Guest blog by Rohit Agrawal, author of Transindiatravels.com
Travelling isn’t one of the very things that a disabled person would think of. As travelling requires several tasks like getting on buses, trains, flights etc., it can become quite cumbersome for a disabled person. Nevertheless, most people dream of visiting far of lands and experience the marvelous views of nature and foreign cultures. Known to be one of the most hospitable countries in the world, Netherlands is also one of the best places for the disabled people to visit.
It might be hard to believe but the various services such as wheel chair travel and accessible travel have made Netherlands one of the most tourist friendly countries in the world. The country boasts of several natural and man-made attractions are meant to serve a wide range of tourists.
Most cities in Netherlands including the capital city of Amsterdam, offer several amenities that facilitate hassle free travel for the disabled. One of the most popular amenities, Wheelchair bikes are available that make travelling a breeze for the people who cannot walk around the city. Most of the hotels and restaurants in the cities are extremely hospitable with friendly and helpful staff.
The ramps and wide sidewalks make getting around the city quite easy for the disabled. Several national parks and nature reserves in the Netherlands also offer special guided tours and wheel chair bikes free of charge for the disabled. This could be a boon for the Indian travelers, as they don’t have to worry about the currency exchange rates when thinking of visiting the famous De Hoge Veluwe National Park where wheelchair services are offered for free.
Listed below are the various places of interest in Netherlands that are accessible on a wheelchair and offer several special amenities for the disabled.
As the name suggests, the museum holds some of the best works of the legendary Dutch painter and is said to have the largest collection of his paintings. Located in Amsterdam South at the Museum square, the Van Gogh Museum was opened for public on the 3rd of June 1973 and has been a home to millions of visitors. The museum is divided into two different wings- The Rietveld wing is 4 stories high and is holds the permanent collection of Van Gogh’s paintings, restoration works and some notable works contemporaries. The Kurokawa wing is a 3 storied structure that is meant for temporary exhibitions. The underground entrance makes it extremely easy for the disabled to take a leisurely stroll to this building.
Known to be the cultural icon of Netherlands, Zaanse Schans refers to the preserved collection of historic Dutch windmills and houses. Located at the banks of the Zaan River, the village displays a remarkable view of the Dutch countryside and provides some picturesque views of the surroundings. The buildings were mostly located near the dykes during the 17th and the 18th centuries. However, under the pressure of urban development, these historic buildings were moved to its current location around 1961. You can also visit the individual mills and buildings for a more comprehensive experience of the Dutch culture.
Aptly nicknamed as ‘The Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof is one of the largest flower gardens in the world. Known for its iconic tulip fields, Keukenhof is built on the former hunting grounds and kitchen garden of the castle of the Count of Hainaut. It was later turned into a flower garden by a Dutch landscape architect in 1830 and was opened for public in 1949, by the erstwhile mayor of Lisse who wanted the florists from the country and all over Europe could exhibit their hybrid flower species. The narrow yet enchanting pathways provide ample amount of space for the disabled. Apart from this special guided tours are also conducted for the elderly and the disabled.
A former port town located in North Holland, De Rijp is a historical village known for its Dutch architecture and culture. The town was merged with the municipality of Graft in 1970 and before the surrounding lakes were pumped dry, De Rijp was known for its fishing industry. Today, it is one of the most visited places in Netherlands and has some of the best collections of Dutch-Renaissance style architecture. The town is famous for its characteristic Dutch buildings, known as Rijksmonuments that include several windmills, castles and several churches with stained glass windows.
Surrounded by picturesque and quaint beaches, lighthouses and several historical monuments, Noordwijk is a town located in western Netherlands. The town boasts of its historical architecture and pine forests that inhibit several species of flora and fauna. Like the aforementioned Keukenhof, Noordwijk also boasts of its flower gardens which cover more than 300 hectares of the town’s land. Tourists can enjoy the nature along with a welcoming tourist town filled with cafes, restaurants and hotels that offer special facilities and services for the disabled.
Indians in particular must make sure that they visit Netherlands if they ever plan a vacation abroad. Not only the country is filled with some of the most picturesque locations in the world but is extremely safe and hospitable especially when travelling with disabilities. Make sure you visit the above places to experience the true sights and sounds of the Dutch landscape and culture.
Rohit likes to visit places with a rich historic background and vibrant culture. He loves to share his travel stories via several blogs and websites such as Transindiatravels.com and others.
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