A day trip to Valkenburg with 15 exciting things to do
Traveling through the Netherlands and looking for a cozy, beautiful and historic town in the Netherlands? Planning to go south anyway? Combine your visit to Maastricht with a visit to Valkenburg aan de Geul, also called Valkenburg. With this article, I would like to share with you 15 exciting things you can do in Valkenburg.
A short introduction to Valkenburg aan de Geul
Valkenburg aan de Geul is a beautiful historical town located in the South of the Netherlands in the Dutch province of Limburg. The name refers to the central town in the municipality, Valkenburg, and the small river Geul. These days Valkenburg aan de Geul is known as Valkenburg and famous for its tourist attractions, caves, chalk houses, and the hilly countryside.
Visit the Valkenburg Castle Ruins
Visit the Valkenburg Castle ruins for a tour or treasure hunt. Visit the historic ruins of the once so imposing castle dating back to the 11th century and learn everything about the Great Hall, defensive towers, dungeon, old chapel, and artillery room.
Walk through the city gates
Walk through the two city gates ‘Berkelpoort’ and ‘Grendelpoort’, the only two gates of the city walls that survived.
Try a local waffle
Try a local waffle at one of the many cafes at the Grotestraat Valkenburg. The double chocolate waffle with strawberries and whipped cream is my favorite!
Walk along the city walls
Walk along the remaining parts of the city walls.
Explore the Valkenburg Caves
Explore (by a guided-tour) the former underground quarries that were used to gain marl. The caves are also known as the caves of Valkenburg. Some have interesting charcoal drawings and marl sculptures.
Visit some churches
In the center of Valkenburg you will find the ancient parish church dedicated to St. Nicholas and Barbara. This church is the oldest of the two churches of Valkenburg and is a church with a rich history.
See the Valkenburg railway station
Go and see the Valkenburg railway station, the oldest surviving train station in the Netherlands.
Climb the steps of the Wilhelmina tower
Climb the steps of the Wilhelmina Tower, a viewing tower with a height of 35 meters with almost 200 steps. The view from this tower is truly amazing and let you enjoy the hills of Limburg!
Visit an amusement park near Valkenburg
Visit an amusement park ‘Sprookjesbos’ or `Amsument Park De Valkenier’. At Sprookjesbos you can discover the best-known fairytales. Amusement park De Valkenier offers all-round entertainment for visitors of all ages. This fun amusement park is the oldest family park in the Netherlands and offers the lowest prices in all of Europe! The amusement park has more than 25 attractions, both indoors and outdoors.
Relax at the park
Relax at the Kuurpark, a nice park to go for a hike, to enjoy the sun, or to relax.
Visit Valkenburg during Christmas
Valkenburg is one of the places to be in the Netherlands during Christmas. The town offers many festive stalls with Christmas presents, gift items, clothing and personal care products. You can even find Christmas stalls in the caves!
Try the mini golf course
Try the mini golf course of A GoGo Valkenburg.
Take the aerial lift
Take the aerial lift uphill to the toboggan run and experience the 375 and 325 meters long toboggan runs. This activity is fun for everybody! I did it when I was 24 years old and it was so much fun!
Enjoy a spa day
Visit Thermae 2000 and enjoy the thermal in- and outdoor pools, saunas, whirlpools and embrace the possibility to fully relax on top of the Cauberg. You can also stay overnight at this incredible spa.
Visit Oud-Valkenburg, a small village along the Geul with only 130 inhabitants. In Oud-Valkenburg you can visit a gothic church, two beautiful castles (Genhoes and Schaloen) and several historic farmsteads (all in local marlstone) and two watermills.
Accommodation in Valkenburg
I stayed at a luxurious double room at Villa Valkenburg (left photo below), a nice place close in the city centre of Valkenburg. Loved the bath! If you’re more on a budget, you might want to stay at Hotel B&B De Heren van Valkenburg and if you can spend a bit more money, make sure to check out Bella vista (right photo below). I stayed one night in the King Room with Spa Bath and totally loved this.
If you know other great things to do in Valkenburg, The Netherlands, please share it with me in the comment section below. Enjoy Valkenburg!
This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.
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I visited Valkenburg in 2018 and loved it. Such a wonderful place to explore and you can walk everywhere. I loved the cave tour and the light and music show at the end of the tour brought back lots of great memories of the 70’s! I would definitely like to go back one day. You can catch the train to lots of other places. I also visited Monshau, Maastricht and Aachen but my base was Valkenburg! (I live in Australia and I told everyone about this town when I got back.)
Hi Sue, great to read that you had a fantastic time exploring Valkenburg and surrounding cities. It’s a lovely place 🙂
For me, the most interesting thing from the list is the guided tour of the former underground quarries. I can imagine it being quite fascinating both in terms of history and geography as well; plus the chance to see those old sculptures and charcoal drawings. How long does the quarry tour last?
This is a great article for anyone traveling through the Netherlands and thinking about visiting Valkenburg. There is actually quite a lot of things to do here. I love the sound of a toboggan run. Reminds me of an adventure park that I went to in Sigulda, Latvia.
Hi Chantell, thank you! Valkenburg is indeed a very diverse town with lot of things to do. Hope you can visit one day!
What a lovely and unique town Valkenburg is! I’ve been to the Netherlands, but sadly only to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. I like the look of the toboggan run, such an interesting feature to have in a small town. I also wouldn’t say no to a waffle too!
Hi Lisa, such a pity to hear you only visited Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Netherlands has so many more other beautiful places too. I hope you can come back one day and explore the other places and perhaps Valkenburg too! =)
I would love to take part in a guided tour. It’s such a great way to get to know the city’s history and culture. I would love to see those charcoal drawings. It sounds so interesting!