We had a house swap in Arnhem which is an hour or so west of Amsterdam. One great thing about house swapping is that we get to visit places that we wouldn’t have thought of or are not on the tourist track. We love Holland so were happy to try out a new area and this one did not let us down. Arnhem is delightful. It’s a very green city with lovely trees everywhere, parks, bike trails (naturally), and rivers. Plus there are some great museums and nature parks.
We spent a day at the huge Netherlands Open Air Museum. There are 40 or more houses/barns that have been brought in to show Dutch life through the centuries. We really learned a huge amount about farming and historical pieces that we weren’t aware of before. The weather was amazing that day too and perfect for wandering around or taking the trolley that trundled the perimeter of the park.
Another day we went to the Royal Burgers’ zoo which is really top notch. It has loads of domes that create their own environment such as jungle or desert. It’s a full day to see it all.
We also loved the The Kröller-Müller Museum art museum which is located in the middle of a national park (De Hoge Veluwe National Park). Again, gorgeous weather and driving around the forest was incredible. I wish we had time to have walked (or you can rent bikes) there as the paths looked lovely. The art museum holds the second largest number of Van Gogh pieces in the world and has some lovely collections including Picasso, Seurat, Monet, and Mondriaan. There is an outdoor sculpture garden too that is the largest in Europe. A day wandering around this itself is needed.
Then we also visited the WWII museum which is extremely well done. The immersive areas with noise and flashing “bombs” are intense but memorable. Arnhem was the site of a big battle and subsequent movie so this museum remembers all of this. It was a good expansion after just coming from Dachau.
We ran out of time and did not get to wander along the river and cafes in the downtown but that area looked great so I hope we get to go back.