, if you must)

More useful things to know when campervanning in Netherlands

Emergency Numbers:  112 will get you everything

Capital City: Amsterdam

Language : Dutch, but English is widely spoken to an excellent standard (as are Flemish and German). The Dutch will love you trying to speak their language, but they are also aware that us mere English mortals can’t make those sounds!

Currency : Euro

Bank Cards : Paying by card in Holland is a pain, frankly. They only like Maestro and Visa/ Mastercard are often not accepted, even if they’re debit cards. If you don’t have a Maestro, you can still withdraw cash from ATMs but you’ll struggle to pay in shops and restaurants with a Visa, Mastercard or Amex. You can read more here

Timezone : GMT+1 (or one hour ahead in BST)

Mobile Phone and Internet  : It’s usually possible to use your UK phone and data in the Netherlands, but do check with your provider. If not, SIM cards are widely available and a cheap option for phone calls.

Tipping : Service is usually included in a restaurant, but do check. It’s common to tip other services, like taxi drivers

Shops : Unlike much of Europe, shops in the Netherlands don’t often close for lunch. Most are open every day from around 9 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. On Monday mornings, shops may not open until noon.

Many towns and cities have a shopping night where shops stay open until late, around 9 p.m. This is often on a Thursday. Many big supermarkets are open until 10pm.

Every Dutch city has its own rules for Sunday shopping hours. In most big cities, supermarkets are open until around 5.30 p.m on a Sunday.

Visa requirements : The Netherlands is in the Schengen zone, so you probably have a maximum of 90 days if you are not an EU resident. Learn more about the changes for driving in the EU after BREXIT.

Borders: There are no formal border crossings if you are driving into the Netherlands

Telephone country code : +31

Touring the Netherlands with a dog

The Netherlands is very pet-friendly. They are allowed almost everywhere, including public transport and in many bars, cafes and restaurants. They are not often allowed in museums.

Now that BREXIT has happened and the UK pet passport scheme is no longer valid, you will need to get an Animal Health Certificate before you leave the UK.

READ MORE:  How to get a UK Animal Health Certificate after BREXIT

You will need to get a worming treatment done by a registered vet before you leave Spain, or between 24 hours and 5 days before re-entering the UK.

More tips for travelling with a dog:

  • The most useful dog road trip accessories
  • How to keep a dog cool while travelling

See all our dog travel and road trip tips

Using a drone in the Netherlands

You are allowed to take and fly your drone in the Netherlands, but there are some rules you need to follow.

READ MORE: What’s the best travel drone (and how to choose)

Drones and similar remote-controlled flying devices must be kept at least a minimum 150m from people, vehicles and buildings that are not connected with the drone operator. Flying must happen in daylight only and up to a maximum height of 120m. Never fly closer than 5km to airports. The drone must always remain within the sight of the operator. If you want to film or photograph a person, you must first get their permission.

Please check for local regulations and military or other special restricted areas where all the aforementioned activities are forbidden by law.  Here are current government rules .

Other posts you might find useful:

  • Unmissable road trip ideas for Europe
  • Essential motorhome checks to do before you travel

See all our Europe motorhome travel tips and ideas

road trip from hook of holland

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Hook of Holland to Hamburg drive

Hook of holland to hamburg road trip planner.

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Hook of Holland to Hamburg. If you're planning a road trip to Hamburg, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

11:00 am  start in Hook of Holland drive for about 1 hour

12:01 pm   Utrecht stay for about 1 hour and leave at 1:01 pm drive for about 54 minutes

1:55 pm   Walibi Holland stay for about 1 hour and leave at 2:55 pm drive for about 1 hour

day 1 driving ≈ 3 hours

10:00 am  leave from Enschede drive for about 1 hour

11:05 am   Osnabruck stay for about 1 hour and leave at 12:05 pm drive for about 48 minutes

12:53 pm   Vechta stay for about 1 hour and leave at 1:53 pm drive for about 49 minutes

2:42 pm   Bremen stay for about 1 hour and leave at 3:42 pm drive for about 1 hour

4:57 pm  arrive in Hamburg

day 2 driving ≈ 4 hours

Where should I stop along the way?

Utrecht   (35 answers) Walibi Holland   (2 mentions) Enschede Osnabruck Vechta Bremen   (10 answers)     questions about Bremen:         What's the best neighborhood in Bremen for a first time visitor?

What are some things to do in Hamburg?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Hamburg. Click on any question to see answers from the community!


Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Hamburg.

Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Hamburg to Hook of Holland drive , or go to the main page to plan a new road trip .

Looking for ideas for more destinations within driving distance of Hook of Holland? Try searching for places within 5 hours of Hook of Holland .

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Hook of Holland to Hamburg . Or get a full Hook of Holland to Hamburg flight plan .

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend.

And if you know Hook of Holland well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Hook of Holland!

More info on this route:

road conditions from Hook of Holland to Hamburg

places to eat

alternate routes

Google driving directions


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  1. Road trips from Hook of Holland

    Top 17 road trips from Hook of Holland Hook of Holland to Groningen Hook of Holland → 1 hour → Amsterdam 53 minutes → Walibi Holland 52 minutes → Heerenveen 49 minutes → Groningen view all routes 3.5 hours of driving Hook of Holland to Norwich Hook of Holland → 2.5 hours → Felixstowe 36 minutes → Suffolk 48 minutes → Norwich view all routes

  2. Hook of Holland to Valkenburg drive

    Hook of Holland to Valkenburg road trip planner Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Hook of Holland to Valkenburg. If you're planning a road trip to Valkenburg, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather.

  3. Hook of Holland to Rostock drive

    Hook of Holland to Rostock road trip planner Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Hook of Holland to Rostock. If you're planning a road trip to Rostock, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather.

  4. Hook of Holland to Amsterdam drive

    Hook of Holland to Amsterdam road trip planner Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Hook of Holland to Amsterdam. If you're planning a road trip to Amsterdam, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather.

  5. Road Trip from London to Germany

    840 miles. 16 hours 40 minutes. The Berlin Route from London to Germany is 770 miles long. This route includes a ferry crossing from Harwich to Hook of Holland which takes around 7-8 hours and brings the total travel time to just over 18 hours. There are multiple ferry crossings each day on Stena Line.

  6. European family road trip itinerary: England to Italy

    The best bits of our European family road trip. The best drives on our family road trip through Europe. Day 1: Stenalink from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. Days 2 - 4: Luxembourg stopover. Days 5 - 8: Switzerland hiking adventure. Days 9 - 12: Driving from Switzerland to northern Italy. Days 13 - 19 Corsica with kids.

  7. Hook of Holland to Valkenburg

    The distance between Hook of Holland and Valkenburg is 171 km. The road distance is 251 km. Get driving directions ... Find all the transport options for your trip from Hook of Holland to Valkenburg right here. Rome2Rio displays up to date schedules, route maps, journey times and estimated fares from relevant transport operators, ensuring you ...

  8. Hook of Holland

    Hook of Holland (Dutch: Hoek van Holland or De Hoek, literally "The Corner") is a small town on the Nieuwe Waterweg ship canal near the North Sea coast in Rijnmond. It is well connected to the nearby regional hub, Rotterdam. Most notable for travellers is Hook's ferry port, which has had services to the East of England since 1893.

  9. Driving To Holland: Travel With LeShuttle™

    How long does it take to drive to Holland? With direct road links to the motorway in both England and France, LeShuttle is a much easier way to drive to the Netherlands when compared to boarding the ferry. So, if you're planning to drive from London to Holland, or from anywhere else in the UK, LeShuttle is your fastest option.

  10. Hook Of Holland: discover what to see and do with our ...

    The Hook of Holland, or Hoek van Holland in Dutch, is located in the Southwestern corner of Holland, the word hoek, means corner. It is located at the mouth of the New Waterway shipping canal, which flows into the North Sea. The closest city is Rotterdam and the population of Hoek van Holland is just under 10,000.

  11. Hook of Holland to Flensburg drive

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  12. Hook of Holland to Stockholm drive

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  13. Driving routes from Holland to Italy

    1. Re: Driving routes from Holland to Italy 8 years ago

  14. Ferry to Hook of Holland and Harwich

    to Hook of Holland & Harwich From 76€ single, car & driver Find trip Timetable Route Harwich → Hoek van Holland Belfast → Cairnryan Belfast → Liverpool Cherbourg → Rosslare Cairnryan → Belfast Dublin → Holyhead Fishguard → Rosslare Frederikshavn → Gothenburg Gdynia → Karlskrona Gothenburg → Frederikshavn Gothenburg → Kiel Grenaa → Halmstad

  15. Hook of Holland Travel Guide & Ferry Info

    Destinations Hook of Holland If you're searching for a hidden gem to visit in the Netherlands, look no further than the Hook of Holland! This beautiful holiday destination and seaport belongs to the municipality of Rotterdam, located in the southwestern corner of the Netherlands.

  16. Motorhoming & Campervanning in the Netherlands- The Ultimate Guide

    The best time to plan a motorhome trip is from Spring (mid-April) to Autumn (probably around mid-October), but rain can happen at any time. If you want to see the tulips, go between mid-March and mid-May (obviously, exact times vary), but this time is also very popular with tourists. On the 27 April, there is a National holiday called King's Day.

  17. Hook of Holland

    Hook of Holland ( Dutch: Hoek van Holland, pronounced [ˈɦuk fɑn ˈɦɔlɑnt] ⓘ) [2] is a town in the southwestern corner of Holland, hence the name; hoek means "corner" and was the word in use before the word kaap - "cape", from Portuguese cabo - became Dutch.

  18. Hook of Holland to Innsbruck

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  20. Train Hook of Holland to Rotterdam from €5

    Hook of Holland to Rotterdam train times. Trains run every 30 minutes between Hook of Holland and Rotterdam. The earliest departure is at 20:17 in the evening, and the last departure from Hook of Holland is at 23:47 which arrives into Rotterdam at 00:21. All services run direct with no transfers required, and take on average 33 min.

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