We spent a few days in Texel Island as a getaway from Amsterdam. It was great to explore a new perspective on Holland and get to know a more local experience in Dutch culture. Here are several things to do in Texel Island, Netherlands.
Texel Island is one of the best weekend trips from Amsterdam one could ask for. Especially in summer.
There are plenty of quality things to do on the island of Texel in Holland, including things to relax and get away with as well as family-friendly activities. We recently booked a trip to The Netherlands thanks to travel hacking. We were able to fly to Holland for little to no cost. This marked our fourth time flying into Amsterdam.
We wanted to find some more weekend trips from Amsterdam, so we did our homework. We found a true gem that we suggest you explore.
What is Texel, The Netherlands?
Texel is a municipality of The Netherlands and is considered to be one of the Dutch Wadden Islands. Texel is part of the North Holland province.
The island is known for its significant bird-rich dunes within the Texel National Park. In addition to the dunes, the island features many sandy beaches, outdoor trails, small village towns, an aquarium, and a number of different wildlife sanctuaries.
There are several key cities and towns within Texel Island, they are:
- De Koog
- De Cocksdorp
- Den Burg
- Den Hoorn
How to Get to Texel
When you look on a map the journey to Texel looks daunting, but it is very easy from Amsterdam. From Amsterdam Centraal take a train heading to Den Helder. The train leaves every 45 minutes during the weekdays and costs about 15 euros a person. The train ride takes about two hours because you take it all the way to the last stop.
ViaTravelers Tip: Buy the round trip ticket to save time on your way back. You don’t need to choose what time you come back, or day, so it is still flexible.
Step 1: Take the train all the way to the last stop at Den Helder. From here you can either walk or take the 33 Steiger bus to the TESO ferry port. The walk takes about 30 minutes, the bus takes about 10. We recommend taking the bus so you don’t miss your ferry.
Step 2: take the TESO ferry across to Texel. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes and takes about 20 minutes to cross the ocean.
ViaTravelers Tip: purchase your TESO ferry tickets online to avoid the line. They are 2.50 euro a person and include a round trip. Just download the pass to your phone and they can scan it before you board the ferry.
Step 3: leave the ferry and take the 28 bus to your destination. The bus leaves every 30 minutes and is synced to the ferry arrival times. Take the bus to Element which is in the center of Den Burg – a great stop after your journey.
Texel has an awesome transportation system. You can get around in their public transportation private shuttles or buses that go around the entire island.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands
Fun & Best Things to Do in Texel, Den Burg
Here are some of the best things to do while visiting Texel, Holland.
Climb to the Top of the Kerk Den Burg
Den Burg is the main town on the island of Texel. There is a church in the main square called Kerk Den Burg. I suggest that you go inside the church and climb up the top of the tower to get amazing views of the ocean and the rest of Texel Island.
The climb is steep and adventurous. It’s worth it though. Just look at these photos!
Dine and/or Stay at Hotel de Lindeboom
Hotel de Lindeboom is the best way to stay in Texel. You are literally in the middle of the island and in the middle of the best square in the largest city on the island.
The hotel includes breakfast, which is amazing by the way. You look out to the square at their quaint cafe. The hotel recently underwent a renovation, so it’s clean and well-designed.
The rooms look out to the square in the middle of Den Burg, so you can look out and gaze while you enjoy a Dutch treat or beverage.
See Related: Best Things to do in Amsterdam
Visit the Dunes of Texel
Grab your cycle and hit the roads. Once you get to the dunes, you will see the amazing coastline and cycling opportunities. It’s a great way to see the landscapes of this gorgeous Wadden Island while also getting some exercise.
The dunes are actually a national park called Dunes of Texel National Park. The simplicity of the dunes provides a unique perspective that you wouldn’t really think exists in Holland. It’s a great variation of perspective. The dunes give a sort of a Scotland vibe to the island.
The dunes are a national treasure. While you explore, you might even spot some friends along the way, including seals, birds, flora, and more.
See Related: Best Tours in Amsterdam
Within the Dunes of Texel National Park reside a museum. The Ecomare is located in De Koog on the Wadden island of Texel. Here are some things that you can do at Ecomare:
- Harbour porpoise feeding
- Seal feeding
- Beach findings
- Whale highlights
The cost of the museum is about 13 euros for adults and 9 euros for children ages 4 to 13 years old. This is a great activity for the whole family to see and experience the marine life that lives around the Wadden Islands.
Visit the Lighthouse Texel
Lighthouse Texel or Eirland Lighthouse is a great place to take some photos. The lighthouse is a great opportunity for some nature and landscape photography. The lighthouse is located on the northern tip of Texel Island.
In 1977, the tower was covered with a red coating so you can’t miss it if you make the journey to the northern end of Texel. Since 1982, the lighthouse is a Rijksmonument of the Netherlands.
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Wine & Dine on Michelin Restaurant Row
Whoa, my wife and I were blown away. The restaurant scene here was phenomenal. The street where a handful of these restaurants was pretty quant too.
Along Gravenstraat, which is right behind Hotel de Lindeboom, there are a handful of great restaurants that you need to visit.
- Freya de Texelse Bodega
- Restaurant het Kook Atelier
- Hart van Texel Eten & Drinken
These restaurants are all 5-star dining options that are great for a night when you’d like to splurge. The above restaurants offer pre-fixe menus for dinner, so you’ll get a full course of starters, entrees, and desserts. You will get a full experience out of your dinner.
See Related: 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
Soak in the Dutch Architecture
If you aren’t from the states, you might not be as obsessed with housing in The Netherlands as I am. Everyone has such great style and design. I can simply walk through the streets and just gaze at the buildings.
Here are some of my favorite photos of Dutch architecture and housing during my visit. I loved the church in the middle of the town. I climbed to the top of that!
Shop & Buy Local Wool
Texel has great markets in each square filled with shops. You will definitely notice the plethora of sheep once you arrive in Texel. Why not buy local? Get some handmade wool blankets or sweaters as a souvenir to take home.
Each day the markets in the square change between cities. We were in Den Burg on a Wednesday, so we were able to catch the market.
Walk and Explore De Slufter
Similar to the Dunes National Park, De Slufter features an expansive walking path with dunes and waterways.
Again, bring your camera because you will likely come across different wildlife and natural settings that make for excellent photos.
Vuurtorenweg Texel Beach
Visiting during the summer? You have to spend some time at the beach. Pack a picnic and spend a day soaking up the sun and playing outdoor games.
If you hit the beach, be sure to bring one of these top beach blankets with you so you can avoid the annoying sand everywhere.
Speaking of sheep, why not visit a sheep farm? Schapenboerderij Texel is a Texel Sheep Farm.
If you are an animal lover, you will love this spot. They have baby lambs, guinea pigs, chickens, goats, bunnies, and more. It’s a great spot to bring kids. I’m sure you can find some excellent wool here as well.
Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum Flora
You can visit the Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum Flora by stopping on your way from Den Burg to De Koog.
If you do not know (much) about beachcombing, you should not skip this museum during your visit to Texel Island. You will truly appreciate what beachcombing means.
The Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum Flora is a surreal mix of funny and tragic remains resulting from shipwrecks and losses at sea.
See Related: Best Things to do in Alkmaar
Is Texel Worth Visiting?
Yes, Texel is an awesome way to get out of the city limits and slow down time. The island is a very family-friendly environment with many things to do and explore with kids.
Go explore a hidden gem of all of Holland by heading north. It was a refreshing retreat that featured local Dutch culture and experiences. There are plenty of different things to do.
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