There are plenty of places in the Netherlands where you can get away for the weekend, do something nice and enjoy some time away from the everyday stress. One of my preferred weekend destinations in the Netherlands are the national parks. There are 20 national parks and De Biesbosch is one of my favourite – a natural reserve with unique flora and fauna.
General information about De Biesbosch
De Biesbosch is a natural park located in the provinces North Brabant and South Holland. Its origins can be traced back to the St. Elizabeth’s flood in 1421. The Dutch are very good at playing God, building islands, diverting rivers, changing landscapes. Well, De Biesbosch is one of those Dutch creations where nature has been given the main role. De Biesbosch is one of the biggest freshwater tidal wetlands in Europe, a paradise for birds and birdwatchers. It’s also the home of the beaver in the Netherlands.De Biesbosch is one of the most beautiful national parks in the Netherlands!Click To Tweet
[This post has been last updated on 29 January 2018]
How to get to De Biesbosch
If you travel by car, you can access the park either from Dordrecht, Drimmelen, Werkendam or Hank. You can’t really cross it, so you have to plan your itinerary well in advance, as it might turn out that you have to drive all around it to get at your destination. There are a few car parks where you can leave you car in order to explore the park walking or biking.
A visit to De Biesbosch can be perfectly combined also with a city trip. If you are visiting Breda, ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) or Tilburg, you can opt for a day trip to this natural park. It takes only 20 minutes by car to reach the park from Breda, 30 minutes from Den Bosch and 25 from Tilburg. Should you stay in Den Bosch, here is my complete city guide.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an activity via one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. This is helping me to maintain the blog and pay for things like the hosting. Thank you for contributing to the existence of this blog! This is not a sponsored post. I’ve paid my stay in De Biesbosch, as well as all trips and the entry tickets to museum.
Where to stay in De Biesbosch
There are quite a lot of B&B’s and hotels in the neighborhood, but if you really want to stay in De Biesbosch, then the only option is the Hotel De Brabantse Biesbosch. It’s a very charming and cozy hotel with direct access to the yacht marina. So, pretty convenient if you come by boat. You get out of the door and you are in De Biesbosch! The hotel has a restaurant with very decent choice of dishes. There are no other restaurants in a walking distance from this hotel, so if you are staying there, you are kind of stuck to the hotel & its restaurant, which we actually never regretted.
What to do in De Biesbocsh
Do a boat trip
There are many boat trip services in De Biesbosch, but I would recommend you the Biesbosch.net and their zalmschouw (a Dutch type of boat). The owners will take you on a half-day or a day trip through the labyrinth of small rivers and creeks and will tell with passion about the history of the national park and its flora and fauna. They will help you with spotting rare birds and will tell you thousands of stories. We enjoyed a perfect day with them!
Visit the museum
I’m not often impressed by museums other than art ones, but the Biesbosch Museum really won me. It’s entertaining, it’s educative, it’s interactive and it’s made beautifully with a lot of taste. The building itself is an architectural jewel. It has been nominated for Building of the Year Award 2016 by the ArchDaily.
Take a walk
There are walking routes with different lengths that will take you to the most beautiful places in De Biesbosch. At each of the visitor’s centres you can take brochures with the routes.
Here is a list with the visitor’s centres and a link to their websites:
Unfortunately, both websites are available only in Dutch.
Take a lot of pictures
De Biesbosch is perfect for a photography trip, especially if you love photographing birds and nature.
Here you can download a map with some viewpoints and short walking routes in De Biesbosch.
If you bring your own canoe, there are routes with various starting points: at the visitor’s centre in Dordrecht (here you can also rent a canoe), at Natuurpoort Vissershang, or at Drimmelen. This is a great way to discover the enchanting nature at De Biesbosch.
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Which national parks in the Netherlands have you already visited? Which is your favourite one? I’m planning to visit all 20 of them. So far, I have I’ve been to 5 of them: De Biesbosch, Meinweg National Park, Dunes of Loon and Drunen, Dunes of Texel National Park, and the Hoge Veluwe National Park.