With international leisure travel becoming more commonplace again after the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eager to plan your next vacation but simply don’t know where to look first.
Valkenburg is famous for its many historical and cultural sights. In addition, Valkenburg is situated in the southernmost province of the Netherlands, known as Limburg, which makes it an enviable foodie destination as well.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the best things to do in this Dutch city, as well as some other tips to make your trip that much more of a memorable experience.
What are the Most Popular Sights?
While there are a lot of worthwhile sights in Valkenburg, if you only have enough time to hit the absolute best the city has to offer, then you should aim to hit the three attractions listed below:
- Gemeentegrot – also called “the Municipal Cave,” is a former chalk quarry and shelter in times of war. A guided tour of this place is highly recommended to make sure you discover everything the place has to offer.
- Valkenburg Castle – these ruins are unique among Dutch castles because it is the only castle built on a hill in a notoriously flat country.
- Thermae 2000 – a spa complex for relaxation complete with massages, saunas, and a swimming pool and is located close to famous cycling events
Traditional Food You Should Try
Visiting another country can be an exciting but also stressful time, so it’s easy to resort to the comfort foods of your own country and familiar brands with predictable flavors like McDonald’s.
However, visiting Valkenburg without sampling the local cuisine would be a mistake.
Thankfully, several Dutch foods should appeal to even delicate stomachs that churn violently at the thought of fermented foods that countries around the Netherlands are known for. Below are just a few of the dishes you should try:
- Zuurvlees – a traditional type of stew
- Limburgse vlaai – a delicious kind of pie
- Meulekeukske – a biscuit from the Meuse region of Limburg
- Looise maan – a decadent apple cake
What is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Valkenburg?
Like many places around the globe, the best time to visit Valkenburg is in the summer, when temperatures are pleasant, and precipitation is relatively low.
Summertime is also when many festivals and events are scheduled, so if you’re looking to participate in cultural traditions, that is another bonus.
Be aware, though, that while precipitation is usually lower during the summer than at other times of the year, you may still experience heavy rain or prolonged periods of lighter rain.
So don’t try to wait out the rain because it is unlikely you’ll be able to do much of anything during your visit if you do.
When is the Place the Most Crowded
Because the best time to visit Valkenburg is in the summer, that is also usually the time the city is most crowded. Specifically, July, August, and September are the busiest months for tourism, both domestic and international.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds but still have a wonderful time, the weather between late May and into June is similar to what you would experience during peak tourism months but with fewer people around to enjoy it.
October can also be an excellent time to visit if you don’t mind dealing with cooler temperatures and more rain.
Are there any Spots You Should Avoid Visiting?
As far as being a tourist goes, there aren’t any particularly dangerous neighborhoods that you should avoid visiting during a trip to Valkenburg. However, if you manage to strike up a conversation with a local, they may tell you otherwise, and you should follow their advice.
That being said, some of Valkenburg’s attractions can have potentially unforeseen hazards associated with them. For example, the coal mine could aggravate some health conditions, especially respiratory problems like asthma.
It’s also possible the enclosed space underground at places like the Gemeentegrot could trigger things like panic attacks in people suffering from claustrophobia.
Final Thoughts on What To Do In Valkenburg
Valkenburg is a wonderful city to visit that is slightly off the beaten path of tourism. There are plenty of unique aspects about Valkenburg to keep you and your family engaged as you spend a vacation together.
Suppose you ever want a change of pace from the historical features dotted around the area.
In that case, you can always stop into local cafes for a scrumptious bite or go shopping at the small business boutiques that populate the streets of Valkenburg. There really is a little something for everyone in Valkenburg.