Do in autumn holidays: 5 x fun outings just across the border

For that foreign holiday feeling, you dont have to be on the road for long. With the autumn holiday at our doorstep we can tip five fun outings, just across the border of the Netherlands.

Hip industrial city

Where: Duisburg, Germany

Distance: 1 hour and 50 minutes from Utrecht

The old factories of the German Ruhr area have been refurbished and transformed into cultural places. The city of Duisburg is a good example of a place in the Ruhr area where modern and industrial converge.

For example, in the old snail mountains Heinrich-Hildebrand-Hรถhe you will find the famous Tiger & Turtle Magic Mountain: a roller coaster construction that allows you to walk over. This roller coaster sculpture is beautifully lit in the evening.

A little further away in the Landschaftspark Duisburg Noord, industry and nature find their way together. Here you will find one of Europes most important industrial monuments, a former steel mill where iron ore was processed. Climb Hoogoven 5 and enjoy a view over Duisburg and part of the Ruhr area at an altitude of 70 meters. In the harbour area you can see how the former industrial area has been transformed into a busy trendy nightlife district. Numerous bars and restaurants overlooking the water create a unique atmosphere.

Venice of the North

Where: Bruges, Belgium

Distance: 2 hours and 40 minutes from Utrecht

Stroll along the canals and enjoy a Bruges Zot and pralinรฉ in between: welcome to the Belgian city of Bruges. This bustling city looks even more romantic in autumn due to its striking autumn colours and the falling leaf. Historic Bruges originated somewhere around the year 900 and grew into a prosperous and rich Hanseatic city. Since 2000, the entire centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not for nothing, the cosy city centre has an overdose of old sights, from the Grote Markt to the world-famous Church of Our Lady.

With its many canals and graceful bridges, a cruise can not be missed when visiting the Venice of the North. Prefer something active? Climbing the Belfry is literally the highlight of your city trip. This 83 meter high tower has no less than 366 steps. Your climb will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Bruges and surroundings.

Beer lover? Then you cant skip the Brewery De Halve Maan where the famous Bruges Zot beer is brewed.

Longest ski hall in the world

Where: Bottrop, Germany

Distance: 1 hour and 50 minutes from Utrecht

It is still uncertain what upcoming winter sports season will look like, but at Alpincenter in Bottrop you can get in the mood. The longest ski hall in the world has a pistel length of 640 meters and was built on an artificial hill of coal waste from the Ruhr area. The hall is suitable for both experienced and inexperienced winter sports enthusiasts. For beginners there is a separate section with tow lift and for the advanced guests a long track with two turns and a 24 percent slope. A one-day ski pass includes equipment and unlimited drinks and food.

Done with the winter fun? Take a ride on the toboggan run or have a beer in the Biergarten. There is also an indoor skydive in the Alpincenter. The number of people allowed in the ski hall is limited due to corona, reservation must be made online. On the slopes and in the elevator a mouthcap is not mandatory, in the catering area is.

Impressive cave system

Where: Ardennes, Belgium

Distance: 2 hours and 45 minutes from Utrecht

The Belgian Ardennes with endless forests, many rivers and small villages are beautiful in autumn. Visit, for example, the famous Caves of Han, created millions of years ago by the river Lesse entering a limestone hill. The water dissolved part of the limestone, resulting in the huge cave system. A colorful tram takes you from the village center to the caves where the tour starts.

In the Ardennes you will also find Durbuy, the smallest town in the world. The medieval town consists of picturesque streets with fine restaurants and shops. The combination of romance and dynamics makes Durbuy a perfect destination for autumn.

On the sporting tour? Near La Roche-en-Ardenne โ€” known for its archaeological sites and a feudal castle โ€” you will find a wildlife park about two kilometres from the centre and many departure points for kayaking and rafting. There is also a lot to discover with well-known local produce in the culinary field.

Do you want to see more of the Ardennes and have longer time? Then take a nice road trip.

Archaeological Park Xanten

Where: Xanten, Germany

Distance: 1 hour and 40 minutes from Utrecht

An outing for the whole family is the Archaeological Park in Xanten, just across the border near Nijmegen. In the Roman open-air museum you will find ruins andimpressive reconstructions of Roman buildings; ancient city gates, an inn, a huge bathhouse, an amphitheater and even some houses and city walls built with stones from Roman times.

Time left? Combine a visit to the Archaeological Park with an activity around the lake opposite the park. You can go cycling, hiking, swimming, fishing, diving, water skiing, sailing and canoeing.