The Netherlands

Top 10 things to do on Texel – The Netherlands

A few weeks ago, I went to Texel for a couple of days. Texel, is one of the Dutch Frisian Islands, also known as the Dutch Wadden Islands. It is the biggest ‘Wadden Island’ in the Wadden Sea. When you plan to visit the Netherlands, a short stay or one day trip to Texel should be included. It is a beautiful island, easy reachable from Amsterdam, and there are plenty of nice things to do! This post will tell you more about the 10 different exciting things that you can do in Texel.

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1. Climb the 153 steps of the Texel lighthouse (Cocksdorp)
Or just watch, instead of climbing the lighthouse! The lighthouse is around 35 meters high and looks amazing. The surrounding is beautiful as well. It will cost you € 4,00 to climb up the 153 steps, but at the top, you can overview the Dutch coast very well!

It is good to notice that there is no elevator in the lighthouse and that dogs are not allowed to enter. The lighthouse is daily open from 10:00 till 17:00 between March and October, and between November and February only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays (also 10:00 till 17:00). Please note that this information is subjected to change. Visit the lighthouse’s website for the most up to date information.

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2. Go mudflat walking
Mudflat walking is a must do in Texel! It is a very fun and special experience! While walking across the bottom of the sea, you can enjoy the sandbanks, various plants, birds, fish, and when lucky, some seals. Sometimes it can become a bit tuff though, for instance when your feet and legs get clamped up by the water haha. I recommend you to go with a guide. He or she can teach you everything about the sea, and helps you to not get lost in the regular changing tides cycles. Also, make sure to wear sturdy shoes and perhaps a warm sweater.

3. Visit a sheep farm and cuddly lambs
On Texel, you can find plenty of sheep farms. There is even a rumour that there are more sheep than inhabitants in Texel! Crazy haha! You can visit some farms to learn everything about the sheep, taste sheep cheese, or just to cuddle some lambs. In March, you have the biggest chance to see some young jumping lambs. It is great to see!

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4. Visit Ecomare
Ecomare is an attraction and nature center devoted to the preservation of Texel’s (sea) wildlife. It is especially known for the seal shelter. While visiting the different tanks, you can also watch feeding times. Porpoise feeding takes place at 10.30 and 13.30 and fish feeding is at 14.30. Please be aware that these times might chance. Check their website for the most up to date information.

5. Visit the municipality capital of Texel; Den Burg
Den Burg is the ‘capital’ of Texel. You can go there for a day trip and do some shopping, enjoy Texel’s typical beer, climb the church tower, or enjoy the food in one of the many restaurants. The capital also has a museum (Oudheidkamer Antiquities Room), cinema, and swimming pool.

6. Watch seals basking in the sun
Watching seals is another must do in Texel! You can book one of the many excursions, for example at Ecomare or at ‘de Waddenveer’ in Cocksdorp. I decided to book it at Cocksdorp, so I could combine it with a visit to the lighthouse. For only € 12,50, I spent around 2.5 hours on the water, watching seals basking in the sun and relaxing on the sandbanks. In the meantime, the guide told a lot of facts about the seals, which was nice to hear.

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7. Enjoy a water activity
Texel is an island, so there are plenty of water activities to do! Think about wind surfing, kite surfing, surfing, swimming, or sailing.

8. Wander around in Texel Dunes national park
The national park is a great piece of nature where you can truly enjoy a day wandering around. You can see dunes capes running along the western coast and when you are lucky, you can even spot some sheep, reptiles, bird species or other animals.

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9. Go horse riding along the beach
Texel is a great place to do horse riding! Imagine yourself galloping with the wind through your hair. There are many different places where you can ‘rent’ a horse. Something good to remember, is that you cannot ride everywhere on Texel. Some beaches are specially designated for horses and in summer and winter seasons, different times and rules apply for riding.

10. Visit Eureka’s bird- and butterfly garden
Visit Eureka and enjoy many different bird-. butterfly-, and flower species. The bird garden has different types of birds; birds of prey and tropical birds, like parakeets or parrots. Within the flower garden you can find many orchids.

This map provides an overview of all the places mentioned above;


  • Texel is easy to reach by ferry from Den Helder. It will only take around 20 minutes. You can bring your car or bicycle on the ferry for an extra fee.
  • Rent a bike to explore the island. Next to the harbour where the ferry arrives, is a company located that specialises in renting bikes. For a small fee, you can rent a bike. There are many bicycle paths on Texel, so it is very safe for everybody to bike.
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I hope you will enjoy Texel! If you have any questions or would like to share some other nice things to do in Texel, leave a comment!

Author: Daphne

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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  • Mimi & Mitch

    Would’ve not even know to this place and not even know about it if we would’ve not read about it here! I think our favourite would be to watch the seals and sheep farm!

  • Chantell

    Wow, I had never heard of Texel before but this post has convinced me that I need to visit. I love the outdoors and seeing animals. Seals are always so much fun to watch – they have such great personalities. Also who could pass up cuddling with a sheep?

  • Paige Wunder

    Sounds like a great place to explore! I’d love to visit the dunes. I’ve never been to a dunes area. I also never would have guessed wig a list like this that this was in the Netherlands. Beautiful!

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    It was nice reading about Texel, a refreshing change from the usual posts that talk about Amsterdam and the tulips. There is so much to see and experience in Texel. All the required ingredients for a great experience. Climbing the Light house is a special experience for me as I have an enduring fascination for Light houses.

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