Exploring Southern Netherlands in an RV: A Memorable Road Trip Adventure
Exploring Southern Netherlands in an RV: A Memorable Road Trip Adventure

Exploring Southern Netherlands in an RV: A Memorable Road Trip Adventure

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Southern Netherlands? Traveling in an RV offers you the freedom to explore at your own pace, and the southern region of this charming country has a plethora of attractions waiting to be discovered. From historic cities to idyllic countryside, from culinary delights to cultural gems, this road trip has it all. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the best time to visit, key stops, route details, and places to stay with a camper van, ensuring that your journey through Southern Netherlands is nothing short of extraordinary.

Best Time to Visit Southern Netherlands

Before we dive into the details of the road trip, it’s crucial to plan your visit at the right time to make the most of your journey. Southern Netherlands experiences a temperate maritime climate, with distinct seasons. The best time to explore this region in an RV is during late spring to early autumn, roughly from April to October. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons and their advantages:

Spring (April – June)

Pros: Springtime in Southern Netherlands brings blooming flowers, lush green landscapes, and milder temperatures. It’s the perfect season for outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. You can also catch the stunning tulip fields in full bloom during April and May.

Cons: Spring can be a bit unpredictable, with occasional showers and fluctuating temperatures. Make sure to pack some rain gear just in case.

Summer (July – August)

Pros: Summer is the peak tourist season for a reason. The weather is warm and sunny, making it ideal for swimming in lakes and rivers, exploring outdoor markets, and enjoying festivals and events.

Cons: Expect larger crowds and higher prices during the summer months. Campsites and popular attractions can get crowded, so booking in advance is advisable.

Autumn (September – October)

Pros: Autumn is a fantastic time for a road trip as the landscapes turn into a kaleidoscope of colors. The weather remains pleasant, and you’ll have the opportunity to sample delicious seasonal foods and drinks.

Cons: As October progresses, the days become shorter, and the temperatures start to drop. It’s advisable to plan your trip earlier in the autumn to enjoy milder weather.

Now that you’ve decided when to visit, let’s embark on our journey through the Southern Netherlands!

Key Stops on Your Southern Netherlands Road Trip

1. Rotterdam: The Modern Marvel

Rotterdam should be your first stop on this adventure. This vibrant city, known for its innovative architecture, is a testament to resilience and creativity. The iconic Erasmus Bridge, Cube Houses, and Markthal are architectural wonders that must not be missed.

Explore the bustling maritime port and enjoy a meal at one of the many waterside restaurants. Rotterdam also boasts world-class museums, such as the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, which houses an impressive collection of art.

2. Dordrecht: A Step Back in Time

Heading southeast from Rotterdam, you’ll reach Dordrecht. This historic city is like a journey back in time, with its well-preserved medieval architecture and charming canals. Stroll through the old town center, visit the Grote Kerk (Great Church), and discover the fascinating Dordrechts Museum.

Dordrecht is also a great place to try traditional Dutch dishes, such as haring and erwtensoep (split pea soup), in local cafes and restaurants.

3. Biesbosch National Park: Nature’s Paradise

Just a short drive south from Dordrecht lies the enchanting Biesbosch National Park. This sprawling wetland reserve is a haven for nature lovers. Hop on a boat tour to navigate the labyrinthine waterways, spot wildlife, and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this unique ecosystem.

Camping is available within the park, allowing you to wake up to the sounds of nature.

4. Tilburg: A Cultural Hub

As you continue your journey southward, make a pit stop in Tilburg. This dynamic city is known for its thriving cultural scene, with numerous museums and galleries. The TextielMuseum, showcasing the history of textile production, is a must-visit.

Tilburg is also home to a variety of music festivals and events throughout the year. Check the local calendar to see if there are any happening during your visit.

5. Eindhoven: Innovation Central

Eindhoven, often referred to as the “City of Light,” is a hub of innovation and design. Explore the Philips Museum to learn about the history of the famous electronics company. If you’re interested in contemporary art and design, the Van Abbemuseum is a must-see.

Eindhoven’s dynamic atmosphere extends to its dining scene. Sample international cuisine and craft beers in the city’s vibrant restaurants and bars.

6. S-Hertogenbosch: The Quaint Gem

Den Bosch, as it’s locally known, is a charming town known for its medieval architecture and welcoming atmosphere. Explore the cobbled streets, visit the impressive St. John’s Cathedral, and don’t forget to try a Bossche Bol, a local cream-filled pastry.


S-Hertogenbosch is also a great place to take a relaxing boat tour through its network of canals.

7. Maastricht: A Taste of Southern Charm

Maastricht, located in the southernmost part of the Netherlands, is a city with a distinct charm and character. Stroll along the picturesque Maas River, explore the city’s historical center, and indulge in fine dining at one of its many restaurants.

Maastricht is also a gateway to the hilly Limburg region, offering opportunities for scenic hikes and visits to vineyards.

Route Details

Now that we’ve highlighted the key stops, let’s map out your road trip through Southern Netherlands. Here’s a suggested route that will allow you to explore each destination seamlessly:

  1. Start in Rotterdam: Begin your journey in the bustling city of Rotterdam, where you can rent an RV or stock up on supplies.
  2. Dordrecht: Head southeast from Rotterdam to reach the historic city of Dordrecht, which is less than an hour away.
  3. Biesbosch National Park: From Dordrecht, take a short drive south to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Biesbosch National Park.
  4. Tilburg: Continue southward to Tilburg, a drive of approximately one hour.
  5. Eindhoven: Head east from Tilburg to reach the innovative city of Eindhoven, which is just a 30-minute drive away.
  6. S-Hertogenbosch: Drive east to Den Bosch, located about 40 minutes from Eindhoven.
  7. Maastricht: Finally, head south to Maastricht, which is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Den Bosch.

This route covers a variety of landscapes and experiences, allowing you to soak in the diverse beauty of Southern Netherlands.

Places to Stay with a Camper Van

Now that you’re aware of the key stops and the route, let’s talk about the essential aspect of your road trip – where to stay with your camper van. Southern Netherlands offers a range of options for campers, from well-equipped campsites to wild camping spots.

1. Campsites

Campsites are an excellent choice for those who prefer the convenience of facilities like electricity, water, and sanitary services. Here are a few recommended campsites along your route:

  • Camping De Krabbeplaat (near Rotterdam): This campsite is just a short drive from Rotterdam and offers spacious pitches and modern amenities.
  • Camping De Grienduil (near Dordrecht): Nestled in the countryside, this campsite provides a peaceful atmosphere and is pet-friendly.
  • Camping Biesboschhoeve (in Biesbosch National Park): If you want to immerse yourself in nature, this campsite within the national park is an excellent choice.
  • Camping Fort Oranje (near Tilburg): This campsite has a variety of facilities and is conveniently located for exploring Tilburg.
  • Camping ‘t Goeie Leven (near Eindhoven): Enjoy a rural setting with easy access to Eindhoven from this campsite.
  • Camping Vecht en Weide (near S-Hertogenbosch): This campsite by the river offers a peaceful escape just a short drive from Den Bosch.
  • Camping Maastricht (near Maastricht): Located on the outskirts of Maastricht, this campsite provides a convenient base for exploring the city.

2. Wild Camping

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, wild camping is an option in the Netherlands, as long as you follow the rules and regulations. Here are some general guidelines for wild camping:

  • Designated Areas: Look for designated wild camping spots or areas where camping is allowed. Avoid camping in nature reserves or private property without permission.
  • Leave No Trace: Practice responsible camping by leaving no trace of your visit. Dispose of waste properly and respect the environment.
  • Safety: Ensure your safety and security when choosing a wild camping spot. It’s advisable to arrive during daylight and park in a safe and visible location.
  • Local Regulations: Be aware of local regulations and restrictions regarding wild camping, as they can vary by region.

While wild camping offers a sense of freedom, it’s essential to do your research and plan accordingly to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Exploring the Culinary Delights

A road trip through Southern Netherlands isn’t just about sightseeing; it’s also an opportunity to savor the region’s culinary delights. Dutch cuisine may not be as famous as some other European cuisines, but it has its own unique flavors and specialties that are worth trying.

1. Haring

Start your culinary journey with a taste of haring, a traditional Dutch dish. Haring is raw herring fish, typically served with onions and pickles. It’s a popular street food in the Netherlands, and you’ll find haring stands in most cities and towns.

2. Patat

For a satisfying snack or side dish, try patat, the Dutch version of French fries. What sets patat apart is the wide variety of toppings and sauces available. Try them with mayonnaise, ketchup, peanut sauce (satay), or even a combination of all three, known as “oorlog” (war).

3. Erwtensoep

On a chilly day, warm up with a hearty bowl of erwtensoep, or split pea soup. This thick and filling soup is a Dutch winter classic and often includes smoked sausage and rye bread with bacon.

4. Bossche Bol

When you visit S-Hertogenbosch, don’t miss the chance to try a Bossche Bol. This delightful pastry consists of a chocolate-glazed puff pastry filled with sweet whipped cream.

5. Limburgse Vlaai

In the Limburg region, indulge in Limburgse vlaai, a type of fruit-filled tart. It comes in various flavors, with cherry and apricot being popular choices.

6. Dutch Cheese

No visit to the Netherlands is complete without sampling Dutch cheese. Head to local cheese shops or markets to taste varieties like Gouda, Edam, and Leyden.

7. Dutch Pancakes (Pannenkoeken)

Dutch pancakes are a delicious treat that you can enjoy throughout your journey. They come in sweet and savory varieties, with a wide range of toppings, from powdered sugar to bacon and cheese.


As you embark on your road trip through Southern Netherlands in an RV, you’re in for a remarkable adventure filled with diverse landscapes, rich culture, and delectable cuisine. The best time to visit, from late spring to early autumn, ensures you’ll experience the region’s beauty at its finest.

Exploring key stops like Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Biesbosch National Park, Tilburg, Eindhoven, S-Hertogenbosch, and Maastricht will introduce you to the unique character of each place. Don’t forget to plan your route carefully, considering campsites and wild camping options, to make the most of your journey.

Along the way, indulge in Dutch culinary delights such as haring, patat, erwtensoep, Bossche Bol, Limburgse vlaai, Dutch cheese, and Dutch pancakes to savor the flavors of the region.

Southern Netherlands promises a road trip filled with unforgettable moments and discoveries. So, pack your bags, fuel up your RV, and set off on this exciting journey through the heart of Dutch charm and hospitality. Your Southern Netherlands road trip awaits!