DestinationsThe Netherlands

A fairytale weekend at Efteling.

Efteling theme park is based in Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands and is a fantasy inspired amusement park that draws inspiration from traditional fairytales, myths and folklore.I’m not sure how well known the park is outside of the Netherlands, as I had never heard of it before planning our visit, but it’s a refreshing change to many other theme parks I’ve visited.Based on traditional fairytales, it feels a lot less commercialised than other places and by incorporating the beautiful surrounding landscape into the amusements it creates an enchanting atmosphere for all.Best Attraction

Efteling is a unique park in that there are attractions for everyone, whether you are a thrill seeker or prefer to relax and enjoy the surrounding nature.That being said, I checked out a lot of the attractions with my friends (one who loves rides and one who does not) and I’ve selected my favourites – although you don’t have to take my suggestions, you can download the Efteling app and find out all of the information about the attractions, including the current waiting times in preparation for your visit.Villa Volta is a ‘mad house’ ride that creates the illusion that the room is moving and you can’t tell which way is up. This is a really fun ride that does play a trick on your mind! Villa Volta is definitely enjoyable even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie.Want to enjoy incredible panoramic views of the park and surrounding countryside? Head to the Pagoda, it slowly rotates at a height of 45m, ensuring you see all of the beautiful scenery. Not for those afraid of heights – but such a nice way to see Efteling in it’s entirety.Vogel Rok is an indoor rollercoaster, that we convinced my friend who does not enjoy rides to go on. You ride in the dark with flashes of light and although you don’t reach super high speeds or go upside down we did have such a fun time on this one!The Gondoletta is the perfect attraction to check out when the sun is shining. There is relaxing music playing whilst you ‘sail’ around the lake taking in the beautiful scenery, this really creates the fairytale atmosphere that Efteling is known for. One thing to note, this ride is popular and if you’re in a small group you will most likely be seated in a Gondoletta with other people.

Where to EatHow can you visit the Netherlands without having pancakes? Head to Polle whilst in the park for a choice of 10 sweet and 10 savoury pancakes. This place is a darling spot with the pans and cutlery spinning around the stove in the restaurant – not to mention the pancakes were delicious!Eethuys restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. We started our day by enjoying the extensive breakfast buffet seated in a lovely conservatory with the sun streaming in. My favourites dishes had to be the delicious freshly baked bread and wide selection of cheeses.We also decided to eat dinner at Eethuys restaurant, despite the very tempting pizza delivery service the park offers! Whilst the dinner menu was not extensive, it did have a variety of options and the prices were incredibly reasonable.We thoroughly enjoyed the freshly baked bread starter with a selection of dips, paired with an aperitif, but had to save space for the main. I went for the Pork Schnitzel which was served with seasonal vegetables, the ingredients were fresh and the meal was very tasty. Our StayWe stayed in a wonderful village house in Efteling Bosrijk, which is a short 10 minute walk from the park through winding woodland paths and past the grand entrance where reception and the general store is located. Efteling Bosrijk is a charming little village very reminiscent of Centre Parks for any of my UK followers.If you are visiting with a larger group, I would recommend checking out the lake houses, they had such a beautiful view from the terraces.The Village house was equipped with all of the comforts we could need. The ground floor had an open plan lounge and dining table, a kitchen and direct access to the terrace which was surrounded by peaceful woodland. The bedrooms were simple, but comfortable for the time we spent there. It’s the small touches when staying overnight that really made it feel special – including the guest book and polaroid camera for our use. There were pictures of previous guests hanging in the living room – we added one of course, so if you stay in the same house you might find our polaroid there!Also, we loved that there was a night time story and bed hats in the lounge – being children at heart we had to try them on! That being said, if you visit with children, there are playgrounds throughout the village area and entertainment every evening when the sandman comes to visit – I thought this was a darling touch for younger visitors! Visiting Efteling is like stepping into a fairytale, no matter what age you are the atmosphere is enchanting. Staying overnight is such a great experience and you have the added perk of entering the park early, to enjoy it with less crowds.

Do you like theme parks? And have you ever visited Efteling? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Disclaimer: We stayed as guests of Efteling, however all photography and opinions are my own.

I'm Gemma, a travel blogger who is in love with exploring new places. Follow me for luxury travel tips, travel inspiration and photography from around the world.

13 Comments

  1. Darn I’m sad I totally missed out on this place when I visited the Netherlands last year. If only you’d posted this sooner! But now I know where to go for this quaint theme park. It looks like a great way to spend your weekend and looks super beautiful and relaxing!

  2. I have never heard of Efteling before! After reading through your post, Efteling reminds of Disney World here in the US. Both create a whimsical world on such a grand scale, with immense attention to detail. Efteling looks like such a beautiful and fun place to explore. If I ever get the chance to visit that part of the world, I am definitely going to have to make a stop here!

  3. This place looks amazing! I have never thought of visiting the Netherlands, but maybe I should add it to my list.

  4. Fairytale weekend?Yes, you can say that again!I mean, Efteling theme park is so breathtaking; I love the indoors which look so warm, the eats and the outdoors even more!What a way to spend the weekend!

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